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I want to use the same computer and audio interface but multiple DAW simultaneosly for:

  • Tracking of a live studio session (DAW 1, e.g. ProTools or Reaper)
  • Virtual instrument (DAW 2, e.g. Ableton or Cubase)

It is definitely possible to use one interface with multiple DAWs (tested it). But is there anything I should consider?

  • Do the buffer sizes need to match in the different DAWs?
  • How would the clock sync setup need to look like?
  • Is there a greater chance for crackling?
  • What about CPU usage?

Please note that the question is not about ReWire or similar technologies but about using one Interface with multiple DAWs.

  • Why would you not want to use ReWire? It would accomplish what you are trying to do. I have no knowledge if it's possible without ReWire. – user22688 Jan 21 '18 at 19:23
  • Many major DAWs don't support operation as a ReWire device and if they do there are limitations. Let's say I want to use DAW1 as an instrument and DAW2 for studio tracking, if I can loop back the Output from DAW1 as a input for DAW2 this is much better than ReWire as DAW1 is not restricted to it's ReWire device limitations. – rimshot Jan 22 '18 at 20:59
  • huh, just curious, but which DAWS? Protools, Ableton, Cubase, Reaper, Reason (of course), Logic, and Sonar have all worked with no problems for me.... i have also done exactly what your describing using rewire many times. But i dunno, maybe i'm misunderstanding – user22688 Jan 22 '18 at 21:10
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You can always use Jack to route audio between Applications in your computer. Then you can connect not only both DAWs but every other App in your computer (even iTunes or your web browser)

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You can totally use the same interface but be mindful of your inputs if you're trying to record. The sample rate matching in each DAW is the most important, I'd keep your buffer size low to avoid slowing down your CPU or crashing. Clock sync shouldn't be a problem either just remember the master/slave rule and depending if your clock source is external or internal make sure your Audio MIDI Setup is citing the correct clock source and the right clock type SMPTE, MIDI Beat etc... with the interface your using. I use Logic with Pro Tools for recording in PT and composition in Logic, you can have one control the other as well. Hope some of this was helpful

  • Thanks for your answer. I have a follow up question regarding using the same outputs: Let's say DAW1 and DAW2 both use Output 1 of the interface and are sending audio. Where (in software) are these two audio signals mixed together? – rimshot Jan 22 '18 at 21:02
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    Sorry for the late reply and you've probably had this question answered already. The audio signal is never actually combined. Visualize it this way; You're inputing voltage (mic or line) into your interface (like a Pre-amp), each signal is it's own entity though and your output is technically a Post Fader Split (already been altered with plug-in's or outboard gear) where each track has already run through your Multitrack Recorder (your DAW) and your speakers are playing those signals at the same time. Hope that was helpful or even made sense, lol! – L. A. Rush Feb 5 '18 at 20:17

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