Macbook built in audio: 61 samples! 3.74 ms latency!!

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
Vertical
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Macbook built in audio: 61 samples! 3.74 ms latency!!

Post by Vertical » Thu Nov 06, 2008 12:40 am

I am absolutely floored by how well CoreAudio works with even the built in audio on my MacBook. I wish someone would have told me this a long time ago as I battled XP performance issues.

I am now in mobile heaven. Especially since I work 80% in the box. I don't need anything but my MacBook and headphones, and I'm off making music! And sometimes a midi keyboard.

I have the Korg nanokey as well, and that is true mobile heaven.

I also did upgrade the HD to a 7200 RPM drive.

leedsquietman
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Post by leedsquietman » Thu Nov 06, 2008 2:13 am

Don't expect to run anything more than a few tracks and a couple of plugins at that latency before you get clicks and glitching and need to step up. I don't mean to rain on your parade, I mean it is good that you are getting those results but there are other things to consider too.

Really, you don't need that low a latency anyway, except when recording / tracking instruments or voice, for most situations, 256 samples is fine and when mixing down your music, 512 or 1,024 samples is fine and takes a strain off the CPU.

XP isn't the problem. Drivers are the problem. I could easily match your latency with my Echo Indigo IO card, especially using Reason (Live is a lot more CPU intensive than many DAW programs), on win XP as it had great drivers. There are some cards that have terrible drivers full stop, for XP, Vista or Mac OSX. The mac's inbuilt audio is also arse for recording vocals and instruments, as are the inbuilt soundcards in almost every PC.


My current interface the Alesis IO14 FW, I can use Live at 128 samples if only a few tracks, but by the time I've gotten to my usual 30 tracks or so and dozens of plugins, it's up at 512 samples or more by the time I'm mixing. It does have direct monitoring which helps but then you are not routing it through Live's mixer, so unless you are adding FX as you record, it is dry. However, it has great preamps for it's price and good performance specs with s/n ratios etc - we're not talking RME quality here, but very acceptable for an interface in this price range.
http://soundcloud.com/umbriel-rising http://www.myspace.com/leedsquietmandemos Live 7.0.18 SUITE, Cubase 5.5.2], Soundforge 9, Dell XPS M1530, 2.2 Ghz C2D, 4GB, Vista Ult SP2, legit plugins a plenty, Alesis IO14.

timothyallan
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Post by timothyallan » Thu Nov 06, 2008 3:26 am

+1, wait till you put on some heavy plugins. XP isn't much diff at all... I run both occasionally.

supamonsta
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Post by supamonsta » Fri Nov 07, 2008 3:21 pm

I used to use the built in soundcard for live gigs... but the last 2 times I hadn't enough power out, and the engineer had to boost up the sono amps and console and that was crappy... He barked at me so strong that I now bring my ultralite to my gigs (when I have some! lol )

but no latency or clipping problems for me with it. really good one, without any hiss. Good work apple.

Emissary
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Post by Emissary » Fri Nov 07, 2008 4:02 pm

the main reason i got a macbook was because of this. 10ms latency and using the keyboard as a ...well... keyboard and you can write music anywhere , with no hiss and no worries.

ethios4
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Post by ethios4 » Fri Nov 07, 2008 4:33 pm

It's funny to watch a stage full of Macbooks all snap-crackle-popping because of people running their sets from the onboard soundcard.

Mac Myth #367 - Core Audio is good enough for performing.

supamonsta
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Post by supamonsta » Fri Nov 07, 2008 4:36 pm

I said I had problems with the onboard soundcard in live gig, yes, but no snap-crackle-and-pops... :wink:

nebulae
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Post by nebulae » Fri Nov 07, 2008 4:57 pm

I love it when all you mac-weeners whine - I can run lotsa tracks/plugs using my onboard laptop drivers, and if I want real low latency, the ASIO4ALL. I got a C2D 2.4ghz lappie with 2gb of ram, XP. Still killin'.
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ethios4
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Post by ethios4 » Fri Nov 07, 2008 4:58 pm

Well that's good. I was at a show a few weeks ago where there were a bunch of Macbook Pros running from the onboard sound and nearly every one of them had audio problems....thus my comment.

nebulae
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Post by nebulae » Fri Nov 07, 2008 5:00 pm

my dell d630 ain't pretty like a macbook, and it's plain ugly compared to a mbp, but it's rock solid @ about half the price. love it.

Oh yeah, it has 4 usb ports and built-in firewire, and a pcmcia slot and an expresscard slot.

The pcmcia slot allows me to use my RME Multiface card, which gives me 0.7ms of latency - the look on Ethios's face when he played a guitar through my setup using Guitar Rig with less latency than most Pods was awesome :)
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sparklepuff
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Post by sparklepuff » Fri Nov 07, 2008 5:08 pm

Using the onboard sound on my MacBook Pro is a joke. Pop-pop-crackle-HISSSSSSSSS-pop-glitch-crackle-crackle
Guitar | Synths | Samplers | Ableton @ Phantogram & Big Grams

mr.adl
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Post by mr.adl » Fri Nov 07, 2008 5:23 pm

sparklepuff wrote:Using the onboard sound on my MacBook Pro is a joke. Pop-pop-crackle-HISSSSSSSSS-pop-glitch-crackle-crackle

Hm, sounds pretty sweet if you are into Minimal Music :lol:

Tarekith
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Post by Tarekith » Fri Nov 07, 2008 5:25 pm

Never had any troubles using the built in audio on my MBP when writing CPU intensive tunes on the road. I don't use it for playing live, but I've definitely run much higher CPU projects when writing tunes than my live or DJ sets would ever use and it's worked fine.
Tarekith
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ethios4
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Post by ethios4 » Fri Nov 07, 2008 5:44 pm

nebulae wrote:The pcmcia slot allows me to use my RME Multiface card, which gives me 0.7ms of latency - the look on Ethios's face when he played a guitar through my setup using Guitar Rig with less latency than most Pods was awesome :)
That experience totally changed my expectations about what is possible with latency! I got the latency on my Firebox down pretty low now, but still nothing like the instantaneous response of your RME!

Emissary
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Post by Emissary » Fri Nov 07, 2008 6:21 pm

RME are gods. I have a multiface and its just astounding.

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