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How do I set my AudioBox as my computer's default output?

Q: How do I set my AudioBox as my computer's default output?

A: The AudioBox can be set as the default sound output for your computer, bypassing your computer's internal soundcard. This is useful in that it allows you to switch between your DAW and normal computer operation without turning on or off, or switching, sets of speakers.

Check out the instructions below to properly set the AudioBox as your computer's default output:

Note: These steps assume that you have installed the latest driver for your AudioBox, as well as updated its firmware. If you were not able to install the driver properly, please check the AudioBox USB and/or AudioBox VSL categories in our Knowledge Base for guides on how to properly use the AudioBox, as well as how to properly uninstall and reinstall its drivers. The AudioBox does need to be functional with your computer in order for these steps to work. 

Windows 8 / 7 / Vista

Note: In Windows 8, you must be on the "Desktop" view. If you are using Windows from the Start panel, click the lower-left corner of the screen to bring yourself to the Desktop.

  1. In the bottom-right corner of the Taskbar, locate the Volume Control. This is the small "Speaker" icon in the Notification Area, near your computer's time and date. 
  2. Right-click the speaker and select Playback Devices
  3. The Windows Sound control panel should appear, set on the Playback tab. You should see all functional audio devices in this window, including the AudioBox; if the AudioBox does not have a green "check mark" symbol next to it, right-click it and select "Set as Default Device".

Note for VSL users: If you have an AudioBox 44VSL or AudioBox1818VSL, you will see multiple devices for the AudioBox, including Line Out 1/2, Line Out 3/4, etc. Select Line Out 1/2 to set the main output as the default device for Windows. 

The AudioBox has now been set as the default device in Windows; all audio should pass through the unit, rather than through the computer's sound card. 

Advanced Windows 8 / 7 / Vista Configuration

In Windows 8, 7, and Vista, there are some advanced options you'll most likely want to engage in order to get the best performance out of your device. From the Sound control panel, simply follow these steps:

  1. Select the AudioBox device
  2. Select Properties
  3. In the Properties window for the AudioBox, click the "Advanced" tab
  4. Set the Default Format to whichever sampling rate and bit depth you prefer to use with the unit. For instance, if you record predominantly at 48kHz at 16-bit, you would set the Default Format to 2 channel, 16 bit, 48000 Hz. For most users, this setting needs not to be changed from 44.1kHz, 16-bit; if you haven't manually changed the sampling rate of your device, you can skip this step. 
  5. Disable Exclusive Mode. This will allow more than one program on your computer to utilize the AudioBox at the same time. Simply uncheck the box for "Allow applications to take exclusive control of this device". 

Windows XP

  1. Click Start
  2. Click Control Panel
  3. If in the category view, select Sound, Speech, and Audio Devices, then select Sounds and Audio Devices. If in the classic view, simply select Sounds and Audio Devices. 
  4. A new window will appear for Sound and Audio Devices Properties. Select the Audio tab.
  5. For Sound Playback, change the default device to the AudioBox. 

Note for VSL users: If you have an AudioBox 44VSL or AudioBox1818VSL, you will see multiple devices for the AudioBox, including Line Out 1/2, Line Out 3/4, etc. Select Line Out 1/2 to set the main output as the default device for Windows. 

Mac OS X Snow Leopard - Lion - Mountain Lion

  1. Go to the Applications folder
  2. Go to the Utilities folder
  3. Open Audio MIDI Setup (AMS)
  4. In AMS, the default device for playback is designated as the device with the small black "Speaker" icon next to it. If your AudioBox does not have this icon next to it, right click or CTRL+click it and select "Use this device for sound output". 

Mac OS X Tiger - Leopard

  1. Go to the Applications folder
  2. Go to the Utilities folder
  3. Open Audio MIDI Setup (AMS)
  4. Click "Audio Devices" at the top of AMS
  5. Under "System Settings", set the Default Output as the AudioBox. 

A few more things...

On the AudioBox 1818VSL, the headphone playback stream outputs through channels 7 and 8. If you wish to have Windows sounds play through the headphones jack on your 1818VSL, simply check out this video.  

In Windows, conflicts can sometimes occur between programs that utilize the WDM driver for the AudioBox. You may wish to not set the AudioBox as your default device when using these programs if conflicts occur. 

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