ASIO – The Likely Culprit
For optimum performance with Neural DSP’s plugins, you should be using ASIO drivers. There is a generic driver called ASIO4ALL that works well with most audio interfaces, but if your device manufacturer (Focusrite, SSL etc.) provides their own, you should – in most cases – install and use it for optimum performance.
To check which ASIO drivers you have at your disposal, click the gear icon to open the Audio Settings dialog, then see what options you have available. In my case, I am using the Solid State Logic ASIO Driver that was provided with my SSL 2+ device.
Identifying the issue: ASIO and Windows Audio Sample Rate Mismatch
Every time I started up my Neural DSP plugins, I would lose Windows Audio. This would prevent me from playing guitar / bass over YouTube videos, Spotify songs, etc. The only remedy was to close the Neural DSP application, click the Speaker icon in the system tray, then manually switch away from and back to my SSL audio interface. This got me thinking about why the Neural app and Windows couldn’t both use ASIO at the same time.
I opened the SSL USB Control Panel and noticed that when I had the Neural plugin open, the Sample Rate was 44100 Hz:
When I closed the plugin, the sample rate defaulted back to 48000 Hz, my preferred Windows Audio setting:
I had two options; A) Change my Windows Audio sample rate or B) Change the Neural DSP plugin sample rate. I chose the latter, and adjusted it in the Audio Settings dialog like so:
ASIO <3 Windows <3 Neural
After matching the Windows and Neural sample rates, I was able to resume shredding with BGM once again. Here’s the SSL USB Control Panel showing the updated 48k sample rate, for good measure:
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Thanks for reading, and if this article helped you out, leave a comment! I’d be delighted to know if it saved you a headache 🙂