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Thread: Does USB audio interface send commands or it only records audio.

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    alitheman is offline Registered User
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    Does USB audio interface send commands or it only records audio.

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    Hi everyone,

    I'm pretty new at this. I already know that audio interface is to get the analog signal and converts it to the digital signal and give it to the computer for recording. What I'm wondering is that whether USB audio interface will send what it gets from a 1/4 jack as a sequence of commands like a MIDI interface or just as audio data.

    Basically I have an 88 Key that has a MIDI output but I've heard MIDI would have a bit of delay and I want it to be realtime. so I was wondering if I could just connect the keyboard's headphone output to an USB audio interface and do the same thing as the MIDI port.

    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    hollandturbine is online now Registered User
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    You can use audio to transmit data such as SMPTE and some old gear even let you save data as audio to tape, so your question is not unreasonable, however for the most part an audio interface simply records audio and will not generate something like a MIDI sequence without some kind of software/hardware that clumsily converts the audio to MIDI data.

    You are better off just recording MIDI. Quite often what people think is MIDI delay is actually a delay in the audio output they are playing against and if you have a MIDI keyboard with internal sounds and you don't have any issues when sequencing those internal sounds in relation to each other then chances are your issue can be attributed to an delay in the audio playback of your computer.

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    bandcoach is online now Zukatoku - Mod Scientist
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    Quote Originally Posted by alitheman View Post
    Hi everyone,

    I'm pretty new at this. I already know that audio interface is to get the analog signal and converts it to the digital signal and give it to the computer for recording. What I'm wondering is that whether USB audio interface will send what it gets from a 1/4 jack as a sequence of commands like a MIDI interface or just as audio data.
    It will only send it as audio data - there is no midi data in the audio stream that I know of (I could be wrong but the two are distinct ideas in interface technology)

    Basically I have an 88 Key that has a MIDI output but I've heard MIDI would have a bit of delay and I want it to be realtime. so I was wondering if I could just connect the keyboard's headphone output to an USB audio interface and do the same thing as the MIDI port.

    Thanks in advance!
    To restate what I wrote above, this is NOT possible: it is audio data, not MIDI data. You would need to use your MIDI out on the keyboard and the MIDI in on your computer/audio interface.

    Latency (the tendency for an interface to lag) should not be a problem unless you are flooding the MIDI busses with a phenomenal amount of data, unlikely in any but the most high end facilities using midi to control everything- even then, it is possible to have multiple MIDI streams being used in the one daw, as was commonplace in the 80's with the Atari ST and E-Magic Notator-Logic which was capable of managing six independent MIDI data streams for a total of 96 midi channels as well as having an independent SMPTE Time Code generator which everything else synced to.....
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