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  #1  
Old 01-28-2020, 11:24 AM
TakenGrace TakenGrace is offline
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Default upgrading sound card, Questions

Hello Avid Comms,

Within the last 3 months, I ditched the Imac for running pro tools for Windows 10. However, a multitude of problems arose. The first is you need a third party Asio driver to run your Interface, Which when used, You cant use any other audio generated on your computer since it disables your sound card. I record podcasts and this is extremely unfavourable for people phoning in, running music in the BG etc.

I am looking to solve this problem once and for all. I've tried the ASIO driver workaround to resolve the issue above and had no luck.

So do I need a new sound card that supports ASIO? (if that is even a thing)

Are there audio interfaces one can use that don't require ASIO?

I am a Hobbyist/Amateur audio engineer if you even want to call me that so forgive any ignorant questions.

Currently, I'm running with Mackie ProFx12 Mixer, and Protools 11.
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  #2  
Old 01-28-2020, 12:25 PM
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Benoni Benoni is offline
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Default Re: upgrading sound card, Questions

Pro Tools is notorious for holding a driver for itself. That's why I have always recommended to disable the ASIO driver from Windows. Just use the default speakers driver (usually RealTek) for computer audio.

This varies by driver and DAW btw. Some drivers do multi-client very well, others do not.

I didn't see any interface mentioned in your post. Which one are you using? Are you using the mixer as your interface? Does it have ASIO drivers?

We also don't exactly how you have things setup and routed.

How are you routing phone calls? How are you playing BG music? What are you using to record the audio? Or is it streaming? Is there video involved? Are you using OBS/Streamlabs?

One thing you might consider is Voicemeeter Potato. It's great for connecting a bunch of audio streams together.

Here's a video we made showing how to use it in conjunction with Pro Tools, computer audio, microphones, screen capture, and video camera.

The ULTIMATE Guide To Screencast Your DAW - Voicemeeter Potato & OBS/Streamlabs
https://youtu.be/Dr9kF9yRQ74
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  #3  
Old 01-28-2020, 01:04 PM
Darryl Ramm Darryl Ramm is online now
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Default Re: upgrading sound card, Questions

There seems to seems to be some confusion here with terminology, and I expect that is not helping you.

Quote:
Within the last 3 months, I ditched the Imac for running pro tools for Windows 10. However, a multitude of problems arose. The first is you need a third party Asio driver to run your Interface, Which when used, You cant use any other audio generated on your computer since it disables your sound card. I record podcasts and this is extremely unfavourable for people phoning in, running music in the BG etc.
Why did you get rid of the iMac?... does not sound like you are doing anything heavy here, ... Pro Tools should have been very usable on the iMac. (was that related to problems you are still trying to solve here?)

You need an ASIO compatible device to work with Pro Tools, Mackie does not provide ASIO drivers for the ProFx12. So you are using ASIO4ALL that wraps the a standard Windows audio drivers and presents them as an ASIO driver. It's a cheap and not great compromise where a real ASIO driver is not available.. ASIO4ALL is not strictly a "third party driver for your device", it does not know anything about a ProFX12 and is not a driver for it.

To use Pro Tools you need an interface that supports ASIO. The choice should always be to use an interface with a native ASIO driver. i.e. you want to pick audio interfaces that have native ASIO drivers provided by the manufacture. And because those drivers are so important the quality of the driver and the vendor support for them should be important factors in selecting any interface. .

"music in the background"... why not mix that in after you record the podcast. Why does that need to be playing while you record?

ASIO4ALL should not stop you using other Windows audio... in that those devices still should work in Windows... but it does not allow you to record them. I want to be clear that you are for example not trying to aggregate stuff in ASIO4ALL and causing more problems. Just don't do that.

Quote:
I am looking to solve this problem once and for all. I've tried the ASIO driver workaround to resolve the issue above and had no luck.
What exact problem are you actually trying to solve? Bringing in audio from Windows for people calling in via Skype.. or what *exactly*?

Quote:
So do I need a new sound card that supports ASIO? (if that is even a thing)
"Sound Card" you mean the actual audio card in the PC or an external interface?

To use Pro Tools, again, you should be using an interface that supports ASIO.

If you mean if also, in addition to an external ASIO interface, if adding an internal sound card that also supports ASIO will help you incorporate Windows system sounds, then no that is not the solution.

Quote:
Are there audio interfaces one can use that don't require ASIO?
The *audio interface* does not require ASIO, Pro Tools does.

What does not make a lot of sense is the ProFX12 is only a 2x2 USB interface, you can record a mix output but it is typically far from being able to record individual inputs that people would normally want to do with a DAW, even for recording a podcast. And if you are trying to mix in Windows audio like of a Skype call then I would expect you want that on separate audio inputs not a final mix out the FX12.

You really need to back up and describe what you are doing. How many live mics or other inputs are in use in the studio. How many headphones do you need to drive? What exact audio is coming in remote etc. What equipment you have and budget. The ProFX12 is unlikely to be something most folks would be using here. A typical solution, using Pro Tools, might be an external native ASIO multichannel interface and if you need Windows audio then that coming out of a PC sound card into the interface maybe via S/PDIF.

What exact audio card (or motherboard audio chipset) do you have in the PC today? Does it have S/PDIF out? Does it have a native ASIO driver (unlikely unless you purchased a card designed to use with a DAW). What exact mics are you using?

If you just want to record PC sound output by itself you should read up on the Windows "Stereo Mix" audio device.

Do you even need to record with a DAW? You might be able to do all the recording you need with a cheap stereo digital recorder, and edit and mix in the DAW later. Lots of podcasts are recoded with multi-channel digital recorders so folks (often the interviewer/lead talent) tracking them don't need to faff around with a DAW. You could also track in any other DAW, including multiple free/no cost products.

Last edited by Darryl Ramm; 01-28-2020 at 02:26 PM.
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  #4  
Old 01-28-2020, 02:34 PM
TakenGrace TakenGrace is offline
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Default Re: upgrading sound card, Questions

Thank you for your reply,

Quote:
Why did you get rid of the iMac?... does not sound like you are doing anything heavy here, ... Pro Tools should have been very usable on the iMac. (was that related to problems you are still trying to solve here?)
I am a PC gamer, I do streaming, and pretty much everything else on my PC. I only fired up my Imac once a week to record the podcast episodes, but I would have to re-patch my mixer into my Imac, then back afterword. I got rid of it solely to save space and the headache of rerouting cable.


Quote:
To use Pro Tools you need an interface that supports ASIO. The choice should always be to use an interface with a native ASIO driver. Pro Tools is not the only DAW that requires ASIO audio interfaces. And wherever possible you want to pick audio interfaces that have native ASIO drivers provided by the manufactures. And because those drivers are so important the quality of the driver and the vendor support for them should be important factors in selecting any interface. .
Makes sense, Any Suggestions for interfaces? I've only ever owned Motu Track 16 and The Mackie mixer.

Quote:
"music in the background"... why not mix that in after you record the podcast. Why does that need to be playing while you record?
We record our podcast live, and we often play clips in the show and constantly change the levels throughout the show. The BG music adds a little extra for our live viewers

Quote:
ASIO4ALL should not stop you using other Windows audio... in that those devices still should work in Windows... but it does not allow you to record them. I want to be clear that you are for example not trying to aggregate stuff in ASIO4ALL and causing more problems. Just don't do that.
I haven't altered Asio4all since I installed it. However, if I try to open VLC player, Skype, Discord, play youtube videos or generally anything that requires audio. I receive an "audio Codec error, please restart ". This is the root of all my problems on windows.

I am using Mackie as my interface, and while recording I'll be using Skype for remote calls, Usually Itunes for BG music and play youtube videos in the background. Currently, I have skype, iTunes, and the other audio items running off my phone which is running into tape in.

Quote:
What does not make a lot of sense is the ProFX12 is only a 2x2 USB interface, you can record a mix output but it is typically far from being able to record individual inputs that people would normally want to do with a DAW, even for recording a podcast. And if you are trying to mix in Windows audio like of a Skype call then I would expect you want that on separate audio inputs not a final mix out the FX12.
This is where my inexperience comes in. I needed something that could run 5 mics a few years ago and buying a multi-channel mixer was not budgetarily viable. so I got this mixer. I have been thinking about alternative ways to record and your suggestions are a good start.

Here is my setup

Mics:
Cm414 Advanced Audio Condensor
Sennheiser Shotgun mics x 2
SM57 x 2 (rarely use)

All external audio is run to Tape in (i get this is not ideal)

Mackie ProFX12 is my interface connected with USB 3.0

Protools 11 is my DAW
and I use ASIO4ALL

Sound card (I'll have to get back to you on that when I get home. Likely just the stock windows card)

I also do record Audio for Youtube Videos, VO auditions, and stream games.


Thanks for the help,
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  #5  
Old 01-28-2020, 04:01 PM
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The Weed The Weed is offline
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Default Re: upgrading sound card, Questions

Have a look online for a mixer that is also an interface or an interface that has a software mixer that will allow you to route your ins and outs as necessary. You need something with a minimum of 5 mic pres and enough additional I/O to bring in your onboard soundcard and any other input source you want to use. How many outs you need depends on what monitoring you need and anything else you need to output too like a headphone distribution amp. Mackie, Presonus and Behringer have mixers that are also interfaces, RME and others make interfaces that have software mixers.

If you are also feeding back to Skype or some other two way program like Cleanfeed or ipDTL and the like, you have to be able to set up a mix-minus feed.
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Old 01-28-2020, 05:54 PM
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Default Re: upgrading sound card, Questions

Maybe this? https://www.sweetwater.com/store/det...-digital-mixer
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  #7  
Old 01-29-2020, 01:56 AM
Darryl Ramm Darryl Ramm is online now
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Default Re: upgrading sound card, Questions

I notice multiple recommending for digital mixers. I'm not sure those seems a good recommendations to make now and I'll go though why below. What I read here is the digital mixer was purchased because the 5 mic inputs were needed in the past... it is not clear to me that is still needed, does not sound like all those mic inputs are needed for this podcast work. But either way, the mixer or external interface does not seem like it's the issue here.

----

You have some separate but interlinked high level things to decide...

1. How do you get the local mic powered though a preamp and into a ADC/interface and into the computer/DAW.
2. How do you get remote participants voice into the podcast (are they just using say gaming headsets?)
3. How do the remote participants hear/monitor the mix during recording? (again just gaming headsets using in-game or similar audio?)
4. How do you hear/monitor the mix during recording.
5. How do you "break out" (or not...keep them internal in the PC?) all the internal audio channels inside the PC and get them to a DAW?
6. How do you actually record audio.
7. How do you mix that audio afterwards.

And then below that many more things... but I think its a good idea to work though those main areas and try to have a schematic in your mind, of what you want to achieve and what those things look like, or even draw schematics/signal flows on paper.

The moment you mentioned gamer podcasts and running games on the PC this all became harder. Benoni probably got closer to useful stuff in his post.

There are so many ways to do things. If you want to keep using the PC as the game and DAW systems then your problem is not your digital mixer or much outside that PC, it's that your audio complexity and what you need to mix/control is happening inside the PC.... game sounds, interviewee voices, the only important other thing is likely your voice, I'll ignore the iPod music, you can add that later or play it all inside the PC.

Digital mixers like your Mackie gives you quick tactile control for live situations, for most podcast stuff I doubt you *need* a digital live mixer... and in your case if you effectively just take a live stereo feed out of the PC with a remote users voice and the game audio etc. all combined together then you are screwed... a digital mixer can't help you unmix that already mixed audio. You actually need a software mixer in the PC... and that's not Pro Tools, or at least not Pro Tools without addition of third party software like Voicemeter Potato that Benoni mentioned. If your participants/interviewee voices are coming through in-game audio then even that mixer may not be able to help you... but this is where I suspect you need to spend time exploring now.

If you are sticking with the PC as a single computer to do all this, then the last thing I would spend money on now is a digital mixer, even with multiple channel DAW capability. I would start playing with something like Voicemeter Potato and just using with your current digital mixer as a preamp for your one local microphone and maybe as a headphone/volume control for you on the output side. If you get all that running then you might look at other interfaces in future if you need more local/studio multichannel capability. By the time you have played with that, maybe looked at other software you'll know a lot more about what you need. I would also keep in the back of my mind that doing everything on the PC might not end be the best long term choice... what if game play causes Pro Tools to crash? In which case then things get more complex, you might run everything except the game on a separate computer and just send the game audio stereo S/PDIF out of one computer into an interface connected to the other.

BTW I recall you had some problem with latency issues in the past... you have to be careful with latency with any software mixer, not just a "DAW" when you are bringing in external signals.

Last edited by Darryl Ramm; 01-29-2020 at 10:10 AM.
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