Guess you wouldn't have TotalMix FX, then you would have to route everything in the daw/application.
This has a major drawback, because then you have the full RTL (round trip latency) in each audio flow.
BTW, this behaviour you would get when changing TM FX operational mode to "DAW mode", then the middle row disappears.
But I can not recommend this, you loose a lot of flexibility.
Instead of this use the power of TM FX. Its very easy once you know the basic priciple of operation and then all is clear.
In submix mode you can create an individual submix for each of the HW outputs in two easy steps:
1. select a HW output e.g. "AN1/2" (bottom row)
2. observe faders positions of HW inputs (top row) and/or SW playbacks (middle row) to check current routing
3. move faders of HW inputs (top row) and/or SW playbacks (middle row) to modify the routing to your demands
After selecting the HW output AN1/2 in submix mode, you will see "AN1/2" at the bottom of each fader in top/middle row.
This indicates which HW outputs submix you are working on.
The level meters support you to see, which channels carry audio.
When inspecting a submix (for a selected HW output) you can press/toggle the little button "sub" on the right side under "Layout Presets", then you will see only those HW input + SW playback channels which route audio into the selected HW output/submix "AN1/2".
So in submix mode all routing settings/changes are related to a particular HW output / submix, hence te name submix mode.
This you need to know/learn, to see routing from a submix perspective "what do I want to hear on this output".
And this can be something from HW inputs (with near-zero latency) or audio from PC through the SW playback channels.
This way you can create very flexible submixes consisting of
- audio from HW inputs (top row) with near-zero latency and
- audio from PW/applications (middle row) with the typical RTL (round trip latency)
For a quick start in terms of routing you can use this combination of reset mix then you achive the same routing as if you would use DAW mode
1. TM FX -> Options -> Reset Mix -> Total Reset - 1st of all a total reset
2. TM FX -> Options -> Reset Mix -> Straight Playback (this is like DAW mode, route all in on PC with DAW/application)
Then Audio from PC (middle row) is being routed to the corresponding HW output (bottom row), e.g.:
SW playback AN1/2 -> HW output AN1/2
SW playback AN3/4 -> HW output AN3/4
Should you prefer that everything is being routed to Main Out, then use:
2. TM FX -> Options -> Reset Mix -> Straight Playback with all to Main Out
Fuirther information here, this leads you to other valuable sources of information
- step by step setup primer which I wrote to achive a nice 1st time setup
- excellent RME TM FX tutorial videos that do not waste any time, simply good information
UFX+, 12Mic, XTC, ADI-2 Pro FS R BE, RayDAT, X10SRi-F, E5-1650v4, Win10Pro21H2, Cub12Pro