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Looking for an Audio Interface with Internal Routing / Loopback
Old 18th October 2013
  #1
Gear Head
 

Looking for an Audio Interface with Internal Routing / Loopback

I was just about to complete my purchase, Focusrite 66 but just noticed that it doesn't have the loopback feature as the 8i6. Shame, all of this research and time consuming is now meaningless.

Now I'm looking for an audio interface with internal routing possibilities (or loopback as it's called by Focusrite). I'm possibly going to do my order from Thomann since they deliver to austuria pretty quickly as a german brand, and they don't have 8i6 listed in their online store, so obviously I have to make another pick.

Looking for guidance/suggestions about interfaces.
Old 18th October 2013
  #2
Just to clarify, when some people/manufacturers say "loopback" they mean the ability to capture PC audio streams (for example, recording a YouTube video's audio into your DAW). I think there are a couple of interfaces out there with this explicit support, but don't know them off-hand. (There are several third-party software solutions that will work with any interface, too.)

If you're really talking about internal routing, as in "internal to the device", where you can say, "route interface input 2 to interface headphone output 1", all of the RME interfaces offer this, and some of the MOTU ones do. (RME has TotalMix, and MOTU has CueMix. The CueMix capabilities across MOTU models can vary wildly.)
Old 18th October 2013
  #3
Gear Head
 

Thank you for the reply.

What I'm looking for is exactly the second thing you've mentioned. Since the term is named quite differently in each brand, iet's even not possible to make a google search to see a list of devices that support it Focusrite calls it loopback..

I'm sure RME is great, but their cheapest product on USB triples the price of 8i6. I'm sure it's wort it but I'm really not a fan of purchasing an equipment that I won't need, and I honestly even don't know/understand the technical details' difference when I compare both.

I have to check MOTU to find en equivalent..
Old 18th October 2013
  #4
Gear Head
 

The cheapest MOTU is MicroBook II and it's as expensive as the Focusrite 8i6 and 6i6.... makes no sense to me since focusrite units has a lot of pros compared to the MOTU.
Old 18th October 2013
  #5
Quote:
Originally Posted by UltimateOutsider View Post
Just to clarify, when some people/manufacturers say "loopback" they mean the ability to capture PC audio streams (for example, recording a YouTube video's audio into your DAW). I think there are a couple of interfaces out there with this explicit support, but don't know them off-hand. (There are several third-party software solutions that will work with any interface, too.)
You can easily capture like this using audio hijack or soundflower - it doesn't have to be an interface-specific feature.

Quote:
Originally Posted by UltimateOutsider View Post
If you're really talking about internal routing, as in "internal to the device", where you can say, "route interface input 2 to interface headphone output 1", all of the RME interfaces offer this, and some of the MOTU ones do. (RME has TotalMix, and MOTU has CueMix. The CueMix capabilities across MOTU models can vary wildly.)
Focusrite products can do this using the Mixcontrol software. I've not used the specific interface in question, but the Pro24/Pro40 work this way, and as far as I'm aware the rest of the range use the same software.
Old 18th October 2013
  #6
Quote:
Originally Posted by undream View Post
I'm sure RME is great, but their cheapest product on USB triples the price of 8i6. I'm sure it's wort it but I'm really not a fan of purchasing an equipment that I won't need, and I honestly even don't know/understand the technical details' difference when I compare both.
The only Focusrite I've personally used is the 2i2. It has the highest noisefloor and worst latency of any interface I've ever used. (I own or have owned interfaces by Roland, RME, MOTU, Native Instruments, Avid, Steinberg, and Zoom.) It's even worse than the Access Virus's interface mode, and that feature seems more or less an afterthought. Sound quality's fine if you're happy with its comparatively limited headroom though.

I know the 8i6 comes with better software than the 2i2... but I'd wanna see some comparison stats between the 8i6 and others in its class before I'd touch it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by psycho_monkey View Post
You can easily capture like this using audio hijack or soundflower - it doesn't have to be an interface-specific feature.
We basically said the same thing in different ways. I've used Total Recorder, Audio Hijack, and a couple other tools for that. Anyway...
Old 18th October 2013
  #7
Quote:
Originally Posted by UltimateOutsider View Post
We basically said the same thing in different ways. I've used Total Recorder, Audio Hijack, and a couple other tools for that. Anyway...
I know - I'm just pointing out it's not something you need to look for as a hardware feature. You don't actually need ANY interface to be able to do this.

As for F'rite interfaces..I've not used the ones you reference. the Pro series are great though.
Old 18th October 2013
  #8
Gear Head
 

How is that even possible without being a hardware feature? Every other thing (audio jack, soundflower, virtual audio cable, etc...) causes incredible delay if you want to hear what's being sent..

Enlighten me please.
Old 18th October 2013
  #9
Quote:
Originally Posted by undream View Post
How is that even possible without being a hardware feature? Every other thing (audio jack, soundflower, virtual audio cable, etc...) causes incredible delay if you want to hear what's being sent..

Enlighten me please.
If you're only capturing..does that matter?

It depends on WHY you want to loopback. If realtime is important, then yes I agree you might want to limit your options to manufacturers that support this.

If you're just looking to capture - is latency important? I'm trying to think of a capture scenario where latency matters....I'm sure there is one, but it escapes me right now?
Old 18th October 2013
  #10
Gear Head
 

Yes, I'm basically looking into this for realtime. Not capturing.
I want to be able to send my modified voice over apps like Skype, or broadcasting apps, or online communication tools. Basically, I want to be able to HEAR myself (with added vst effects) as I talk, with as little delay as possible; and send that "modified" sound of myself to the other side.
Old 18th October 2013
  #11
Registered User
Quote:
Originally Posted by undream View Post
Yes, I'm basically looking into this for realtime. Not capturing.
I want to be able to send my modified voice over apps like Skype, or broadcasting apps, or online communication tools. Basically, I want to be able to HEAR myself (with added vst effects) as I talk, with as little delay as possible; and send that "modified" sound of myself to the other side.
Creepy.

And your second thread in one week on the same subject.
Old 18th October 2013
  #12
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by undream View Post
Yes, I'm basically looking into this for realtime. Not capturing.
I want to be able to send my modified voice over apps like Skype, or broadcasting apps, or online communication tools. Basically, I want to be able to HEAR myself (with added vst effects) as I talk, with as little delay as possible; and send that "modified" sound of myself to the other side.
Why don't you just do that in software routing? Sounds like you're overcomplicating things.
Old 18th October 2013
  #13
It may sound like convoluted, but using one computer and your interface to do the plugin FX and feed the output to another computer's onboard mic input would be the best solution. For Skype, you don't need high quality sound anyway, so cheap PC is just fine. If you have some old computers hanging around, try them. But "How much real time" is dependent on the machine you do the plugin FX, and also the interface you use, so you need to invest money towards those.

If the line level out from the interface is too hot for the mic input of the second computer (I bet it will be), you can drop the level by a cheap DI box. Or Skype may be able to take the line input as an audio feed? I don't know.

Anyway, you won't get good sound quality, but that's just about what Skype is meant for. If other broadcasting applications require better sound quality, then you need another decent interface for the second machine.
Old 18th October 2013
  #14
Lives for gear
 

Crank calling persons with Sith Lord vox is srs bsnss.
Old 18th October 2013
  #15
Gear Addict
Quote:
Originally Posted by undream View Post
I was just about to complete my purchase, Focusrite 66 but just noticed that it doesn't have the loopback feature as the 8i6. Shame, all of this research and time consuming is now meaningless.

Now I'm looking for an audio interface with internal routing possibilities (or loopback as it's called by Focusrite). I'm possibly going to do my order from Thomann since they deliver to austuria pretty quickly as a german brand, and they don't have 8i6 listed in their online store, so obviously I have to make another pick.

Looking for guidance/suggestions about interfaces.
Check out a decent second hand RME FF800 or a Focusrite Saffire pro 40 or 56.

All very good value if you grab one at the right price.
Old 18th October 2013
  #16
Lives for gear
 
wakestyle's Avatar
EMU, M-Audio, RME. These all has loopback from my experience.
Old 18th October 2013
  #17
Indeed, RME's Total Mix and Focusrite's Scarlett/Saffire Mixcontrol have loopback, but the OP's problem is to use the loopback channels to feed Skype mic input. I quickly tested with my RME Total Mix and Total Mix FX, but didn't work. Skype's audio option doesn't show the ASIO driver's channels. Even switching the ASIO driver to WDM or Direct sound, I still didn't see.


CORRECTION: I tested if TotalMix FX loopback from RME UFX can feed the Skype or not, and found out it actually works!

Last edited by Masaaki; 18th October 2013 at 08:12 PM.. Reason: CORRECTION
Old 18th October 2013
  #18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Masaaki View Post
Indeed, RME's Total Mix and Focusrite's Scarlett/Saffire Mixcontrol have loopback, but the OP's problem is to use the loopback channels to feed Skype mic input. I quickly tested with my RME Total Mix and Total Mix FX, but didn't work. Skype's audio option doesn't show the ASIO driver's channels. Even switching the ASIO driver to WDM or Direct sound, I still didn't see.
Ah, yeah, that's a different thing altogether. Getting audio from external applications to DAW/host: Relatively easy. Sending audio from DAW/host to external apps: ???
Old 18th October 2013
  #19
Lives for gear
 
wakestyle's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Masaaki View Post
Indeed, RME's Total Mix and Focusrite's Scarlett/Saffire Mixcontrol have loopback, but the OP's problem is to use the loopback channels to feed Skype mic input. I quickly tested with my RME Total Mix and Total Mix FX, but didn't work. Skype's audio option doesn't show the ASIO driver's channels. Even switching the ASIO driver to WDM or Direct sound, I still didn't see.
iN Windows sound properties you can choose whichever input you want to. With RME, the loopback goes to which ever input you choose to and when you open another WDM (or whatever input) application, that applicatin will 'hear' that audio as if it were a actual input.
Old 18th October 2013
  #20
Quote:
Originally Posted by wakestyle View Post
iN Windows sound properties you can choose whichever input you want to. With RME, the loopback goes to which ever input you choose to and when you open another WDM (or whatever input) application, that applicatin will 'hear' that audio as if it were a actual input.
I thought so, and RME's loopback works as long as I use DAW applications. But Skype didn't appear to work that way.

But....I just didn't have enthusiasm to check more than 5 minutes....so this could be just me. If you also have RME cards, you would test for the OP...


CORRECTION: Actually, I tested again with another machine with new Skype install which doesn't have any webcam installed, and Skype got Loopback from TotalMix FX. So, it worked!

Last edited by Masaaki; 18th October 2013 at 08:10 PM.. Reason: CORRECTION
Old 19th October 2013
  #21
Gear Head
 

Thank you everyonei, for spending your valuable times to answer my issue.

Quote:
Originally Posted by UltimateOutsider View Post
...Sending audio from DAW/host to external apps: ???
Exactly! That's the issue. It's not only skype but also all other applicatons which can not use the asio drivers; even if they did it would be impossible since most of the interfaces does not have multi-asio support so the device will be "in use" anyway.

Quote:
Actually, I tested again with another machine with new Skype install which doesn't have any webcam installed, and Skype got Loopback from TotalMix FX. So, it worked!
@Masaaki can you give me more details about your workaround please? if possible, a few screenshots maybe, and detail about the interface?

Thank you very much.
Old 19th October 2013
  #22
Quote:
Originally Posted by undream View Post

@Masaaki can you give me more details about your workaround please? if possible, a few screenshots maybe, and detail about the interface?

Thank you very much.
Here we go.

I plugged in a mic to Ch9 (the first mic pre channel of RME UFX) and use that input channel in Reaper to add plugin FX (just tap delay in this case). Mute the direct monitor, and turned on output monitoring in reaper (as you can see in the Reaper input going up). Then routed this output to Phone out ch11/12 in Total Mix FX, and turned on loopback.

Setting up the Skype microphone option, you can see Analog (11+12) RME FF UFX gauge is going up. So, if I have somebody to talk over the Skype, this should be working.

I don't know the latency of this, but probably 15-20ms I guess.
Attached Thumbnails
Looking for an Audio Interface with Internal Routing / Loopback-ufx.jpg  
Old 19th October 2013
  #23
Fair enough - fairly unique reason to want to do things in real time I guess! (and...why?!)

When I've done this sort of thing before (I've actually run sessions between Aus and Columbia for a VERY big artist, with his MD on skype) it's been using one computer for the recording/mix, and a laptop for skype. We actually used an analogue desk, but that wasn't strictly speaking necessary.

If you do have access to a 2nd computer, it'd by far be the easiest way - just use the onboard sound, and choose the interface that works best for you in other ways.

unless the windows routing thing works (I don't do windows).

(and yes - please one thread only per topic in future!).
Old 19th October 2013
  #24
Here for the gear
I do it sometimes.....only via a onyx i to a dedicated firewire slot and using a uad 2 board,
only not with a slow desktop. I also have a microbook, but a direct loop only works with the standard very basic options. A cheap emu pci-x has the most options for little money.
I found focusrite to slow. And hasn't got a lot to offer which is really up to date. The motu ultralite hybrid is the cheapest if you want to you use addaing efx and direct routing input+adding efx to monitors without usng an onboard program....if that's what you mean.
gr.richard
Old 19th October 2013
  #25
Gear Head
 

Thank you for these amazing replies!

One additional thing left I guess: How do you know which interface is faster and which one is slower? What's the variable that effects the speed in specifications? I know how to compare CPU's of course but what's the equivalent of it for audio interfaces?
Old 19th October 2013
  #26
Quote:
Originally Posted by undream View Post
Thank you for these amazing replies!

One additional thing left I guess: How do you know which interface is faster and which one is slower? What's the variable that effects the speed in specifications? I know how to compare CPU's of course but what's the equivalent of it for audio interfaces?
The thread at GS:
Audio Interface - Low Latency Performance Data Base

Original TAFKAT's DAWbench site:
Audio Interface - Low Latency Performance Data Base :
Old 19th October 2013
  #27
Gear Head
 

Perfect!
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