Audio Interface with REALLY short latency?

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
robbmasters
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Re: Audio Interface with REALLY short latency?

Post by robbmasters » Thu Oct 07, 2010 9:50 am

Speaking of Echo, I have an AudioFire2. Despite Live reporting low latency figures, it never seems to be quite low enough when I'm playing keyboards. (Could that be down to the actual VSTi - usually SampleTank?) This is on a four year old MacBook Pro, so a newer computer may give better results.

Anyway, it's probably worth mentioning that I seem to get lower latency with ASIO4ALL under Windows than with the native drivers under Windows or OS X.
OS X, Live 9, Microbook II

Plattfeste
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Re: Audio Interface with REALLY short latency?

Post by Plattfeste » Thu Oct 07, 2010 11:10 am

robbmasters wrote:Speaking of Echo, I have an AudioFire2. Despite Live reporting low latency figures, it never seems to be quite low enough when I'm playing keyboards. (Could that be down to the actual VSTi - usually SampleTank?) This is on a four year old MacBook Pro, so a newer computer may give better results.

Anyway, it's probably worth mentioning that I seem to get lower latency with ASIO4ALL under Windows than with the native drivers under Windows or OS X.
Oh, that's very intersting, cause I'm still working on an old MBP too! Could you do me a huge favor and try a very low latency setting in OSX, and tell me the values Ableton reports? For actually measuring the latency, I simply connected an output to an input and re-recorded some percussive drumsound, so I could see the latency offset. Only if you have the time for this, of course. Thank you so much!

bodhi71
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Re: Audio Interface with REALLY short latency?

Post by bodhi71 » Thu Oct 07, 2010 12:26 pm

Curious, what about Apogee's Duet? How would that fair, doesn't it use the same drivers as it's big brother?

Trent
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Re: Audio Interface with REALLY short latency?

Post by Trent » Thu Oct 07, 2010 12:42 pm

We're using a Presonus Firestudio Project live on stage with guitar and vocals going though Guitar Rig. Then again I have a beastly rack mounted PC pushing everything.

Plattfeste
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Re: Audio Interface with REALLY short latency?

Post by Plattfeste » Thu Oct 07, 2010 2:03 pm

bodhi71 wrote:Curious, what about Apogee's Duet? How would that fair, doesn't it use the same drivers as it's big brother?
Audio quality is said to be good, but I haven't heard the best things about the driver either...

Plattfeste
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Re: Audio Interface with REALLY short latency?

Post by Plattfeste » Thu Oct 07, 2010 2:10 pm

Trent wrote:We're using a Presonus Firestudio Project live on stage with guitar and vocals going though Guitar Rig. Then again I have a beastly rack mounted PC pushing everything.
Yeah, other than the latency I thought the Presonus (Firestudio mobile) was quite good, sturdy too. I can imagine that a stronger PC/Computer reduces the latency by "brute force", but then I'd rather have a small, effective and rock solid driver. It's awful that even Motu aren't able to reproduce the quality of their old stuff (from what I heard, and from that USB Microbook).
I think I might have even kept the Firestudio mobile, but I had one more problem with it: It wouldn't output a proper Midi clock. I have no idea why, but the Nord Lead's arpeggiator wouldn't sync to it.

pulse
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Re: Audio Interface with REALLY short latency?

Post by pulse » Thu Oct 07, 2010 3:21 pm

you can try to get an used RME multiface and then plug it via the cardbus and you should have a rock solid system ..
by the way I just bought the cardbus, will have to look at the latency I have now ... (just quickly checked that is was working)

Plattfeste
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Re: Audio Interface with REALLY short latency?

Post by Plattfeste » Thu Oct 07, 2010 4:50 pm

pulse wrote:you can try to get an used RME multiface and then plug it via the cardbus and you should have a rock solid system ..
by the way I just bought the cardbus, will have to look at the latency I have now ... (just quickly checked that is was working)
Yes, RME are the only company (I know of) who are taking the driver/latency business seriously. On their website you always find a lot of information about computer architechture, USB/Firewire, ...

Multiface + Cardbus, too big and bulky for me unfortunately, I'm struggeling with way too much hand luggage already. But maybe the Echo Indigo IOx (the other Express Card interface) is superfast too? Anybody got experiences with that system?

skipkent
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Re: Audio Interface with REALLY short latency?

Post by skipkent » Thu Oct 07, 2010 7:57 pm

I use an EMU Tracker USB (2.0) on Win XP and get great latency with keyboards and live guitar w/fx. For $150 it might not be a bad option while you save up for the RME. When you get the RME, you can still use the Tracker as a standalone 2 channel phantom-powered pre-amp. Always handy! There are inserts on both channels, too.
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pulse
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Re: Audio Interface with REALLY short latency?

Post by pulse » Thu Oct 07, 2010 9:19 pm

okay a bit HS cause you dont seem to want multiface with expresscard but here are my results

by default I have 512 samples and a latency of 27.1 ms (with both inputs and outputs enabled)

I can go down to 45 samples and a latency of 5.94 ms with clean sound (I can gain approx 1 ms while playing with the samples but I would not take the risk of crackles for live act, so 45 samples is safe)

Other option I use normally a esi quatafire as it is a quite small device (firewire) and I am bit afraid of breaking the cardbus during live acts (so I keep the RME for the studio)
Here are the results with the esi

512 samples : latency = 29 ms
61 samples : latency = 8,84 ms (and if I go down = crackles)

so yes RME is better about this (and the gain is also louder) ... but it is not the same price .)

Hope it will help others too (as you seemed not interested by the RME-cardbus solution)

Peace
PHil

PS : my latency are the ones from ableton ... (sorry I didn't do the recording stuff)

rikhyray
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Re: Audio Interface with REALLY short latency?

Post by rikhyray » Thu Oct 07, 2010 9:31 pm

Plattfeste wrote: Multiface + Cardbus, too big and bulky for me unfortunately, I'm struggeling with way too much hand luggage already. But maybe the Echo Indigo IOx (the other Express Card interface) is superfast too? Anybody got experiences with that system?
Indigo express, ridiculously low latency, almost as low as RME at 1/4 of the price. I would be happy to find Firewire interface with twice the Indigos latency, it is mostly 2,3 x higher. Unfortunately new MBP does not have the slot so I had to give it up.
It does not sound as good as TC, Focusrite or even Presonus but better than most other inexpensive cards, and better than internal for sure.
Want it all-quality, low latency and small size - RME Babyface.
P.S. I used DJx so no inputs and no sweat at 1,5 ms which I find stunning for the price.

clank72
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Re: Audio Interface with REALLY short latency?

Post by clank72 » Thu Oct 07, 2010 9:54 pm

IP wrote:I also need a good interface to replace my profire 610 and RME seems to be the only proper solution :| but damn, i cant afford it :(
Because you get what you pay for. I fisted $1600 for my RME Fireface 800 (at the time). It's really good stuff. Stay away from M-Aduio, Tascam, MOTU, Presonus and anything else you can buy at Guitar Center. Sell your car or do what you have to. Go with RME. You will place it in your rack and forget about it.
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leedsquietman
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Re: Audio Interface with REALLY short latency?

Post by leedsquietman » Thu Oct 07, 2010 11:28 pm

The Echo Indigo range are amazing for latency, being PCMCIA/Expresscard interfaces, but they have no preamps or XLR inputs and limited I/O, which is why I had to buy another audio interface, as I go tired routing up my Mackie mixer to it - until my Echo Indigo broke, I still used it to mix with, and my Alesis IO14 to record only, but since it broke I have to live with the IO14.

Yes, computing power can have a relationship with latency values. Different softsynths use more latency and CPU power too, for example, I can use most softsynths at 256 or less samples, but certain patches in Arturia's synths or one or two of Absynth 5s patches need 512 samples to run or they fry the CPU load and asio buffer.

Doing things like using eco mode (if there is one, like in NI Massive), reducing polyphony and unison voices can help here, and then you can turn off eco mode and turn unison or polyphony up when you render/export the file to get the full quality.

You should get the RME Fireface and not a Multiface - Expresscard busses are becoming extinct, Apple took them out of the 13 and 15" Mac Book Pros and some PC lappies don't include them, and RME may not support them with driver updates in the future. The Fireface UC USB 2.0 is their best performing non PCI (Hammerfall DSP 9652) interface, beating out the FF400 and FF800 in most cases. The Babyface is the same except with less I/O.
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Piplodocus
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Re: Audio Interface with REALLY short latency?

Post by Piplodocus » Fri Oct 08, 2010 12:29 am

It's not much help, but as a reference of MOTU H/W and newer Macbooks I have a brand new Mid-2010 i7 Macbook and a MOTU 828mk3. Just did the "Driver Error Compensation" test yesterday. The best I seemed to get to guarantee no fuzziness, with the CPU load simulator on 80% (as the tutorial suggests) was 128 samples to be slightly on the safe side. That gives me a latency of 3.88ms in, 3.81ms out, but needs error compensation of 12ms, thus giving me a grand total of 20ms. Not too shoddy imho, but not as short as you've got. Don't know whether the built in CuemixFX adds much to it.

My main problem is I seem to get unrelated spikes and a few disk light glitches; extra annoying since most of the time it's under 50% for most of the projects, and I have 2 HDDs in it, both 7200rpm, the System/Live Library one is a Hybrid one with 4GB of flash NAND in too. :( It's usually on cymbal crashes I notice when they glitch and cut out. When the buffer was twice the size it seemed no better. Seems mostly better when I shut Airport off and close all the other apps. Might try stick the Live Library back on the same HDD as the rest of the songs and see if it improves. Might be lost of unused bits and sometimes experimental 2nd session drum kits that are muted. Must tidy up some of my projects and see if it helps, since I haven't been using it for live stuff recently I haven't tidied anything up.
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rikhyray
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Re: Audio Interface with REALLY short latency?

Post by rikhyray » Sun Oct 10, 2010 2:48 am

As promised, did the comparison test of the Presonus mobile and Echo Audiofire. Presonus could go down to 32 samples, 64 being more realistic with average project the round latency 19 , and 21 ms respectively. Echo Audiofire at 128 samples was round -in/out at around 11ms and 8ms at 64, and was just noise with same project at 32 samples.
That was with latest 13`MBP. Didnt have WIndows lappie for the test but remember that there was difference with samples and latencies readings but the round readings were similar like on Mac.
My conclusion it is 2010 and those values are absolutely lousy and of Presonus pathetic. I remember getting better latency even with M audio Ozonic 4 years back. WIll wait a bit more, and incase Babyface delivery gets delayed might replace Presonus Mobile with Audiofire, seems to my anything else than RME is money and time wasted, Motu became shadow of past glory, TC and Focusrite while having serious achievements in sound quality in driver department are even worse than Presonus or Echo.

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