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I used to connect my guitar on my PC using a Rocksmith cable, and would use Guitar Rig 5 as my amp simulator. I recently bought an Audio Interface (Behringer U-PHORIA UMC204HD) and I'm impressed that it greatly reduced the latency of what I hear on my headset. However, my headset is USB, so I cannot connect it directly to the UMC204HD. I need to connect it to the PC and use ASIO4ALL to use the audio interface as the input device and my headset as the output device.

This works, but there is the downside that, when Guitar Rig 5 is running, I can only hear it on my headset and nothing else.

Is there a way to hear the output of the guitar and also hear the other applications running on the PC at the same time? If so, would it increase my latency too much?

I'm new to all of this, so please let me know if I hadn't provided enough information on my question.

Edit: I've managed to make it work by using a virtual cable, setting the audio interface output as the input of the cable and my headset as the output. The problem with this approach is that it increases the latency A LOT, so it really disrupts my playing (especially fast licks).

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    I suspect the magic happens at kernel level and not user level because I only got it working with virtual cable and a special asio driver and not the official asio driver from the maker. I think to get better latency you might need to either write a better kernel driver yourself (probably very advanced stuff) or buy a headset or adapter that has the right contact for the interface.
    – Emil
    Nov 10, 2023 at 6:56
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    I think this is the page about writing drivers for windows learn.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-hardware/drivers. But the other half of the problem is implementing the ASIO protocol and that I have no idea how to do at all.
    – Emil
    Nov 10, 2023 at 7:05
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    I admire the enthusiasm, but I think pointing a muso to how to build a driver is like responding to "I need milk" with "First, build your cowshed…" :P
    – Tetsujin
    Nov 10, 2023 at 15:17
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    The driver like this has already been implemented: github.com/dechamps/FlexASIO. Running it in shared mode is very likely to have worse latency than ASIO4All and much worse than the official ASIO driver.
    – ojs
    Nov 10, 2023 at 17:33
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    @Tetsujin You'd be surprised to find out this muso is actually a developer, haha. However, I'm not skilled enough to write a kernel, at least not for now.
    – mdevino
    Nov 10, 2023 at 21:59

2 Answers 2

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Your USB headset is a USB audio interface in itself, so what you're trying to do is, use one USB audio interface for audio input from the guitar, and another USB audio interface for audio output to the headset. This does not work very well, if at all. How well it works, or if it works at all, depends on at least your operating system (Windows, Mac OS, Linux), the drivers for the audio interfaces, and the applications (Cubase, Ableton Live, or whatever).

The real, actually working solution is to get non-USB headphones with a plain old analog audio cable, connect them to your audio interface's phones output, and use the same device for both input and output. This is the setup the ASIO system has been designed for.

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  • Hey, thanks for the answer. I thought about this, but I'm not sure I can find a wireless headphone with a p2 connection, at least not where I live (Brazil).
    – mdevino
    Nov 10, 2023 at 22:00
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I actually made it work for me with a virtual cable. I tweaked around and managed to find a low latency setup, or at least low enough for me to play the songs I like. I'm sharing my configuration in case anyone comes across a similar problem.

I'm using the ASIO4ALL driver version 2.15 (though I think the latest version, whenever you're reading this, should work).

In my ASIO configuration, I have the corresponding input from the audio interface active, as well as the output of the virtual cable, as shown below. I've set the buffer size of 512 samples, which works just fine for my gear (if your latency is too high, try drecreasing the buffer size, but the audio might clip).

ASIO4ALL configuration

Then, on the Windows Volume Mixer, I've set the virtual cable input to be my audio interface's input and the output to be my headphones, as below:

Virtual Cable configuration on Windows Volume Mixer

Lastly, I've checked the box "Listen to this device" on the sound configuration of the virtual cable output.

Virtual cable output configuration

I hope this helps whoever might run into the same situation.

Also, as @ojs mentioned, an alternative would be to use FlexASIO, though I haven't tested it.

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  • For solutions like this, latency is always the killer. I'd recommend that OP measure their round trip latency if they go this route- I used a setup like this for some time and ended up with 25ms latency at best. Better than not having sound, but I could never play 16th notes cleanly. I've read that 12ms is about the upper limit of acceptable for a guitar, and I think that's about right.
    – Edward
    Nov 10, 2023 at 23:47
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    Also, if you are using 512smp buffer at 192kHz, you could get the same latency with 128smp buffer at 48kHz, with less overhead (=less dropouts and possibly room to decrease your buffer even further)
    – Edward
    Nov 10, 2023 at 23:50
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    If this means something like 25 ms latency or even more, and you're still happy with it, then ok, who am I to say you shouldn't do it. :) But if you try it with regular wired headphones connected to the same audio interface with a proper low latency, I think you'll be tempted to keep it that way and forget about the wirelessness. Nov 11, 2023 at 0:14
  • The alternative, virtually latency-free alternative is wired headphones plus an interface that can do its own amp modelling. I have a Line6 UX2 from the early 2ks, with amp farm built-in, direct out as well as to DAW. I can put delay/rev etc on the headphones or control room without sending it to the track. Can't beat it. Same price as the Behringer these days, no longer supported on Mac [Mojave last working OS] but people say it still works on Win10.
    – Tetsujin
    Nov 11, 2023 at 12:29

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