I use the same system for Cubase, as I do for Zoom. I know, crazy, huh? The system is running Windows 10 Pro and has available USB-A and C ports, but no Thunderbolt. (That eliminates all the Apollo interfaces, btw – they are significantly gimped over USB, I’ve tried them! Also their plugin prices for the dated SHARC hardware are … I’m sure a good business for them.)
My current setup uses a good-old UR-22 which has been with me for many years, and some external microphone preamp and mixing gear.
However, it would be nice to move most of that into a box. It looks like most interfaces these days have some kind of onboard DSP mixing/monitoring software. However, none of the marketing materials seem to describe how the software interacts with ASIO and WDM drivers. Can I split pairs between WDM and ASIO? Can I use one pair of input channels for WDM while using another for ASIO? Can I partition the output channels into virtual devices? No good answers seem to be easily available.
So, I’m asking here – y’all are using a variety of interfaces with Cubase, so clearly someone will know the answer for each of the interfaces I’m interested in. I’d love pricing to be $500 but $999 isn’t out of the question – it’s more important that I get something with stable, flexible, drivers.
- Scarlett 18i20 (routing/mixing seems OK, but can it do compression/EQ?)
- Tascam Series 208i (Seems capable, but is it?)
- M-audio Air 192 / 14 (Can’t find a routing diagram for this online!)
- MOTU 8A or UltraLite AVB (Seem to use “generation 4” software)
#1 question: Which of these interfaces, if any, support splitting channels between ASIO vs WDM, and if you do so, how well does it work?
#2 question: Can you record some of the mix channels back into the computer? This would be helpful to send a combination of microphone inputs, instrument inputs, and computer-music-playback back into the Zoom half of the equation.
I’d also include the bigger variants of the UR interfaces, except those, too, are not in stock – this list excludes interfaces not in stock with dealers in the US, that I would otherwise consider. (Like the MOTU Ultralite mk5, or the Steinberg UR-816-C)
This illustration isn’t as helpful as I had hoped, but it shows how I need the routing/mixing to go. I really only need 3 physical ins (mic + stereo) and 4 physical outs (headphones + monitors) but I need more sub-busses and mix-returns, so a more-channel interface is likely needed to actually make that happen.