Forget latency

Thunderbolt™ Driver for Windows

Now compatible with Discrete 4, Discrete 8, Orion Studio Rev2017, Orion Studio, Zen Tour, Orion 32+, Goliath HD, Goliath and Zen Studio+.

Antelope Audio Windows Thunderbolt™ Driver

Windows Thunderbolt™ Driver

The initial version of the Antelope Audio Windows Thunderbolt driver is now officially released! The driver is stable, fast and maintains low latency levels even in busy sessions. It’s under active development, and future versions will resolve the current limitations.

We’d like to thank our Beta testers who helped us a lot in improving the driver during its six-month Open Beta period.

Supported devices

The Windows Thunderbolt™ driver is supported on all Antelope Audio Thunderbolt™ interfaces:
Discrete 4, Discrete 8, Orion Studio Rev2017, Orion Studio, Zen Tour, Orion 32+, Goliath HD, Goliath, and Zen Studio+.

Features and limitations

Windows Thunderbolt™ Driver features

• The Antelope Audio Windows Thunderbolt™ Driver supports ultra-low latency – down to sub-millisecond round-trip latency including AD/DA*
• The driver is very efficient and maintains stable playback on busy sessions with lots of channels and effects – the Discrete 8 achieved LLP Rating of 9.30 on the DAW Bench low-latency benchmarks**

* 0.995ms measured on Discrete 8 using PreSonus Studio One 4, 192kHz, 64 samples buffer, streaming mode set to “Fast”.
** You can check how the Discrete 8 with the Windows Thunderbolt™ driver measures compared to other interfaces
We’d like to thank Vin Curigliano of AAVIM Technology for his wonderful work on DAW Bench and the Low-latency Performance Database, and for measuring the Discrete 8 and giving us feedback on improving the product.

Driver limitations

• Only ASIO standard is supported. Windows Audio support is still in development, but you can use third-party tools*** to overcome this limitation
• Only one device at a time is supported
• Only one ASIO application at a time is supported
• The Antelope Thunderbolt™ interfaces are not yet certified for PC and a notification might appear that they might not work correctly. You can safely ignore this error. The interfaces are certified on Mac, and they meet the Thunderbolt™ physical, electrical and logical specifications
• Only the digital latency (i.e. without AD/DA) is reported to the DAWs

*** We recommend using the VB-Audio VoiceMeeter Virtual Audio Mixer. This tool creates a virtual Windows Audio device which can use the Antelope Thunderbolt™ ASIO as a playback engine.
We’d like to thank Vincent Burel of VB-Audio for creating this wonderful software, and for his support during Antelope Windows Thunderbolt™ driver development! We’d like to ask you to support VB-Audio by making a donation!

New Beta Version Coming Q1’2019!

Download

The driver is under active development and new versions will be first made available on this page.
Please subscribe to our newsletter or follow our news page for any updates.

New Beta Version Coming Q1’2019.

System requirements

Setting Up

  1. Make sure you have “Thunderbolt™ Software” installed.
  2. Download and install the latest Antelope Audio Windows Thunderbolt™ Driver.
  3. Connect the device. A warning will appear stating “This device may not work properly”. The warning appears because the device is not yet certified for Windows, you can safely ignore it. A prompt may appear to ask if the device can connect. Select “Always Connect”.
  4. Download and install the Antelope Launcher.
  5. Open the Antelope Launcher and update.
  6. You should be ready to go. Configure your device from the Control Panel and use your favorite DAW to playback and record!
  7. Please note that Windows Audio is not yet supported, only ASIO. Check the Advanced section for a workaround using third-party software.

F.A.Q.'s

What do I need to connect my device via Thunderbolt™?

You’ll need a computer, equipped with a motherboard that supports Thunderbolt™. If the motherboard doesn’t have a Thunderbolt™ port, you’ll also need a Thunderbolt™ AIC (Add-in Card). You’ll need a Thunderbolt™ 2 cable. If the port on your computer or AIC is Thunderbolt™ 3 (Type-C) you’ll also need a Thunderbolt™ 3 to Thunderbolt™ 2 adapter.

My computer doesn’t have a Thunderbolt™ port. Can I install a Thunderbolt™ AIC (Add-in Card)?

It depends. Thunderbolt™ requires explicit support from your motherboard. Check your motherboard specifications or contact the manufacturer to see if it supports a Thunderbolt™ AIC.

I have a computer with USB Type-C port, will the driver work?

It depends. All Thunderbolt™ 3 ports are Type-C. However, not all USB Type-C ports support Thunderbolt™. Type-C ports that do so will have the Thunderbolt™ logo besides them. It’s best to check your motherboard documentation to see if your port supports Thunderbolt™.

My motherboard doesn't have a Thunderbolt™ port, but supports Thunderbolt™ via an AIC (Add-in Card). What Thunderbolt™ AIC should I use?

It’s best to check with your motherboard manufacturer for a list of supported AICs. Typically, you can use an AIC from the same motherboard manufacturer.

Do I need to change any BIOS/UEFI settings in order for Thunderbolt™ to work with the device?

Usually the default settings are OK and the device should be able to connect. There might be Thunderbolt™ settings that can prevent the device from connecting. The first one is “Thunderbolt™ Security” or ” Thunderbolt™ Authentication”. It should be set to “None” or “User” – depending on the motherboard. The other one is for Thunderbolt™ PCI support. This one should be enabled. Also, USB power-saving features might prevent Thunderbolt™ from working, so you might need to disable them.

What cable should I use?

You’ll need a Thunderbolt™ 2 cable. We recommend the Apple Thunderbolt™ Cable, or if you need a longer cable – the Corning Optical Thunderbolt™ Cables.

Is there a list of tested configurations?

Every computer with a Thunderbolt™ 2 or Thunderbolt™ 3 support should work.
The following configurations are reported by our users to be working correctly:

• Alienware 17 R5 + Apple Thunderbolt™ 3 (USB-C) to Thunderbolt™ 2 Adapter
• ASRock Z270 Extreme 4 + ASRock Thunderbolt™ 3 AIC + StarTech Thunderbolt™ 3 to Thunderbolt™ 2 Adapter
• ASRock Fatal1ty Z370 Gaming-ITX/ac + Apple Thunderbolt™ 3 (USB-C) to Thunderbolt™ 2 Adapter
• ASRock Z97 Extreme6 + ASRock Thunderbolt™ 2 AIC
• ASUS PRIME X299-A + ASUS ThunderboltEX 3 + Apple Thunderbolt™ 3 (USB-C) to Thunderbolt™ 2 Adapter
• ASUS PRIME Z270-A + ASUS ThunderboltEX 3 + Apple Thunderbolt™ 3 (USB-C) to Thunderbolt™ 2 Adapter
• ASUS PRIME Z270-A + ASUS ThunderboltEX 3 + StarTech Thunderbolt™ 3 to Thunderbolt™ 2 Adapter
• ASUS ROG G750JH
• ASUS ROG G75VX
• ASUS TUF SABERTOOTH X99 + ASUS ThunderboltEX 3 + Cable Matters Thunderbolt™ 3 to Thunderbolt™ 2 Adapter
• Dell Alienware 13 + Apple Thunderbolt™ 3 (USB-C) to Thunderbolt™ 2 Adapter
• Dell Precision M3800
• Dell XPS 15 (9560) + Apple Thunderbolt™ 3 (USB-C) to Thunderbolt™ 2 Adapter
• Gigabyte GA-Z170X-Gaming 7 + Apple Thunderbolt™ 3 (USB-C) to Thunderbolt™ 2 Adapter
• Gigabyte GA-Z270X-Gaming 7 + Apple Thunderbolt™ 3 (USB-C) to Thunderbolt™ 2 Adapter
• Gigabyte GA-Z270X-Gaming 8
• Gigabyte X299 AORUS Gaming 7 + Gigabyte GC-ALPINE RIDGE + Apple Thunderbolt™ 3 (USB-C) to Thunderbolt™ 2 Adapter
• Gigabyte X299 UD4 + Gigabyte GC-ALPINE RIDGE + StarTech Thunderbolt™ 3 to Thunderbolt™ 2 Adapter
• Gigabyte Z370 AORUS Gaming K3 + Gigabyte GC-ALPINE RIDGE (rev 2.0) + Apple Thunderbolt™ 3 (USB-C) to Thunderbolt™ 2 Adapter
• Gigabyte Z370XP SLI + Gigabyte GC-ALPINE RIDGE (rev 1.0) + Apple Thunderbolt™ 3 (USB-C) to Thunderbolt™ 2 Adapter
• HP Spectre x360 + Apple Thunderbolt™ 3 (USB-C) to Thunderbolt™ 2 Adapter*
• HP Z230 Workstation + HP Thunderbolt™ 2 PCIe
• HP Z240 Workstation + HP Thunderbolt™ 2 PCIe
• HP Z840 Workstation + HP Thunderbolt™ 2 PCIe
• Intel NUC Hades Canyon + Cable Matters Thunderbolt™ 3 to Thunderbolt™ 2 Adapter
• Intel NUC Skull Canyon + StarTech Thunderbolt™ 3 to Thunderbolt™ 2 Adapter

The following configurations are reported as working, but not detected when connected before computer is started:

• ASRock Fatal1ty X299 Gaming K6 + ASRock Thunderbolt™ 3 AIC + Apple Thunderbolt™ 3 (USB-C) to Thunderbolt™ 2 Adapter
• HP Spectre x360 + Apple Thunderbolt™ 3 (USB-C) to Thunderbolt™ 2 Adapter*

Some hardware revisions of the Apple Thunderbolt™ 3 (USB-C) to Thunderbolt™ 2 Adapter appear to cause communication problems, so we recommend using the StarTech Thunderbolt™ 3 to Thunderbolt™ 2 Adapter

Troubleshooting

My device is not discovered or recognized.

  1. If the Intel Thunderbolt Software cannot discover the device, please try the following:
    • Check to see if your BIOS configuration has Thunderbolt enabled;
    • Try disabling any USB power-saving features in your BIOS;
    • If using and Add-in Card, check to see it’s installed on the correct slot (some motherboards / AICs can only work on certain PCIe slots, check with your motherboard and AIC manufacturer for mor information);
    • Update your BIOS to the latest version (you might need to unplug your computer from the power for 30 seconds). Check with your motherboard manufacturer for information on how to update your BIOS;
    • Update the Thunderbolt controller firmware (you might need to unplug your computer from the power for 30 seconds). Check with your motherboard and AIC manufacturer for information on where to get the updates;
    • Update the Intel Management Engine driver;
    • Try switching cables or adapters. We recommend Apple or Corning cables, and StarTech Thunderbolt 3 to Thunderbolt 2 adapters.
  2. If the device is not recognized when connected before the computer is started, but recognized otherwise, please try a different Thunderbolt 3 to Thunderbolt 2 adapter.
  3. If the device is recognized by the Intel Thunderbolt Software, but does not appear in Device Manager, allow the device to connect from the Intel Thunderbolt Software.
  4. If the device shows as “Unknown PCI device” in the Device Manager:
    • Try re-installing the driver;
    • If the problem persists, manually select the driver: right click on the device, select “Update driver”, select “Browse my computer for driver software”, select “Let me pick from a list of available drivers on my computer”, select “Have Disk”, and navigate to “C:\Program Files\Antelope Audio\Thunderbolt\AntelopeAudio.inf”.

Known issues

Changing the current Power Plan during playback / recording is not supported.

Please select and configure your Power Plan before starting playback / recording session.

Optimization

  1. Disable the “Power Throttling” feature of Windows from registry (requires restart)

    Run “regedit”. Go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Power. Create a new Key “PowerThrottling” if not present, and a new DWORD value “PowerThrottlingOff” under the key, then set the value to “1”. Restart the computer.

  2. You can tune the driver from the Thunderbolt™ ASIO Settings control panel

    Either open it from your DAW, or navigate to C:\Program Files (x86)\Antelope Audio\Thunderbolt\AntelopeAudioSettings.exe

    Use the Streaming mode slider to fine-tune the latency. Please note that the lowest achievable latency values depend on the computer configuration, as the Antelope driver is sensitive to Interrupt, DPC and scheduling latencies – these can vary depending on the hardware and installed third-party drivers and applications.