USB audio interfaces and Virtual Machines

Want to talk about music hardware or software that doesn't include Reason?
Posts: 3
Joined: 21 May 2020

Post 21 May 2020

I've been using virtual machines (VirtualBox) for many years now as I think they are quite useful and efficient in permitting to keep the main system as "light" and stable as possible, while using virtual environments, each with its own specific software, for dedicated tasks (a virtual machine for accessing the Internet, another one for graphic work...).
VMs are very easy to backup and restore and also very comfortable to use, thanks to their "snapshot" feature, for any potentially dangerous "testing" (you can roll back with a few clicks in case of failure).

As a music lover I'd always liked to have a virtual machine dedicated to a production environment (DAW, virtual instruments...). I know that obviously performance would be affected, but my needs are quite basic and so that would not be a problem.
The big problem always lay, however, in the inability to directly access the host system's PCI sound card from inside a VM, which leads to the inability to install the Asio drivers.

While that obstacle has remained substantially unchanged over the years, virtual USB interfaces have evolved a lot, so that today a USB device can easily be "attached" to a virtual machine, simply by connecting it to a physical USB port of the host system.
So I thought that maybe, using an USB audio interface, I could finally get there.
Sadly, as I found out, that is true only for some audio interfaces. Many of them don't get detected or, even when regularly detected and identified by the virtual machine, don't allow the following installation of the drivers, or they allow it but then they don't work well, maybe because they are not totally compliant to the USB standards or for other reasons.
Manufacturers, with rare exceptions, do not provide information in this regard, so the only reliable source lies in... users.

So here is, finally, my question to other forum members:
is there anyone who has actually succeeded in such a task with an USB audio interface?

Thanks in advance for any help.

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