Loopback? Are you guys aware that Steinberg created ASIO? Yet, cannot get it to fully function?

I’ll try to walk you through an example bringing an ASIO app (Dorico 5), and a two way WDM based coms app like Skype, onto the Cubase Mixing Console.

First, be sure “Enable LOOPER” is activated in the main ASIO Link Pro Tool.

Your first instance of ASIO Link Pro will go with your audio device. Be sure it is set up to use the device of your choice. Preferably a direct connection to one that has native ASIO drivers, but if not, you can go through the Steinberg Universal ASIO layer, or use something like ASIO4ALL.

Be sure “Enable multi-clients” is enabled.

In my case I’m connected to an old M-Audio Delta 1010 which has 12 input channels ( 1-8 Analogue, 9/10 SPDIF, 11/12 Internal Mixer), and 10 Output channels (1-8 Analogue, 9/10 SPDIF.

This means I can use any input channels 13 and higher, or output channels 11 and higher for more creative routing.

In this main instance, set up your loopback connections.

In my case here, I have made connections for looper out channels. I like to have Cubase connect straight to ASIO Link outputs 1-10, which go straight to my Delta 1010 outputs.

I’ve set aside ASIO Link outputs 15-20 in order to route stuff like Dorico and Band in Box through my Cubase Mixer.

Still in my main instance here, I’d like to hear my desktop bells and whistles, so I’m going to connect them straight to outputs 1&2 of my audio device. I only have a pair of monitors at the moment, so I’ll merge in all 8 channels as occasionally I play a video or something in the browser that uses surround sound channels. Note, I’ve also setup my desktop to default WDM audio to the special ASIO Link VADPRO drivers.

With this routing the OS noises bypass any DAW or recording that might be going on…so a Windows ‘ding’ isn’t going to make it into my actual DAW session.

Next I’ll open Cubase, which is my main DAW. Regarding input from my actual Delta 1010 interface, for now I only need a pair of analogue inputs for a stereo bottle mic, and the SPDIF inputs for my old Fantom XR. I’ve set them in Cubase to use ASIO Link Pro ports accordingly.

I’ve also made an External Instrument assignment (SE/LE versions of Cubase can’t do this, so make a regular input and route it through an audio track if your version of Cubase can’t do 'external rack instruments/effects) to channels 15 and 16 (remember, I connected those to the loop rail in my main ASIO Link Pro instance). I’ll later use this to Route Dorico’s output into Cubase.

Note, I could do this on regular input channels and route that through an audio track, but I find Cubase grants a little more flexibility on the mixing console if routed this way. If you bring stuff like this in as an ‘external instrument’, I find it easier to control where it sits on the console, you can do aux sends directly from instrument channel on the mixer, and you get more power in terms of hosting insert effects, plus a few more perks.

In contrast, if you set it up as a plain ‘input’ on the mixing console, you’ll need to route it into an Audio track first (even if you don’t plan to ‘record’ on the track) to get at things like aux sends, post fader slot effects, and so forth. Straight inputs also tend to be anchored more towards the far left of the console, and not as easy to move it on the console.

At the moment I only need 2 stereo pairs for output from the control room. My Main monitors are on Channels 1&2 of the Delta 1010. My headphone amp is on channels 7&8. So it looks like this.

I’ll go ahead and activate my Fantom and Dorico instruments in the instrument rack.

I’ll go ahead and start Dorico, and instruct it to use the ASIO Link Pro drivers, channels 15 and 16 for output.

Now that I have some ASIO apps running, and they are using the ASIO Link Pro backend, I can look in my Windows system tray and find new Green Keyboard Icons.

In this case, these icons represent new instances of ASIO Link Pro that are associated with Cubase13.exe, and VSTAudioEngine.exe (VSTAudioEngine belongs to Dorico). So, any time you connect an ASIO app to the ASIO Link Pro drivers, it gets a fresh instance of ASIO Link Pro, with the audio interface set to “ASIO Link Multiclient”.

To get audio into Cubase, I need to use this special instance of ASIO Link Pro from the system tray, and connect all of my inputs from here.

Mic from Delta 1010 (Channels 1&2)
Fantom XR from SPDIF (Channels 9&10)
Dorico from the loopback rail (Channels 15&16).

Now I find that my mic and instrument inputs are routed into Dorico and working, and I also hear Dorico through the Cubase Mixing Console when I play a score.

So, as a general rule of thumb, remember that you route OUTPUTS and setup loops in the Main instance of ASIO Link Pro (the one that launches initially, and connects to your audio interface).

You will always do INPUTS into your ASIO apps through their special multi-client instance in the system tray.

This takes care of ASIO apps, but what about WDM?

For these you instruct the app(s) in question to use the special WDM ASIOVADPRO drivers, and then simply connect them in the respective ASIO Link Pro multi-client session.

I.E. Imagine I have Skype set up to use the second ASIOVADPRO pro driver for input and output. So first I’ll set up an input for it on the Cubase Mixer (Alternatively, it could be set up as an External Rack Instrument like I did with the Dorico inputs, which I personally prefer). I’ll use channels 21 and 22, and I don’t need these on the looper rail since it’s coming off the WDM driver.

And I’ll set up Skype Output on Channels 21 & 22.

Go back to my Cubase ‘multiclient’ Instance of ASIO Link Pro and connect the ASIOVADPRO driver that Skype is using (green lines) for its OUTPUT (The chat I hear others saying on Skype).

To get output routed from that new Skype Cubase fader into Skype, I need to use the Master Instance of ASIO Link Pro…the very first one associated with asiolinktool.exe, that connects to the Audio Interface.

Link the output of channels 21 & 22 to the ASIOVADPRO driver that I’ve set Skype to use for ‘input’.

At this point I can use AUX sends and/or Group tracks/faders on the Cubase Mixing console to get a mic signal, and whatever ‘mix’ I’d like along with it directed to my Skype Out on the Cubase Mixer.

To control what I hear/record, or send on to other channels on the Cubase console…I have that fader on the Mixing Console now as well.

Again, the main ‘magic sauce’ in understanding how ASIO Link Pro works in multi-client mode is:
The first channels on the main asiolinktool.exe instance correspond with your actual physical audio interface.
So if yours has 4 inputs, and 4 outputs…anything from channels 5 and up you can run through looper and use for creative routing.

Always set up OUTPUTS in this main asiolinktool.exe instance.

To get audio routed INTO an app, you’ll always need to find its special instance of ASIO Link Pro in the system tray, and make the connections there.

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