Using Aggregate Devices and multiple audio interfaces

  • Live Versions: All
  • Operating System: All

Aggregate devices on Mac

On Mac it is possible to choose different interfaces as Input and Output device 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.

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. Furthermore, connectivity issues are more likely to occur.

If your interface has Multi-device support then we recommend connecting it with another suitable hardware device instead. See below for more details.

Aggregate devices on Windows

On Windows it's not possible to create aggregate devices at a system level.If using the MME/DirectX, you can select two different devices for input and output (like on Mac). If using the ASIO driver, it's only possible to select one device as both input and output in Live's preferences.

It is possible however to combine interfaces using ASIO4ALL. Check this third party video tutorial for instructions.

Otherwise if your interface has Multi-device support, check the section below.

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. Please refer to the instruction manual of your interface in order to achieve this.