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Viewing topic "Quickest way to monitor moxf via PC speakers (USB)"

     
Posted on: March 05, 2017 @ 02:59 PM
AlwaysSunny
Total Posts:  18
Joined  12-14-2016
status: Regular

Hey there,

I recognize this has likely been asked and answered elsewhere, but I’ve logged a few hours between searching, reading, and trying to figure it out on my own. 

Apparently it’s an odd desire, but I have great computer speakers, and I want to use them to monitor my moxf.  The only way I can achieve this (without buying cables) is via USB.

What’s the most expedient way - requiring the fewest steps - to hear sounds generated by the moxf played through my computer speakers via USB - including any steps required to restore normal functionality to both?

Much obliged for any assistance,

  [ Ignore ]  

Posted on: March 05, 2017 @ 03:27 PM
philwoodmusic
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Hi AlwaysSunny,

In order to hear and record your MOXF via its USB ‘To Host’ you need a compatible host with the Yamaha Steinberg USB Driver installed.

The USB ‘To Host’ is designed specifically for connecting the MOXF to computers running DAW software and the driver, because of that, it will not work cabled directly via USB to a pair of USB speakers.

The MOXF needs to be monitored via its left and right analogue outputs, or via headphones.

  [ Ignore ]  

Posted on: March 05, 2017 @ 07:22 PM
AlwaysSunny
Total Posts:  18
Joined  12-14-2016
status: Regular

It seems so absurd that this should be difficult, let alone impossible. 

Is the USB not carrying actual stereo audio, but rather some bitstream only the DAW understands?

In that case, can I still not achieve this even if I have the DAW open and properly configured?

Thanks for the quick response, I appreciate it!

  [ Ignore ]  

Posted on: March 05, 2017 @ 08:26 PM
philwoodmusic
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I’m afraid you can’t do it even with your DAW open and properly configured.

Since you can’t install the Yamaha Steinberg USB driver on your speakers and they are not a host, it can’t be done.

Sorry.

  [ Ignore ]  

Posted on: March 05, 2017 @ 09:14 PM
AlwaysSunny
Total Posts:  18
Joined  12-14-2016
status: Regular

I can’t install a driver on a speaker, but that driver is present on the PC whose soundcard uses that speaker. 

I can record a mofx stereo signal with the DAW, but can’t monitor that signal via the PC soundcard?  Sheesh. 

I still don’t comprehend why this isn’t a trivial routing issue, but I’ll take your word for it.  Looks like I’ll be ordering a patch cable after all. 

Cheers!

  [ Ignore ]  

Posted on: March 05, 2017 @ 09:37 PM
philwoodmusic
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I know it must seem frustrating, but I doubt that it’s trivial. 

The data streams will be significantly different with the MOXF expecting to transfer multiple channels of digital audio and MIDI simultaneously, both ways.

The MOXF has been designed to be monitored from the analogue outputs or headphones, and that’s why you’ve got the DAW level slider, so that you can monitor what comes back from your DAW at the same time and blend it with the direct sound of your MOXF.

It’s a two way digital relationship. (not quite like my one way digital relationship with an ex, but I digress!”

Think of a usb cable for a digital camera.  You can transfer images back and forth, but the connection isn’t designed for taking pictures, just like the MOXF usb connection isn’t designed for hearing it.

  [ Ignore ]  

Posted on: March 05, 2017 @ 10:29 PM
AlwaysSunny
Total Posts:  18
Joined  12-14-2016
status: Regular

Hey, I really appreciate the explanation.  Good analogy too.

I’m so stubborn I was ready to waste the next week writing a driver to pass the stream to WASAPI or something. 

Understanding that it’s not raw stereo data as-advertised but a specialized bitstream makes me appreciate the difficulty. 

Patch cable to the rescue!  Hardware is so much simpler, if a bit messy.

Thanks for the follow-through,

  [ Ignore ]  

Posted on: March 05, 2017 @ 10:49 PM
philwoodmusic
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No worries, you’re welcome.

  [ Ignore ]  

Posted on: March 06, 2017 @ 05:43 AM
5pinDIN
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AlwaysSunny - 05 March 2017 02:59 PM

[...] Apparently it’s an odd desire, but I have great computer speakers, and I want to use them to monitor my moxf.  The only way I can achieve this (without buying cables) is via USB.

I can appreciate your desire, but really the best way is to listen directly to the line output of the MOXF. There are computer applications that would allow you to hear the digital audio sent via USB, but often some latency (sound delay) is inherent in doing things that way. The degree of latency may be dependent on the computer gear being used.

 

AlwaysSunny -

What’s the most expedient way - requiring the fewest steps - to hear sounds generated by the moxf played through my computer speakers via USB - including any steps required to restore normal functionality to both?

One way is to use a program such as Audacity (http://www.audacityteam.org/). Once Audacity is set up (including setting the recording “Audio to buffer” latency to 0(zero) ms), it’s a matter of monitoring via Software Playthrough.

See http://manual.audacityteam.org/man/recording_with_usb_turntables.html
--- and ---
http://manual.audacityteam.org/man/recording_preferences.html

(For anyone with an XS or XF and mLAN/FW, see http://manual.audacityteam.org/man/how_to_set_up_audacity.html)

I haven’t tried this with a MOXF, since I don’t have one, but that should work OK for playing sequences (Songs/Patterns). However, directly playing the MOXF via its keyboard will result in some latency - whether that’s acceptable is a personal decision.

Using my XF with audio via FW16E, even with the Audacity audio buffer latency at 0 ms, directly playing the keyboard results in latency that I find disconcerting. YMMV.

By the way, if you intend to actually record with Audacity, set the buffer latency back to the 100 ms default. Otherwise, there will likely be significant glitches.

  [ Ignore ]  

Posted on: March 06, 2017 @ 01:17 PM
philwoodmusic
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I thought about the Audacity route, too, but noticed that the USB speakers might be treated as an audio interface at the same time as the MOXF.

Then we’re back to the two audio interfaces coexisting problem + ASIO4ALL etc.

Unless your method using software play through works via the built in sound card? OR The USB speakers aren’t selected from within Audacity itself and don’t act like an audio interface?

  [ Ignore ]  

Posted on: March 06, 2017 @ 04:09 PM
AlwaysSunny
Total Posts:  18
Joined  12-14-2016
status: Regular

Just to note, my speakers are 8th-inchers, soundcard to amplifier.  Apologies for the omission!

I quickly found success with the proposed Audacity routing rigamarole, but that latency is truly monstrous.  Future readers take heed,

I really appreciate you two sticking with me to the bitter end.  A patch cable solution will have to do.  Really a minor bump in an otherwise smooth ride - I shouldn’t sweat the small stuff.

Thanks,

  [ Ignore ]  

Posted on: March 06, 2017 @ 05:16 PM
5pinDIN
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philwoodmusic - 06 March 2017 01:17 PM

I thought about the Audacity route, too, but noticed that the USB speakers might be treated as an audio interface at the same time as the MOXF. [...]

Ahhh, I think I know why we approached this from different directions. :-)

AlwaysSunny had written (italics added for emphasis):
“What’s the most expedient way - requiring the fewest steps - to hear sounds generated by the moxf played through my computer speakers via USB - including any steps required to restore normal functionality to both?”

The italicized section apparently could be interpreted either to mean that the speakers are USB type, or that the MOXF was connected to the computer via USB (with the presumption that the speakers had an analog connection). It seems you read it the first way (yes?), and I the second. A hazard of written communication.  ;-)

  [ Ignore ]  

Posted on: March 06, 2017 @ 05:33 PM
5pinDIN
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AlwaysSunny - 06 March 2017 04:09 PM

[...] I quickly found success with the proposed Audacity routing rigamarole, but that latency is truly monstrous. [...]

The degree of latency is dependent on the speed of processing, and whether the sound card itself has reasonable latency. Of course, if the “Audio to buffer” setting isn’t changed from the default 100 ms to 0 ms, the latency will indeed be “monstrous”.

In general I wouldn’t suggest using Audacity in the manner I mentioned for other than playing back already recorded sequences, and then only when no other method was readily available.

  [ Ignore ]  

Posted on: March 06, 2017 @ 06:34 PM
philwoodmusic
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5pinDIN - 06 March 2017 05:16 PM

It seems you read it the first way (yes?), and I the second. A hazard of written communication.  ;-)

That’s what happened, but it doesn’t matter because we covered all bases,

  [ Ignore ]