Aardvark Direct Mix usb3 Owner's Manual

Owner's Manual for Aardvark Direct Mix usb3 Recording Equipment (32 pages)


623/623184-direct_mix_usb3.pdf file (16 Jun 2024)
  • Manufacturer: Aardvark
  • Category of Device: Recording Equipment
  • Document: Direct Mix usb3, File Type: PDF Owner's Manual
  • Updated: 16-06-2024
  • Count of Pages: 32
Download Direct Mix usb3 Manual (32 pages)

Aardvark Direct Mix usb3: Read PDF Manual Online

Data: UPD 16th June 2024

Aardvark Direct Mix usb3 Recording Equipment PDF Owner's Manual (Updated: Sunday 16th of June 2024 06:03:51 PM)

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Recommended Documentation:

Aardvark Direct Mix usb3: Text of Owner's Manual

(Ocr-Read Version Summary of Contents, UPD: 16 June 2024)
  • Aardvark USA

    202 East Washington Suite 300

    Ann Arbor, Michigan 48104

    Web: http://www.aardvark-pro.com

    E-mail: [email protected]

    Voice: 734-665-8899

    Fax: 734-665-0694

  • 1


    WELCOME TO THE USB3! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2

    PC SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS & SOFT WARE COMPATIBILITY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3


    PRODUCT OVERVIEW . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6

    PC INSTALLATION INSTRUCTIONS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8

    GUITAR TRACKS 2™ QUICK START . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .12

    MACINTOSH INSTALLATION INSTRUCTIONS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .15

    METRO SE™ QUICK START . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .19

    TROUBLESHOOTING . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .20

    FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .22

  • 2



    No need to get out the tool kit for this one, simply connect the USB3 to your

    computer with the included USB cable, and you're ready to go!


    The USB3 works great on both Macintosh and Windows computers! For more

    information on PC and Mac system requirements, please refer to the System

    Requirements section of this manual (pages 3-5) .


    The USB3 works great on USB enabled laptop computers. Although most

    laptops have built in audio inputs and outputs, the quality of sound is less than

    impressive. With the USB3, you can add high quality inputs and outputs to your

    laptop, transforming it into a portable, high-end audio workstation!



    Whether you are using Mac or PC, the USB3 uses the standard USB audio driver

    that come with your operating system. This ensures optimal performance with

    your OS, and compatibility with future OS updates!


    The USB3 has the high quality sound that customers have come to expect from

    Aardvark. Keeping the audio inputs and outputs away from the computer

    prevents unwanted noise from interfering with your audio. Our use of high end

    components insures precise, crystal-clear sound quality.

    For musicians, using the USB3 with your favorite audio software provides the

    quality you need to create professional sounding audio tracks.

    For Internet audio enthusiasts, the USB3 is great for listening to MP3's, and

    bringing in audio from outside sources for encoding.

    Even voice-recognition software users will benefit from using the USB3!

    Customers can plug their microphones right into the USB3. The USB3's high end

    components provide a more accurate voice signal than standard soundcards,

    enhancing the software's performance.

  • 3



    In order to use the USB3 you will need to satisfy 3 main requirements

    1 That you are running a compatible operating system.

    2 That you have a compatible USB host controller.

    3 That you have compatible audio software.

    See below for more details

    NOTE: For the most up to date information regarding hardware and software

    compatibility, please check our website www.aardvark-pro.com/usb3/tech

    Minimum requirements:

    64 MB RAM

    233 MHz processor

    Compatible host controller (more details below)

    100 MB available HD space

    Available USB port.

    Operating System:

    Windows 98 SE, Windows ME or Windows 2000


    Intel processors are recommended.

    USB Host Controller:

    Here is how to find out what USB host controller your PC uses:


    Double click the System icon, then go to the Device Manger tab

    Scroll to the bottom, and double click Universal Serial Bus Controllers

    The USB controller list will appear.

    These are the host controllers that are tested and known to work:

    Intel 82371 AB PCI to USB Universal Host Controller

    Intel 82371 AB/EB PCI to USB Universal Host Controller

    Intel 82371 SB PCI to USB Universal Host Controller

    Intel 82801 AA PCI to USB Universal Host Controller

    Intel 82801 AB PCI to USB Universal Host Controller

    Ali PCI to USB Open Host Controller

    The following host controllers have been tested and are NOT


    Intel 82801 BA/BAM

    VIA Host controllers

    OPTI Host controllers

    SiS 7001

    There is the chance that the host controller that your PC uses is not on either list.

    If your host controller is not listed here, but is Intel based, the USB3 should function

    fine. If it is not an Intel controller, it may still work.

  • 4



    PC Compatible Software

    NOTE: If the program you use is not on this list, it does not necessarily mean it is

    incompatible. Feel free to check www.aardvark-pro.com/usb3/tech to see if

    your favorite software is compatible!

    Almost any software that uses MME or DirectSound drivers should work fine.

    Incompatible PC Software

    • DigiDesign Pro Tools Free

    • Nemesys Gigastudio

    • Steinberg Cubase VST (Has worked in some cases)

    • Emagic Logic Audio (Has worked in some cases)

    • Mark Of The Unicorn (Has worked in some cases)


    • Winamp


    • Windows Media Player


    • Samplitude


    • Storm

    Sonic Syndicate

    (using DirectSound drivers)

    • ORION

    Image Line

    • Fruity Loops

    Sonic Foundry:

    • Vegas Audio

    • Vegas Video

    • ACID

    (Allows 24 bit Recording!)

    • Sound Forge

    (Version 5 Allows

    24 bit Recording!)


    • Pro Audio 9

    • SONAR

    • Guitar Tracks


    • Cool Edit Pro

    • Cool Edit 2000

    IK Multimedia

    • T-RacKs

    • Groove Maker

    Native Instruments

    (using DirectSound drivers)

    • Reaktor

    • Spektral Delay

    • Traktor


    • Rebirth

    • Reason

    (using DirectSound drivers)

  • 5



    In order to use the USB3 you will need to satisfy 2 main requirements

    1 That you are running a compatible operating system.

    2 That you have compatible audio software.

    See below for more details

    NOTE: For the most up to date information regarding hardware and software

    compatibility, please check our website http://www.aardvark


    Operating System:

    Any Power Macintosh running MAC OS 9.0.4 or later. This includes all Power Mac, iMac,

    iMac DV, PowerBook, iBook, Titanium Laptop, G3 and G4 systems.

    Minimum requirements:

    64 MB RAM

    233 MHz

    100 MB available Hard Disk space

    Standard Apple USB port

    Compatible Macintosh Software

    NOTE: If the program you use is not on this list, it does not necessarily mean it is

    incompatible. Feel free to check www.aardvark-pro.com/usb3/tech to see if

    your favorite software is compatible!

    Almost any software that uses the Mac OS Sound Manager should work fine.

    Incompatible Macintosh Software

    • Spark 1.5 & XL

    • Digidesign ProTools Free

    • Steinberg Cubase VST (Has worked in some cases)

    • Emagic Logic Audio (Has worked in some cases)


    • QuickTime Player


    • Metro SE

    • Metro


    • Peak LE

    • Peak

    Casady & Greene

    • SoundJam

    Mark of the Unicorn

    • Digital Performer

    IK Multimedia

    • T-RacKs

    • Groove Maker

    Native Instruments

    (using Sound Manager)

    • Reaktor

    • Spektral Delay

    • Traktor


    • Rebirth

    • Reason

    (using Sound Manager)


    • Toast

    • Jam 2.5

    U&i Software

    • Metasynth

    • Metatrack

  • !




    The USB3 should have the following items packaged:

    • One USB3 hardware device

    • One USB cable

    • One Cakewalk Guitar Tracks/Metro SE CD

    • The USB3 manual you are reading

    • A legal agreement/Disclaimer


    1. Left and right line outputs:

    These 1/4" jacks operate at

    – 10 dB. Their output volume is

    controlled by the output level

    fader (#5) as well as software

    based controls. These jacks can

    be plugged into a mixer, an

    a m p l i f i e r, or powered monitors.

    2 . Left and Right line inputs:

    These 1/4" jacks operate at 2

    dBu to 30 dBu. These inputs are

    designed for use with line level

    devices such as synthesizers,

    drum machines, mixer outputs,

    CD players, MiniDisc, etc. The

    recording volume of these

    inputs can be adjusted with the

    Line L,R input level knob (#8).

    3. USB connection: This is the port used to attach the USB3 to the computer via the

    included USB cable.

    IMPORTANT: If you want to disconnect the USB cable or change the sample

    rate you must exit all audio applications.

    4 . USB Power indicator: This light will glow when the USB3 is receiving power from the

    c o m p u t e r. This light simply indicates whether you have power coming from the USB

    port; this light may glow even if the USB3 is not properly installed.

    5 . Output Level Fa d e r: This is the master output volume control of the USB3. It controls

    the output levels going to both the Headphones (#6) and the L/R line outputs (#1). This

    Fader does not change your recording levels.

    6 . Headphone Output: If you want to use headphones with the USB3, this is where you

    plug them in. Headphone volume is adjusted with the Output Level Fader (#5).

  • 7



    NOTE: The headphone output works best with low impedance headphones, 160 ohms

    or less.

    7. Sample rate selection: This lets you select the sample rate you want to work at,

    either 44.1 kHz or 48 kHz.

    IMPORTANT: If you want to disconnect the USB cable or change the sample

    rate you must exit all audio applications.

    8. Line L,R input level knob: This controls the input level of recording levels of signals

    going to line inputs L,R (#2).

    9. Record Select Switch: This lets you choose what inputs you want to use

    to record.

    • If the switch is all the way to the left, the USB3 will only record the

    MIC/GUITAR input (#14)

    NOTE: You will still be able to hear the L/R line inputs, even though they are not

    being recorded

    • If the switch is in the center, the USB3 will only record the L/R line inputs (#2)

    NOTE: You will still be able to hear the mic/guitar input, even though it is not

    being recorded

    • If the switch is all the way to the right, the USB3 will record the L,R line inputs,

    and the Mic/Guitar input simultaneously.

    10 . Output level LEDs: These four LEDs respond to the volume level of the signal being sent

    to the Headphone and L,R line outputs.From Left to right, this is the volume level each

    LED represents: -20Db (green), -12Db (green),- 6Db(green), 0 Db (red).

    11. Recording level OMNI LEDs: These LEDs change in intensity and color as the signal

    gets louder. They measure the level of the audio going into the A/D (analog to digital)

    c o n v e r t e r. The color of the LEDs begin with a soft green light, which glows brighter as the

    signal becomes louder. As the signal loudness increases, a red light will appear. If the red

    light is consistently on, your recording levels are too high. Intermittent flickering of the red

    light is usually not a problem.

    12 . Mic/Guitar select switch: This switch is used to optimize the Mic/Guitar input (#14) for

    use with either microphones or guitars. If the switch is moved to the left, the impedance

    is optimized for microphone use(low-z), if it is moved to the right, the input impedance is

    optimized for guitar use (high-z). In addition, the guitar setting utilizes our proprietary

    EFR™ (Enhanced Frequency Response) technology, providing high quality direct guitar

    r e c o r d i n g .

    13 . Mic/Guitar input level knob: This controls the input level of recording levels of

    signals going to the mic/guitar input (#14).

    14 . Mic/Guitar input: If you have a microphone or a guitar, plug it in here.

  • 8



    NOTE: The USB3 does not work with condenser microphones or any other

    microphones that require phantom power. If you are not sure whether your

    microphone requires power or not, please check the microphone’s

    documentation It is possible to use a separate preamp to power the mic, and

    then connect it to the USB3 via the line inputs on the back.


    The USB3 operates on Windows 98 SE, Windows ME, and Windows 2000. The

    USB3 is not compatible with Windows 95 additionally, Windows 98 First Edition

    has exhibited installation problems. For information on upgrading from Windows

    95 or 98first edition please go to www.microsoft.com.

    Please make sure you have a compatible USB host controller (see page 3)

    NOTE: The USB3 drivers are not written by Aardvark. Rather, they use

    Microsoft’s standard USB audio driver. If you run into problems related to this

    driver, please contact Microsoft.

    1. Power up your PC, and put your Windows 98 SE, ME or 2000 CD in your

    CD-ROM drive. Some computers sold with Windows preinstalled may not

    have included the Windows 98/SE/ME CD. If this is the case, the necessary

    files are probably already on your hard drive and no CD is required for


    2. Connect the USB3 to the USB port on your PC. If your PC has multiple USB

    ports, it should not matter which port you use. Check to see if the USB light

    on the USB3 is on. If it is, Windows should automatically detect new


    NOTE: If windows does not detect the new device, and the USB light is lit, you

    may have to force windows to find the hardware. Go to START | SETTINGS |

    CONTROL PANEL select ADD NEW HARDWARE, select NEXT, and Windows

    should find the USB3.

    3. The Add New Hardware Wizard will appear, stating that it has found a USB

    COMPOSITE DEVICE, click Next


    to proceed.

  • 9


    4. Next, the Wizard will ask

    "What do you want windows

    to do?" Choose "Search for

    the best driver for your device

    (Recommended), then click




    5. Windows will then ask you

    where you want to install the

    drivers from. Make sure only

    the CD-ROM drive checkbox is

    checked, then click Next



  • 10


    6. If all is well, Windows should

    find the location of the driver,

    either on the CD, or on your

    hard drive, and the message

    to the right should appear.

    This message may be slightly

    different on your computer,

    depending on your PCs setup.

    Click Next



    7. Windows should now begin

    copying the necessary files to

    your hard drive.

    8. Once these drivers finish

    copying, Windows will install

    drivers for a USB Audio Device

    9. Windows will install the

    drivers using the same

    procedure indicated in

    installation steps 3-7.

    Windows will then state that it

    has completed installing the

    software that the USB3

    requires and will ask you to


    USB3 is now fully installed!

  • !



    If you have multiple soundcards on your PC, and you would like to make the

    USB3 the preferred multimedia device, go to START > SETTINGS > CONTROL

    PANEL > MULTIMEDIA, select the AUDIO tab, and use the dropdown menus to

    select USB Audio Device as your preferred playback and recording device.

    IMPORTANT: Microsoft has acknowledged a bug in Windows that can cause

    the USB3 to not show up as a choice for preferred playback even though it does

    show up in the Device Manager as a USB Audio Device under “Soundcards”. If

    you are experiencing this problem, you will need to obtain the Microsoft Hotfix

    #Q242937 from Microsoft Product Support. For more information, go to



    For PC users, the USB3 comes bundled with Cakewalk Guitar Tracks 2™, a

    powerful yet simple program that allows you to record and playback up to 8

    mono or stereo tracks with the USB3! You do not need to install Guitar Tracks

    2™ in order for the USB3 to function. The USB3 will work with most available

    audio programs, please see page 4 for details.

    Installing Cakewalk Guitar Tracks 2™

    Insert the Cakewalk Guitar Tracks CD into your CD-ROM drive, and an installation

    guide should appear within a few seconds.

    NOTE: If the installation guide does not appear, go to MY COMPUTER, double

    click the CD-ROM drive, then double click AUTORUN.EXE

    From here, the Cakewalk Guitar Tracks 2™ installer will walk you through the

    installation process.

    During the installation, you will be asked for a CD-KEY. The CD-KEY is printed on

    the Cakewalk Guitar Tracks 2™ CD-ROM.

    When installation is finished, you will need to restart your computer.



  • 12





    This section provides information on how to get up and running with the USB3

    and Cakewalk Guitar Tracks 2™.

    The following information is simply an introduction to the program, aimed at

    showing you how to start recording tracks immediately.

    NOTE: For more in-depth information about using Cakewalk Guitar Tracks 2™,

    use the Help menu to access tutorials, and other valuable resources.

    If you have questions or problems regarding Cakewalk Guitar Tracks 2™, please

    contact Cakewalk technical support at [email protected] or call 1-888-


    The main screen of

    Cakewalk Guitar Tracks

    2™ resembles a

    standalone multitrack

    with built in mixer. You

    can access all the basic

    playback and recording

    features from here.

  • 13



    In the lower right,

    you’ll find the

    transport controls

    Controls 1-4 and 6 will not function until your first track has been recorded.

    1. Moves the transport to the beginning of the song

    2. Stops playback or recording

    3. Plays back recorded tracks

    4. Moves the transport to end of the song

    5. Records any track armed for recording.

    NOTE: this button will be grayed out if no track is armed for recording

    6. Will take the transport to any position in the song.

    Just to the left of the transport controls, is the master output strip.

    If you have plugin effects, this is

    where you can add them to the

    master mix.

    This controls the panning

    of the master mix

    This controls the overall volume

    of the master mix

    This lets you select the preferred output

    device for playback. You’ll want to select

    USB audio device.

  • 14



    To the left of the Master output controls, are eight channel strips, which are used

    to control the eight available track

    To record a track, simply press the button labeled Record

    on that track’s channel strip.

    Then hit the record button in the lower right corner.

    Click stop to finish recording your track.

    This provides volume measurements for

    each track

    If you have effect plugins, this is where you can assign

    them to a track

    If you would like your effects plugins to be routed to

    multiple tracks, Aux 1 and 2 will let you decide how

    much of that effect to apply to a track.

    This determines the stereo placement of the track.

    Click this to arm a track for recording.

    This will solo the track (muting all other tacks).

    This will mute the track.

    The track fader only alters the volume of playback

    tracks. If you want to adjust your recording volume, it

    must be done with the USB3 hardware.

    Click here to choose the recording device for the track.

    You can also use this button to determine whether the

    track is mono or stereo.

  • 15




    IMPORTANT: In order to install the USB3 you MUST be running MAC OS

    9.0.4 or newer. Aardvark highly recommends Mac OS 9.1, which is a free

    upgrade for any user of 9.0.x. Aardvark is not the manufacturer of this


    1. Power up your MAC, USB installation is typically easier with the

    power on.

    2. Using the provided USB cable, connect the USB3 to the USB port

    of your Mac. Do not use any of the USB ports on your keyboard as they

    will not provide enough power to operate the USB3

    3. Go to the Apple menu in the upper left,

    select Sound from the Control Panels

    folder submenu. This will take you to

    the sound configuration menu.

    4. On the INPUT tab, select the Line in of

    your USB audio device as your

    preferred input device. You can also

    use this tab to measure the input

    signal level.

    5. On the OUTPUT tab, two options will

    now be available. The first is “Built-in”

    which will play sound through external

    speakers connected to the Macintosh

    or through the Mac’s built-in speakers

    if no external speakers are connected.

    The second option will play sound

    through the USB3’s outputs, allowing

    you to route the output signal to

    external devices.

  • 16




    Insufficient power:

    If the suggestions provided by

    this error message do not get

    rid of the problem, first try to

    disable unnecessary USB

    devices. If that does not help,

    you may need to purchase a

    powered USB hub, which will

    provide the necessary power

    to run the USB3. One of the

    better powered USB hubs is

    made by Belkin. For more

    information, check out


    The Mac does not recognize the USB audio device:

    In order to use a USB audio device on Mac computers, you need to be on Mac

    OS 9.0.4 or newer. If you already have Mac OS 9.0.4 loaded, we recommend

    that you upgrade to Mac OS 9.1, this is a free upgrade from 9.0.x.

    Mac OS updates can be found at http://www.apple.com.

  • 17




    For Macintosh users, the USB3 comes bundled with Cakewalk Metro SE™, a

    powerful Audio and MIDI sequencer for Macintosh. You do not need to install

    Metro SE™ in order for the USB3 to function. The USB3 will work with most

    available audio programs, please see page 5 for details.

    To help you learn how to use the program, the Metro SE™ CD-ROM includes a

    comprehensive PDF manual. You can reference this PDF from the Metro SE™

    CD, or print it out to have a hard copy.

    If you have questions or problems regarding Metro SE™, please contact

    Cakewalk technical support at [email protected] or by phone at:1-



    Insert the Cakewalk Metro SE™ CD-ROM into your CD-ROM drive, and the

    contents of the CD should appear on your screen.

    Double Click the Install Metro

    program to begin installation.

  • 18



    Metro SE™ will ask if

    you want to perform an

    Easy or Custom install.

    For must users, it is best

    to choose the easy


    After installing Metro

    SE™, you may be asked

    to install OMS as well.

    OMS is included on the

    Metro SE™ CD. To

    install OMS, simply

    insert the Metro SE™

    CD-ROM, and run the

    OMS installer.

    When using Metro SE™ for the first

    time, you may be asked to setup

    OMS. You can ignore these requests.

    OMS is a MIDI utility, and the USB3

    is strictly audio. There is no need to

    configure OMS to get the USB3 to

    work properly.

    In addition, Metro SE™ may provide

    a menu, asking if you want to

    change ports. Like OMS, you can

    safely ignore this.

  • 19


    Once you get through

    setting up the ports and

    OMS, Metro SE™ will open

    as several windows,

    including the Transport,

    the Track View, and the

    Graphic Editor.

    Go to the “setup” menu,

    choose “Digital Audio”.

    To use the USB3 as your

    input device, configure

    the setup screen as shown.

    Once your audio devices

    are set up, head over

    to the track view .

    The first few tracks should be visible,

    more tracks can be found by simply

    scrolling down.

    To arm a track for recording, simply click

    the "R" column for that track.

    Once the track is armed for

    recording, simply click the RECORD

    button on the Transport.

    After recording a track,

    the audio you recorded should

    show up in the Graphic Editor.

  • 20



    As straightforward as the USB3 is, there is always the possibility that you may run

    into problems. This section provides information on some of the issues that may


    IMPORTANT: If you have tech support issues regarding installation or

    performance of the USB3 drivers, please contact the manufacturer of your

    operating system or motherboard. The USB3 software is not written by Aardvark.

    Rather, it uses the Standard USB audio drivers that come with your operating

    system (Windows 98SE, Windows ME, Windows 2000, or Mac OS). If you are

    having trouble with the software you are recording with (Cakewalk, etc.) please

    contact the company that writes the software.

    For any issues regarding the USB3 hardware itself, please refer to our

    website. http://www.aardvark-pro.com/usb3/tech

    PROBLEM: Inputs do not appear to work

    SOLUTION: First, be sure that the input levels are set to a high enough volume.

    For the Mic/Guitar input on the front, use the Mic/Guitar in knob to

    boost the incoming volume. For the 1/4" jacks on the back, use

    the Line L,R in knob to boost the incoming volume. After adjusting

    your input volume, check to see if the Record Level lights are

    responding. If they are, your inputs are working! If you still can’t hear

    your inputs make sure the output level slider is turned up.

    PROBLEM: The lights that measure my recording level don’t seem to work.

    SOLUTION: Be sure your recording levels are set high enough as stated in the

    previous question. If the levels are set properly, Be sure the Record

    Select M/G Line mix switch is set in the proper position. If should

    be to the left if you want to record the Mic/Line input, it should be

    in the center if you want to record the L/R line inputs on the back,

    or it should be to the right if you want to record the Mic/Guitar and

    line inputs simultaneously.

    PROBLEM: The USB3 does not show up as a selection for preferred playback

    but it does show up in the Device Manager as a USB Audio Device

    under “Soundcards”.

    SOLUTION: You will need to obtain the Microsoft Hotfix #Q242937 from

    Microsoft Product Support. For more information go to


  • 21


    PROBLEM: My inputs work, but they are not recorded by my audio software

    SOLUTION: First, check to make sure the input select switch is in the

    appropriate position. If changing the input selector switch does not

    solve the problem, then the audio software you are using may have

    a different device assigned to record and play back audio. Even if

    you do not have another sound card installed, many programs

    require that you explicitly designate the USB3 as the preferred

    recording and playback device before it will work in the program.

    PROBLEM: I can't hear MIDI files

    SOLUTION: The USB3 is strictly an audio card, and does not play MIDI files. In

    order to hear MIDI files, you need an additional wavetable

    soundcard or MIDI interface.

    PROBLEM: I can't hear audio CD's through the USB3

    SOLUTION: In order to hear Audio CDs through the USB3, your CD-ROM drive

    must support digital audio extraction. Contact the manufacturer of

    your CD-ROM drive to see if this is the case. You can also obtain a

    free alternate Windows system file that will allow real-time

    conversion from audio CDs, for more info visit

    www.sonicspot.com and search for “CDFS”

    PROBLEM: I’m playing a video game on my computer and some of the sounds

    are not working properly.

    SOLUTION: The USB3 is a professional audio interface that only operates at

    44.1 and 48 KHz sample rates. Many game sounds are recorded at

    lower sample rates. These sounds will sound incorrect when played

    through the USB3.

    PROBLEM: Playback on the USB3 is too quiet

    SOLUTION: First, be sure the Master Volume is turned up. Also, if you are a PC

    user, Go to Start > Programs > Accessories > Entertainment >

    Volume Control. This will bring up the volume mixer for the USB3,

    which may need to be turned up.

  • 22


    Does the USB3 record 16 Bits or 24 bits?

    Both, but keep reading. Unlike many USB audio devices, the USB3 has high-end

    24 Bit A/D converters inside the unit and is fully 24 bit compatible and will

    record 24 bits using the right software. However, most standard audio software

    can only record 16 bits using the standard USB audio driver provided by the

    operating system. Most software companies are working to update this and

    when ready should vastly expand the possibilities of the USB3. However, it is

    important to note that by using only the audio software that comes with the

    USB3, you will only be able to record at16 bits.

    If you want to record 24 bits with the USB3 today, there are solutions already

    available. If you are a PC user, than some software from Sonic Foundry

    (www.sonicfoundry.com) such as ACID or Sound Forge 5.0 will allow you to

    record 24 bits with the USB3.

    Keep in mind that all CD’s are recorded at 16 bit, so the USB3 is perfect for high-

    resolution, professional CD recording. Ultimately, even if you don’t need to use

    the 24 bit capability right out of the box, it’s nice to know the 24 bit option is


    Will the USB3 make my audio sound better?

    Yes. Especially if you are using the standard audio hardware that came with your

    computer. Aardvark uses high quality components and completely shields your

    audio from any unwanted computer noise. The result is clean, detailed,

    professional sounding audio.

    I already have a regular soundcard, do I need to deactivate it to use the USB3?

    There is no need to deactivate your computer’s other soundcard. The USB3

    seamlessly integrates with other multimedia devices. You can configure

    Windows to recognize either the USB3 or your other soundcard as the preferred

    multimedia device.

    Can I play MP3 files through the USB3?

    Absolutely! Professional design and high-end components make the USB3

    perfect for enjoying MP3 audio. Most MP3 players will automatically play out of

    the computer’s preferred audio device, so just make sure that’s set to the

    Aardvark USB3 and you should be able to listen to any MP3 file through the line

    outputs or even through the convenient headphone output right on the front of

    the unit.

  • 23


    Can I play my audio CD’s through the USB3?

    If your CD-ROM drive supports ‘Digital Audio Extraction’, then you will be able to

    play your audio CD’s through the USB3. To find out if your CD-ROM supports this

    feature, you can check the CD Music Tab by going to; Start->Settings->Control

    Panel->Multimedia->CD Music Tab.

    You can also obtain a free alternate Windows system file that will allow real-time

    conversion from audio CDs, for more info visit www.sonicspot.com and search for


    Can I use the USB3 with the standard audio software that comes with my

    Mac or PC?

    Yes. The USB3 will work with almost any audio software, including many of the

    standard audio players that come with the computer. This includes Windows

    Media Player & WinAmp for the PC, and Quicktime, MacAmp & SoundJam on

    the Mac. Using the USB3 with your computer should yield much better sound

    quality than your ‘included’ soundcard both for recording and playback. Just

    make sure that your sample rate is set to either 44.1 kHz or 48 kHz.

    What is USB?

    Universal Serial Bus (USB) is a standard means for connecting devices to a

    computer. Almost all new computers, Mac or PC, should have several USB I/O

    ports. The USB can work with a computer keyboard, a mouse, digital cameras

    and many other devices that need to get information to or from the computer.

    The USB3 audio interface uses this standard port to easily get audio in and out of

    the computer.

    How does the USB3 work in getting audio to and from the computer?

    The USB3 is an audio interface that uses the common USB connection to get

    audio to and from the computer. This USB connection allows the USB3 to

    transfer 2 channels (Left & Right) of audio to the computer (RECORD) and at the

    same time transfer 2 channels of audio (Left & Right) from the computer (PLAY).

    The USB3 also receives all of its power from the USB connection.

    Imagine having 5 cables connected to your computer: one for each the Left &

    Right Input; 1 each for the Left & Right Output, and an AC power cord connected

    to the wall. This is the functionality that the one simple USB connection provides.

  • 24


    Why does the USB3 come with Cakewalk Audio Software CD?

    The USB3 is a set of high quality inputs and outputs for your computer. An

    additional program, such as Cakewalk Guitar Tracks 2™ for the PC or Metro SE™

    for the Macintosh, is required to record, edit, mix and play audio from the

    computer. There are many different companies that make this kind of audio

    software. So the USB3 acts as just a high quality I/O and hardware mixer

    interface, all the actual audio recording is done using audio software.

    Is the USB3 Full Duplex?

    Yes. The USB3 is full Duplex, which means that you can record audio to the

    computer and playback audio from the computer at the same time. Most

    professional audio interfaces have this feature because you can overlay tracks

    onto the computer much easier when you can play back the software audio

    tracks while recording new ones at the same time. This is perfect for a software

    based home studio and really lets you get the most out of your system.

    Why did you choose 1/4" jacks for all the audio I/O?

    1/4" jacks are a professional audio standard that not only provide good quality,

    but are also very easy to connect Guitars, Microphones, Line level and

    headphones directly into the USB3. These 1/4" jacks are also easily adapted to

    fit any other kind of jack style you need. Many devices use RCA, 1/8" or XLR

    connectors, all of which integrate perfectly into the USB3 with some readily

    available adapters.

    How can I connect my XLR microphone to the USB3?

    Many microphones have a 3-prong XLR connector. You can use a mic cable that

    has an XLR jack to connect to the microphone on one end and a 1/4" jack on the

    other end of the cable to connect into the USB3. You can also use a simple XLR

    to 1/4" adapter and it will work perfectly. Make sure the Mic/Gtr switch on the

    front is turned over to Mic.

    Are there separate amplifiers for the microphone and the guitar inputs?

    Absolutely. This gives you better quality for both your mic input and your guitar

    input. This is different than many devices that use the same amplifier for both mic

    & guitar input. Aardvark has different amplifiers for the Microphone input and a

    custom designed E.F.R.™ circuitry for the guitar input. Our mic preamp is very

    quiet, allowing you to get the most out of your microphones, so your vocals will

    sound clean and crisp and will be absolutely noise-free.

  • 25


    The exclusive E.F.R.™ Circuitry (Enhanced Frequency Response) is activated

    when you change the Mic/Guitar Switch to Guitar. The guitar sound produced

    from the E.F.R.™ input will be an eye-opener for many guitar players. The special

    E.F.R.™ circuitry, custom made just for guitar players, creates a tone that’s

    warmer and richer with a spectral clarity that results in great sounding guitar


    Is there phantom power on the USB3?

    No. Phantom power is commonly needed for professional condenser type

    microphones. The USB3 does not provide phantom power, so if you need to use

    condenser microphones, you will need to use an outboard pre-amp, and then

    come into the Line Inputs (L,R) on the back of the USB3.

    Aardvark also makes PCI card based audio interfaces, some of which use the XLR

    mic input and have Phantom power. For more information, check out the Q10

    and the Direct Pro 24/96. Both of these systems have phantom power as well as

    many other professional features you may need: www.aardvark-pro.com

    Can I transfer audio files into other audio software?

    Yes. The audio software that comes with the USB3 records in a standard audio

    formats so it’s easily transferred and used by any other programs. For the

    Macintosh, the Cakewalk Metro SE that comes with the USB3 can record in the

    standard ".AIFF" Macintosh format. For Windows users, Cakewalk Guitar Tracks 2

    can record in the Windows standard ".WAV" file. Both of these formats are very

    easily recognized by other audio software applications so it will be easy to

    transfer tracks recorded by the USB3 into almost any software you choose,

    including CD burning software or multimedia and internet streaming software.

    NOTE: Just because you can easily transfer the audio files that were recorded by

    the USB3 into another program for editing, does not necessarily mean that the

    USB3 can actually record and play with any recording software. If you plan on

    using the USB3 with another recording software application, make sure you

    check the current listing of compatible recording software at: www.aardvark-


  • 26


    How many channels can the USB3 play and record?

    The USB3 can record on the computer 2 channels (L,R) and playback from the

    computer 2 channels (L,R) simultaneously. The recording software will certainly

    allow you to mix and edit many more channels, allowing you the ability to keep all

    your individual tracks separate. For example, the Guitar Tracks 2™ recording

    software allows you to have up to 8 individual tracks that can be edited, mixed

    and played through the USB3. Any recording software will let you mix the

    software tracks down into 2 channels for playback through the USB3. This

    means you can build your mix 2 tracks at a time, mix & edit all the separate

    channels in your software while you’re monitoring the stereo output though the

    USB3 audio line outputs or its headphone output.

    How many channels can I mix with the USB3?

    The USB3 can mix up to 5 channels for monitoring via the USB3: One (1) from

    the Mic or Guitar Input, two (2) from the stereo Line (L,R) 1/4’ Inputs, and two (2)

    from the stereo playback channels from the recording software.

    Does the USB3 work as a stand alone device?

    No. The USB3 gets all of its power from the computer it’s connected to via the

    USB cable, so it cannot be used unless it is connected to a computer. On the top

    right of the unit, there is an LED labelled "USB" which indicates that the unit on

    and getting power.

    I’m mainly a guitar player, how can I use the USB3?

    If you are a guitar player you will find some excellent uses for the USB3 listed


    1) You can now start recording tracks on any computer: Desktop or Laptop. Mac

    or PC. It’s easy to carry around so all you need is the USB3, a USB cable,

    headphones and a guitar and your up and running.

    2) The custom designed EFR™ Circuitry is specially tailored to give you a unique

    sound that really warms up your guitar. You can use the EFR™ Guitar input to

    record to the computer, or you can just monitor directly to headphones or

    speakers to hear yourself play.

    3) As long as the USB3 is connected to the computer so it gets power, you can

    use it just like a small audio mixer. The USB3 lets you record and play your tracks

    from the computer, mix with vocals and keyboards and easily lets you monitor

    everything all at once.

  • 27


    What is the best way to listen to audio with the USB3?

    The USB3 gives you 2 possibilities. The headphone jack on the front is easiest if

    you want to listen to it with headphones. You can also simultaneously take the

    Line Outputs on the back of the unit to a mixer, powered speakers or an amplifier

    to listen to your music. Both the line outputs and the headphone output are

    always identical in what is monitored, and both can be adjusted with the level

    slider on the top of the USB3. If you have speakers or headphones with

    connections that are 1/8" or RCA jacks, it’s easy to get adapters to fit into the

    1/4" professional connections of the USB3.

    How can I plug both a guitar and a microphone into the USB3?

    You can record both a microphone input and a guitar input at the same time even

    though the USB3 shares an input for the mic and guitar input. To do this, you will

    need an external amplifier, a mic preamp for microphones or a DI box or other Hi-

    Z interface for the guitar, and then take the line level signal out of that into one of

    the two 1/4" line inputs on the back of the USB3.

    If you want to use our proprietary EFR™ Guitar Input circuitry, then you’ll need an

    external mic preamp and take the line level output of the mic preamp into one of

    the USB3 line inputs.

    I have a PC, how many IRQs does the USB3 require?

    The USB3 needs one (1) dedicated IRQ to work properly. Sometimes, the USB3

    can share an IRQ, but this typically results in audio dropouts and other unwanted

    glitches in your audio. For optimum performance make sure the USB3 has it’s

    own dedicated IRQ.

    Can I use the USB3 with laptops?

    Yes. It will work with either Mac or PC laptops. It’s important to note that with

    some "loaded" PC laptops, there may not be any IRQ’s left, which the USB3

    needs. Just make sure there is an IRQ available for the USB3 and it will work


    It’s also important to note that some laptops force the USB port into an IRQ that

    cannot be changed, which makes it incompatible with the USB3 and other USB

    audio devices. These IRQ conflicts can be avoided by using a laptop that provides

    Floating IRQs. Gateway (http://www.gateway.com) and Winbook

    (http://www.winbook.com) are among the manufacturers that provide some

    laptops with floating IRQs. However, most laptop manufactures now have

    solutions, so just make sure that the laptop you plan on using with the USB3 has

    Floating IRQs. If you are not sure, call the laptop manufacturer and they should

    be able to tell you if the laptop you have has Floating IRQs.

  • Aardvark Direct Mix usb3 User Manual
  • Aardvark Direct Mix usb3 User Guide
  • Aardvark Direct Mix usb3 PDF Manual
  • Aardvark Direct Mix usb3 Owner's Manuals


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