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Thread: Why bother with ASIO and VST?

  1. #1
    Constant Bitrate
    Join Date
    Oct 2005

    Why bother with ASIO and VST?

    Okay, I just started playing with my new Audigy 2ZS and kx drivers and done tons of reading but still a little confused. Right now I have the kx drivers working, and in the kx console my signal broken down into 3 channels, X-overd, 10 band eq, and time delay.

    So what is the advantage of running it through the ASIO and then adding the VST plugins with console? Just more/better plugins (i.e. free 31 band eq). Cleaner sound? Less processor requirements?

    Is there a freeware version of a VST host like Console that works just as well?

    Thanks everyone.

  2. #2
    MySQL Error soundman98's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    on the border of northern IL/IN
    it might be best if this is moved into the high end audio section...

    i have used a very similar setup (kx->console->speakers). the biggest advantage is very simply, all the vst plugins that are availible. there are some free vst hosts, but i have not found any that are as easy to work with as console--i really like how i can 'see' the connection between different effects.

    the best resource that i have found for vst plugins/hosts (both free and for $) is

    there is no advantage from a processor standpoint--the plugins all take precious cpu resources to run, the real advantage is all the different plugins that can be added or rearranged to suit your fancy. there is also a very slim advantage that all the processing is done while the data is still in the digital realm-- to use most other sound processors(there are a couple processors that use a toslink cable, so this might not apply to those), the audio would be processed by the computer, converted to analog, and then redigitalized in the audio processor to be processed, and then reconverted back to analog to go to the amps.

    by using the computer from the start to the finish of the process, the audio quality is slightly improved (compared to using multiple sequences of a/d--d/a convertors).

  3. #3
    Car Audio Moderator durwood's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Chicagoland (St. Charles,IL)
    KXdriver plugin processing uses the soundcards built it DSP chip so it does not affect the CPU. However, there is a limited amount of processing the soundcard DSP chip can do before it runs out of hardware resources. If you don't reach that limit and can do what you need or want, then why change it.

    If you want more flexibility (ex more than 12/24db filters) then the other route is nice.

  4. #4
    Variable Bitrate
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Rubidoux, CA
    I've been pretty happy with kx, and just sticking to the built-in DSP. Though to be fair, I haven't needed much in the way of equilization (which is what ends up eating up a lot of the hardware registers).

    And you are correct, the only advantages of going the ASIO/VST route is the higher availability of plugins. ASIO does not have any different sound quality over DX or WDM. It's main advantage is in more precise timing, which really doesn't matter in a playback environment.

    Also, depending on your hardware situations, there is also the option of actually adding additional kx boards to your system (they ARE dirt cheap), to up the DSP resource count. You could, for instance, use one as your main board, receiving the media, and processing, say the front audio, and send raw rear audio to a second card via SPDIF, where it is then processed (including, sub crossovers and such).

    There was a time when I was poorer, that I was using 4 kx boards in my home studio system for various DSP effects. For it's versatility, it's still the best bang/buck for sound processing, as long as you can stick within its limitations.
    2000 Ford Expedition Eddie Bauer - Bi-Fuel Gasoline/CNG
    Intel D945GCLF2 w/512MB RAM, CL Audigy w/KxProject, M2-ATX, Lilliput EBY701

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