1 (edited by Ninbura 2021-09-23 04:25:05)

Topic: MADIface XT WDM Devices channel limit

Just got a MADIface XT in and I'm noticing that there is a WDM Devices limit, or so it would seem that it stops at MADI 99/100.

Is it not possible to access all MADI connections within Windows?

https://i.postimg.cc/tJs8hxFf/Screenshot-2021-09-22-172621.png

Fireface UFX+, Fireface UCX, Digiface USB, ADI-192 DD

Re: MADIface XT WDM Devices channel limit

It seems to be the case that windows only has 99 stereo devices WDM.
User manual page 16 :
Warning! Activating all 99 stereo devices will most probably freeze your computer! Activate only the ones which are really needed!

M1-BigSur, Madiface Pro, Digiface USB, Babyface silver

3 (edited by Ninbura 2021-09-23 04:20:37)

Re: MADIface XT WDM Devices channel limit

waedi wrote:

It seems to be the case that windows only has 99 stereo devices WDM.
User manual page 16 :
Warning! Activating all 99 stereo devices will most probably freeze your computer! Activate only the ones which are really needed!

I eventually came across this in the manual also, but it doesn't appear that Windows itself has this limitation, because even with "all" WDM devices enabled I still have access to another 11 output devices from my GPU's & motherboard's IO.

In reality I don't need access to every connection from the interface in Windows at once, but I had assumed that I'd be able to enable any of the ins / outs as WDM devices, this assumption stemming from my ability to do so on every RME interface I've owned. I was planning on using the last MADI connection on the interface as physical loopback with a coaxal cable, then on MADI 129/130 I was going to create a microphone submix with multiple mics and a software soundboard that I could access in any application. That's just one example of many, but before switching from a UFX+ to a MADIFace XT on this computer I was using over 20 MADI channels for loopback. Which in this case I had hoped to delegate to that final MADI connection of the MADIface XT, in an attempt to avoid unnecessarily eating up channels linked to either of my UFX+ units which are interfaced with the two MADI optical connections. This also limits me from using the last 28 MADI channels in Windows from the second MADI optical connection, another roadblock I just didn't foresee.

Been running into some unexpected limitations as of late with my RME gear. Ultimately, it's my fault for not contacting support and describing my use case before committing to a new unit, but this is definitely not something I would even think to ask given precedent. I wonder if this is something that can be changed, or if there is some kind of hardware link to the first 100 MADI connections that makes them available as WDM devices.

I use many of my inputs and loopback submixes with FFmpeg, which unfortunately does not offer ASIO support. But even if it did, I also use many of my inputs with applications like Discord and Mircrosoft Teams, which likewise do not offer ASIO support.

Fireface UFX+, Fireface UCX, Digiface USB, ADI-192 DD

4 (edited by ramses 2021-09-23 05:52:12)

Re: MADIface XT WDM Devices channel limit

Ninbura wrote:
waedi wrote:

It seems to be the case that windows only has 99 stereo devices WDM.
User manual page 16 :
Warning! Activating all 99 stereo devices will most probably freeze your computer! Activate only the ones which are really needed!

I eventually came across this in the manual also, but it doesn't appear that Windows itself has this limitation, because even with "all" WDM devices enabled I still have access to another 11 output devices from my GPU's & motherboard's IO.

Could be possible that there is a limit of ~99 WDM devices per physical sound device in the Microsoft Windows kernel.

Or a hard limit from RME because so many WDM devices might cause too many issues. But computers become more powerful these days, when activating / deavtivating all 47 WDM devices on my PC, then I get an average CPU load of up to 39%.

Ninbura wrote:

In reality I don't need access to every connection from the interface in Windows at once, but I had assumed that I'd be able to enable any of the ins / outs as WDM devices, this assumption stemming from my ability to do so on every RME interface I've owned.
[...]
I wonder if this is something that can be changed, or if there is some kind of hardware link to the first 100 MADI connections that makes them available as WDM devices.

RME advises against enabling all WDM devices for a card, because it can lead to instabilities, for example the freezing of the computer at boot time or whenever you enable such a high amount of WDM devices during runtime. This I know from reading the manual and the forum and this is not something new. Could also depend on the number of channels and how performant the system / the CPU is.

And this is not surprising, in all RME manuals where I looked now (UFX+ and MADIface XT) you find clear WARNINGS in boldface which are really hard to overlook and at the very beginning of each manual in ch 7.2:

UFX+: "activating all 47 stereo devices at once may cause temporary freezing or ‘not responding’ effects. Therefore activate only the ones which are really needed."

Madiface XT: "Warning! Activating all 99 stereo devices will most probably freeze your computer! Activate only the ones which are really needed!"

Maybe there is a solution possible, but this is only speculation and can only be answered by RME.
The WDM kernel infrastructure is being provided by Microsoft, so RME can not fix the M$ sources.

But many its possible to think about, whether the creation of such high amount of WDM devices could be performed in chunks / batches of maybe a configurable amount of e.g. 5 or 10 devices.
Not sure, whether this has other implications, longer boot time or other problems.
Maybe worth a look from RME side, if a relatively easy mitigation can be achieved the one or other way.

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

5 (edited by Ninbura 2021-09-23 08:09:23)

Re: MADIface XT WDM Devices channel limit

ramses wrote:
Ninbura wrote:

In reality I don't need access to every connection from the interface in Windows at once, but I had assumed that I'd be able to enable any of the ins / outs as WDM devices, this assumption stemming from my ability to do so on every RME interface I've owned.
[...]
I wonder if this is something that can be changed, or if there is some kind of hardware link to the first 100 MADI connections that makes them available as WDM devices.

Wrongly assumed. RME advises against enabling all WDM devices for a card, because it can lead to instabilities, for example the freezing of the computer at boot time or whenever you enable such a high amount of WDM devices during runtime, if I remember correctly from manual and forum posts. It also depends on the PC and how performant the CPU is.

Just want to clarify that what I'm saying here isn't that I desire to enable all devices, but that I assumed I could enable any of the devices. Of course, this was wrongly assumed too. I'd like to enable 15-20 pairs of WDM devices, but some of those pairs are routed above MADI 100, the "problem" is that every input / output passed MADI 100 is inaccessible in the WDM devices list.

For a while with my UFX+ I had all devices enabled and never ran into any problems, my PC is equipped with an AMD Threadripper 3960X. That being said, I eventually enabled only the ones I needed, as sifting through 47 devices was tedious.

Fireface UFX+, Fireface UCX, Digiface USB, ADI-192 DD

6 (edited by ramses 2021-09-23 05:55:53)

Re: MADIface XT WDM Devices channel limit

Sorry, I had to rephrase my post #4, because I got some ideas, so pls read again.

https://forum.rme-audio.de/viewtopic.ph … 88#p176188

And thanks for clarifying that there is a routing problem, sorry didn't note that after the 1st reading.

"Just want to clarify that what I'm saying here isn't that I desire to enable all devices, but that I assumed I could enable any of the devices. Of course, this was wrongly assumed too. I'd like to enable 15-20 pairs of WDM devices, but some of those pairs are routed above MADI 100, the "problem" is that every input / output passed MADI 100 is inaccessible in the WDM devices list."

Good luck, maybe something can be done, unsure .. I would open a support case definitively, thats at least the usual way such things are being handled, although RME is different to other vendors and very active in the user forum.

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

Re: MADIface XT WDM Devices channel limit

ramses wrote:

Good luck, maybe something can be done, unsure .. I would open a support case definitively, thats at least the usual way such things are being handled, although RME is different to other vendors and very active in the user forum.

You're right I should definitely reach out directly outside of the forums, thanks for the suggestions and info!

Fireface UFX+, Fireface UCX, Digiface USB, ADI-192 DD

Re: MADIface XT WDM Devices channel limit

For reasons explained in another post (USB 3.0 connectivity issues) I swapped my MADIface XT out for a MADI FX, and interestingly the same limitation is not imposed.

It would appear that the WDM Devices channel limit is limited to USB 3.0 devices, not sure why. Furthermore, for a second I was using one of my Fireface UFX+ units in USB 2.0 mode, and noticed that the only available devices in the WDM Devices list were the Analog and ADAT devices. I'm not sure of the innerworkings of the drivers / software, but even in this case it would preferable to have access to all devices in the WDM Devices list but then just be limited to X amount of connections at a time, as opposed to being limited to number of specific devices.

I reached out to RME regarding this topic but got no response, nevertheless, I'm no longer having issues as I'm using PCIe and Thunderbolt to connect all my interfaces at this point.

https://i.imgur.com/tGRRIQZ.png

Fireface UFX+, Fireface UCX, Digiface USB, ADI-192 DD

9

Re: MADIface XT WDM Devices channel limit

In USB 2 mode you do not have anything else than Analog and ADAT devices (and AES). MADI is not supported even with ASIO.

Regards
Matthias Carstens
RME

Re: MADIface XT WDM Devices channel limit

Yeah I guess in USB 2.0 mode it makes sense why you couldn't have access to those channels if they aren't even available via ASIO, but I'm not sure I understand why there would be a WDM Devices channel limit (as seen in original post) on the MADIface XT over USB 3.0.

I fully expected the MADI FX to have the same limitation, I'm relieved it does not. I wonder if the MADIface XT over PCIe has the same "issue", seemingly impossible to test since every product to connect it that way has been discontinued.

I'm lucky RME sells PCIe direct audio cards.

Fireface UFX+, Fireface UCX, Digiface USB, ADI-192 DD