Ever thought about using your laptop as a synthesizer or digital effect-box? Did you notice there's some delay related to the computer's sound processing?
The USB Audio ASIO driver is the solution. It enables buffersizes down to 32 samples (0.73 ms) and creates an ultra highspeed USB audio connection, bypassing the operating system's audio.
USB Audio ASIO driver helps you connect USB audio interfaces to music applications via ASIO at latencies down to 4ms. Features: USB-audio support for ASIO compatible applications like Cubase, Logic Audio, Reason, Native Instruments soft-synths; 32KHz, 44.1 KHz and 48 KHz sampling rate support; 16 bit, 20 bit and 24 bit sample resolution possible; ASIO 2 support and ASIO 1 compatible; Dithering (e.g. for use of a 24 bit input within a 16 bit application, or vice versa).
This does not only give you low latencies, but better sound quality also.
SoundManager (Mac) and MultiMedia Extensions (MME / Win) use non-highend sample rate conversion in order to sync the different audio signals from applications to the sample rates used on the external soundcard. And sometimes there's not even a way to control the rate to be the prefered one. (E.g. 48kHz instead of 44.1kHz.)
Using ASIO it's possible to do direct "one to one" hardware connections and even use higher bitrates (e.g. 20bit or 24bit) if supported by the device.
But of course, you need an ASIO compatible application like Audition, Cubase, Wavelab, Logic Audio, Reason, Live, Digital Performer, Sonar, BPM Studio, etc. If the app supports ASIO2 you'll be able to benefit from more features.
Companies including Access, Alesis, Allen&Heath, American Audio, CME, ESI, Infrasonic, Lexicon, Numark, Presonus, Reloop, SIMS, Sound Devices, Steinberg, Swissonic, Tascam, Terratec, Yamaha and Yellowtec decided to license and bundle this driver. So fully functional custom drivers are available for Access Virus TI, Access Virus TI snow, Alesis Multimix 8 USB2.0, Alesis Multimix 16 USB2.0, Allen&Heath XONE:2D, Allen&Heath XONE:3D, Allen&Heath XONE:4D, American Audio Versa Port, CME XCORPIO, ESI ESU1808, ESI Gigaport AG / DG, ESI Maya 44 USB, Infrasonic Amon, Lexicon I-ONIX U22, Lexicon I-ONIX U42S, Mindprint DI-MOD USB, Numark DJ IO, Numark NS7, Numark Omni Control, Presonus Audiobox USB, Reloop Digital Jockey, SIMS Primus, Sound Devices USB pre, Steinberg MI2, Steinberg MI4, Swissonic Easy USB, Tascam M-164UF, Tascam US-122L, Tascam US-144, Tascam US-122mkII, Tascam US-144mkII, Tascam US-1641, Terratec Area 61, Terratec Phase 26 USB, Yamaha UW10, Yamaha UW500 and Yellowtec PUC2.