Wasapi vs asio drivers?

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tenfoot
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2016/10/03 15:05:02 (permalink)

Wasapi vs asio drivers?

Hi folks. I have just upgraded one of my live performance laptops to windows 10. (i7, quad core 8 gig ram with Behringer X32 digital mixer) After upgrading, despite all configuration being identical, when using an enabled playlist the currently playing song glitches briefly whilst the next song loads. This did not happen under windows 7 on the same system. Changing the asio buffers makes no difference, and none of the performance metres are anywhere near peaking.
 
In the processs of troubleshooting I tried using wasapi drivers and found that the problem immediately dissapeared, and I was able to achieve lower latency as well (though for live performance that is not crucial). I have a backup laptop that is much lower spcd that always glitched during playlist loading- even on windows 7. I switched it over to wasapi drivers and now it too runs perfectly! They certainly seem more efficient with this particular interface at least.
 
I have also used asio drivers as is generally recommended.  Can anyone shed any light on any disadvantages of, or alternatively share any good experiences with wasapi drivers? I thought the timing may have varied slightly, but this could very well be my imagination. I am very tempted to change permanently unless I am missing something.
 
Thanks:)

Bruce.
 
Sonar Platinum 2017-09, Studio One 3.5.3, Win 10 x64, Quad core i7, RME Fireface, Behringer X32 Producer, Behringer X32 Rack, Presonus Faderport, Lemure Software Controller (Android), Enttec DMXIS VST lighting controller, Xtempo POK.
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    pwalpwal
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    Re: Wasapi vs asio drivers? 2016/10/03 17:40:33 (permalink)
    if the wasapi drivers work well for you, then you should use them :)

    just a sec

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    slartabartfast
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    Sycraft
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    Re: Wasapi vs asio drivers? 2016/10/03 18:15:45 (permalink)
    There are three reasons people tend to recommend ASIO drivers:
     
    1) It is in nearly every case a guaranteed bit perfect delivery. No resampling or anything like that. That is not guaranteed to the same extent in other driver models necessarily
     
    2) Many pro cards have good ASIO drivers and bad WDM drivers. They focus on ASIO since that's what most pro software likes and the WDM drivers are an afterthought. So you get things like MOTU interfaces that can only do one stereo pair via WDM, but all I/O via ASIO.
     
    3) Because that's what most pro software uses so they just assume that's what you have to use. The "that's what we've always used because that's what we've always used," thing.
     
     
    However that doesn't mean that YOUR card has better ASIO drivers. If it doesn't WASAPI or WDM/KS may well be a better option. For a really well designed card, like a RME, it won't matter what you choose all drivers are equally good and it'll work flawlessly in either mode. For a lot of cards, there is one that works better than the other, and for many consumer cards, ASIO just isn't an option.
     
    They are just different ways of talking to the card, so you use the one that is right.
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    tenfoot
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    Re: Wasapi vs asio drivers? 2016/10/03 22:09:11 (permalink)
    Thanks for the input everyone.
     
    I have always used ASIO drivers for all of the reasons you mention Sycraft - running Win 10 is the first time I have had any reason to believe a solution to this particular problem may lie elsewhere. I too am a big fan of my RME UFX in the studio. I have never tested whether the playlist issue affects it, but I will.
     
    Thanks for the links slartabartfast. I know more now:) I tended to put all audio drivers apart from asio into the one bucket. So far from the truth!
     
    Short and to the point pwalpwal:)
     
    post edited by tenfoot - 2016/10/03 22:32:15

    Bruce.
     
    Sonar Platinum 2017-09, Studio One 3.5.3, Win 10 x64, Quad core i7, RME Fireface, Behringer X32 Producer, Behringer X32 Rack, Presonus Faderport, Lemure Software Controller (Android), Enttec DMXIS VST lighting controller, Xtempo POK.
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    Cactus Music
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    Re: Wasapi vs asio drivers? 2016/10/04 01:15:58 (permalink)
    WASPI I guess must be even yet different than WDM mode ,,right?  I've never encountered it as an option.
    WDM mode is an interesting item. 
    When I did loopback testing my Tascam performed poorly, my Scarlett didn't even support it and and this old PCI card I have,   CARD DELUXE http://www.digitalaudio.com/support/
     performed equally well in both ASIO and WDM modes. That's because the manufacturer wrote both drivers. 
    Not all audio interfaces supply the WDM drivers it would seem. 
    Generally they are not as good as ASIO but it might be a matter of who wrote them. 
     

     
    post edited by Cactus Music - 2016/10/05 12:49:36

    Johnny V  
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     http://www.cactusmusic.ca/
     
     
    #6
    tenfoot
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    Re: Wasapi vs asio drivers? 2016/10/04 04:37:30 (permalink)
    Cactus Music
    Not all audio interfaces supply the WDM drivers it would seem. 
    Generally they are not as good as ASIO but it might be a matter of who wrote them. 



    I think you are right about that Johnny. The wasapi drivers are certainly impressing me on the X32, but to be honest I suspect that is only because the asio drivers are, well, let's just say a bit ordinary!

    Bruce.
     
    Sonar Platinum 2017-09, Studio One 3.5.3, Win 10 x64, Quad core i7, RME Fireface, Behringer X32 Producer, Behringer X32 Rack, Presonus Faderport, Lemure Software Controller (Android), Enttec DMXIS VST lighting controller, Xtempo POK.
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    Rob[at]Sound-Rehab
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    Re: Wasapi vs asio drivers? 2016/10/04 05:16:14 (permalink)
    tenfoot
    Cactus Music
    Not all audio interfaces supply the WDM drivers it would seem. 
    Generally they are not as good as ASIO but it might be a matter of who wrote them. 



    I think you are right about that Johnny. The wasapi drivers are certainly impressing me on the X32, but to be honest I suspect that is only because the asio drivers are, well, let's just say a bit ordinary!




    you could hop over to the X32 forum and post the question there as this is independent of DAW software used
     
    just make sure you come back here and tell us what you learned cause I got 2 of these X32s in use as well ... ASIO what else? quoting George C. here ;-)
    post edited by Rob[at]Sound-Rehab - 2016/10/04 05:38:04

    GOOD TUNES LAST FOREVER
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    DAW: Platinum/X3e, win10 64 bit, i7-3930K (6x3.2GHz), Asus Sabertooth X79, 32 GB DDR3 1600MHz, ATI HD 5450, 120 GB SSD OCZ Agility3, 2x 1TB WD HDD SATA 600
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    tenfoot
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    Re: Wasapi vs asio drivers? 2016/10/04 06:13:07 (permalink)
    I'll do that Rob. I have two as well that I am very fond of:) Have you tried the wasapi driver? It certainly stopped the occasional glitching on my playlist. Not sure how it would perform under pressure in the studio where latency is crucial as my x32's are for live use.
     
    How did your dmx adventures go?

    Bruce.
     
    Sonar Platinum 2017-09, Studio One 3.5.3, Win 10 x64, Quad core i7, RME Fireface, Behringer X32 Producer, Behringer X32 Rack, Presonus Faderport, Lemure Software Controller (Android), Enttec DMXIS VST lighting controller, Xtempo POK.
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    Rob[at]Sound-Rehab
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    Re: Wasapi vs asio drivers? 2016/10/04 09:51:33 (permalink)
    tenfoot
    How did your dmx adventures go?




    still on my list to pursue. as nights get longer and colder on this side of the planet, I'm hoping to find some time to mess with new toys ;-)

    GOOD TUNES LAST FOREVER
      +++   Visit the Rehab   +++
     
    DAW: Platinum/X3e, win10 64 bit, i7-3930K (6x3.2GHz), Asus Sabertooth X79, 32 GB DDR3 1600MHz, ATI HD 5450, 120 GB SSD OCZ Agility3, 2x 1TB WD HDD SATA 600
    Audio-Interface: 2x MOTU 1248 AVB, Focusrite OctoPre, (Roland Octa-Capture)   Control-Surface: VS-700C 
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    Rob[at]Sound-Rehab
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    Re: Wasapi vs asio drivers? 2016/10/04 09:58:30 (permalink)
    tenfoot
    Have you tried the wasapi driver? It certainly stopped the occasional glitching on my playlist. Not sure how it would perform under pressure in the studio where latency is crucial as my x32's are for live use.




    not using the X32s in the studio. just live. I wouldn't even have considered the wasapi driver after having heard so many times that anything but ASIO is pure evil ... anyway I only had glitching problems once - which were strange by themselves - and occured when upgrading the live DAW to win10. all the sudden X3 could no longer play individual wav files for the 1-2-3-4 count in without audio engine drop out. never figured that out because on win7 the day before it worked, on win10 a day later it did not ... Platinum did not have that problem, either, and bouncing down these 4 count in clips to a single WAV also fixed it for X3 ... so I'll put that to the X-files as I will never figure out why ...
    post edited by Rob[at]Sound-Rehab - 2016/10/04 10:20:21

    GOOD TUNES LAST FOREVER
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    DAW: Platinum/X3e, win10 64 bit, i7-3930K (6x3.2GHz), Asus Sabertooth X79, 32 GB DDR3 1600MHz, ATI HD 5450, 120 GB SSD OCZ Agility3, 2x 1TB WD HDD SATA 600
    Audio-Interface: 2x MOTU 1248 AVB, Focusrite OctoPre, (Roland Octa-Capture)   Control-Surface: VS-700C 
    VSTi: WAVES, NI K10u, FabFilter, IK, ... (too many really) 
    #11
    bitflipper
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    Re: Wasapi vs asio drivers? 2016/10/04 10:35:43 (permalink)
    The #1 reason most choose and recommend ASIO: habit. Inertia.
     
    For a long time, ASIO was a safe bet (still is) but that was before Microsoft finally got serious about audio and gave us an improved WASAPI in Windows 10. WASAPI can now rival ASIO for low-latency performance.
     
    ASIO still has a potential edge because it's written for a specific device, and can therefore be tailored to the hardware in a way that a generic driver like WASAPI cannot. Because the interface manufacturer probably wrote the driver, you can count on it working with that interface. There have been reports of interfaces that just don't like WASAPI, but those are rare. Of course, not all ASIO drivers are created equal.
     
    Both ASIO and WASAPI bypass the unnecessary Windows overhead (e.g. Windows mixer, "sound enhancements"), and both will sound the same. If a detectable difference exists, it will be in efficiency - as indicated by the ability to work reliably with small buffers.
     
    Pull up your most CPU-intensive project (as opposed to one that challenges your disk drives more than the CPU) and determine the lowest buffer size that your computer can reliably play back without dropouts. Then do the same for the other driver (bear in mind that switching drivers may also change the default buffer size, so you have to verify that you're comparing apples & apples). If both are able to handle the lowest buffer size, then flip a coin to choose your driver.


    All else is in doubt, so this is the truth I cling to. 

    My Stuff
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    tenfoot
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    Re: Wasapi vs asio drivers? 2016/10/04 12:35:15 (permalink)
    Rob[atSound-Rehab]
     
    not using the X32s in the studio. just live. I wouldn't even have considered the wasapi driver after having heard so many times that anything but ASIO is pure evil ... 


    Haha - this was pretty much where I was at Rob. I have to say though, I have been running the wasapi driver for 12 hours today on both a windows 7 and a windows 10 system, and neither of them has missed a beat.
     
    The glitching I was getting was whilst the next song in the playlist was loading, so always in the either the count in or the first couple of bars. and no amount of extra buffers made any difference under the asio driver. With the wasapi driver: gone! Happy camper:)

    Bruce.
     
    Sonar Platinum 2017-09, Studio One 3.5.3, Win 10 x64, Quad core i7, RME Fireface, Behringer X32 Producer, Behringer X32 Rack, Presonus Faderport, Lemure Software Controller (Android), Enttec DMXIS VST lighting controller, Xtempo POK.
    #13
    tenfoot
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    Re: Wasapi vs asio drivers? 2016/10/04 13:25:26 (permalink)
    bitflipper
    The #1 reason most choose and recommend ASIO: habit. Inertia.
     
    For a long time, ASIO was a safe bet (still is) but that was before Microsoft finally got serious about audio and gave us an improved WASAPI in Windows 10. WASAPI can now rival ASIO for low-latency performance.
     
    ASIO still has a potential edge because it's written for a specific device, and can therefore be tailored to the hardware in a way that a generic driver like WASAPI cannot. Because the interface manufacturer probably wrote the driver, you can count on it working with that interface. There have been reports of interfaces that just don't like WASAPI, but those are rare. Of course, not all ASIO drivers are created equal.
     
    Both ASIO and WASAPI bypass the unnecessary Windows overhead (e.g. Windows mixer, "sound enhancements"), and both will sound the same. If a detectable difference exists, it will be in efficiency - as indicated by the ability to work reliably with small buffers.
     
    Pull up your most CPU-intensive project (as opposed to one that challenges your disk drives more than the CPU) and determine the lowest buffer size that your computer can reliably play back without dropouts. Then do the same for the other driver (bear in mind that switching drivers may also change the default buffer size, so you have to verify that you're comparing apples & apples). If both are able to handle the lowest buffer size, then flip a coin to choose your driver.


    Thanks for chiming in Bitflipper - your post is music to my ears on this late night having spent the day trying to disbelieve the seemingly irrefutable!
     
    The X32's that I have are just for live performance, so reliability of playback (particularly in an active playlist where 2 projects load together) is my main concern rather than latency, but I understand that the latter is a good measure of efficiency. There is no doubt in my mind that the wasapi driver performs better under both windows 10 and, surprisingly, windows 7 with regard to playlist playback. I also found that whilst running the playlist with some decent size arrangements (30ish tracks plus lots of fx) the windows 10 wasapi driver had a buffer of only 264 samples. That is disturbingly close to the performance I get from my RME UFX under the same conditions! The ASIO driver, on the other hand,  was set to 2048 samples, and still the playlist would glitch -  taking the buffer size up or down seemed to make little difference. It's probably safe to say that this particular asio driver has some issues!
     
    For whatever reason, the X32 wasapi driver seems far superior in this circumstance. I certainly feel confident in running with it. I am now convinced that not all non-asio drivers are the enemy:)
     
    Thanks everyone for your help and input!

    Bruce.
     
    Sonar Platinum 2017-09, Studio One 3.5.3, Win 10 x64, Quad core i7, RME Fireface, Behringer X32 Producer, Behringer X32 Rack, Presonus Faderport, Lemure Software Controller (Android), Enttec DMXIS VST lighting controller, Xtempo POK.
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