USB Switch: share Audio gear on 2 PCs

Configure and optimize you computer for Audio.
FrankT
KVRian
1023 posts since 13 Sep, 2006

Post Mon Aug 19, 2019 2:04 pm

I am building a new Win10 DAW but will keep my proven i4770K as a workhorse for a range of AV related tasks.
Question: is it possible to share AudioInterface (RME), Masterkeyboard (Komplete), TR8S as well as iLok/elicenser through a USB Switch so to use it on both PCs. Not in parallel of course.

Which USB Switch can be recommended for such a scenario?

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chai_all_day_long
KVRer
24 posts since 27 Jan, 2019 from Inland Empire (So-Cal)

Re: USB Switch: share Audio gear on 2 PCs

Post Mon Aug 19, 2019 7:04 pm

If you use a physical USB switch it is just routing the signal so no reason this shouldn't work. The thing to keep in mind is that you would ideally want to make sure to use one that is actively pwoered and maintains the necessary voltage across all connections for all the devices. Also you'll want to use whichever unit that matches your minimum connectivity types and bandwidth (e.g. USB 3.0 Gen 1/2 or USB 2.0). The cheap and easy option in this case might just be a high quality USB 3.0 hub that you could swap the main hub cable from on each machine. Are you planning on share a keyboard and monitor as well, or just the peripherals? If you do the later might look more in the realm of a KVM switch.

Vaultnaemsae
KVRist
44 posts since 8 Jul, 2017

Re: USB Switch: share Audio gear on 2 PCs

Post Mon Aug 19, 2019 8:27 pm

I bought an A/B USB switcher (labeled 'Printer switcher') for about $10 not knowing if it would work. It has one in and two outs. There were also models with more outs.

It was intended to be used to switch USB destinations of a single audio interface/device (A = Laptop 1, B = USB Midi Host).

It works perfectly and I'm 99% certain it would work if B was another computer. I'm guessing even if you stack devices on a hub connected to the switcher's IN it would still be fine but I really should test it to verify that.

FrankT
KVRian
1023 posts since 13 Sep, 2006

Re: USB Switch: share Audio gear on 2 PCs

Post Mon Aug 19, 2019 8:46 pm

Thanks. I agree that a powered USB 3.0 Switch will be better. And yes, I am using a Startech KVM switch to share two 27 inch monitors, keyboard and mouse. The integrated USB Hub of the KVM switch is 2.0 and only has 4 USB connections - not enough for all the peripherals I need to connect/share. One thing that concerns me is whether connecting the RME Audio Interface through a USB hub could have a negative effect on audio signals ?

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