Windows 10 and Stereo USB Mixers/Interfaces

These notes concern Behringer's range of analogue mixers with built-in USB interfaces and also the simple stereo USB interfaces (e.g. UCA202, UFO 202, UCA 222, UM2 and UMC22). They do not apply to the X18, XR18, MR18, X32, M32, UMC202HD, UMC204HD and UMC404HD products which have specific ASIO drivers.


 


Windows 10 supports simple stereo sound USB interfaces using its built-in drivers. When such a device is connected, Windows usually installs it as USB Audio CODEC. If the device has installed correctly, it will appear in Windows Control Panel -> Device Manager under Sound, video and game controllers:


Device ManagerDevice Manager


If it is not shown here, or has a yellow error flag, it did not install correctly. Find the device in the list - it may be marked as Unknown. Right-click on it, select Uninstall and disconnect the USB cable. Reboot the PC and reconnect the USB cable. If it still does not install correctly, try with a different USB cable and/or PC USB port. Some USB 3 ports can give problems with these USB audio devices so use a USB 2.0 port if possible.


 


The USB audio device should also appear as an option for recording and playback in Windows Control Panel -> Sound. Some applications (e.g. Audacity, Zoom) have settings that allow the device to be selected through Windows WASAPI interface. Applications that do not have sound input/output options will normally use the devices that are set as defaults through Control Panel -> Sound -> Recording and Playback.


Sound, RecordingSound, Recording


Sound, PlaybackSound, Playback


 


Windows may treat a new USB device as a microphone and use only the left channel. This can usually be corrected by opening the properties (right-click and select Properties), selecting the Advanced tab and setting the format to one of the 2 channel options. This is also where the sample-rate and bit-depth can be set. Some applications require specific formats to be set. The Zoom application, for example, requires 48000Hz sampling-rate for both input and output devices. Some of the audio enhancement modes can also cause stereo inputs to be treated as mono. I find it is usually better to turn off the enhancements for both recording and playback devices.


Recording, AdvancedRecording, Advanced


Playback, EnhancementsPlayback, Enhancements


 


Both the recording and playback devices have level controls. These can be seen on the Levels tab within the device properties. Some applications also provide these level controls on their GUIs (e.g. Audacity, Zoom). If your input or output levels are too low, check these controls. If Zoom is set to use automatic mic level control, it can leave the recording device level turned down when it exits.Recording, LevelsRecording, Levels


 


Recent versions of Windows 10 have a privacy feature that can prevent applications using the microphone (which includes any audio input). If your application does not receive any sound input from the selected device. check on Settings -> Privacy -> Microphone that access is enabled for desktop apps.


Privacy, MicrophonePrivacy, Microphone


Privacy, MicrophonePrivacy, Microphone


 


All of the above applies to applications that use the USB audio device through Windows sound management (WASAPI). Some Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) software (e.g. Reaper) also supports the ASIO sound interface which may provide better latency performance. The drivers for digital mixers and the UMC HD interfaces provide ASIO support directly. There is a special driver that can provide an ASIO interface for the simple stereo USB devices - it is called ASIO4ALL. This optional driver works with the standard Windows drivers to bypass some of Windows sound processing to improve latency. This only works for applications that support ASIO - it has no benefit for programs that only work with WASAPI (e.g. Audacity, Zoom). Before attempting to use ASIO4ALL, ensure that the USB audio device is installed and working as described above.


 

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