24-bit USB Audio Interface with S/PDIF I/O
User’s Guide
ESI - Copyright © 2008
Revision 1, July 2008
www.esi-audio.com
U24 XL
ESI
INDEX
1. Introduction.................................................................................................................................. 4
1.1 Key Features ........................................................................................................................................................ 4
2. Description of U24 XL ................................................................................................................. 4
2.1 Front Panel........................................................................................................................................................... 4
2.2 Rear Panel ............................................................................................................................................................ 5
2.3 Minimum System Requirements.......................................................................................................................... 5
3. Installation .................................................................................................................................... 5
3.1 Windows XP ........................................................................................................................................................ 6
3.2 Windows Vista..................................................................................................................................................... 7
3.3 Mac OS X ............................................................................................................................................................ 8
4. U24 XL Control Panel ................................................................................................................. 9
4.1 Input Monitoring................................................................................................................................................ 10
4.2 DirectWIRE ....................................................................................................................................................... 10
5. Audio Applications..................................................................................................................... 12
5.1 Windows Multimedia setup ............................................................................................................................... 12
5.2 Latency setting and ASIO applications under Windows.................................................................................... 12
5.3 Mac OS X Audio MIDI Setup ........................................................................................................................... 12
5.4 Cubase LE 4....................................................................................................................................................... 13
7. Specifications .............................................................................................................................. 14
8. General Information .................................................................................................................. 14
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1. Introduction
Thank you for choosing the ESI U24 XL.
U24 XL is not only stylish, it is with dimensions of around 10 cm x 9 cm a device that can go with
you anywhere. Offering total flexibility of an external USB device and pure digital quality, coupled
with true high quality 24-bit support on the 2 analog input and 2 analog output channels provided
via TRS connectors, U24 XL will easily qualify as the most useful device in your studio, wherever
that may be. Even better, U24 XL also provides digital S/PDIF connections in both optical and
coaxial format.
If you're looking for a really powerful USB audio device that is small and that gives you maximum
performance under Mac OS X as well as under any current Windows environment including
Windows Vista, then U24 XL is for you.
1.1 Key Features
- 2 analog input and 2 analog output channels (1/4" TRS connectors)
- one output connector usable as headphone output
- S/PDIF digital in and out available via optical (Toslink) and coaxial (RCA) connectors
- 24 Bit AD/DA converter
2. Description of U24 XL
2.1 Front Panel
The front panel has the following connectors from left to right:
INPUT – L: the left channel of the analog line input.
INPUT – R: the right channel of the analog line input.
OUTPUT – L: the left channel of the analog line output. This connector is also the HEADPHONE
output when you use single stereo headphones.
OUTPUT – R: the right channel of the analog line output.
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2.2 Rear Panel
The rear panel has the following connectors from left to right:
COAXIAL S/PDIF OUT: the S/PDIF output in coaxial format.
COAXIAL S/PDIF IN: the S/PDIF input in coaxial format.
USB: the USB port for connection to your computer.
OPTICAL S/PDIF OUT: the S/PDIF output in optical Toslink format.
OPTICAL S/PDIF IN: the S/PDIF input in optical Toslink format.
2.3 Minimum System Requirements
PC
- Intel Pentium III 600MHz CPU or equivalent AMD CPU
- 512 MB RAM
- Direct X 8.1 or higher
- one available USB port
- DVD-ROM drive (for Cubase LE 4 installation)
- internet connection (for Cubase LE 4 activation)
- recent Version of Microsoft Windows XP or Windows Vista (32-bit)
Mac
- Power Macintosh G4 or higher
- one available USB port
- 512 MB RAM
- DVD-ROM drive (for Cubase LE 4 installation)
- internet connection (for Cubase LE 4 activation)
- Mac OS X 10.4 or higher
3. Installation
Before installing the drivers of U24 XL, we recommend to check on the download section of
www.esi-audio.com for updated drivers.
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3.1 Windows XP
Disconnect U24 XL before you install the driver if it has been connected already. Then launch
setup.exe from the Windows folder of the included driver CD or from a download of a recent driver
from our website.
You will now see a dialog as shown on the left picture below. Click Next. You can define the target
directory for the installation now. Confirm it with Next.
The installer now informs you that the driver installation will start as shown on the left picture
below. Confirm this with Next. During the following process you will see a dialog box once or
several times that informs you that the driver software has not passed Windows Logo testing. Please
be assured that our drivers have been tested in various different ways and are OK to be used.
Confirm any such dialog with Continue Anyway.
You will now be prompted to connect the hardware on the next dialog that is shown below on the
left. Plug in U24 XL. Do not click Next yet. During the driver installation, Windows might again
prompt you to confirm the Windows Logo testing dialog once or several times with Continue
Anway before the driver installation is finalized.
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You can now finally click Next on the ESI U24 XL Audio Driver Setup dialog. The installation is
now finished. To confirm this, please check if the ESI icon is displayed in the taskbar notification
area as shown below.
If yes, the driver installation has been completed successfully.
3.2 Windows Vista
Disconnect U24 XL before you install the driver if it has been connected already. Then launch
setup.exe from the Windows folder of the included driver CD or from a download of a recent driver
from our website.
When launching the installation, Windows Vista might prompt a security message. Make sure to
allow the installation. You will then see a dialog as shown on the left picture below. Click Next.
You can define the target directory for the installation now. Confirm it with Next.
The installer now informs you that the driver installation will start as shown on the left picture
below. Confirm this with Next. During the following process you will see a Windows Security
dialog box once or several times that asks you for confirmation to install the driver software.
Confirm any such dialog with Install.
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You will now be prompted to connect the hardware on the next dialog that is shown below on the
left. Plug in U24 XL. Do not click Next yet. Instead, wait a few seconds for the automatic device
driver installation. You can monitor this in the task notification area where Windows Vista informs
that the driver is installed via a bubble message box.
You can now finally click Next on the ESI U24 XL Audio Driver Setup dialog. The installation is
now finished. To confirm this, please check if the ESI icon is displayed in the taskbar notification
area as shown below.
If yes, the driver installation has been completed successfully.
3.3 Mac OS X
Mac OS X already provides support for class compliant USB audio devices such as U24 XL. This
means that no software or driver needs to be installed to use U24 XL under Mac OS X. Simply
connect the unit with the supplied USB cable to your Mac and you can start using it.
Controlling the basic options of U24 XL under Mac OS X is mainly done via the Audio-MIDI-Setup
utility from Mac OS X described in section 5.3 of this manual.
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4. U24 XL Control Panel
This chapter describes the U24 XL Control Panel under Windows. Under Mac OS X no special
Control Panel is required for U24 XL. If you are using U24 XL under Mac OS X, please check
section 5.3 with more details.
To open the control panel double click on the ESI icon in the task notification
area. The following dialog will appear:
The panel has the following functions and sections:
INPUT section: this section controls the input monitoring volume of the incoming signal from the
hardware. A pair of mono faders can be controlled together or individually depending on your
mouse position – perfect for stereo signals. The Mute button the channel allows you to mute the
signal. A red Mute button indicates that the mute function is enabled. When disabled, the button is
gray.
OUTPUT section: this section controls the playback volume of the playback signal from your audio
applications. The pair of mono faders can be controlled together or individually depending on your
mouse position – perfect for stereo signals. The Mute button the channel allows you to mute
playback. A red Mute button indicates that the mute function is enabled. When disabled, the button
is gray.
SampleRate section: in this area you can select the operating sample rate of U24 XL.
Digital Out section: the S/PDIF digital output can be set to either Professional or Consumer status
bit output Mode. It can also be set to send out Copyright or Non-Copyright material.
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4.1 Input Monitoring
The Mon button (located between INPUT and OUTPUT) allows you to enable realtime input
monitoring. Once enabled all incoming signals are audible through the output. With the Analog and
Digital buttons on the left of the panel you can select the input source for input monitoring.
4.2 DirectWIRE
What is DirectWIRE?
DirectWIRE is a driver technology, developed by ESI, which can be used for routing audio streams
internally within applications using EWDM Audio MIDI Drivers exclusively developed by ESI.
With the DirectWIRE router, an application can record from other application’s audio outputs
without external wiring or any loss of data when they are running at the same time.
DirectWIRE also allows you to easily rip any audio stream in real time by transferring data thru
DirectWIRE from MP3s, live On-line Broadcast and On-demand content, and more.
DirectWIRE Panel
Click on DirectWIRE on the U24 XL control panel. The DirectWIRE panel window as shown
below will appear. DirectWIRE digital virtual wiring technology, developed by ESI, routes audio
streams internally within applications using standard audio drivers such as WDM, ASIO and MME,
even when they are running at the same time.
The number on the row represents the input or output port. The columns represent ins and outs (on
and off) of the respected drivers. Patch the virtual cables from one point to another as you drag your
mouse point.
INPUT section: It's used to route signals from the card's hardware inputs.
MME section represents general application's I/O: Ex.) WinAmp, WaveLab (non ASIO mode),
Cakewalk, Audition, Vegas, etc.
WDM section represents Multi-MME application’s I/O: Ex.) SONAR (when using WDM/KS),
PowerDVD, WinDVD, etc.
ASIO section represents ASIO application’s I/O: Ex.) Cubase, Logic, Reason, Nuendo, SONAR
(when using ASIO), Samplitude, etc.
GSIF section represents GSIF application like GigaStudio.
* Some applications support multiple driver modes.
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DirectWIRE Examples
EX1. Recording from WinAmp (MME) to WaveLab (MME)
Caution: If you want to record without monitoring, click on OUT button to turn it OFF.
EX2. Recording from WinAmp (MME) to SONAR (WDM)
EX3. Recording from WinAmp (MME) to Cubase, Logic, Nuendo (ASIO)
EX4. Recording from GigaStudio (GSIF) to SONAR (WDM)
EX5. Recording from GigaStudio (GSIF) to Cubase (ASIO)
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5. Audio Applications
This chapter contains basic configuration examples for some popular software applications. Please
also refer to the manual of the audio software you use for detailed information.
5.1 Windows Multimedia setup
The Windows Multimedia setup is required if you want to use your U24 XL as the main sound
device for Windows multimedia applications. Go to My Computer-> Control Panel -> Sounds and
Audio Device Properties -> Audio. Select the U24 XL entry as your playback device to make sure
that all standard signals are played via the U24 XL hardware.
5.2 Latency setting and ASIO applications under Windows
Via Config > Latency in the Control Panel it is possible to change the latency setting (also called
“buffer size”) for the ASIO driver of U24 XL. A smaller latency is the result of a smaller buffer size.
Depending on the typical application (e.g. for playback of software synthesizers) a smaller latency
is an advantage. At the same time, the best latency setting indirectly depends on the performance of
your system. For recording applications, a typical latency buffer size between 4 and 8ms is standard.
Note that the latency has to be setup before launching the ASIO application using U24 XL.
5.3 Mac OS X Audio MIDI Setup
The main control center of U24 XL under Mac OS X is the Audio MIDI Setup application that you
can find in your Applications folder. When you launch it, you can setup U24 XL as your Default
Input, Default Output or System Output device – if required.
While audio production and editing applications usually provide an option inside their preferences
to select U24 XL as recording and playback device, many general standard applications such as
iTunes for example are usually accessing the Default Output device, selectable in the Audio MIDI
Setup dialog.
If you want to change settings of U24 XL, you need to select it under Properties For as shown in
the picture above. You can change the default sample rate under Audio Input -> Format or Audio
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Output -> Format or you can change the main playback volume under Audio Output -> Volume
Slider -> M.
Under Audio Input -> Source you can select the analog line or digital S/PDIF input as recording
source.
5.4 Cubase LE 4
U24 XL ships with a DVD-ROM with Cubase LE 4 from Steinberg. If you are using a different
recording software, you can skip this section.
Installation
To install Cubase LE 4, insert the DVD-ROM into the DVD-ROM drive of your computer. Under
Windows, the installation will normally start automatically – if not, you can launch it manually by
starting the installer from the DVD-ROM drive. To install Cubase LE 4 under Mac OS X, double
click on the installer icon.
To proceed with the installation, follow all instructions on screen. During the installation the
Syncrosoft License Control software will be installed as well. To use Cubase LE 4 for more than 30
days, you need to activate it with this software via the internet. This means that you need an active
internet connection on the computer you are installing Cubase LE 4. We recommend you to activate
the software as early as possible.
Initial Setup
As most digital audio applications, Cubase LE 4 requires some initial configuration, before it can be
used properly with a new audio interface like U24 XL. Start Cubase LE 4 and select Device Setup
from the Devices menu. Select VST Audio System on the tree structure on the left part of the
window and then make sure to select ESI U24 XL ASIO as ASIO Driver entry. You can verify your
selection by selecting the ESI U24 XL device on the left. The dialog, now lists all input and output
channels. Note that the Control Panel button has no effect. Confirm your changes by clicking OK.
After that its time to select the input and output channels. From the Devices menu, select VST
Connection. The VST Connections window appears. Configure your input bus in the Inputs tab and
your output bus under Outputs. A bus can be either mono or stereo and added with Add Bus.
After that you can start using Cubase LE 4 by opening an existing project or creating a new project.
The input and output busses you have created can be assigned to the individual tracks of your
project.
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7. Specifications
1. USB controller
1) USB2.0 Full Speed compliant, USB audio class 1.0 supported
2) I2S Codec Interface, 2in/2out, 24-bit/48kHz
3) Built-in digital I/O (S/PDIF)
4) Built-in I2S input gain (12dB)
5) 2in/2out full duplex recording and playback
2. Analog Output
1) Max 24-bit/48kHz
2) Type: 1/4" phone jack
3) Line out: 1/4" Mono plug (left & right channel)
4) Headphone out: left channel connector only, stereo (right channel
must be unplugged)
5) Output Level(0dB): Max 3.4Vpp
3. Analog Input
1) Max 24-bit/48kHz
2) Type: 1/4" phone jack
3) Line in: 1/4" Mono plug (left & right channel)
4) Input Level(0dB): Max 6.0Vpp (Max 1.5Vpp @ digital gain 12dB)
5) Input Peak LED(Active): about 6.0Vpp
4. Digital In/Out
1) Max 24-bit/48kHz
2) Type: Coaxial & Optical
3) Format: IEC-958 Consumer (S/PDIF) by default
5. Samplerates
32, 44.1,48 kHz supported
8. General Information
Trademarks
ESI and U24 XL are trademarks of EGOSYS, Inc. and ESI Audiotechnik GmbH. Windows is a
trademark of Microsoft Corporation. Other product and brand names are trademarks or registered
trademarks of their respective companies.
The FCC and CE Regulation Warning
This device complies with Part 15 of the FCC Rules. Operation is subject to the following two
conditions: (1) this device may not cause harmful interference, and (2) this device must accept any
interference received, including interference that may cause undesired operation. Caution : Any
changes or modifications in construction of this device with are not expressly approved by the party
responsible for compliance, could void the user's authority to operate equipment.
Note: This equipment has been tested and found to comply with the limits for a Class A digital
device, pursuant to Part 15 of the FCC Rules. These limits are designed to provide reasonable
protection against harmful interference when the equipment is operated in a commercial
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environment. This equipment generates, uses, and can radiate radio frequency energy and, if not
installed and used in accordance with the instruction manual, may cause harmful interference to
radio communications. Operation of this equipment in a residential area is likely to cause harmful
interference in which case the user will be required to correct the interference at his own expense. If
necessary, consult an experienced radio/television technician for additional suggestions.
Correspondence
For technical support inquiries, contact ESI support online at www.esi-audio.com.
Disclaimer
All features and specifications subject to change without notice.
Parts of this manual are continually being updated. Please check our web site www.esi-audio.com
occasionally for the most recent update information.
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