How to create Aggregate Devices and using multiple audio interfaces in Live

  • Live Versions: 1-9
  • Operating System: All

Mac

On Mac it is possible to choose different interfaces for Input and Output in Live.

Furthermore, it's also possible to combine multiple audio interfaces into an Aggregate Device at a system level.

Creating an Aggregate Device is a way to group multiple audio interfaces into one virtual device so that Live can communicate with a single, solitary virtual audio interface.  This new group of devices appears as a single Aggregate Device in Live's preferences. This article on the Apple knowledge base describes the process of creating an Aggregate Device with the Audio MIDI Setup utility in Mac OS X computers.

Disclaimer: However useful, Aggregate Devices cannot be expected to perform as well as a configuration based on a single hardware audio device: under certain circumstances, clocking errors can take place, resulting in audio drop outs and generic performance issues.

Windows

On Windows it's not possible to create Aggregate devices at a system level. Neither is it possible to select one interface as the audio input device and another as the audio output device in Live.

However, if your interface has an ASIO Multi-device driver then it should be possible to combine it with other supported devices from the same manufacturer. Check the manual of your interface to see if this is supported.

Under certain circumstances it may be possible to combine interfaces from different manufacturers using ASIO4ALL. Check this third party video tutorial for instructions.

Disclaimer: As with Aggregate Devices on Mac, interfaces combined in this way may not perform as well as a single hardware device.

Interfaces with Multi-device support

If your interface has Multi-device support, which means that they can be combined with other interfaces, then the devices will appear to Live as a single entity and the communication between the units will be handled by the main interface and its driver.

The interfaces could be connected via ADAT, S/PDIF, MADI or other digital connections depending on the interfaces used.