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.