Audio driver types in SoundID Reference app [WIN]

This article explains the various drivers available for SoundID Reference app users on Windows.

 

What are audio drivers?

Generally, they are the software components that process the output audio signal and pass it to the audio playback hardware. In the case of the SoundID Reference app, the audio drivers calibrate the outgoing audio and send it to the audio driver of the designated hardware device:

 

audio_drivers.png

 

SoundID Reference app driver types

SoundID Reference app has 4 distinct driver types for various audio setups:

  • Virtual Windows audio driver
  • Windows audio device insert (APO)
  • Virtual Windows audio to ASIO driver
  • Virtual ASIO to ASIO driver

SoundID Reference supports both WASAPI and ASIO output devices, giving 2 driver type options for each kind. Most built-in audio devices (like headphone ports on laptops) employ WASAPI drivers by default. Most audio interfaces have both WASAPI and ASIO drivers running in parallel, although some interfaces are limited to a single driver running at a time. Some audio interfaces are ASIO-exclusive, which we have also taken into consideration.

In other words, whichever driver type your audio interface supports (or prefers, for better performance), one of the driver options listed above should work for you. You can see the list of available output device drivers by clicking Add new output in the SoundID Reference app:

 

outputs.png

 

Virtual Windows audio driver

This driver is available for your WASAPI output devices. Virtual Windows audio driver is a virtual device that must be selected as the system's output device to provide systemwide calibration. If you set up your output device to work with this driver type, you will see SoundID ID Reference Virtual Audio Device as the output device for your computer.

This is necessary in order for all computer audio to be captured for calibration. SoundID Reference app will forward the calibrated audio to the device you have selected in the app:

 

output.png

Driver type Use case mceclip0.png mceclip1.png
Virtual Windows audio driver (WASAPI)

Default driver mode for WASAPI audio devices

A stable driver type for systemwide calibration

Doesn’t work with ASIO exclusive devices 

   

Quick setup time comparing to APO

(low) Latency present

     

Possible clock synchronization problems

 

Setting up Virtual Windows audio driver (WASAPI) in the SoundID Reference app [WIN]

 

Windows audio device insert (APO)

This driver is available for your WASAPI output devices. Unlike the Virtual Device audio driver described above, the SoundID Reference calibration is applied directly on the designated output device. This ensures lower audio playback latency.

IMPORTANT! When first selecting this driver type, it can take up to 25 seconds to initialize on each device you select. During this time, some playback issues can be noticed. It is possible that some output devices are not compatible with the APO driver. If you encounter this, please let us know by submitting a support request, and use the Virtual Windows audio driver while we investigate the compatibility.

 

Driver type Use case mceclip0.png mceclip1.png

Windows audio device insert (APO)

Windows driver mode for WASAPI audio devices

System-wide calibration with zero latency

May not work with all drivers

   

No clock synchronization problems

Can conflict with other APO drivers

   

Multistream

 

 

Setting up Windows audio device insert (APO) in the SoundID Reference app [WIN]

 

Virtual Windows audio to ASIO driver

This driver is available for your ASIO output devices. It creates a virtual audio device that calibrates the system-wide audio output and passes it to the ASIO output device driver. If you set up your output device to work with this driver type, you will see SoundID ID Reference Virtual Audio Device as the output device for your computer.

This is necessary for the calibration to be performed. SoundID Reference will forward the calibrated audio to the device you have selected in the app.

IMPORTANT! If you're using an ASIO-only output device, this is the only driver type that allows you to calibrate the outgoing system sounds with the SoundID Reference app!

 

output.png

Driver type Use case mceclip0.png mceclip1.png

Virtual Windows audio to ASIO driver

With an ASIO-only output device, this is the only driver that will allow system-wide calibration

Multiple Reference ASIO instances can work simultaneously and calibrate each output separately

No output gain control

   

No need to synchronize device volume

 
   

Lower latency

 

 

Setting up Virtual Windows audio to ASIO driver in the SoundID Reference app [WIN]

 

Virtual ASIO to ASIO driver

This driver is available for your ASIO output devices. When setting up an output device with this driver type, the SoundID Reference app will create a virtual ASIO device. This will NOT calibrate the system audio. This newly created virtual ASIO device can be used as an output device in your DAW to pass the input signal to the DAW and calibrate the outgoing signal and pass the processed audio to the ASIO output device instead of using the SoundID Reference DAW plugin format!

This way you can avoid using the SoundID Reference plugin in DAW, and thus will have no need to bypass the calibration when exporting the finished project (because the calibration takes place outside of DAW and doesn't imprint the correction curve EQ on your exported audio). However, it is also possible to streamline your DAW work with the SoundID Reference DAW plugin too - find out more here

IMPORTANT! You might need to restart your DAW to see the SoundID Reference virtual ASIO device as an output option.

 

Driver type Use case mceclip0.png mceclip1.png

Virtual ASIO to ASIO driver

When the source app is outputting audio signal in ASIO mode an it needs to be sent to an ASIO output device

No need to synchronize clocks

No output gain control

 

When using Cubase

No need to synchronize device volume

 

 

Setting up Virtual ASIO to ASIO driver in the SoundID Reference app [WIN]