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I am running into a problem on my computer running Windows 10 that I never encountered before on OS X.

Tech involved: Windows 10, Bitwig Studio 2, ASIO driver, DJM-900 (used as Audio interface running the speakers)

Here is the situation: I run a DAW (digital audio workstation) and everything I am reading tells me I want to use the ASIO driver to minimize latency and maximize performance. When I set Bitwig's "Audio Model" to ASIO I experience this issue:

I can not play audio from any other applications while I am using Bitwig. This is really problematic because I like to run other audio programs while I'm working in Bitwig and/or watch tutorial videos on Youtube. If I want to say watch a video I need to close Bitwig, close my browser (this is if the browser was already opened on the video), re-launch the browser and then I can watch the video with audio. If I then try to open Bitwig (with the video playing) Bitwig opes and shows this message: "ASIOStart returned error code: Not present." When I click the "Activate Audio Engine" I get the same error message. In order to get Bitwig to play audio I need to close the browser or iTunes or whatever and then I can activate the audio driver in Bitwig but now I'm back to where I was ie one application at a time.

I haven't found too much on this issue but I read something about the AISO driver taking up the entire sound card, if that makes any sense. Is there a solution or work around that anyone can think of? How crucial is the ASIO driver? The other driver options are JACK(which doesn't seem to work at all) and Windows WASAPI driver (which does allow other applications to play audio while running Bitwig)

  • From my experience with ASIO, this is just what it does. – Kaizerwolf Apr 26 '17 at 13:54
  • A revisit on this question. I recently switched to BitWig 3 myself and I now work with this a lot. BitWig can use WASAPI which is great, but has no input monitoring (record audio through line-in, mic, etc). If you don't need that, use WASAPI. Otherwise, use ASIO, but understand that you can not use the device in more than one program. You can right-click the transport bar and deactivate the audio engine to release the ASIO claim and switch to youtube for example though... – LPChip Nov 5 '19 at 15:37
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ASIO can handle more than one devices, but the soundcard has to support this, which means the drivers have to support this too.

Secondly, the program can request to use ASIO exclusively, and if that is the case, other programs can no longer claim the ASIO driver.

That said, I work closely with the developers of OpenMPT (music software) and know from experience that the WASAPI is as good, if not better than ASIO, because it is native to the OS and has very low latency, just like ASIO.

If you're sure the drivers installed are the ones from the soundcard and not the ones that come with windows (this is important) then look for a setting in the program which states: Use this device exclusively.

That said, I would still recommend using WASAPI over ASIO.

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ASIO Link

This is what I ended up using, does all you need and a lot more. As explained in this post, the developer of ASIO Link recently passed away, and his nephew authorised the software to be released for free. The original website is down, but you can still download the program via this Wayback Machine link. After installation, you need the patcher to turn the trial version into a full version. The source for this is down as well, but this Wayback Machine link gives you access.

FlexASIO

FlexASIO also works, the only problem I encountered was that it doesn't support multiple inputs at the same time.

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