Topic: Is it possible to route channel outputs to a USB headset?

Hi folks,

Is it possible to configure TotalMix FX so that it can output the mix audio into a different playback device on the same PC?

I use a Babyface Pro and TotalMix FX to combine the audio from two different PCs. I use the Babyface headphone jack to listen to this audio.

I have a nice pair of wireless headphones, though, that I'd like to use but obviously cannot because they're USB. So, I have been trying to see if I can get TotalMix FX to route certain channels to that USB playback device. I can't seem to figure out if that's possible or not. I think I can only route channels to the physical outputs on the Babyface Pro, correct?

2

Re: Is it possible to route channel outputs to a USB headset?

Correct.

Regards
Matthias Carstens
RME

Re: Is it possible to route channel outputs to a USB headset?

I have a good old UFX and I was thinking the same thing, what if USB could be used to output mains to usb headphones?
I just bought a pair of 7.1 (real multi speaker) headphones and they do sound great, but it makes the workflow with changing soundcard a bit slower. It's quite a niche feature request I'm sure but maybe one day the developers will want something special for a hackathon and this will pop up, or for future devices USB headphones support will look great on a box wink

Fireface-UFX, Mac OSX 10.6, Logic 9, BCF2000, AC-7 user, vocalist, live sound recording

4 (edited by ramses 2020-03-18 09:45:09)

Re: Is it possible to route channel outputs to a USB headset?

Zavieri wrote:

I have a good old UFX and I was thinking the same thing, what if USB could be used to output mains to usb headphones?
I just bought a pair of 7.1 (real multi speaker) headphones and they do sound great, but it makes the workflow with changing soundcard a bit slower. It's quite a niche feature request I'm sure but maybe one day the developers will want something special for a hackathon and this will pop up, or for future devices USB headphones support will look great on a box wink

Even if something like this would be possible (see ASIO4ALL) I can hardly imagine that a manufacturer like RME would be interested in developing this. RME would then get support requests, even if the problem was with the 3rd party USB headset or other audio device. No company could be interested in such a setup without clear separation who is responsible for what.

RME solutions are more professional solutions where you follow a best practices approach and this is to load an highly optimized and stable ASIO driver on DAW level.

If you don't care about lowest possible latencies you can try ASIO4ALL. In this case the ASIO4ALL driver would have to be loaded in the DAW instead of the highly optimized RME driver. But this adds latency to the setup and any potential stability problem with ASIO4ALL or the 3rd party device could impact also the stability of the whole DAW setup.

The question is whether you as an RME customer bought RME to get at the end of the day an error-prone non-standard setup, which even can't be officially supported.

BR
Ramses
X10SRi-F, E5-1650v4, Win10Pro21H1, Cub11Pro, UFX+, XTC, 12Mic, ADI-2 Pro FS R BE, RayDAT

5

Re: Is it possible to route channel outputs to a USB headset?

There is a way of doing this.
My solution was to use Dante Via.
I use various headsets, including Logitech PRO USB-based streaming headphones, and wireless ones, for teaching at university, and private online courses as well.
To get audio output to ANY headsets, and to get microphone input from them, I drag the respective headset source (mic) to the streaming app receiver in Dante Via, and the streaming app source to the headset receiver (i.e. headphones).
You can also route practically any number of other audio sources to the streaming app receiver and/or the headset receiver.
So you can get TotalMix FX channels into your streaming headphones like that, even if they are USB-interface based or wireless. This includes great gadgets like the professional Logitech streaming headphones, but also Bluetooth models from Plantronics or others. Even Chinese cheapos work well like this.
For redundancy (battery precaution measures for wireless etc.), I always route at least two headsets like that in tandem. If one should fail, I can always pick up the other one. Though that has turned out to be a bit of overkill. So far, I've never needed to do this yet, fingers crossed.

Latency is no problem whatsoever. Streaming latency is relatively high even without Dante Via anyway, and Dante Via synchronizes the listener's experience and input/output with the streaming input/output.

The above setup works perfectly on Mac and Windows. I use a Windows machine as main videoconferencing/streaming machine, and a MacBook Pro as a redundancy backup -- again, never needed that, though I did switch to and fro a few times just to see if the redundancy is there.

My preferred streaming apps are OBS and Webex, though I am also working with Zoom, BigBlueButton and occasionally some Microsoft platforms, especially MS-Teams. Performance (up to 1000 participants) and data privacy is sublime on Webex, so I go with Webex when I can choose myself.

This setup has been going strong and reliably during the entire pandemic.

While this period kept dragging on, I kept adding physical Dante hardware inputs and outputs, so that now I get Dante inputs into the streaming machines from outside sources as well, including a UFX+ running in my recording room, via AES, using a Dante AVIO AES dongle. I also use analog input and output Dante AVIO dongles, and three USB AVIO dongles attached to Windows, Mac and iPad Pro machinery. (I don't really believe in Bluetooth for audio, so I have avoided the AVIO Bluetooth dongle so far.)
Plans for the future include an RME Digiface Dante attached to the streaming machine(s), which would make the setup faster latency-wise (though I am not sure that I need that), but especially it would let me do most Dante routings in Totalmix FX, even some of those that I currently do in Dante Via or Dante Controller. Totalmix FX gives me really total control, and the interface is quicker for things like level control, quick patches, and so on. You can do nearly everything in Dante Via or Controller, but it always takes a bit longer to do during a live gig (level controls, quick re-patching and so on require more clicks in Dante than in Totalmix FX). Of course, the "last mile" to/from the wireless/USB headsets would still have to go through Dante Via, but that is not an issue. I like Dante Via on the last mile (the streaming front) because I know it gets me synchronized with my participants. But for the invisible stuff (the inner workings in the streaming and recording facilities), I prefer to do as much of the mission-critical things as possible with RME devices.

I wish there was an "RME Dante Tool" of the kind of the "RME AVB Tool", because I absolutely have no trust in AVB (too many cooks spoil the broth...), while I am feeling covered and safe with Dante, and Dante is expanding fast into the video-cum-audio market currently. Who knows, maybe RME will fit some of their flagship mic-pre carrying interfaces with Dante connectivity eventually? In the meantime, we can of course use the MADI-to-Dante work-around offered by the Digiface Dante, or by good third-party solutions, like those from Ferrofish.