#1
What dictates how low i can cleanly set my sample buffer while I am recording? I have pretty solid specs for my comp, but i cant seem to get the sample buffer lower than 512 without running into glitches, distortion, dropouts ect. This pretty much happens whether I am micing up my amp, or going direct into my interface, even with minimal effects / additional tracks ect. Once i go below 512 I start running into problems. Ideally i would like to get my latency to around 1-3 ms if possible.

My mobo is a gigabyte ga-970a-ud3p. My ram is g.skill sniper 8gb, and my processor is an amd fx 8350. Im running windows 7 OS. My interface is an art usb dual tube pre. I am using ASIO4ALL for my driver, but I also dabbled with WASAPI. WASAPI seemed to perform better for a little while but then it gave up on me.

Could you guys help me identify what my weak link is in my chain? I hope hope hope its not my computer specs. I have also read online in a few sources that the driver may play a big role on this?

Thanks
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#2
Quote by Watterboy
What dictates how low i can cleanly set my sample buffer while I am recording?
It's a buffer size, so you would either set the buffer size low or the buffer small.
That's just semantics tho.

Your processing power and the data interface(s) you're using for i/o anyway, so most of the time only your CPU power + USB.
The first is greatly impacted by the drivers, and the drivers may suck.
USB always sucks.

How to solve the thing?
Install Mac OS X (hella optimized compared to win, and CoreAudio kills ASIO any day), get a more powerful processor (with more cores and/or better hyperthreading), get an audio interface with a different data interface.
Quote by Watterboy
Could you guys help me identify what my weak link is in my chain?
Windows.

You don't have a wide driver choice there, and your specs are good enough.
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Last edited by Spambot_2 at Feb 23, 2015,
#3
Quote by Spambot_2
It's a buffer size, so you would either set the buffer size low or the buffer small.
That's just semantics tho.

Your processing power and the data interface(s) you're using for i/o anyway, so most of the time only your CPU power + USB.
The first is greatly impacted by the drivers, and the drivers may suck.
USB always sucks.

How to solve the thing?
Install Mac OS X (hella optimized compared to win, and CoreAudio kills ASIO any day), get a more powerful processor (with more cores and/or better hyperthreading), get an audio interface with a different data interface.
Windows.

You don't have a wide driver choice there, and your specs are good enough.


Was that a typo, or are my specs good to go? I thought my processor was pretty solid.

I can install mac osx on my computer also and buy an apogee duet 2 if you think this will make a sizeable difference?
Thanks!
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#4
Your specs are good to go.
Your processor may be better - whatever decently clocked i3 would be better for this applications, but it's not like yours wouldn't work fine.

Beware of hackintosh - drivers may well not work and updates may well not work.
If everything works it's gonna work hella better tho.

The apogee duet is still a USB interface.
It's gonna sound a lot better than your art pre but that alone won't help reducing the latency much.
Name's Luca.

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#5
Quote by Spambot_2
Your specs are good to go.
Your processor may be better - whatever decently clocked i3 would be better for this applications, but it's not like yours wouldn't work fine.

Beware of hackintosh - drivers may well not work and updates may well not work.
If everything works it's gonna work hella better tho.

The apogee duet is still a USB interface.
It's gonna sound a lot better than your art pre but that alone won't help reducing the latency much.


I think the original Apogee duet is Firewire. The newer one is usb. Maybe I go with the original? If its considered to be good

Edit: ugh, i didnt know mac osx wasnt really compatible with amd processors. What a pain in the ass. Now what
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Last edited by Watterboy at Feb 23, 2015,
#6
Quote by Watterboy
I think the original Apogee duet is Firewire. The newer one is usb. Maybe I go with the original? If its considered to be good
Yep, it's firewire and it's def considered to be good, but unless you see a particularly good price for it I would skip - the last duet sounds better and it still wouldn't be worth it if you don't have a mac 'cause all the possible driver issues.
Quote by Watterboy
Edit: ugh, i didnt know mac osx wasnt really compatible with amd processors.
There's a hackintosh that's supposed to work with amd stuff.
It's worth a look if ya ask me.
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What a pain in the ass.
Most definitely.
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Now what
Getting a new interface with better drivers would be your best bet here if ya ask me, since you seem to be wanting a new interface already.
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#7
You need a new interface with better drivers. I know that Tascam and MOTU both come with their own drivers, I'm sure others do as well. MOTU has a pretty great price to quality ratio, maybe check those out.
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#8
Direct monitoring is your answer. Look into a setup where the direct feed from the mic/DI goes to your monitors/headphones along with the previously recorded tracks, but without monitoring the signal being recorded from the current track. With direct monitoring you can set the buffer as high as you want because it doesn't matter how fast the input is being processed. I use a small mixer that has a good set of I/O's for this.
#9
Quote by tukk04
Direct monitoring is your answer. Look into a setup where the direct feed from the mic/DI goes to your monitors/headphones along with the previously recorded tracks, but without monitoring the signal being recorded from the current track. With direct monitoring you can set the buffer as high as you want because it doesn't matter how fast the input is being processed. I use a small mixer that has a good set of I/O's for this.


My interface already does this. But I want to use software emulation (peavey revalver 4) with low latency. I need peppy playback monitoring
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#10
i use a USB interface and i think i have it set at 64 samples. i'm running the ASIO drivers specific to the interface though. i've had problems getting low latency from using ASIO4ALL before too.

i'd sooner blame your interface and related drivers before your CPU, because that looks decent. i wouldn't imagine the requirements on the CPU to be that high for getting low latency, anyway.
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Last edited by vIsIbleNoIsE at Feb 23, 2015,
#11
Quote by Watterboy
My interface already does this. But I want to use software emulation (peavey revalver 4) with low latency. I need peppy playback monitoring

Oi, that's why I switched to hardware amp sim gear when I use it. It would take some routing wizardry but you could split the guitar signal (dual out pedals work well for this) to record the clean to the computer and go out to an amp/hardware sim for monitoring; then put plugin amp sims on the guitar after the fact. Not a problem using Monitors but if you use headphones for monitoring you'd have to mic the amp and monitor that straight, maybe even record that too if you want to blend it with the DI/Amp sim track for some air.
#12
Quote by vIsIbleNoIsE
i use a USB interface and i think i have it set at 64 samples. i'm running the ASIO drivers specific to the interface though. i've had problems getting low latency from using ASIO4ALL before too.

i'd sooner blame your interface and related drivers before your CPU, because that looks decent. i wouldn't imagine the requirements on the CPU to be that high for getting low latency, anyway.


What interface are you using? Good to hear its low latency. Is the sound quality good?
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#13
Quote by Watterboy
What interface are you using? Good to hear its low latency. Is the sound quality good?


Steinberg CI1. i've had it for maybe four years, and never had any problems with it. my requirements are quite modest though (i'm neither a recording gear hound nor a prolific songwriter), so i won't be able to tell you whether the sound quality is "good", but it certainly isn't bad.

i mainly use it with the emulated output from my guitar amp, and directly with my bass.
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#14
Avoid hackintosh for this, it's pretty tricky to set up, and doesn't work like a real mac 90% of the time (the remaining 10 is basically when you have identical hardware and pick the exact right version of the right distribution). You'll have more driver problems and whatnot than you will even with Windows.

If your OS was the limiting factor (I doubt it is) there is a remixed version of Windows 7 available around (IIRC it requires a key so it's still legal to use) called Tiny7, which is a windows 7 install with lots of the extra fluff trimmed out (the whole thing fits on a 700mB cd).

More cores/hyperthreading aren't going to help latency, most DAWs aren't that highly optimised for threading and even if they were theres some things that can't be split into multiple threads and recording is one of them. The limit is most likely bus speed, which with USB is just not something you can help (unless you want to try messy things like overclocking your USB ports, which you don't).

Note the plugin (and number of plugins) have quite a noticeable affect on latency, and ReValver is pretty awful. Try tracking with something more lightweight like the LePou sims and LeCab, even if you decide to switch back to ReValver post-tracking.
#15
Thanks man- I appreciate the useful info. I did a little research the past few days and it didnt seem like switching to mac osx was going to solve my problems. Im thinking of buying an RME Babyface, as it is supposed to have pretty good latency and nice sound quality. That sucks though that I probably wont be able to use Revalver with a reasonable latency. My goal was to use it live with a midi pedal.
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#16
Quote by Watterboy
Thanks man- I appreciate the useful info. I did a little research the past few days and it didnt seem like switching to mac osx was going to solve my problems. Im thinking of buying an RME Babyface, as it is supposed to have pretty good latency and nice sound quality. That sucks though that I probably wont be able to use Revalver with a reasonable latency. My goal was to use it live with a midi pedal.

That's a great interface for sure. If that's in your budget, then you're making a good choice.
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#17
Sounds to me like you just need a better interface. Your PC is fine.
Honestly I've never been happy with latency on USB, I get 6ms on my portable USB (Edirol UA-4fx), which starts to degrade after few tracks of synths or guitar Sims. On the other hand my FireWire audio interface (Presonys FP10) smokes it and can handle much more with lower latency.

You might be OK with Rme and Revalver. Maybe some performance tweaks for Windows could help, killing some processes, like firewall, antivirus, wireless will speed it up further.
Last edited by diabolical at Feb 25, 2015,
#18
Quote by diabolical
Sounds to me like you just need a better interface. Your PC is fine.
Honestly I've never been happy with latency on USB, I get 6ms on my portable USB (Edirol UA-4fx), which starts to degrade after few tracks of synths or guitar Sims. On the other hand my FireWire audio interface (Presonys FP10) smokes it and can handle much more with lower latency.

You might be OK with Rme and Revalver. Maybe some performance tweaks for Windows could help, killing some processes, like firewall, antivirus, wireless will speed it up further.


Gah! I thought id be set with the RME, but now im starting to think I need Firewire to do what I want to do. I am totally lost. What is a reasonably priced interface with firewire, good sound quality, and compatible with windows 7 ? (I will have to add a firewire PCIe to my computer to make it work; it didnt come with a firewire in)
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#19
Most people don't go firewire as the newer laptops don't support it.

You need a TI chip fw PCi or PCIe card for your computer, talk to Guitar Center or online Musiciansfiend or Schelpwater.

I like the whole Presonus range, Firestudio Project is pretty good for what it is, RME and MOTU are amazing...there are a lot options. You can eve ngo used FP-10, just know that Windows 8 is EOL support for these but they work as a 8in - 8 out preamp when not connected via FW, so not totally useless.

There are also some options for PCI/PCIe cards that can connect with ADAT front pres.
#20
Quote by diabolical
You need a TI chip fw PCi or PCIe card for your computer, talk to Guitar Center or online Musiciansfiend or Schelpwater.
Or get a FW card off of ebay for half the money after making sure it works with the interface you plan on using.

Depends what's your budget anyway.

Mackie onyx blackbird is a relatively cheap option.
MOTU is fairly good.
RME is very good.

I've actually seen fireface 800's going for relatively cheap on ebay since the 802 came out, so look into that.
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#21
The thing with the FW card is that it needs to be with the TI chip, GC and the other vendors ensure that, if you can research the chip in the fw card. For $30 or $15 I don't think it is worth to waste the time on it
http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/FWCardPCI
#22
you don't need FW. USB can be engineered to run just as well - my Apogee Duet 2 is USB 2.0 and runs better than most FW devices developed before it. Don't let that psyche you out.
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#23
Quote by Sid McCall
you don't need FW. USB can be engineered to run just as well
No.

I mean for a 2x2ch interface USB can be good enough but it's not like USB can work as good as any other data interface.

Also the thing works better 'cause the folks at apogee are good at writing drivers, not much 'cause of the data interface.
Name's Luca.

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