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  1. Robert
  2. MOXF Series Music Production Synthesizers
  3. Friday, 06 October 2017
I am looking to add an additional audio interface / usb mixer to my setup, to use in Cubase along with the MOXF internal interface. I need it for additional input sources and audio loopback.

Unfortunately, currently Win10 does not to provide native audio aggregate device support (still...), however this seems to be possible if the devices use the same ASIO drivers. I plan getting either an Yamaha AG series mixer or a Steinberg UR interface - since they use the same Yamaha Steinberg USB driver as MOXF - but I can't verify if the driver itself has multi-device support or not.

I would like to stay away from analog connections or ASIO4ALL, as they would dent either quality or latency performance. A unified driver seems to be a much more elegant approach, I am just not sure if it actually works. If anyone can confirm, I would very much appreciate it.

Thank you!
Responses (5)
Bad Mister
Yamaha
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Unfortunately, currently Win10 does not to provide native audio aggregate device support (still...), however this seems to be possible if the devices use the same ASIO drivers. I plan getting either an Yamaha AG series mixer or a Steinberg UR interface - since they use the same Yamaha Steinberg USB driver as MOXF - but I can't verify if the driver itself has multi-device support or not.
Aggregate Audio Device building is still exclusively a Macintosh feature.

Even if you have devices that use the same Driver as in a MOXF and the Yamaha AG-series mixer (the Yamaha Steinberg USB Driver), you would still need to switch between the devices. The CONTROL PANEL will show you that you have two ASIO devices and you can "hot swap" (means without closing the program or interrupting your session with a reboot, you can select the other device, then continue your session).

So while both devices can be connected to the computer simultaneously you will only be able to feed audio from one or the other at a time.

Solutions for Windows 10
The MOXF has dual stereo capability (4CH) as a computer audio interface (4-in/2-out) this means you can record two separate (discreet) stereo buses simultaneously. By default USB 1/2 are used by the A/D Input of the MOXF, while the synth engine Parts are all assigned to USB 3/4. This dual stereo arrangement allows you to play and sing while recording each to its own Audio Track. It also allows you to record the synth through USB 3/4 and any Part you might want to isolate, you could assign to USB 1/2 to isolate it.

You can take the output of your other device (presumably a mixer with phantom power) and run the analog Left/Right Outputs through the MOXF's A/D Input... they arrive at the computer as USB 1/2.

Or you can simply setup with both devices connected and hot swap between them... The device which is selected as your ASIO device will need to be connected to your monitoring system it will be responsible for routing audio from external devices and from the computer to the speakers.
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Thank you for your reply Bad Mister.

I have a few other sources that I need on discrete tracks, it looks like that won't be possible with the native driver..

Extrapolating, adding a new MOXF for say increased polyphony is also not something viable in a Cubase session, on this OS. I would probably look at Montage at that point, I was just curious if that is indeed the case.

Thank you again, I appreciate your precise answer and suggestions. I hope a native solution will become available for pc in the near future.
Bad Mister
Yamaha
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Adding an additional synthesizer “for say increased polyphony” would be great news for the synth companies, but you are recording to a computer. Save your money, use your technology!

Did you know you can setup your hardware MOXF as a VST, within Cubase? What this means is you can open multiple instances of the MOXF VST simultaneously. Many folks have no idea about this, because they believe the “nay sayers” or they have just never tried it. But the “v” in VST is virtual. And similar to how soft synth plugins where you can create “temporary” audio files, you can do the same with your MOXF VST, render a temporary audio file... (you can use the Freeze function) to render the MIDI data as a temporary audio file... this allows you to setup a second, a third, a fourth... MOXF VST each capable of 16 MIDI Channels. A MOXF VST that has been rendered as temporary audio can later be unfrozen (original MIDI data restored and activated) then Exported as a final “real” AUDIO Track.

This is a lot LE$$ expensive than purchasing a second-third or fourth MOXF... LES PAUL (the father of Multi tracking) did all his early magic with a single guitar... the idea was to be able to record then reuse the same hardware. VSTi protocol will allow you to do the same kind of thing- virtually like having multiple MOXFs.

Only one MOXF is unfrozen (sic) at a time, but if you were thinking of purchasing another MOXF to have more Parts and more polyphony, thanks but do so for the right reasons...
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Indeed, the freeze function is a life saver in many situations, and I use it regularly. Let me point right away that this is not a keyboard feature request and has no impact on the value of the instrument - if I had to choose again, I would pick it again. I know because I had, and I did :)

The truth is I find myself jumping often between tracks to swap variations, make adjustments, solo instruments, EQ and so on, and freezing the rack understandably locks all 16 tracks from performing any further operations. Since freezing external instruments takes the same amount of time as playing back the entire session, it can be a challenge for time sensitive projects - which are the ones I use the MOXF the most - but one that I will resolve one way or another. Regardless, in my tests, using multiple MOXF VSTs rack instances in Cubase is well implemented and a solid workflow. Thank you for suggesting, I am sure I will use it.

At the moment this is not a priority, the need for additional inputs on the other hand becomes more stringent as my studio grows. I am usually pretty good at finding solutions, and I don't mind stepping out of the box, but this mix of devices I could not test on my own. And since the synth driver, the interface and Cubase are all running on Steinberg code, you must admit the chance of a handshake was not too crazy - and I have a feeling it may naturally come to fruition.
Bad Mister
Yamaha
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Since freezing external instruments takes the same amount of time as playing back the entire session, it can be a challenge for time sensitive projects - which are the ones I use the MOXF the most - but one that I will resolve one way or another.
I’ll pass this little story on, which I will give full credit to Steveland Morris, (who has had a hit or two), we were discussing studio work and workflow, and the inevitable having to listen to your own track over and over... he said that he would walk around listening to just the Track he was working on for weeks. My take away, you can’t listen to your own stuff enough... he said, if he got tired of it, he’d never put it out. Since that time, I take ever opportunity to give what I’m doing another listen... and when I tire of it, I shelve it.

In the recording studio you never really finish working on a project, you ultimately just have to move on.

The fact that soft synths that are on the computer can render a track almost instantaneously (as an old school audio person) bothers me. So I never mind waiting for my ‘real’ audio rendering in ‘real’ time. To me, I’m never in that big of a hurry to where I can’t give another concentrated listen to the Track.

At the moment this is not a priority, the need for additional inputs on the other hand becomes more stringent as my studio grows. I am usually pretty good at finding solutions, and I don't mind stepping out of the box, but this mix of devices I could not test on my own. And since the synth driver, the interface and Cubase are all running on Steinberg code, you must admit the chance of a handshake was not too crazy - and I have a feeling it may naturally come to fruition.
Nothing really needs to change as far as interfaces, DAWs or the Drivers are concerned, in this case the same interfaces, DAW and driver can happily run simultaneously with other audio interfaces and their driver on a Macintosh. So while the politics of computers and the connectivity offered is what it is, everything to do what you need to do already exists... I would assume it’s an operating system issue for the Windows platform.

The driver CONTROL PANEL will show you all the different Yamaha Steinberg USB devices you have connected, but unfortunately Windows only lets you to select one of them to have its Outputs available at a time. Switching is easy on the computer side (just a click or two) but wiring on the other side can be a challenge, depending on your particular setup.

All things considered...
Having multiple audio devices is a requirement when you have multiple musicians playing at the same time.
Any other situation, it becomes a preference, not a requirement. If, for example, you are a one-musician studio, you may think that it might be more convenient to have all your audio interfaces setup and ready whenever you are... but reality is that, unless you have a Mac, you cannot just have everything connected and seen by the computer simultaneously (that is: all inputs and outputs available at once).

Now, to be clear, even on the Mac side, one of the devices is going to need to be selected as the main audio device (this is the one to which all external audio devices must connect to in order to be heard. Remember USB audio connection goes to the computer and is digital... you can’t hear digital signal)

For example, let’s take away your PC and substitute a Mac, you would be able to see both devices and their inputs and outputs, and even if they used different drivers, when you create your Aggregate Audio Device, each device will handle its affairs with its own driver.

The monitoring issue still exists... The principal audio interface - the one connected to your monitor speaker - will allow you to monitor your musical inputs. All instruments must connect to it because it is were the decision about routing/monitoring takes place. Much like a mixer all instrument’s analog signals are collected here... before going to the speakers.

Sure the MOXF is sending digital audio to the computer via usb... but if you need to hear the MOXF, you’ll need to connect the analog Outputs to your monitors through the principal audio interface. The MOXF will be outputting digital signal directly to the computer via the USB connection. If you do not connect the analog outs of the MOXF to your audio interface, it has no path to the monitor speakers... of course, you could listen to the MOXF through headphones. But then you will not hear any of the other inputs...

The device acting as principal audio interface should have a method of letting you monitor “Direct” or via the computer.

So are you looking at your setup as a requirement because you going to actually record to the computer via multiple audio devices simultaneously.
Or are you thinking multiple audio device at once would save you from having to disconnect cables and replugging? ... (when, in reality, it may not)

I know enough to know we each have a workflow, and we each feel/know that there must be a better way... I worked with enough different musicians to have run into the same requests over and over. This is what causes me so often to ask, what is it that the questioner wants to accomplish...

The issue here is two fold the audio sent to the computer (USB) and the audio sent to the speakers (some direct, some from the computer).
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