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USB Audio Interface -- Some General Questions

posted on #1
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I just purchased a USB audio interface and I have run in to a few things, but I am not sure if these are actual issues or just how the thing normally works. I haven't been able to find a satisfying answer searching Google.

Is it normal when recording from a USB Audio Input to not be able to simultaneously use it as an output? I assume yes. I just noticed that I can use it as a general audio out for the computer when I am not recording, but when I try selecting the USB Audio input device for recording and the "USB Speakers" Device at the same time, Audacity throws an error. This makes sense because when recording the output is meant to be for monitoring. So, I just select the USB device as the recording the device, and my sound card as the playback device, and I am able to record just fine. Am I correct that this how it's supposed to work?

The second thing I noticed is that when I play back what I've recorded using the method just described, I don't hear the track I just recorded, when I play it back in Audacity unless I switch the output device to the USB Audio Interface, in which case, I hear everything. Again, before I go crazy trouble shooting and trying a bunch of permutations of various software, drivers settings, etc., is this just how it works?
posted on #2
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Joined: 19.09.18
Its very commen to have that question.

There are some work arounds but lets do the bare minimum basic to just get you started.

1.Set recording input to "interface" in windows.
2.Physically hook up studio monitors or your computer speakers to the actual rca jacks on the back of the interface, NOT your PC.
3.Select the "interface" for playback in windows.
4. When recording, use headphones hooked up to the interface to actually hear yourself.You will not hear the instrument thru the speakers at all but in headphones you will.This is because of "Latency". An enemy of home recording.


Latency is the lag time it takes your instrument to go thru the computer and out the speakers . It is a pain in the arse and you have to do a procedure to "align " latency of your instrument with the track. You can research that if interested.
All other PC sounds like "Youtube" "Soundcloud", Spotify" etc... will go thru interface and out the speakers without switching all the time as you are telling the PC to route windows sounds thru the interface and out the speakers.

Doing this really isnt any inconvienience once you understand you are eliminating the latency issue.


WHERE YOU ARE GETTING CONFUSED AND OFF TRACK IS IT SOUNDS LIKE YOU HAVE YOUR PLAYBACK SPEAKERS STILL ATTACHED TO THE COMPUTER AND NOT THE INTERFACE. By using headphones, the interface is syncing your instrument signal and the track together otherwise you will get delays and your notes will be out of time with the track.

The headphones serve their purpose just for the recording but you can take them off and mix the track normally with the speakers after its recorded.
There should be no need to change your windows sound settings henceforth.You are done changing those settings and dont require the windows soundcard as the interface controls your speakers from now on.

The interface IS a soundcard. It is completely replacing your windows soundcard for all PC sound functions from now on. So input is the interface, the playback is the interface and for recording headphones will be used to hear yourself.Mixing will be done thru either speakers or the headphones.
Edited by LittleWing on November 23 2018 05:42
posted on #3
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A quick side note...The ASIO4ALL driver is notorius for hanging onto the sound after you are done with Audacity . So when you leave Audacity and say go to youtube....theres no sound . Simply open playback settings , disable then renable the interface and sound will come back for your pc. thats a bug thats been around forever.
posted on #4
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LittleWing wrote:
...


The interface IS a soundcard. It is completely replacing your windows soundcard for all PC sound functions from now on. So input is the interface, the playback is the interface and for recording headphones will be used to hear yourself.Mixing will be done thru either speakers or the headphones.


Thanks LittleWing, this part answers my question. I left out some detail -- I have dealt with the latency issue in the past. In this case it is not an issue, since I can directly monitor the input. So since the USB interface can completely replace my sound card. I think this might be a software issue. I think the on-board sound card drivers and the USB interface are not playing well together. So I am going to disable the on-board sound and see if I still get the error.
posted on #5
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LittleWing wrote:
A quick side note...The ASIO4ALL driver is notorius for hanging onto the sound after you are done with Audacity . So when you leave Audacity and say go to youtube....theres no sound . Simply open playback settings , disable then renable the interface and sound will come back for your pc. thats a bug thats been around forever.


This answers the second part of my question, and explains something I didn't bring up. I noticed this within Audacity as well. I also did lose sound last night after I closed Audacity but I thought I broke the sound drivers, so I uninstalled the USB Interface drivers, disconnected it and rebooted to get back to where I started.

Thanks again, this has been very helpful. Now I just need to go to sleep before I'm tempted to start messing with this now and end up staying awake until 4 am :)
posted on #6
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You can also go to ASIO4ALL , download the newest version.
Before installing , uninstall the version that loaded with Audacity.

That sometimes fixes things. 2.14 is the latest. Never hurts to reinstall. Its such a critical driver for Audacity. Happy Recording!
Edited by LittleWing on November 23 2018 07:00
posted on #7
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Im just showing you here, I disabled everything I dont require anymore. So I did probably have an issue as well at some point. Thats probably it.

[img]https://scontent-mia3-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/46675554_10211973192554386_5928404944204857344_n.jpg?_nc_cat=104&_nc_ht=scontent-mia3-1.xx&oh=f8586196939d6638e4b18e395b083ce1&oe=5CADE132[/img]
Edited by LittleWing on November 23 2018 07:53
posted on #8
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LittleWing wrote:
You can also go to ASIO4ALL , download the newest version.
Before installing , uninstall the version that loaded with Audacity.

That sometimes fixes things. 2.14 is the latest. Never hurts to reinstall. Its such a critical driver for Audacity. Happy Recording!


I just fixed, it. I disabled the on-board sound card, but still had the same issue.

Since I knew what I was trying to do should work I did some digging and found that all I needed to do is make sure the sampling rate for the recording and playback device are the same. (see: https://forum.audacityteam.org/viewtopic.php?t=101810)

I realize I never provided the actual error message: "Unanticipated Host Error" followed by "Error Opening Recording Device." The device I am using is a Behringer U-PHORIA UM2, using the drivers I found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S3QHbhtknH8



For anyone else reading this with the same issue. I am using Windows 10, and I did the following:

- Right-click volume control icon in the system tray > Open Sound Settings > Open Sound Control Panel
(Or however your want to get to the sound settings in the "old" control panel)

- Under the playback tab select the device > Click the Advanced TAB and note the default format

- Go to the recording TAB and do the same, make sure both sampling rates match
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