Make a simple Windows app to restart stuck USB audio after working in your DAW

Have you ever been working in Ableton, or Reaper, or any other DAW, using your USB audio interface and when you finish your audio doesn’t want to work? The only solution you can seem to find is to unplug the USB and plug it back in, or restart your computer?

The reason this happens is your ASIO driver is most likely running your audio interface at a different sample rate than windows is, and takes exclusive control of the device. When you finish your DAW session, windows is supposed to take back control of your audio device, but things to always go so smoothly. For whatever reason, Windows seems oblivious to what just happened and doesn’t take the audio device back.

I don’t like to constantly unplug and replug my USB devices, because this eventually wears out the ports and you start getting random disconnects if it is done too often. But there is a very easy solution to this where you don’t have to reconnect, nor do you have to logout or restart your system. You can create your own little app that with a simple click will restart the windows audio server and your USB device will come back to life!

  1. open notepad by tapping the windows key, then start typing notepad
  2. in notepad paste the following
    net stop audiosrv
    net start audiosrv
  3. save the note as something like restartaudio.bat to your desktop
  4. close notepad and run the app by right clicking it on your desktop and select ‘run as administrator’
  5. you may see a warning asking you to confirm your action by pressing “y” for yes. Press y and wait for the app to finish. Now your USB device will work again!