Sunday, June 28, 2015

Behringer UM2 OLD DRIVERS and differences with new ones.

For the ones that purchased a Behringer UM2 audio interface, you'll know it works without any drivers for basic recording. However, to make it fully operational (like enabling the second input), you need to install some software.

In the Behringer website, there used to be custom Behringer drivers for this particular device. Now the site just redirects to ASIO web, where you can download the standard ASIO drivers. As they're not custom, they don't work as good as the old drivers (keep reading).

Differences with new drivers

There is one major very important difference. 

With the new drivers the system install a generic USB audio driver and the PC sees the interface in Recording devices as a microphone input. When you try to record with a simple software like Audacity or simply you want the audio to sound through the Stereo Mix, you can only hear what is plug in the mic input of the interface. To use the second channel you have to use complex software like DAWs and mess with ASIO.

With the old drivers the system install a custom Behringer USB audio driver and the PC sees the interface in Recording devices as a line input. Now, all the inputs of the interface work without further trouble. You can capture the sound with the program you want and it will sound through the Stereo Mix as well. You don't need ASIO for anything.

It has been a hard job to find the old drivers in the internet for this model but here they are:

Behringer UM2 64-bits Windows 7/8 drivers, version 2.8.40.
(Sorry but I don't have any other version, OS, nor architecture).!fpF2RD6S!tdk6sCz1ePU77DMySDpJIsauvOCW-Zjxve_ixqq71UI

The 'Readme' file says they should work for
'UMA25S, UCA200*, UCA202, UCA222, UFO202, UCG102, iAXE393/624/629 and many more.

*bundled with UMX series, XENYX mixers, PODCASTUDIO USB

This driver does NOT support the following BEHRINGER hardware:
C-1U, BCD2000, BCD3000.
These models have separate dedicated drivers'

Enjoy, and if you need some help, let me know in the comments.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

What is direct monitoring in audio recording? Why is it so awesome?

Do you have and audio interface with direct monitoring capabilities and you don't have a clue what it is? Then you are an idiot, and I'll enlighten your life.

When you connect an audio interface to your computer, it becomes the default audio input and output device (if you don't change it on purpose). In the process of recording, you plug the audio source to the interface and run a program in the computer to capture the sound. Moreover, the sound that before went through your computer sound card output, now is sent to the interface output (headphones or studio speakers).

When recording, you always need a reference which most of the times is sent to the headphones of the player or singer. This reference can be a metronome or a track, for example. For easy, basic, quick recording, this is fair enough, however for going a bit more pro, it's a good idea to have the sound that you are actually recording, sent to the headphones as well.

Let's say, we're recording a microphone. The main tweak you might think to achieve this is by enabling the interface input to sound through your computer, in your computer OS, so you'll hear the mic through the headphones. In Windows, this is done in the mixer window, and it works like shit.

You'll get your sound, but the processing will introduce a delay in the captured signal (and not in the reference track), that will depend on how expensive your audio interface is, but will always screw your recording attempts.

Here comes super magic direct monitor.

Direct monitoring feature is usually implemented with a switch and a knob to adjust the amount.

It allows you to send the microphone signal, or whatever input signal you have, directly to the headphones jack (almost zero delay), and you will keep listening to the sounds in your computer at the same time. You don't have to master sound engineering to realize you must disable the mic to sound through your PC as we enabled before. (Because if not, you'll have the good signal and the laggy one together).

Now you can plug whatever you want to record to the correct input in your interface and have the reference track you want plus the actual sound you are recording without delay. Magic!