Fixing “live does not support 8000 as a sample rate” error in Ableton Live and ASIO4ALL

Randomly clicking around in the ASIO4ALL 2.15 settings in Ableton Live, as one does, I change something (perhaps I hit ‘Restore Default Settings’, but it may also have been something else) and got the error “live does not support 8000 as a sample rate”. This post is far from the usual fare on this blog — skip it unless you’re one of the lost souls looking for a solution.

The reason I don’t know exactly what I changed is that Ableton promptly didn’t want to recognize ASIO4ALL as an audio engine anymore, failing with this error even in new projects and sessions. This in turn made it impossible to reach the ASIO4ALL settings, since these are only available when the audio device is in use. A catch 22!

Fortunately Ableton is not my only DAW and I was immediately able to verify using Nanohost that there was nothing wrong with any of my audio devices or drivers.

But how then to reset the ASIO4ALL settings for Ableton Live if those very settings make Ableton refuse to recognise it as a possible audio engine in the first place? Since this happened while I was changing settings on the ASIO4ALL side, I reasoned that it must have been storing those settings somewhere.

Solution

Turns out ASIO4ALL saves its settings separately for each DAW that you use it with in the Windows Registry, in a key in HKEY_Users that ends as follows: Software\ASIO4ALL v2 by Wuschel. Every DAW you’ve ever used ASIO4ALL in gets a unique identifier, which in the registry editor looks like a little folder icon (which in turn contains folders corresponding to each of the audio devices on your system, but you don’t need to look into those).

The only key that had its SampleRate set to 0x00001f40 (=8000), now corrected to 0x0000ac44 (44100).

Unfortunately, there are no names, only strings like 7BAC4DA6. Fortunately, there is a SampleRate value in the root of each key. Most were set to 0x0000ac44 (which is hex for 44100, which we recognize as the sample rate we want). Finding the culprit was a matter of finding which one was different; turns out on my system, amidst all the ones with 0x000ac44, there was one with a value of 0x00001f40, which is hex for… 8000, exactly the sample rate Ableton Live was complaining about.

TL;DR The fix was as simple as changing that one SampleRate from 0x00001f40 to 0x0000ac44.

For the benefit of search engines (probably a lost cause but anyway), let me take note of two things that were dead ends for me but that may still be useful for others. For some people, this error occurs in relation to a Bluetooth device, and switching off Bluetooth helps recover from it. This was not the cause of my problem, as Bluetooth was off anyway and tinkering it made no difference, but it may help you.

Prior versions of ASIO4ALL used to have an “offline setting” mode where you could go into it and tweak the global settings, which is recommended in many of the stale solutions you find if you google for this error. The recent version (2.15) doesn’t have this anymore — apparently a cause of frustration for some users.

Root cause

The problem appeared to be strictly that Ableton Live, once confronted with a sample rate of 8000, refused to recognise ASIO4ALL as a possible audio engine, in turn making it impossible to open the settings and revert to a more reasonable setup.

The blame for this being hard to fix is on both sides. Ableton should probably not assume that a software device that exposes an unreasonable sample rate is therefore capable only of that sample rate: it should allow the user to still select that device and (thereby) provide access to its settings.

ASIO4ALL should probably not jump to a sample rate of 8000 so easily. Ideally it would have a way to copy the settings from one device to another. In my case, since I knew my Nanohost DAW worked fine, I ought to have been able to say ‘apply these settings to this other device’.

(Note for nerds: you can actually do this by exporting the relevant registry key for a DAW that works, which you can identify by tinkering with the window position and observing which windowpos value changes — and then importing those values in another key. That would be overkill for fixing this specific issue, for which you only need to correct the SampleRate value, but it might come in handy if you want to use the exact same settings across two DAWs; e.g., two standalone Nanohost devices you run simultaneously.)

In closing. This is the first and only problem I’ve ever had with ASIO4ALL, and it was mostly my own doing. ASIO4ALL is a labour of love by Michael Tippach: a low latency driver for Windows that works out of the box and pops up only when you need it, which is when you select it as an audio driver in your DAW. I recommend it!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *