Who cares about audio? Doesn’t Windows handle this for us plug and play style? Why would we go the extra mile and possibly take hours to set up an advanced audio setup on our Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1, or Windows 10 computer. Is it worth it? How about I tell you that if you accomplish what is in this article, you will have much more than a high performance and extremely adaptive system for business purposes. You will also have a superior setup to what most audiophiles and musicians have on their Mac, Linux, or PC systems worldwide on average.
Having said that, setting up audio for a good streaming and vlogging PC can be extremely difficult for Windows 10 users when trying to set up common needed capabilities. Many people have struggled to get things like a microphone or basic output running smoothly and bug free and they question why they have so many difficulties. There is a major hurdle in our way in setting up audio for that ultimate vlogging PC. Windows has issues with sound drivers (Mainly WDM drivers) and tries to take over management of configurations and integrates things together that result in sometimes severe limitations and/or glitches.
Often times, there is little to nothing with the built in controls to set things up the way we truly want them. WDM drivers have become quite buggy and unpredictable since the release of Windows 10. Therefore, we need to circumvent and reconfigure the sound path to separate it from such issues to get the great results we are looking for.
My aim in this article is to give you some intuition and direction so that you don’t waste time or go down the wrong path while maximizing your outcome. It was originally my goal here to make two clear paths (the other path involving a software called Voicemeeter from VB Audio) with sound steps that will be easy to execute for a wide range of systems. However, there is only one way acceptable that I know of to create an excellent audio setup in Windows 10 without breaking the bank.
Now, you need to really dig deep for this little project. When I first tried this setup, I gave up and came back to it months later. At first, I could not get my sound system in Windows 10 quite right no matter what I tried. It may be difficult for some, but it is well worth the effort and, I am trying to make it an easier transition for you than I had. I literally went from hate to love in this setup and I like it better the more I use it. Now, I rarely take more than a few minutes to set up the audio once the software is installed on a fresh system.
For those with more advanced setups it will be even harder to set things up, but it will be easy for you and reliable once you fully understand how it works. You will get there as long as you spend the time. I promise! How long a time? I estimate it to take approximately 30 minutes to an hour of time to get your system working well and maybe several hours of reading the manual and tinkering to understand this system with confidence. Here is the best recommended way to set up an online business streaming and vlogging PC’s audio configuration that will amaze you!
TEST YOUR SYSTEM FIRST
( If you feel adventurous or don’t have the patience, you can skip to
“THE MAIN EVENT – SETTING UP YOUR ULTIMATE AUDIO SYSTEM
You can always come back here if you have trouble)
Make a system restore point before you start for safety. Click the link below if you are unsure how to make a restore point in windows …
SPEED UP WINDOWS 10 OR MAKE RESTORE POINT: https://www.watchmanadvisors.com/how-to-speed-up-windows-10/
It is very important to quickly check the performance of your computer before you invest the time to set up the audio. This way, especially with Asio4All setups, you will have the best possible outcome. I have set this up without checking things when I was in a rush and usually have a good turnout but it is highly recommended to check things over.
Download and install DPC Latency Checker … https://www.thesycon.de/eng/latency_check.shtml
Run DPC Latency Checker. Notice the bar color in DPC Latency Checker. If the bars aren’t green, you should do some work to speed up windows 10 at the link above as well.
My system result in the picture above started at over 1000 uS latency and I got it to almost 90% better from the steps in this article and from the article in the link above.
I did one additional thing that I personally chose to do for my own system. I disabled all processes I knew I wasn’t using and I crippled Cortana/Search, Windows Defender (Msmpeng.exe) and “Touch Keyboard and Handwriting Panel Service”.
Why did I do this? Because I did a deep analysis with Windows Performance Analyzer and saw that these processes were infiltrating my PC with way too many interrupts and that leads to bad DPC and ISR issues (I explain these issues more below). I am happy with a 90% reduction in latency and my 8 year old laptop feels much faster as well. I can now have 200 Google Chrome tabs open at once, run a vmware or virtualbox OS, and my sound software with 2 microphones, a midi keyboard, all with effects without any pops, clicks, or dropouts. It just works.
Before I did the main things in this article, nothing worked or worked well at all. It is not recommended to do all of this as my system was fine and worked better than I could have ever expected without these extra tweaks. However, I got it working even better and made my system ultra fast because I was willing to do without these Windows 10 services/items and can put them back if I want to. Again, it is not recommended or needed for the average user to do this.
It is recommended to further check the performance of your PC before continuing because it will give you great information on the state of your system.
Download and install LatencyMon and WhySoSlow … https://www.resplendence.com/downloads
Run WhySoSlow. Let it run for one minute and then hit stop.
Run LatencyMon. Let it run for one minute and then hit stop.
If you have good results then you can continue. Otherwise, go this link … https://www.watchmanadvisors.com/how-to-speed-up-windows-10/
POSSIBLE SYSTEM TWEAKS TO INCREASE YOUR PERFORMANCE
You can try these steps below for further system responsiveness and speed.
Click the start button, type “regedit”, open regedit. Navigate to this below…
Change the start key on the right pane to “4” without the quotes. This will disable an extra layer of security known to slow Windows down.
( I run a 3rd party Internet Security software that I can disable and reenable very easily so I don’t need this security running at all. )
Change the value of the “Start” key on the right to 4 as in the picture..
Open an administrator command prompt and run this command:
bcdedit /set disabledynamictick yes
If you have any issues or it doesn’t improve anything, run ..
bcdedit /set disabledynamictick no
.. to change it back.
Prior versions of Windows 10 seemed to have better latency performance than version 1903. If you have Windows 10 version 1903, install this update…
Servicing stack update for Windows 10, Version 1903
It can make a huge difference in latency issues. It cut my latencies by two thirds.
UNDERSTANDING ISR AND DPC LATENCY
The main thing we are doing here is making the timing resolution and responsiveness much better. Even if you have a powerful system, sound can be badly interrupted because it is sharing and integrated with video or other components it is synchronized with. This makes sound somewhat inseparable from other events.
We have to be aware of two issues, ISR latency and DPC latency. ISR latency or interrupt service routine latency is the amount of time needed for a procedure to execute in the CPU and it is used by all of your different hardware like hdd’s, video card, sound card, USB, etc. If an ISR routine cannot be executed promptly then the interrupt handler issues a DPC or deferred procedure call. When a DPC routine is executed, it must complete and will make everything else wait. DPC routines increase as the number of processes and running software increases. As long as processes don’t take too long and are not too frequent, then your system is more responsive and fast. Our aim is to minimize the number of ISR’s and DPC’s in the end.
THE MAIN EVENT – SETTING UP YOUR ULTIMATE AUDIO SYSTEM
If you have a pc audio interface like the popular Focusrite or Behringer Uphoria units then you won’t use Asio4All (and it is better not to use Asio4All) , so skip to part B. It is highly recommended to get a sound interface as it will always be superior to Asio4All. I only ever use Asio4All as a bandaid for temporary use, although I do get good results with it most of the time.
USING ASIO4ALL? Go to step A.)
NOT USING ASIO4ALL, USING YOUR EXTERNAL ASIO SOUND INTERFACE? Go to Step B.)
Download and install Asio4all … http://www.asio4all.org/
… and go with defaults for the install
You will use your ASIO driver from your physically connected audio interface so make sure it is installed and connected.
AUDIO SETUP WITH EXCELLENT PERFORMANCE
Download and install o deus asio link pro from this link … https://give.academy/downloads/2018/03/03/ODeusASIOLinkPro/
Download the user manual and review it when you have time. Make a point to read through all of the sections in it. It is well written and clear. It will give you the wisdom and clarity you need to do what you want on anything needed in the future.
This software is pre-patched by the developer as they don’t sell it anymore. If you wish, you can read more about it here …
Run O Deus Asio Link Pro. You will see the configuration window to start with. Here is what it looks like …
[PIC – AsioLinkProConfigTool.png]
Look at the image above. Copy what you see there. You can change it later if you want for your needs.
Generally, these are the settings that will be fine for almost anybody …
ASIO Sample rate: 44100
ASIO buffer size: 256 samples
ASIO Channels: 4 IN, 4 OUT
Make sure you have “Allow ASIO Link Pro to get focus” unchecked as it can cause problems in frequently seen setups.
ASIO in to out makes this work without extra configuring for our beginning. It patches inputs to outputs automatically and is not necessarily needed.
Click “Initialize ASIO”
Click “START ASIO”
FOR Asio4All driver ONLY:
Asio4All should be in the bottom right corner, the system tray. Left click it and the main window will show up.
Click the wrench to access Advanced Options. Look for your sound card listed and left click the plus to reveal items under it.
Only enable the mic input and audio output like the pic below. Your device names will likely be different.
Your settings should look similar to the picture below.
Close Asio4All and reopen it. Make sure the settings look the same. There is a bug in it that sometimes doesn’t take settings right away. It always seems to take the second time if it didn’t the first time.
Close the Asio4All window and click on the O Deus icon in the system tray like in the pic below …
[PIC – oDeusAsioSystemTray.png]
Review the screen below and draw the green, red, and yellow lines by left clicking and dragging them so your setup looks the same. It will be explained below.
[PIC – asioLinkTool.png]
Once your sound appears to be working, hit the save button on profile 1.
If you decide to do multi-client or use other asio programs, then you need to set up O Deus Asio Link Pro for that as well. This is the case where reading the manual and reviewing the explanation below can help you get the intuition and wisdom to set things up to your fancy.
Great! Your sound should be working under an asio low latency path and you should notice less lag and more options with your sound needs, like live monitoring and effects (including compressors, limiters, EQ, etc) of your microphone, windows sounds, or other software you specifically route in your system.
In order to do these things you need a Digital Audio Workstation (or DAW) software like Reaper, FL Studio, Pro Tools, etc. You will set the audio driver in the DAW to “Asio Link Pro” and once you get good at routing, your output can be easily set up – as O Deus Asio Link Pro will open a separate window for you to configure your DAW. You will see the name of your DAW on the O Deus Asio Link Pro window. When you accomplish your sound routing in this second window, change your profile to profile 2 and click save so it remembers these settings. Now, your main windows routing will be in profile 1 and your DAW routing will be saved in profile 2.
EXPLANATION OF O DEUS ASIO LINK PRO PROGRAM – MAIN WINDOW:
Please refer to the picture below for as complete of an explanation as can be made here.
[pic – asioLinkToolEXPLAINED.png]
ROW 1. RED
Capturing the windows desktop sound of your system. So a song playing from a CD, A YouTube video, and any other desktop sounds come to this node. It is taking the WDM driver audio from windows and converting it over to ASIO.
ROW 2. YELLOW
ASIO input for your sound interface like mics, keyboard, guitar, aux input. This is raw unprocessed inputs to your device. It is not routed anywhere until you route it.
ROW 3. GREEN
Sound interface ASIO input that connects to the DAW. If no DAW is used, it connects straight through to ROW 4 (ie, ROW 3 = ROW4 if no software takes ROW 3 as input).
ROW 4. BLUE
Sound interface ASIO output or the signal on the output of the interface after it has processed the sound. If ROW 4 is not connected it is like wires hanging out of the back of the stereo but not connected to any speakers.
FOW 5. PURPLE
Physical speaker outputs for your computer. In this setup it is broken up into 4 partitions. Only one of the four can be active at one time and it is numbered 1 through 8 to process 7.1 surround 8 channel audio. You can mix it down to 2 channel stereo by only connecting the first two outputs like I did. ASIO Host In Mix or ASIO Driver Out Mix must be connected to it in some way or there won’t be any sound output.