2017 was our 20th year online!

Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 3 million posts about pianos, digital pianos, and all types of keyboard instruments.
Over 100,000 members from around the world.
Join the World's Largest Community of Piano Lovers (it's free)
It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!

Shop our online store for music lovers
SEARCH
Piano Forums & Piano World
(ad)
Best of Piano Buyer
 Best of Piano Buyer
(ad)
Pianoteq
Steinway Spiro Layering
(ad)
Wessell Nickel & Gross
PianoForAll
Who's Online Now
75 members (Alfred La Fleur, avss01, ambrozy, anotherscott, aphexdisklavier, aesop, 8ude, 16 invisible), 490 guests, and 570 robots.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
(ad)
Estonia Pianos
Estonia Pianos
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Hop To
Joined: Feb 2019
Posts: 243
P
Full Member
OP Offline
Full Member
P
Joined: Feb 2019
Posts: 243
Any recommendations for a small, low-latency DAC for headphones that allows for multiple digital sound sources?

Background: I used the focusrite scarlett 2i2 with a touch screen laptop (2-in-1), which worked well. Through a recent other thread, I found out that I no longer need the external sound interface for (sufficiently) low latency playing as long as I use ASIO4ALL drivers with laptop internal sound hardware. I prefer this, because this means less cables and boxes at/around my piano. I now only have a folded laptop which fits on the piano rest and a headphone.

However, I can get ASIO4ALL to work only with one sound source, so the piano monopolizes sound output. And while playing the piano I also want to watch/listen to video lessons/youtube etc. This was possible with the 2i2 and its focusrite ASIO drivers.

So I am looking for a small USB sound device (i.e. something that fits on the piano rest, or is simply a 'stick' that you plug in a USB port) that has low latency (ASIO drivers) and that can handle digital input from multiple sources. A DAC with headphone output would be sufficient, as I do not need any inputs/mic pre-amps etc.


Kawai K-300 ATX3
Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 13,191
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 13,191
I think the audio interface driver has an exclusive mode that allows only one audio source.
I think it's all about the driver, not the interface hardware.
I suspect that ASIO4All is the problem. I don't know whether this is true of other ASIO drivers.

I expect the experts here will come along with more detail. Especially Frederic.

I got here first, not because of any special expertise on this subject, but only because I woke up early this morning. smile

Joined: Oct 2013
Posts: 3,085
3000 Post Club Member
Online Content
3000 Post Club Member
Joined: Oct 2013
Posts: 3,085
With my Steinberg UR22, the ASIO access (with the Steinberg driver) is also exclusive. If I want low latency access to the audio interface with WASAPI, I need the « exclusive » mode which bypass the Windows mixer.

I guess usual audio driver can’t allow multiple direct accesses and it is the job of the Windows mixer to allow it... but 1/ it induces too much latency, 2/ can’t warrant a no-processed stream (if one source is 44,1kHz and the second 48kHz, a resampling is needed before the mix).

I don’t know how Focusrite manage to allow multiple audio stream. Is it a characteristic of the driver ?... or even the audio interface ? (with something like a double DAC).

Note : I had - in circa 2000 - an audio card which was seen by Linux as a double DAC, then it would not be so weird. But since the Windows mixer availability, I guess audio card makers don’t find it very useful to permit multiple accesses at the DAC level.


Yamaha CLP150, Bechstein Digital Grand, Garritan CFX, Ivory II pianos, Galaxy pianos, EWQL Pianos, Native-Instrument The Definitive Piano Collection, Soniccouture Hammersmith, Truekeys, Pianoteq
Joined: Jun 2004
Posts: 151
L
Full Member
Offline
Full Member
L
Joined: Jun 2004
Posts: 151
Hi pianogabe,
i'm also looking for a USB DAC and looked the internet for reviews for the last two days.
I suggest you take a look at:
- Trasam Q1 (usb dac stick) cheap and high quality
- Loconaq A1 (usb dac stick)cheap and little higher quality (but sold out everywhere at this moment as far as i know)
- Audioquest Dragonfly Cobalt (usb dac stick) more expensive and high quality
- Douk Nobsound P1 ( all in one with 2 tubes) cheap and great sound.

also Topping, Schiit are worth a look at.( to name a few)
I only read about sound quality but don't now anything about the latency they bring.

Last edited by lvercaut; 01/24/21 05:42 AM.
Joined: Jun 2004
Posts: 151
L
Full Member
Offline
Full Member
L
Joined: Jun 2004
Posts: 151
multiple soudsources only with Nobsound P1, Topping and Schiit amongst many others but not with the sticks mentioned above.

Joined: Feb 2019
Posts: 243
P
Full Member
OP Offline
Full Member
P
Joined: Feb 2019
Posts: 243
Originally Posted by Frédéric L
With my Steinberg UR22, the ASIO access (with the Steinberg driver) is also exclusive. If I want low latency access to the audio interface with WASAPI, I need the « exclusive » mode which bypass the Windows mixer.

This reminded me I have a Steinberg UR22C at a different computer, so I just tried that at my piano, and it works with multiple sources (note that this is the "C" version, so different from yours). I plug it in, select in e.g. Pianoteq the ASIO -> ASIO Steinberg driver, and I can choose a small buffer, play the piano, and at the same time (without doing anything with windows sound settings) play a youtube video with sound. Same as the Focusrite.

I suspect that, as MacMacMac says it is a software/driver thing (thanks MacMacMac for getting up so early to check my posts smile )

Too bad that I may have to buy an external hardware device just for the drivers, but perhaps that is the only practical solution at the moment. I'll look into lvercaut's suggestions (thanks!).


Kawai K-300 ATX3
Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 13,191
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 13,191
I don't get up early. Yinz just get up late.
I posted at 4 AM. That's almost lunch time for me! smile
Originally Posted by pianogabe
... thanks MacMacMac for getting up so early to check my posts. smile

Joined: Jun 2004
Posts: 151
L
Full Member
Offline
Full Member
L
Joined: Jun 2004
Posts: 151
Since i see you're living in the Netherlands, you can all read about it in Dutch here https://aartjan.nl/blog/beste-dac/

Joined: Feb 2019
Posts: 243
P
Full Member
OP Offline
Full Member
P
Joined: Feb 2019
Posts: 243
Originally Posted by Frédéric L
If I want low latency access to the audio interface with WASAPI, I need the « exclusive » mode which bypass the Windows mixer.

Just tried all the non-ASIO options for internal DAC again, just to make sure, but none does indeed what I want. In pianoteq I can choose Windows Audio, Windows Audio (exclusive mode), Windows Audio (low-latency mode), and Direct Audio.

Windows Audio and Direct Audio have unplayable latencies. Windows Audio (low-latency mode), despite its name, also very high latency.

Windows Audio (exclusive mode) seems to have an acceptable latency (didn't try extensively, but brief impression was OK), but, now consistent with its name, is exclusive, so I can indeed hear no other sound.

I have looked into lvercaut's suggestions, but I think only the USB sticks are significantly less obtrusive than what I have already, and they may not support low latency and multiple sound sources.

I may have to rethink this and try and hide the a UR22c somewhere in or under the piano, and route cables so that they are not so visible.

@lvercaut, thanks for the link. Some nice DAC's there! But I read in some forums that many such devices do not have low-latency drivers. I guess most people use these just to listen to music, and then audio quality is much more important than latency.


Kawai K-300 ATX3
Joined: Jun 2004
Posts: 151
L
Full Member
Offline
Full Member
L
Joined: Jun 2004
Posts: 151
Ok thanks, now i'm learning too.
I need an asynchronous usb dac for my imac ( and later mac mini m1) for my software pianos. That's all, so yes indeed, little latency is important.


Moderated by  Piano World 

Link Copied to Clipboard
(ad)
Faust Harrison Pianos
Faust Harrison 100+ Steinway pianos
(ad)
Couch to Concert Hall
Couch to Concert Hall
(ad)
PianoDisc

PianoDisc
(ad)
Piano Life Saver - Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
(ad)
Mason & Hamlin Pianos
New Topics - Multiple Forums
Fridolin Schimmel F121T
by Lokey21 - 03/05/21 05:34 PM
practice piano device sugguestion?
by MrIDK - 03/05/21 03:25 PM
NY Times article on Blind Tom
by pianoloverus - 03/05/21 02:35 PM
Sound Magic Releases Nameless Grand
by kevin5540 - 03/05/21 02:20 PM
ES110 auto power off
by FinnP - 03/05/21 12:28 PM
Download Sheet Music
Virtual Sheet Music - Classical Sheet Music Downloads
Forum Statistics
Forums42
Topics205,409
Posts3,067,034
Members100,726
Most Online15,252
Mar 21st, 2010
Please Support Our Advertisers


Faust Harrison 100+ Steinways

Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver

 Best of Piano Buyer

PianoTeq Bechstein
Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers

Virtual Sheet Music - Classical Sheet Music Downloads



 
Help keep the forums up and running with a donation, any amount is appreciated!
Or by becoming a Subscribing member! Thank-you.
Donate   Subscribe
 
Our Piano Related Classified Ads
| Dealers | Tuners | Lessons | Movers | Restorations | Pianos For Sale | Sell Your Piano |

Advertise on Piano World
| Subscribe | Piano World | PianoSupplies.com | Advertise on Piano World |
| |Contact | Privacy | Legal | About Us | Site Map | Free Newsletter |


© copyright 1997 - 2021 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.7.5