Results 1 to 8 of 8

Thread: I'm confused about audio interfaces

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2019
    Posts
    2
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Rep Power
    0

    Question I'm confused about audio interfaces

    Sign in to disable this ad
    Hello!

    So I have recently bought a Novation Launchkey 25. I have been playing around with it, and I realized that I need an ASIO sound card.

    I have installed ASIO4ALL, but I realize that it's not going to be a long-term solution.

    My computer does not have an Asio sound card either.

    Do audio interfaces have custom sound cards in them that your computer to use?
    Would I be able to connect my Launchkey to my computer separate along with the audio interface, or do I have to somehow connect it to an audio interface?

    I'm sorry if these are silly questions, I'm new to recording and sound cards and stuff like that lol.

    All help is appreciated!

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Denver, CO
    Age
    43
    Posts
    3,636
    Thanks
    116
    Thanked 270 Times in 249 Posts
    Rep Power
    7968219
    No worries, these things aren't immediately obvious when you're just starting out.

    An audio interface essentially becomes your sound card. It handles your audio inputs (from instruments and microphones) and outputs (to speakers and headphones). Some interfaces also have 5-pin MIDI inputs and outputs.

    In your case, the Launchkey doesn't have 5-pin MIDI inputs or outputs, so there would be no direct connections between your keyboard and an audio interface. It would still connect to your computer via USB.

    Before commiting the money to an audio interface, there are a couple of things that you could try with ASIO4ALL. Take a look at the slider on the bottom of the ASIO4ALL control panel. That slider represents the size of the ASIO buffer. A larger buffer will introduce more latency (delay between you pressing a note and hearing it played back). A smaller buffer will reduce latency, but will put more strain on the computer. Try sliding that slider down to 128 samples or lower and see if the latency is acceptable, and see if your system starts producing pops/clicks/stutters/dropouts or other weird audio artifacts. If you're getting weird noises, slide the slider to a larger value and see how the latency is at that setting. The goal is to find the smallest buffer size that doesn't introduce artifacts in the audio as you listen back or record.

    If playing around with ASIO4ALL buffer size doesn't produce the desired results, then it's time to start shopping for an audio interface (or at least a DAC of some sort). The ASIO control panel buffer dance will still be a part of using an interface, but the overall performance will be more robust and of higher quality.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2019
    Posts
    2
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Rep Power
    0

    Thanks! Iíll try it out.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tadpui View Post
    No worries, these things aren't immediately obvious when you're just starting out.

    An audio interface essentially becomes your sound card. It handles your audio inputs (from instruments and microphones) and outputs (to speakers and headphones). Some interfaces also have 5-pin MIDI inputs and outputs.

    In your case, the Launchkey doesn't have 5-pin MIDI inputs or outputs, so there would be no direct connections between your keyboard and an audio interface. It would still connect to your computer via USB.

    Before commiting the money to an audio interface, there are a couple of things that you could try with ASIO4ALL. Take a look at the slider on the bottom of the ASIO4ALL control panel. That slider represents the size of the ASIO buffer. A larger buffer will introduce more latency (delay between you pressing a note and hearing it played back). A smaller buffer will reduce latency, but will put more strain on the computer. Try sliding that slider down to 128 samples or lower and see if the latency is acceptable, and see if your system starts producing pops/clicks/stutters/dropouts or other weird audio artifacts. If you're getting weird noises, slide the slider to a larger value and see how the latency is at that setting. The goal is to find the smallest buffer size that doesn't introduce artifacts in the audio as you listen back or record.

    If playing around with ASIO4ALL buffer size doesn't produce the desired results, then it's time to start shopping for an audio interface (or at least a DAC of some sort). The ASIO control panel buffer dance will still be a part of using an interface, but the overall performance will be more robust and of higher quality.
    Thanks!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    northampton uk home of Dr Who and Blackstar Amps!
    Posts
    9,742
    Thanks
    1
    Thanked 648 Times in 612 Posts
    Rep Power
    9256934
    Hi Kitty and welcome. As Tadpui said, take some time before commiting to an interface, the market is fuller than ever and there are some very cheap AIs about but some do not have ASIO drivers and some do not have good ones, though I will say the situation is better than say 5 years ago (mic pres have also improved greatly).

    I can suggest the Steinberg UR22. Not because I have had one but because it has been around a while now, in its 2nd generation, and I have never read a bad report about it plus Steinberg INVENTED ASIO and pretty much MIDI recording so one would expect decently low latency! The Focusrite 2i4 is also said to be pretty good.
    If you can go to close to the £200 mark I have still not read of an interface that beats the Native Instruments Komplete Audio 6 for low latency and generally solid drivers. It also gives you two extra balanced line inputs and four balanced outputs plus digital I/0. I DO have one of those!

    Shame that kbd/controller does not at least have a MIDI out but do make sure any AI you get has the ports as that will allow future expansion.

    Now, I have NO connection with the company but if you want an excellent piano sound, download the trial of Modartt's Pianoteq.

    Dave.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Location
    Texas USA
    Posts
    1,955
    Thanks
    154
    Thanked 366 Times in 333 Posts
    Rep Power
    2178943
    I'm confused why @Kittymatthew (OP) needs an ASIO soundcard? Yes, a soundcard of some kind would be needed in order to hear the controller, but it's MIDI, and has USB, and I assume the computer already has some kind of sound card/chip installed?

    I've got a USB-only 25-key MIDI thing and it works fine in addition to the interface, but the interface is really only providing the output path for digital audio (which the onboard chip would do almost as well), while the little keyboard does whatever soft instrument tracks I need it to, on those rare occasions I decide to add some church bells or whatever. (I confess I am a complete ignoramus regarding MIDI.)
    "... I know in the mornin' that it's gonna be good
    when I stick out my elbows and they don't bump wood." - Bill Kirchen

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    northampton uk home of Dr Who and Blackstar Amps!
    Posts
    9,742
    Thanks
    1
    Thanked 648 Times in 612 Posts
    Rep Power
    9256934
    Quote Originally Posted by keith.rogers View Post
    I'm confused why @Kittymatthew (OP) needs an ASIO soundcard? Yes, a soundcard of some kind would be needed in order to hear the controller, but it's MIDI, and has USB, and I assume the computer already has some kind of sound card/chip installed?

    I've got a USB-only 25-key MIDI thing and it works fine in addition to the interface, but the interface is really only providing the output path for digital audio (which the onboard chip would do almost as well), while the little keyboard does whatever soft instrument tracks I need it to, on those rare occasions I decide to add some church bells or whatever. (I confess I am a complete ignoramus regarding MIDI.)
    Well, I am not completely ignorant about MIDI Keith but pretty close! As I understand it, you have a data stream, the MIDI code. The program then has to "lookup" each note on a table and then digital to analogue decode it for us to hear? That all takes CPU time and power. The hardware that does that needs drivers (to talk to the CPU) and ASIO drivers are much faster and efficient than native Windows drivers, or indeed those that come with On Board Sound chips. Try for instance running the archaic Windows Wavetable Synth (yes! still there in W7, not sure about 10)? APPALING latency.

    Macs do different I understand.

    Oh and the other advantage of ASIO is that it removes (all?) control of sound matters from Microsoft's evil clutches.

    Dave.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Location
    Texas USA
    Posts
    1,955
    Thanks
    154
    Thanked 366 Times in 333 Posts
    Rep Power
    2178943
    Quote Originally Posted by ecc83 View Post
    Well, I am not completely ignorant about MIDI Keith but pretty close! As I understand it, you have a data stream, the MIDI code. The program then has to "lookup" each note on a table and then digital to analogue decode it for us to hear? That all takes CPU time and power. The hardware that does that needs drivers (to talk to the CPU) and ASIO drivers are much faster and efficient than native Windows drivers, or indeed those that come with On Board Sound chips. Try for instance running the archaic Windows Wavetable Synth (yes! still there in W7, not sure about 10)? APPALING latency.

    Macs do different I understand.

    Oh and the other advantage of ASIO is that it removes (all?) control of sound matters from Microsoft's evil clutches.
    Oh, yeah, Windows... I keep forgetting

    I'd guess the D-D part that the VST does, i.e., converting the MIDI stream into an appropriate "instrument" in digital format is more of the bottleneck. They don't actually do something horrible like (MIDI keypecks) D->A (lovely grand piano), and then use the system audio driver for A->D? That would be inefficient!
    "... I know in the mornin' that it's gonna be good
    when I stick out my elbows and they don't bump wood." - Bill Kirchen

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2019
    Posts
    6
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
    Rep Power
    0
    Make sure to go to the website to download the latest driver. Copy paste and google any error messages you receive. I use a Mac, so I canít help with sound card issues, but Remeber this, THERE IS NO CRYING IN MIDI! you can do eeet!

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. Intel X99 chipset & audio glitching on multi-channel audio interfaces
    By entilza72 in forum Digital Recording & Computers
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 05-04-2017, 19:55
  2. SO Confused about interfaces
    By smealio in forum Newbies
    Replies: 13
    Last Post: 10-30-2015, 03:41
  3. Replies: 5
    Last Post: 09-30-2015, 10:29
  4. Replies: 4
    Last Post: 11-07-2011, 10:23
  5. I'm new to interfaces and a little confused
    By shred440 in forum Digital Recording & Computers
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 08-14-2006, 21:25

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •