"Low" latency?

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
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Posts: 11
Joined: Sat Jul 10, 2010 9:26 am
Location: Norway

"Low" latency?

Post by cygnal » Fri Mar 18, 2011 10:28 am


I was just wondering, what is the alternative, nowadays, to acheiving 0 latency (in terms of keyboard playing). I'm comparing to AWE32 family of soundcards, which had E-mu hardware sampling, which meant, sampler with 0 latency on a soundcard. But also, older models had Yamaha OPL chips, which were synthesizers, and it was also 0 latency (seen as MIDI in Windows mixer).

There doesn't seem to be things like that, anymore? Or is there a CHEAP alternative to those? (I'm guessing these would nowadays be very expensive - I'm still holding on to mine, it's still in my Pentium I MMX, even though the hard-drive went dead. But I'm thinking of replacing it :))

I'm also considering standalone GM modules, or samplers, I mean, anything to get that 0 latency feeling back. (The latest, hottest new "low-latency" interfaces do not quite cut it for me)


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Location: Norway

Re: "Low" latency?

Post by Rabalder » Fri Mar 18, 2011 11:11 am

Absolute ZERO latency is soon-to-be extinct..

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Location: Los Angeles, CA USA

Re: "Low" latency?

Post by dancerchris » Mon Mar 21, 2011 1:29 am

Absolute zero latency doesn't happen even with the best analog gear. Many acoustic instruments have their own inherent latency as well. For every foot you are away from your sound source you get 1 ms additional latency. Imagine the guitar hero with the wall of Marshalls behind him on a big stage. Set up with wireless he's way out front near the audience. He's experiencing noticeable latency (unless of course he has in-ear monitoring).

So called "no latency" or "zero latency" gear is just routing the dry signal pre-processing to you, and even that has some amount of latency. People get hung up on having low latency and often don't understand when it is important or not. Mixing - not, playing live with Live processing - depends. Most latency below 10-15 ms won't matter. Somewhere from 15-25 ms is noticeable (to you) but workable (again for live situations). Above that it is personal preference.

My opinion.

My $0.02
Live 8.4.2 / Win 8 Pro 64 bit / Core 2 Quad 2.66 GHZ / 8 Gb ram
Presonus Firepod / Axiom 49 / PadKontrol
Various guitars, keyboards, sax and friends

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