Using two sound cards on Windows 10 64 bit

Hi all

I have a Line 6 Helix interface and now an Apollo Twin. The Helix is perfect for recording guitars with full ampsim monitoring (zero latency) whilst tracking the DI only via USB - and the TWIN is awesome for vocals - monitoring with UAD preamps and effects and recording wet or dry at the same time.
Can I run both in Cubase for a best of both worlds setup?

Thanks!

Hi and welcome,

The only way is to use the ASIO4ALL driver to merge both Audio Devices to one ASIO driver.

But you will likely end up with too much latency for your guitar playing.

I have my Helix connected via USB but only use it for HX Edit and cc messages to the Helix, not for audio. I use the S/PDIF out on the Helix to connect to my RME interface. This way only one driver, the RME , talks to Cubase so the latency is OK. Works great as it is digital all the way from the Helix to Cubase (actually to the monitor speakers).

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Thanks for your reply. How do you monitor Helix amps “wet” whilst recording dry DI’s via SPDIF?

OK, the configuration I use is a bit complicated (and about to get more so). Basically I have 2 signal paths between my Helix and my RME Fireface400. One is the S/PDIF (stereo) and the second is a mono line level analog path. Normally I’ll send the Helix modeled signal to the digital input because that signal originated in the digital domain so it should stay there. Similarly I’ll send the DI to the analog because it is already analog & also mono - so it can go a few more feet before digital conversion at the RME. Then in the RME’s mixer I can monitor both or each input however I like.

However all of my Helix presets are based on a template that is configured at various points along the signal path to tap the signal and route it to either digital or analog. So I could easily swap what goes where - although I’ve never wanted to. I suppose if you didn’t care about keeping the amp simulation stereo you could route it to only the S/PDIF’s left channel and the DI to the right.

I also have a Variax, which of course integrates well with the Helix. The way I’ve got it setup the modeled guitar ‘pickups’ normally go to the Helix amp modeling. But the Variax also has real physical magnetic pickups and those get routed as DI to the analog path where it can get amped in Cubase. What’s cool with this is if you record both signals it really sounds like two different guitars and not one guitar into two amps - because the signal paths are entirely different and separate from pick hitting string on out. Also the real and modeled tuning will naturally vary, which helps alot.

I’m planning on integrating a patchbay into the front end that will let me route guitars to the Helix and/or two different real amps. A project that demands serious procrastination it seems.

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Wowser thats cool. Actually I have a Variax myself so I might try your method too.
I’ll see about a preset that is set so the stereo signal has left amped and right DI then also
Cheers for the detailed response!

Daft isn’t it. 2020 and you can only use one audio interface at a time with ASIO.

Time this was sorted out.

I run a focusrite interface on ASIO, but have to waste two channels of that for my RD-2000, which could otherwise send direct digital audio to Cubase.

Surely it’s time to move ASIO on to the next level.

It’s not just Steinberg that need to rework ASIO - all of the vendors would need to rewrite their drivers to support this new multi client protocol. And that also means that it’s likely the latency would limited to that of the ‘worst peforming’ device.

In your case how would you deal with the digital clocking ? Which would be the master ? Can you externally clock your RD2000 or your focusrite interface ? As you know, with two DIGITAL sources you need to ensure they are clocked to the same source.

So even if everybody did all that massive amount of programming work …it wouldn’t actually fix your specific issue.

In this case the cure is worse than the disease.

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You are limiting your ambitions based on current inadequate technical solutions. That is not how evolution and development happens.

Are you really suggesting we will still have this limit in 10 years time?

ASIO has done a great job for a while, but it is obviously flawed and limited in this way, so either ASIO2 needs to happen, or something else will ultimately take its position.

I don’t believe I am ? What I am pointing out is that your request doesn’t actually resolve the issue you are having.

For all the manufactures and developers to do what is requested there has to be a need…and it will be hundreds and thousands of hours of dev time across all the developers and hardware manufacturers.

And after all that work your RD-2000 still won’t work at the same time as your focusrite interface because your hardware won’t support external clocking - this means the two interfaces can’t actually run in sync. So all that work for no actual gain.

I have zero doubt that it is achievable, we can put men (!) on the moon, but there are more important things that need doing first. In the meantime, for a hacky workaround, you can use ASIO4ALL.

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I’ve stopped pining for multi-soundcard ASIO since about a year ago:

That’s when I separated my audio interface entirely from my A/D and D/A conversion.

Now I’m running a tiny little RME box (Digiface USB) which only takes ADAT / TosLink optical inputs and outputs. So it’s an audio interface and not an A/D - D/A converter (for the sake of this discussion I’ll ignore that it has a headphone output, which obviously has a D/A converter dedicated for that).

This gives me up to 32 in and 32 out audio channels at up to 48KHz or 16 in and 16 out at 96KHz. That box conveniently allowed me to keep using my aging Steinberg MR816csx - now purely for it’s 8 still very nice Yamaha pre’s and as A/D D/A converter – no longer dragged down by its FireWire connection. I’m also running an older second audio to ADAT converter box into it for a total of 16 channels of 48KHz bi-directional audio.

Over the years, I’ve seen way too many crappy audio interface drivers from too many manufacturers who have no idea how to write great low latency ASIO drivers and/or stop updating them for new operating systems.

So now I only depend on a single manufacturer for my ASIO - and RME seems one of the very best, for performance and long term update support.

When there’s a new operating system, I only have to worry about a single device being ready – rather than x different devices.

Another couple of side benefits of that configuration include:

  • Audio signals can be further away from my computer and all the RF it (potentially) produces – long TOSlink cables were pretty easy to get.
  • It eliminates potential sources of ground-loops, because there’s no conducting wire between my audio devices and my computer - since the ADAT / TOSlink connection is light based.
  • The RME drivers even facilitate multiple pieces of software using ASIO in Wind10 simultaneously. – I never could do that before, and that comes in handy surprisingly often.

For the size and ambition of my studio this solution is the fastest, most stable and easiest to upgrade I’ve ever had.

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@Nico5 - exactly the same philosophy here …and a similar solution to mine.

For many years I ran an RME raydat (and before that an even earlier RME card) and now I’m on RME Madi FX.

rock solid :slight_smile:

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390 channels? Are you sure that’s enough? :crazy_face:

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I know - it’s multichannel madness !

Hi all, Hi Nico5 - I have a setup that is very much based on the same principles like yours :).
RME always provided the best drivers with the longest product life possible. I have an RME Raydat installed and connected basically to a digital patchbay (which can route ADAT, SPDIF, etc.). My old Presonus Firestudio and DigiMax are connected to the Raydat, their audio-driver (which works via Firewire) is installed but not needed (or only for remote controlling the devices). This works great.
My only open issue is that My Motif XF only has a firewire-interface to the pc with multi-channel connection. So this driver is needed to integrate the Motif into Cubase… which is a pity - since this does not allow to use the Raydat simultanuously. My workaround is a separate Project which is just set up for recording the XF. Tranferring the raw audio from this project to a “master project” for a new song works via drag and drop. I use this solution because switching audio drivers in Cubase in one and the same project over time creates a terrible mess with audio-connections because cubase does not strictly reestablish connections based upon port-names.
What I would like to see - and what does not need ASIO itself to be changed - would be the ability to switch audio interfaces in one and the same cubase projects ad lib with the possibility for the user to dictate what should happen to the various audio- and midi connections when doing so - by setting up appropriate connections for both (all) Interfaces that are enabled when selecting the interface/driver. This would help a lot.

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To me it would make sense that cubase improves the support for multiple Interfaces - not simultanuous usage, but being able to switch interface while working with one project. Currently this creates a terrible mess with audio connections - the algorithm/logic that cubase applies does not work properly - because it is not designed for that purpose (the assumption of cubase is that changing audio interface only happens when a project is transferred to a different studio/computer). But even then what the manual promises does not work: Naming ports accordingly does not guarantee meaningful results - cubase tries to be “clever” but fails in that respect.

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The whole audio connections thing needs a revisit IMO - including external FX.

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I fully agree… redesigning the audio connections thing would offer the chance to analyze the logic and improve it. It would e.g. make sense to have full presets (for the total assignments) and it also would make sense to allow to assign device ports to channels “per device” - in other words to set up for example “stereo out” and assign it to “port 1” and “port 2” of interface “RME audio” and also assign “stereo out” to “port a” and “port b” of a different interface. This would allow to switch asio device and still maintaining a reasonable and adequate basic routing (more precisely: assignment of busses to device ports).
And of course the huge area of extneral effects and external instruments and the ability to reuse device ports ad lib.

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13 posts were split to a new topic: Sound Card options for Cubase - with expansion potential