Audio Setup

The Audio Setup Window controls the global I/O interfaces and DSP settings. Plus, offers quick access to the system "Audio MIDI Setup" application and to the Virtual Driver Matrix.

Audio Setup - i/o


We use the I/O section to configure the global audio input and output interfaces (devices) that SoundDesk will use to receive/send audio.

Note: SoundDesk channel I/O setup depends on the selected audio interfaces, so changing the interface will necessarily change the I/O options. SoundDesk will try to recover the original configuration if we revert back to the interface used during setup.

All-in-One Device

The All-in-One Device is an Aggregated Device, that merges all audio devices in one.

Since it keeps track of all connected audio devices, audio interrupts are expected when hot plugin/unplugging audio devices into the system. The best practice is to connect all needed audio devices before starting SoundDesk and only unplugging them after quit.

When this is not possible SoundDesk will try to keep the interrupt to a minimum and will try, as gracefully as possible, to adapt the input and output options to the new configuration.

All-in-One Setup

AIO Setup

The All-in-One Setup window contains advanced controls for the AIO. We can use it to add/remove devices, set/unset auto exclusions, change the clock source, control device synchronization and drift correction.

Clock and Drift Correction

The clock option, sets the clock of a device as the master clock for the AIO. Consider using the device with the most reliable clock for the best performance.

If all audio devices have a word clock, please connect them using a word clock cable. Connect the cable from the device you designated as Clock Source to the input of all other devices and disable the Drift Correction option for those devices. If any of the devices don't work with the word clock, turn the Drift Correction on.

Auto Exclusions

As with other Aggregated Devices, all devices should operate at the same resolution (sample rate). Some devices may not be compatible with the current clock device, when the Incompatible option is on, those devices will automatically be excluded from the AIO and from the list of options (this is the default behaviour).

We can also auto-exclude devices that SoundDesk considers High Latency. This option will ban devices that have a perceptible amount of latency.


The AIO will try to keep all its devices synchronised, but this can fail for a myriad of reasons. In this event, we can use the Synchronization column to check and change the sample rate of a device. Please consider keeping all devices synchronised all the time.

Note: The All-in-One Device is there for simplicity and convenience, advanced users may prefer their own Aggregated Devices from the Audio and MIDI Setup application. Please consider disabling the AIO when using other Aggregated Devices.

Also See: Aggregate Devices and Aggregate Device Settings.


With the DSP section we can configure the global Sample Rate and Buffer Size settings. Users are responsible for keeping these options at a realistic value for their machines and use needs.

Note: If audio distortion or clicks are noticeable because of Audio Thread Overload, reducing Sample Rate or increasing the Buffer Size and/or the Maximum CPU will fix it. But if time accuracy (low latency) is important, using small Buffer Sizes (e.g. 64/128/256 samples) will keep latency to a minimum. If we need low latency and audio thread overloads are occurring, we need to reduce the sample rate or the number of plugins to reduce CPU usage.

Audio Thread and CPU Usage

The CPU indicator in the Audio Setup is relative to the global Audio Thread (all desks), we can use it to evaluate the number of desks a machine can handle before audio degradation/overload.

A good rule of thumb is to keep it at or below 40~50% to give enough headroom for small processing peaks.

With the introduction of audio multithreading, desks have their own CPU Usage display, that can be opened from the View menu. These can be more useful to assert the CPU load and thread distribution for a particular desk setup.

Also see:Audio Multithreading.

For more on the Virtual Driver Matrix, please go to SoundDesk Virtual Devices.

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