Using USB Direct box

Do you need audio drivers for your laptop when using Cantabile with a USB direct box which doesn’t need drivers to operate ?

Hey Clint,

A box like this does require drivers for the usb side of things but it may be they are in firmware on a chip in the box or generic windows type. As a result if the product claim was that you needed no drivers to use it with a windows machine then you wouldn’t need any drivers for the laptop. One other consideration would be if it was ASIO audio driver or WASAPI driver used.


Class compliant drivers?

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That’s my thoughts on it for sure, Richard. Indeed it’s the best explanation of it.


Yes class compliant drivers

For this kind of class compliant audio devices, you need to either use Cantabile’s WASAPI audio output configuration or try ASIO4ALL - it realizes a generic ASIO driver on top of the low-level Windows drivers.

Personally, I wouldn’t trust these boxes very far for a live VSTi playing scenario - they’re generally built as an easy way to play audio files through a professional audio setup, but they aren’t optimized for low latency. If you want to play VST instruments or use VST effects live, it’s advisable to invest in a decent audio interface with well-optimized low-latency drivers.



This was highly recommended by my Sweetwater tech over a dedicated audio interface for playing live and it works awesome tried and tested this for 3 rehearsals and 2-4 hour gigs and it worked flawlessly with zero latency issues . I do have a Focusrite 18i8 audio interface in my home studio and I compared the two systems and noticed no difference .I am very happy with this setup .If i was to go into a rackmount PC and complete VST system i probably would use a dedicated audio interface over the Whirlwind pcUSB .A lot easier to set up this portable system .

Good to hear that this works for you!

I’ve checked out a number of simple class-compliant USB audio interfaces; most are difficult to drive down below a 256 samples audio buffer at reasonable processor load; that’s why I rely on optimized audio interfaces like RME Babyface and my Zoom UAC-2. They consistently give me good performance at low latencies. But if this USB box is good enough for your setup then that’s great!



You may want to check this out for one third the cost first.

This is what I use, too. No bells or whistles but solid as a rock.

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What kind of latency settings are you using? Below 512? Double buffering?

I just use the default settings and have had no issues so far .will find out this weekend when i finally play my first gig using Cantabile and the usb direct box with the Alesis Vortex 2 wireless midi controller .

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Even though the Peavy USB-P is USB 1.1 (I think) I A/B’d it with the performance of a Presonus Audiobox VSL which is USB 2.0 and there was ZERO difference in latency and load. It can handle 512 very easily. I typically set mine to 512 for the past 4 years and it is perfect. I have roughed this up for 4 years and it is going strong. Nice to have the mono/stereo option depending on the house I am playing in and the sound man preference.

I discovered this after seeing it over and over used by DJ’s. They said it was dead silent and very solid.

I have mine at 256. I use Voicemeeter Banana and BitSum to keep things balanced.

hmmm, even 256 I struggle with as far as “playing latency” goes - 256 equates to about 14ms on my system…10 is my personal maximum for live playing VSTi’s so I need to go to 128. Although I have to say that RME are way overpriced and overspecced imo. Sure if you have the cash why not splash but yeah overkill.

Never heard of these boxes though, might have a look.

I use one of these live using a Alesis Vortex wireless midi keytar plugged into my laptop running cantabile and kontakt and other various plugins like orange tree samples for guitar sounds and it work awesome I run asioall drivers also …