100 Newbie Hurdles – Part 2 – Audio Interface doesn’t get Detected

I was stuck with this problem for a really long time and this even discouraged me to not make music anymore. Although it sounds really funny now. This is, till this date my biggest hurdle because it stopped me from doing what i really wanted to. The solution though was and is really simple though and I felt really REALLY stupid when i found it. Lets take this from the top….

It is very common to think that your Audio Interface is an additional gadget to the Sound-card on your Computer but what happens when you plug in your Audio Interface is that it BECOMES your Sound-card now. It is rather a (better)substitute than a supplement. All the audio comes out from the Audio Interface now (unless you change settings in the computer to do otherwise). So if you have speakers connected to the audio jack of your PC. You will not receive any audio output from that. Instead the audio is now being routed to your Audio interface. If you now connect your speakers to your Audio interface, then you could listen to the sounds from your computer.

With that said, there is another problem that the Ultra Noobs tend to do. They switch on the Audio Interface after they open their DAW. If you post questions like these on other forums you would probably have an internet mob virtually stoning you. But hey, don’t worry, we all go through crazy situations like these. Anyways, In this case, your DAW will pop up an error message and you being an Ultra Noob might just click on Ok or Cancel and move on. Now with the DAW open, you switch on your Audio Interface and Viola… NO SOUND from the interface.! :). Why is that.. ?

For a start let me say, Switch on your Audio Interface before you open your DAW!. What happens when you don’t is that, your computer’s own soundcard is now your primary driver for your DAW. Meaning your DAW looks for ways it can send sound out to the speaker and since it finds only your on board sound card, it actually pops up an error message saying that you do not have any interface connected, since it believes that your sound card is not good enough to do most of the tasks your DAW is meant to do. But since you graciously dismissed that away your computer figures, “Ok there’s no Audio interface, I’ll use the onboard soundcard and do what i can with it”. Well yes, your on board sound card can do some bare minimum essential tasks, although be prepared for Latency (Covered in another post). So now when you switch your interface on, your DAW does pick that up but what it does not do is, select it automatically when you switch it on. So obviously, you would have to go to your preferences/options and change that. But you being an Ultra Newbie do not know where that is and what you should select.

In Ableton, head to Preferences and Go to the Audio Tab and you will be able to select, Driver Type, Audio Input Device and Output Device. This is set to Direct X for PC users if you did not have your interface ON before opening your DAW. If you change the Driver Type from Direct X to ASIO this would enable you to select your Audio interface. Usually all Audio interfaces that i have come across have been listed as an ASIO type. For ASIO, there is no option to select Input and Output device, but rather just the device itself.

In Cubase, these options are located in the ‘Device Setup’ dialog. Click on VST Audio System and then Select your Audio interface. For other DAWs, the process should be really similar.  If its not, now that you know what the problem is, you should be able to google this and find out from a blog that specifically deals with your DAWs issue. ;). Will try to upload images for these from my Ableton Live very soon.

Thanks for Reading..

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