How Do I Make the Correct Sound Card Settings on Windows?

If you are having issues with the audio output from your audio software such as distorted sound, drop-outs or popping and clicking sounds, you need to configure your audio interface settings properly.Note: Read this article to find out if your system is having latency issues.

Choosing an ASIO Driver

Only ASIO drivers will offer best performance on Windows computers. To make sure you are using the correct ASIO driver for your audio interface, please open the audio settings of your audio software. Here are some examples of where you can find the audio settings in the stand-alone versions of our software:

  • TRAKTOR: Preferences > Audio Setup
  • MASCHINE: File > Audio and MIDI Settings... > Audio
  • GUITAR RIG: File > Audio and MIDI Settings… > Audio
  • KONTAKT: File > Options… > Audio
  • REAKTOR: File > Audio and MIDI Settings … > Audio

Within the audio settings panel, click the Driver and choose ASIO. Do not choose WASAPI, DirectSound or MME, this will not work well with most devices. Afterwards select your audio interface under Device.

Adjusting the Buffer Size / Latency Values

If you are still having audio problems after selecting the ASIO driver of your device, you need to verify your latency settings.

Audio interfaces with an ASIO driver usually provide a panel where you can change the latency settings. You can open it from the audio settings of your audio application by selecting Settings or Audio Setup (or similar). Additionally, you can access the Control Panel for your Native Instruments audio interface via the icon in the system tray or the Windows Start Menu:

Start > All Programs > Native Instruments > *device name* > *device name* Control Panel

A Process Buffer of 512 samples will offer reasonable performance for standard application even on older or less powerful systems. If it`s running fine with this setting, you can also test lower values to get a more responsive audio performance. Revert to higher values if the audio issues resume.

A USB Buffer of 4ms will prevent issues caused by problematic hardware drivers on the system. If it's running fine with this setting, try lower values as well. Again, revert to higher values when the audio issues resume.

Built-in PC Audio Interfaces

The majority of PC computers are equipped with built-in audio interfaces. Most of these do not use ASIO drivers, but use the WASAPI, MME or DirectSound protocols instead. Please note that these cards are primarily designed for entertainment purposes such as video games, watching DVDs and general system sounds and alerts.

If your sound card does not offer an ASIO driver (which is usually the case for built-in soundcards), you can use the generic ASIO4ALL driver instead. Watch this tutorial video to learn how to configure ASIO4ALL for on-board sound cards.

In most cases, these card/driver combinations will not work well with Native Instruments software or any other professional-grade audio software. Thus we recommend that you consider using an audio interface that has been designed for professional audio applications.

Most popular professional audio interfaces will also provide an ASIO driver, which is essential for low-latency operation and clear sound.

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Product Operation Installation Hardware Setup
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