[WIN] Virtual ASIO to ASIO driver (ASIO to ASIO)

Detailed information on the Virtual ASIO to ASIO driver type (also known as ASIO to ASIO) - how to set it up, driver performance, virtual output device, and sample rate and buffer size adjustments.


In this article:


ASIO drivers (Audio Stream Input/Output)

ASIO drivers are known for low-latency performance which is of incredible value when it comes to music production. To achieve low latency the ASIO driver protocol has a different architecture to WASAPI-based drivers. Windows Audio Engine is bypassed as ASIO establishes a direct link between the source audio and the output device.


With SoundID Reference (running in Virtual ASIO audio to ASIO mode) added to the flow, ASIO-compatible applications can take advantage of the SoundID Reference virtual audio device that will be using an ASIO driver. Simply select the output as SoundID Reference to route the audio signal to the SoundID Reference app for calibration.  It's crucial for the application engine to be able to communicate or use the ASIO drivers, otherwise, the virtual output will simply be unavailable for selection.


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NOTE! The Virtual ASIO to ASIO mode is not compatible with system-wide calibration as the Windows Audio Engine is being bypassed. For system-wide playback, Windows will always process the audio signal from the applications with WASAPI protocol and utilize a WDM driver for your audio interface.

For system-wide calibration, use one of the other driver types instead - Audio driver types in SoundID Reference app [WIN]



Setting up with Virtual ASIO to ASIO driver

With the SoundID Reference app launched, configure a Virtual ASIO to ASIO output preset, and then assign it as the output in your ASIO-enabled DAW or other playback software (Cubase, Audacity, Audirvana, etc.). As an example, we will configure this for Ableton Live 11.

  1. Add new output > Device type: ASIO
  2. Select your audio interface > Driver type: Virtual ASIO to ASIO driver
  3. Load the calibration profile
  4. Launch Ableton Live 11
  5. Access Preferences > Audio > Driver type: ASIO > Audio Device: Sonarworks ASIO Driver


NOTE! If the option to select Sonarworks ASIO driver is not available as an option in your DAW, simply relaunch the application.




Here is an example of various software combinations:



Sample Rate

The sample rate cannot be changed in the SoundID Reference app as the Virtual ASIO to ASIO driver is working in sync with the ASIO driver of the output device. To make changes use the control software that came with your audio interface.


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Be advised, that changing the sample rate of the audio interface may not be possible or changes might not apply under the following circumstances:

  1. Driver limitations: Some audio interface software doesn't let you change the sample rate, or only allow certain ones. Check your audio interface details to see what it allows.

  2. Application control: Some programs, like music production software or media players, can take full control of the audio interface and decide the sample rate. If a program is using the interface, you might not be able to change the rate.

  3. Operating system rules: Some operating systems, like certain versions of Windows, don't let you change the sample rate for individual applications.

  4. Incompatible hardware: If your audio hardware doesn't support the sample rate you want to use, you won't be able to set it. Older interfaces might not support higher sample rates.

  5. Active audio stream: If audio is playing, you might not be able to change the sample rate. You'd need to stop the audio first.

  6. Shared mode: If the audio interface is being used by multiple programs, you might be limited in changing the sample rate, as it has to work for all the programs at once.


Buffer Size

Virtual ASIO to ASIO driver mode is working in sync with the ASIO driver of the output device. Changes to the buffer size cannot be applied in the SoundID Reference app, instead, use the control software that came with your audio interface.


Should you need additional buffer size settings, the changes can be applied within DAW in the Preferences > Audio/Output section. This can help by allowing additional processing time when you're working on a large-scale project.


The buffer size can affect two things:

  1. Latency: How fast the audio responds. A smaller buffer size equals faster response, which is good for recording or live audio. But it also needs more computer power.

  2. CPU load: How hard your computer works. A bigger buffer size means your computer can prepare more audio ahead of time, which is easier on the computer. But it also makes the audio response slower.


The best buffer size depends on your computer power, the type of audio, and whether you're recording or just listening.

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