Why are there no other generic audio drivers other than ASIO in Nuendo?

What’s this with Nuendo ? I guess same would apply to Cubase as well.
Quite a few other DAWs that I know about and some that I own too have audio driver options other than ASIO for compatibility and sharing audio in a Windows environment. Not a Mac user so I am not aware how things function in this regard in Mac. Maybe someone could throw some light.

In Windows environment, in other DAWs there are options such as Windows Audio, WASAPI (with shared option), WDM, MME, DirectX and so on. Though factors such as latency, rendered audio quality, etc., could be variable and may not match up to ASIO in some cases, at least there is the option to switch the driver mode and enable a shared environment for audio, even if just temporarily.

I understand ASIO is Steinberg’s own baby so the affinity (bias ?).
But is it not so restrictive not providing the other options which is so frustrating at times when a shared audio environment in Windows is desired ?
One shouldn’t have to scout for cumbersome and frustrating workarounds including plugging extra external cables between devices and what not to get audio moving.
Surely it’s not any rocket science, in fact not even remotely difficult to have these other audio drivers built-in within Nuendo/Cubase.
And by the way, the Generic ASIO driver is no different and of no use in this regard.

Request to Steinberg to provide an update to have additional audio driver modes built into Windows versions of Nuendo/Cubase such as WASAPI shared, Windows Audio and maybe others too.
And update not just for Nuendo/Cubase version 11, but also update for version 10 and previous versions if possible.

Maybe you should use a different DAW then…
Since the Windows audio subsystem is far from being reliable and accurate (resampling!, clocking?) it’s the professional way to support ASIO only.
ASIO provides deep and exclusive control over the audio device and ensures better audio performance than WDM or DirectSound.
We’re still waiting for Microsoft to catch up in this regard to macOS.
With WASAPI it’s getting better, but it’s still not the needed solution.

So for now the best solution for professional audio editing on Windows is ASIO.
This doesn’t mean that there is no room for improvement.
Multi device ASIO and generic multi client support are long awaited additions to ASIO.


Hi ramscapri,

As to Mac OSX and audio drivers, on my system I have:

My laptop speakers for playback.
Dante Virtual Soundcard, to connect my laptop via ethernet cable to my Focusrite Rednet 2 Io interface.
Pro Tools Aggregate IO driver.
Samsung driver, to playback audio through my 55" Samsung tv. Useful for checking tv mixes… :wink:

If I had any more need for any drivers, it would only be because a given hardware IO required them.

ASIO I believe is a Windows driver. The reason it is used is for stability. But, I have not had to use a Windows machine for work in ages.

Well, I think maybe I didn’t make my query very clear.
Let me explain again.
It is not a replacement to ASIO that I said is needed.
If you see my first post, I did mention that ASIO may definitely be much more stable and a better rendering mode, etc., compared to any other Windows audio driver mode.
It is ASIO that I would definitely use when I compose and produce my tracks, in any DAW for that matter, for quality processing and output.

The subject of my post is something different from the basic choice of the driver mode one would deploy in the DAW for production.
It’s about audio sharing mode. ASIO is restrictive. One cannot open any other audio application to run simultaneously when Nuendo is open and running. This might be needed only temporarily and for a short duration, but definitely should be an available option.
This is possible in other DAWs when audio driver is switched from ASIO to an other such as Windows audio, WASAPI shared or other.
Suggesting that “Maybe you should use a different DAW then…” sounds like Nuendo/Cubase is from some other planet or some elite entity. Not a suitable way to look at it. I use other DAWs by the way, which is why I am very clear what I am saying here.
Other DAWs provide ASIO mode too as the main mode and when ASIO is selected as the mode, no audio sharing is possible with other applications which is a similar behavior to Nuendo/Cubase.
However, when required temporarily, the driver mode can be switched to Windows audio, WASAPI shared or whichever other is available to enable audio sharing in a non-exclusive mode and have other applications’ audio running possible in parallel. Then one could switch back to ASIO to work exclusively in the DAW as needed.

All I am saying is this is currently just not possible in Nuendo/Cubase because they do not house any audio driver mode other than ASIO which is restrictive.

Steinberg, please incorporate and provide other audio driver modes in the Windows versions of Nuendo/Cubase (versions 9, 10, 11 and all as an update) such as WASAPI shared, Windows audio and any other non-exclusive modes possible along side ASIO.

Best Regards.

That’s not true though.

Perhaps you mean to say something else, but it’s absolutely possible to open other audio applications and run them at the same time. The question is just what applications those are and what resources they require.

On my current build I use a MOTU 16A with Nuendo and I’m using its ASIO driver. It appears to be multi-client. So I can have Nuendo open and as long as I have Nuendo not release the driver while in the background Nuendo can play while I switch applications. The other applications then also have access to the 16A.

In my case I use VB-Audio’s “Voicemeeter” software, which is like a mixer/virtual interface, as an intermediate virtual device. I’ve set Windows default outputs to VM, and I’ve set Skype, Zoom, Spotify, Davinci Resolve etc. all to use Windows default. This way I can use all of those apps simultaneously with Nuendo. I’ve done review sessions with clients using Zoom for example. In my old setup I had no audio feedback from my end because I have no mic on my desktop, but with my new setup I should be able to actually send audio from my smartphone via a wifi VB-Audio app straight into Voicemeeter, from there separately to Zoom for example. I can even route my Nuendo output in the MOTU mixer software inside the 16A back to the computer and into VM and out to Zoom that way instead of sharing the audio in other ways.

So there are options. Perhaps this is all a matter of which device you’re using and how the specific ASIO driver is written.

Or maybe I’m just not understanding the problem.

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Appreciate all your points.
But the last sentence in the post is the absolute truth.

The point is, I understand there could be various workarounds but it just shouldn’t be all this complicated.
If I had placed a $1,000 bet that someone would mention the “voicemeter” in replies in this thread, I would have won it. I was so expecting it.
All I am saying is no plugin or app or anything like the voicemeter or anything else should be necessary, that’s the point.
One should simply be able to change the audio driver mode to a non-exclusive one within Nuendo/Cubase itself and get a shared audio environment right away directly in Windows, without having to use any additional plugins and stuff.
This just simply works in other DAWs but does not in Nuendo/Cubase, that is all there is to it.
If Steinberg would simply introduce these alternative audio driver modes (WASAPI shared, Windows audio, etc.) along side the existing ASIO by way of an update, that is all that is needed.
Maybe I am still unable to understand why this is so difficult for Steinberg, if it is.

Show me the DAW that can use 2 or more audio devices at the same time, without extra configuration or different software.

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Doesn’t work in PT as far as I know. If it did then people wouldn’t be using Source-whatever to hook things up.

Again the matter and the feature request is not understood clearly.

I never said that I wanted to use 2 or more audio devices. I use only one interface.

When Nuendo is on, audio from any other simple application such as WMP, OBS or even YouTube on the browser doesn’t work at the same time.
If “release audio driver…” option is unchecked, then in any case only Nuendo can continue working and nothing else works, meaning no audio from any other application can play.
If “release audio driver…” option is checked, then when Nuendo is active window, it plays and nothing else can play. If the other Window like say WMP or a YouTube window is active, then that starts playing and Nuendo stops. Basically, both Nuendo and the other Window can’t play audio at the same time (together).
Moreover, in either case, no audio from Nuendo can be captured into another application such as OBS.

Now, in comparison, if we take another DAW such as say, Studio One or Cakewalk, once the audio driver mode is switched from ASIO to another such as Windows Audio or WASAPI shared, then all the above limitations are gone.
Another application can play in parallel along with the DAW and more importantly, main audio out from the DAW can be captured into another external application as well such as OBS.
Most importantly, all this can be done without any additional app or plugin such as “voicemeter” and the likes. And no need for any complicated settings of physical plugging of external cables between devices and all that.

Now if only Steinberg can provide and include these alternative audio driver modes such as WASAPI shared, Windows Audio, MME, DirectX, WDM and similar, along side ASIO, then it just sorts it out.

Hope I could be as clear as it can get :slightly_smiling_face:

By PT, I guess you mean ProTools.
Honestly, I don’t know much about ProTools and it always has been over-hyped and over-rated.

In any case, so what if it doesn’t work in ProTools ?
That surely doesn’t mean that it’s ok if it doesn’t work in Nuendo/Cubase.

Here the feature request is simply for Steinberg to get it covered within Nuendo/Cubase, notwithstanding whether all other DAWs have it or not.
Because many DAWs do have alternative audio driver modes and it sure helps quite a bit to have that.

This still isn’t the case.

In my setup I usually have VM selected as Windows output, but I can select as seen above. And in that case my MOTU will output audio from the OS at the same time as Nuendo. This is with the MOTU drivers.

I literally get both at the same time.

So if what you write above (quoted) is what you feel is the problem then it’s already possible, and the solution is to get the right audio interface with drivers that are multi-client.

This is simply wrong.

I do understand what you want.

Nuendo uses the configured ASIO device only. All other devices are still available to all other applications.
But if your ASIO device is multi client, you can mix the signals from the applications without any other software. Only the driver software is needed.

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Not suggesting the OP’s request isn’t a good one, just sharing my work-around. It’s free and working very well in Windows 10 for me. I’ve yet to try it with Windows 11, hopefully it continues to work there.
Give Academy - ODeus ASIO Link Pro - Patcher

This utility allows me to route audio from WDM <> ASIO. Also allows ASIO <> ASIO via loop-back rail. WDM <> WDM virtual cabling is possible as well.

So far I only use it with devices that have ASIO drivers included. If not, one can use ASIO4ALL or the Generic ASIO driver that ships with Steinberg hosts.

It works very well on my system. A little practice figuring it out, but it’s really nice once I did.

On my rig it’s best if.

  1. Enable multi-client mode. In this mode each ASIO app gets a fresh instance of ASIOLink Pro opened in the system tray where one can route things INTO an ASIO app.

  2. Enable the ASIO loop-back rail. This provides a way to route ASIO outputs anywhere you’d like.

  3. Only try to establish ‘inputs’ for an app using the special ASIO-Link instance that pops in the system tray for it.

  4. Route any ‘outputs’ that are intended to exit the audio device or the LAN network using the main ASIOLink Pro instance.

FWIW: RME hardware runs multi-clients since the middle ages, and allows for the seamless combination of different devices.


“It’s about audio sharing mode. ASIO is restrictive. One cannot open any other audio application to run simultaneously when Nuendo is open and running.”

I think what you mean to say is this:

“ASIO cannot be used by more than one audio software at once.”

Because you keep circling back to that theme.

I know for sure that I can use my old Windows computer, use Nuendo with ASIO, and then have another application playing back audio THROUGH A DIFFERENT DRIVER onto a DIFFERENT hardware device. That has been the case for years and years on any Windos machine pretty much.

So, what you want, I think, is to be able to use the SAME audio hardware, with ASIO, with more than one software, at the same time?

That is not currently possible under ASIO, but others have already chimed in with workarounds.


Didn’t I show how that’s possible? What am I missing here? Just what is the use-case that can’t be accommodated?

So, you can run two audio softwares using the same ASIO driver, at the same time? I read the entire thread and cannot find where you show this.

I did read where you used two different drivers (Motu and Windows).

It would be nice if ASIO could indeed run two software at the same time, which is what I believe the OP wants. This is currently possible officially, using protocols like Dante, where you can assign a hardware’s individual IO to different computers / software via Dante Via and Dante Control.

Or has this post become totally confusing for some? I am still not exactly sure what the OP wants.

Asio is a driver not an interface or an app. Voicemeeter is software and it can use the 16a using asio at the same time as nuendo. So can windows.

It is possible when the driver supports multi client ASIO mode. Multi client means more than one application at a time.

What he wants is using the interfaces with ASIO and WDM at the same time. This is not possible since the device is ASIO exclusive… for some good reasons, already mentioned.

Workarounds shown by others already…

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Interesting discussion.

From what I understand, one half of the crux is “Multi Client ASIO Mode”. Some vendor’s ASIO driver support it, others do not. This would allow simultaneous use of an Audio Device, but only in ASIO mode.

The other half is … in some way, I understand ramscapri’s request.

Nuendo offers only ASIO drivers, which can be hardware dependent (like Motu etc), or hardware independent (like Asio4All).

I have seen in e.g. Native Instruments Kontakt or Komplete Kontrol Stand-Alone-App, that you have the choice of ASIO-type drivers (Asio4All, or MOTU-ASIO), or WASAPI in Shared or Exclusive Mode. This may be the case for other DAWs too.

Whether the use of WASAPI in Shared Mode (DAW and simultaneously any other WinApp, which is what ramscapri is looking for) works only at the cost of increased latency or reduced functionality, I don’t know.