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Old 07-18-2012, 12:59 PM   #1
bullo
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Default Reality behind round-trip latency...should we give up forever?

hi,

there is something that was never clear to me.

1) it has been discussed countless of times that round-trip latency should be less than 5.5-7ms, otherwise monitoring thru software starts feeling sluggish..

2) as mr Jim Roseberry stated many times, only a few USB products provide stable low round-trip latency: M-audio fast track ultra, RME, and steingberg.

we are in 2012....new interfaces came out all the time....

I COULD NEVER understand this.

1) what is manufacturers missing here? 13-15ms round-trip is USELESS. PERIOD.

2)many times we talked about hidden bufferes, etc....but... WHY only EXPENSIVE products have drivers that yield stable acceptable latency?
What is the mistery here??? it is just the driver that manages buffers.

why cant manufacturers just make a decent drivers, besides preamp/'audio' quality?


I just dont get it. im sick of 'only this product works bc it has a good driver with no hidden buffers'.

PEOPLE WHO MONITOR THRU SOFTWARE WANT LOW ROUND-TRIP LATENCY....how much more to wait?

Regards,
Danny Bullo

PS: PCI almost always get low RTL. but most people want a USB/FIREWIRE to use when gigging or recording mobile.

Last edited by bullo; 07-18-2012 at 05:26 PM.
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Old 07-18-2012, 05:51 PM   #2
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1) that depends on you and your reaction to the perceived latency.
(some people are sensitive to latency at rediculously low amounts, others can't tell 15-25ms. Some people claim they get headaches from wireless routers)

ALL that counts is 'can I use it'. Everything else is just worrying, wringing your hands and getting nothing done....
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Old 07-18-2012, 06:39 PM   #3
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thank you tim.

i have to disagree..

we have 2 things here

1)"maximum" tolerable round trip latency. this has been discussed 10000 times...this is not aim of this post. most agree that over 9 ms feels 'weird'. i tried with musicians that record with me that have no idea of latency. and i fooled around with buffers. all can fell something when playing Amplitube if RTL is over ~10ms.

2) the main aim of my question is WHY MANUFACTURERS just dont seem to listen and all new interdfaces have same latency figures? why just 3 USB interfaces give under 7 RLT?

Regards and thanks
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Old 07-18-2012, 10:58 PM   #4
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There are Soundcards that have no (audible) latency at all, while at the same time processing EQs, compressors, gates etc. (An example is SonicCore Scope). The problem starts when there are drivers and software (DAWs) involved, that are to be processed in the Computer. To drive an operating system the processors have to do a lot of administrating, that has to be done and can't be (in terms of processing time) neglected and is way beyond a user's imagination. There is a lot going on inside the computer, the user doesn't notice, to keep the system 'alive' and usable. On the other hand, in the mid 80s there already were computers with extremely streamlined multitasking operating systems, like the Acorn Archimedes or the Commodore Amiga. The Amiga e.g. had an OS of 512kb (multitasking) and was way ahead of MS-DOS at its time, comparable to Windows 95 but 10 years earlier. The Archimedes was, due to its RISC processor, extremely fast. In times of cheaper memory, there doesn't seem to be the necessity to develop streamlined OSs and it at the same time isn't wanted, because companies want to sell ther sh.. erm stuff. There often is a lot of redundancy in program code, due to bad programming, bad used compiling options or even bad compilers. These redundancies lead to the fact that, although programs might do their work faster (e.g. video rendering or so) OSs themselves are not.

But these are just a few reasons, not a complete list.


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Old 07-18-2012, 11:56 PM   #5
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Bullo, I hear you. It's a bit insane that we're still dealing with this crap today, especially when I'm sitting here running my onboard sound with Asio4all at 5.5 ms latency (round-trip, measured). I know that probably sounds unbelievable, but see this thread: http://forum.cockos.com/showthread.php?t=106707 And if this onboard sound codec was implemented into the system better for low noise, I don't doubt that I could use a decent preamp in front of it while never missing my interface.

Also, the Fast Track Ultra latency is more in the 11 ms neighborhood on Windows 7 64 bit. That's double of the onboard sound with Asio4all.

And the reason why we are dealing with this crap today is because high latency is acceptable to most people. I mean, if people quit buying interfaces on the grounds of latency figures, you can bet that those latency figures would come down pretty quick like.
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Old 07-21-2012, 04:40 PM   #6
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afaik the fast track ulta has 5.5 ms rtl with the old driver running in high performance mode
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Old 07-21-2012, 04:59 PM   #7
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<sarcasm>

Car acceleration should be less than 5.5-7sec (0 to 100), otherwise it starts feeling sluggish..

Only a few cars seem to be able to do this...

We are in 2012....new cars come out all the time....

What are manufacturers missing here? 13-15 sec (0 to 100) is USELESS. PERIOD.

WHY only EXPENSIVE cars have acceleration yield stable acceptable speed? What is the mystery here???

</sarcasm>

PS - No disrespect intended...
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Old 07-21-2012, 05:07 PM   #8
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Maybe so, but the more accurate analogy would be; the gas pedal should react to your foot in less than 0.xx seconds, otherwise the lag truly is annoying. The actual acceleration is something else, just like the music performance, right?
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Old 07-22-2012, 12:48 AM   #9
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I dont know why somebody hasnt made a computer the uses only Reaper as it OS..or at least an OS specifically designed for audio and absoultely nothing else.That would decimate rtl surely
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Old 07-22-2012, 09:48 AM   #10
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You sure the latency trouble isn't coming from somewhere else?

11ms or less is what I shoot for. We can debate a perceptual cutoff of 7ms vs 11ms but for now...

My system all loaded up with plugins runs at 11ms from analog input to analog output. That's analog mic pre > ADC in the Apogee > digital to MOTU828mk3 > firewire to Mac > Reaper with plugins > firewire to MOTU > DAC to analog. All in 11ms.

If I remove all the plugins the round trip is around 5ms.

Now, I've always used firewire interfaces as USB are not recommended for professional use. Are the USB units really that bad? You might be right there, but could the trouble lie somewhere else?
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Old 07-22-2012, 12:46 PM   #11
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Mu understanding or USB is that it isn't just the latency number, but that it is inconsistent.
The amount of latency keeps changing (jitter) so you can't really ever get used to it.
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Old 07-22-2012, 01:37 PM   #12
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sort of a useless comment, but my analogy would be the camera monitoring (video out to ext monitor, or even the internal LCD) latency vs the manual focusing..

its 2012..
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Old 07-22-2012, 02:13 PM   #13
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I'll offer another useless comment concerning RTL.

Before Digital DAWs and computer based recording, there was tape.
Musicians did NOT monitor what was being recorded.
They monitored what they played.

Use Direct Monitoring, Monitor what you play. RTL is irrelevant.

The buffers on the recording interface can be set very high.
Many more tracks can be recorded simultaneously.

Computer performance improves over time.
In the not too distant future RTL will be eliminated.
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Old 07-22-2012, 03:25 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hwhalen View Post
I'll offer another useless comment concerning RTL.

Before Digital DAWs and computer based recording, there was tape.
Musicians did NOT monitor what was being recorded.
They monitored what they played.

Use Direct Monitoring, Monitor what you play. RTL is irrelevant.

The buffers on the recording interface can be set very high.
Many more tracks can be recorded simultaneously.

Computer performance improves over time.
In the not too distant future RTL will be eliminated.
They're trying to do this all thru the computer since you can get away with it now.

Obviously you can set up a monitor mix (splitting any inputs) and monitor in perfect real time like we all used to do. I still do this in a studio overdubbing setting since I run my system with much higher latency in the studio. However, I've been using the Cuemix digital mixer built into the MOTU recently. The little Mackie has been retired (no I didn't ever record thru such a thing - just monitor mixes).

The point is that now with a little as a fast Macbook and a small firewire interface, the 'home recording musician' can do this just with a DAW with low enough latency for it to work. (I'm calling 5 - 11ms low enough) And without having to get separate mixers and split inputs.

Anyway, if you agree that 5 - 11ms latency is low enough, we've been able to do this for the last 6 or 7 years. If you're hearing a delay, I'm going to suggest that your latency is in reality quite a bit higher than 11ms (weather it's supposed to be or not). Record your output to determine your actual latency and investigate from there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PAPT View Post
Mu understanding or USB is that it isn't just the latency number, but that it is inconsistent.
The amount of latency keeps changing (jitter) so you can't really ever get used to it.
You have hardware failure here. If USB interfaces worked like this normally - it would be a DOA product. You'd hear constant popping and clicking from dropped samples. Yes USB is asynchronous but this results in overall poorer performance vs firewire as opposed to operating with constant glitches.

I imagine before too long we'll see thunderbolt interfaces and this will all become a moot point.

Last edited by serr; 07-22-2012 at 03:32 PM.
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Old 07-22-2012, 03:38 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hwhalen View Post
I'll offer another useless comment concerning RTL.

Before Digital DAWs and computer based recording, there was tape.
Musicians did NOT monitor what was being recorded.
They monitored what they played.

Use Direct Monitoring, Monitor what you play. RTL is irrelevant.

The buffers on the recording interface can be set very high.
Many more tracks can be recorded simultaneously.

Computer performance improves over time.
In the not too distant future RTL will be eliminated.
The problem with this is that many people use amp sims so they have to monitor through the computer.

If you can find an external product (Like a POD)that you like, then you don't need to monitor through the computer.
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Old 07-24-2012, 08:57 AM   #16
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Thank you all!

No disrespect, but one understands what im saying. i DID NOT wanted another another thread on latency. that has been discussed... I dont care what i read......playing a percussion instrument 12ms is higher than acceptable. I say it. Friends that recorded what home said it felt weird without knowing why.

is out of the question that i monitor thru pc because i want the computer effects!!!!

n0rd: i find that not only disrespectful but also very ignorant.


THE MAIN POINT WAS: it is possible to make a perfectly usable usb interface with lowest RTL. However, manufacturers seem to dont care and now after YEARS of struggling their driver keep being unacceptable in terms of latency.

Regards,
Danny
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Old 07-24-2012, 10:40 AM   #17
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You are just not doing it right.
A GOOD USB interface will give perfectly acceptable latency.

But the emphasis is on GOOD.

And sorry, but n0rd is right - you get what you pay for.

If you want near perfect latency performance, you either monitor directly off your input and forgo hearing the signal with effects, or you buy a really good expensive interface and run it on a really good expensive computer.
End of.

I use a PCI card, RME9652HDS,P in my main studio machine and get round trip of something ridiculously low, either way latency is no longer an issue.

When I am away from home I use a Focusrite Saffire6 USB1.1 interface into a Pentium Dual Core with 2gb of ram.
With this rig I CAN get acceptable performance with live recorded instruments, but not if I start burying the computer in hungry VSTi first.
My method is to slap down a basic EZD based drum track and then record all the other "LIVE" instruments before adding any more MIDI/VSTi based stuff.
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Old 07-24-2012, 03:40 PM   #18
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Quote:
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You are just not doing it right.
A GOOD USB interface will give perfectly acceptable latency.

But the emphasis is on GOOD.

And sorry, but n0rd is right - you get what you pay for.

If you want near perfect latency performance, you either monitor directly off your input and forgo hearing the signal with effects, or you buy a really good expensive interface and run it on a really good expensive computer.
End of.

I use a PCI card, RME9652HDS,P in my main studio machine and get round trip of something ridiculously low, either way latency is no longer an issue.

When I am away from home I use a Focusrite Saffire6 USB1.1 interface into a Pentium Dual Core with 2gb of ram.
With this rig I CAN get acceptable performance with live recorded instruments, but not if I start burying the computer in hungry VSTi first.
My method is to slap down a basic EZD based drum track and then record all the other "LIVE" instruments before adding any more MIDI/VSTi based stuff.
Really? We had good latency with some of the lower cost interfaces running under XP, but for Vista/7, latency has gone to shit again. And I'm sitting here with an onboard soundcard/asio4all, getting half of the latency of my usb interface, the same interface that got half the latency on XP, but doubled when moving to 7.
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Old 07-25-2012, 10:38 AM   #19
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Quote:
If you want near perfect latency performance, you either monitor directly off your input and forgo hearing the signal with effects, or you buy a really good expensive interface and run it on a really good expensive computer.
End of.
This is exactly what i mean....ONLY EXPENSIVE units have DRIVERS with low RTL? and NO. i WANT to monitor thru computer. Otherwise i would not care!!!! END OF.

why? would make more sense to say ONLY EXPENSIVE UNITS HAVE PRISTINE PRE AMPS...

people...with all respect.....can someone read the thread that i started???

someone that works with programming??

people keep adding and adding...NOOOO
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Old 07-26-2012, 01:22 AM   #20
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To be honest I think you are burying your head in the sand because you are not getting an answer you like.
The fact is that it costs money to develop drivers or any other software.
If you are selling an el cheapo interface like the Behringer stuff, it is just not viable to spend zillions of dollars on developing a super duper driver for an interface where, even if you sell millions of them, your return will never cover the cost of the development of associated software.

THAT is why cheap interfaces get relatively unsophisticated drivers.
Not that the manufacturers are lazy or stupid, they just decided where they needed to pitch their product price-wise and supplied software that could be made within the products profitability curve.


..and a reminder that the Focusrite Saffire6 USB that I use and indeed the Crimson ones that followed do indeed offer really good latency figures on a relatively modest computer for not a lot of money.
If you think 129UK Pounds is expensive, you should forget about doing serious music on a PC. Trust me.

Please do not take this as a flame, it is intended to explain the "why" of your problem and offer at least one affordable solution.

Last edited by ivansc; 07-26-2012 at 01:29 AM.
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Old 07-26-2012, 07:24 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bullo View Post
PS: PCI almost always get low RTL. but most people want a USB/FIREWIRE to use when gigging or recording mobile.
I gig with PCI. You need to rack up your preamps anyway, so what's the big deal with using a rackmount computer in the same rack? I have two mix racks, one is large, has wheels and travels in a truck with other gear, and I have one that it a six space rack that I use for walk-ins.

The six space rack holds a 3U pc, 2 preamps and my interface. I have a small UPS that fits into the front lid and a laptop bag that I velcro'd into it to hold cables and whatnot. Inside the back lid, I have an 18.5 inch monitor velcro'd in, so that it all packs up and is self contained in the one rack. This rack has only 16 ins and 16 outs, but I can easily bring along a 2U rack with another preamp in it so I would have 24 i/o if I need it. I am thinking of moving it to an 8U, and using the 6U as my IEM/Wireless rack, but that's not really all that important here.

I've seen people bring laptops to shows, lugging along a bag with an interface and all kinds of cables which they spend 15 minutes connecting before each show, mine is all packaged, I just open the rack, rip the monitor out and place it on top, connect it to the PC, plug in the UPS and I'm ready to go.

Also, people that bring laptops, usually use them for their own personal use as well. The PC in the rack is dedicated, never goes on the internet, and has no need for antivirus or other software that isn't related to the job it is intended to do.

So unless the firewire units suddenly get better than the PCI/PCIx models, I don't see any reason to change the interface.
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Old 07-26-2012, 09:41 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ivansc View Post
To be honest I think you are burying your head in the sand because you are not getting an answer you like.
The fact is that it costs money to develop drivers or any other software.
If you are selling an el cheapo interface like the Behringer stuff, it is just not viable to spend zillions of dollars on developing a super duper driver for an interface where, even if you sell millions of them, your return will never cover the cost of the development of associated software.

THAT is why cheap interfaces get relatively unsophisticated drivers.
Not that the manufacturers are lazy or stupid, they just decided where they needed to pitch their product price-wise and supplied software that could be made within the products profitability curve.


..and a reminder that the Focusrite Saffire6 USB that I use and indeed the Crimson ones that followed do indeed offer really good latency figures on a relatively modest computer for not a lot of money.
If you think 129UK Pounds is expensive, you should forget about doing serious music on a PC. Trust me.

Please do not take this as a flame, it is intended to explain the "why" of your problem and offer at least one affordable solution.
Isn't the low latency of the Focusrite due to a recent driver update? What is the measured latency on those things any way?
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Old 07-26-2012, 11:03 AM   #23
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Quote:
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I gig with PCI. You need to rack up your preamps anyway, so what's the big deal with using a rackmount computer in the same rack? I have two mix racks, one is large, has wheels and travels in a truck with other gear, and I have one that it a six space rack that I use for walk-ins.

The six space rack holds a 3U pc, 2 preamps and my interface. I have a small UPS that fits into the front lid and a laptop bag that I velcro'd into it to hold cables and whatnot. Inside the back lid, I have an 18.5 inch monitor velcro'd in, so that it all packs up and is self contained in the one rack. This rack has only 16 ins and 16 outs, but I can easily bring along a 2U rack with another preamp in it so I would have 24 i/o if I need it. I am thinking of moving it to an 8U, and using the 6U as my IEM/Wireless rack, but that's not really all that important here.

I've seen people bring laptops to shows, lugging along a bag with an interface and all kinds of cables which they spend 15 minutes connecting before each show, mine is all packaged, I just open the rack, rip the monitor out and place it on top, connect it to the PC, plug in the UPS and I'm ready to go.

Also, people that bring laptops, usually use them for their own personal use as well. The PC in the rack is dedicated, never goes on the internet, and has no need for antivirus or other software that isn't related to the job it is intended to do.

So unless the firewire units suddenly get better than the PCI/PCIx models, I don't see any reason to change the interface.
Similar setup here. I didn't rack up the MacPro though. The firewire, USB and ethernet connections are in a whip from the mixer rack that takes 5 seconds to connect. My Macbook Pro is my backup machine and can be connected just as quickly. I decided I didn't want the computer to bang around in a rack in a trailer anyway. It comes into the hotel room with me at night in my iLugger case. I use the Macpro in the studio too and the Macbook pro for my personal machine so I don't really feel like I bought a 2nd machine for backup that never really gets used.

Anti virus? Dedicated machine? Bah! You only need to worry about that if you're trying to do this with Windows. Little snitch and common sense is all you need on the Mac. Test/troubleshoot your setup at home. Have a backup disc image cloned that you can boot from in the event of a hard drive failure.
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Old 07-26-2012, 11:23 AM   #24
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Isn't the low latency of the Focusrite due to a recent driver update? What is the measured latency on those things any way?
Next time I think of it I will get the lappy from the suitcase, which is in the car somewhere,unearth the focusrite and check.
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Old 07-26-2012, 11:56 AM   #25
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Quote:
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Anti virus? Dedicated machine? Bah! You only need to worry about that if you're trying to do this with Windows. Little snitch and common sense is all you need on the Mac. Test/troubleshoot your setup at home. Have a backup disc image cloned that you can boot from in the event of a hard drive failure.
Dedicated machines are very cheap in the Windows world . A $300.00 nib laptop isn't hard to find either, so there has never been a need to mix personal and business machines. Paying the extra pop for that name and that glowing potato, and I could see why you'd shun the dedicated machine idea!
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Old 07-26-2012, 01:28 PM   #26
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Quote:
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hi,...

PS: PCI almost always get low RTL. but most people want a USB/FIREWIRE to use when gigging or recording mobile.
The future solution is ...
http://www.copperlan.org/index.php/copperlan

and

http://www.alyseum.com/product_AL-88.php

Also see the other products,- thereīs also a eurorack MIDI>CV/ethernet interface for analogue (modular) synths.

Cockos should implement Copperlan directly (like Sonic Core does w/ upcoming SCOPE 6).

See this thread about usage w/ Reaper, Copperlan freeware and SCOPE.
http://forums.planetz.com/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=31190

Direct implementation of Copperlan support allows usage of native Copperlan messages which are hi resolution and not limited to the 0-127 MIDI controller range.

USB MIDI for external interfaces and 3rd party drivers will become obsolete.
Nonetheless, Copperlan recognizes your plugīn play MIDI keyboard controller w/ USB directly connected to the computer.

MIDI over LAN is low jitter, low latency and there is more bandwidth.
Because the network stuff is already in every 32 and 64Bit OS (MAC or PC), forget lack of 3rd party 64Bit MIDI drivers.

All you need to link several computers Mac and/or PCs in any combination is a gigabit network switch and 10/100 ethernet connection in each computer.

PeWe
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Old 07-26-2012, 01:40 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PeWe View Post
The future solution is ...
http://www.copperlan.org/index.php/copperlan

and

http://www.alyseum.com/product_AL-88.php

Also see the other products,- thereīs also a eurorack MIDI>CV/ethernet interface for analogue (modular) synths.

Cockos should implement Copperlan directly (like Sonic Core does w/ upcoming SCOPE 6).

See this thread about usage w/ Reaper, Copperlan freeware and SCOPE.
http://forums.planetz.com/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=31190

Direct implementation of Copperlan support allows usage of native Copperlan messages which are hi resolution and not limited to the 0-127 MIDI controller range.

USB MIDI for external interfaces and 3rd party drivers will become obsolete.
Nonetheless, Copperlan recognizes your plugīn play MIDI keyboard controller w/ USB directly connected to the computer.

MIDI over LAN is low jitter, low latency and there is more bandwidth.
Because the network stuff is already in every 32 and 64Bit OS (MAC or PC), forget lack of 3rd party 64Bit MIDI drivers.

All you need to link several computers Mac and/or PCs in any combination is a gigabit network switch and 10/100 ethernet connection in each computer.

PeWe
What does any of that have to do with audio interface latency?
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Old 07-26-2012, 04:11 PM   #28
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Incidentally, I found this when checking out earlier threads on this subject, posted by our OP in 2008.
Quote:
That latency value is IMPOSSIBLE. As I explaied, the best PCI cards give around 5ms. round trip @ 64 samples buffer size (that is 1.5ms ASIO IN + 1.5ms ASIO out + 1ms AD + 1ms DA
So things really have moved on.
I use 32 buffer all the time with MY pci card based interface.
And Reaper reports .70 and 1.4.
Now before someone goes into smartass mode, I KNOW that is not the actual round trip total latency amount, but comparing it with the above is very relevant, in that the older thread was referring to reported latency within reaper.

Latency IS a knotty problem but nowadays it really is easy to deal with if you are prepared to invest either time, money or a little of both.
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Old 07-26-2012, 05:26 PM   #29
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How can I check the actual latency?I have a Focusrite Scarlett 8i6 that I use with Reaper,but mainly with Ableton in my live setup (which I'm practising with now through a PA),and I don't notice any offputting latency.

I notice Boray posted a link for Centrance LTU latency checker,but it says Windows XP on their site,and I'm using 7 (64bit).I wonder if it'll be accurate?

I'll post the results here,and spec etc if I can find an accurate way to measure it.

As I said,I don't notice any latency,but that doesn't mean it's not there - and I'm mainly talking about listening back through PA speakers/monitor,so it wouldn't be as obvious I spose.
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Old 07-26-2012, 11:53 PM   #30
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What does any of that have to do with audio interface latency?
Roundtip latency has very well to do w/ MIDI and ASIO.
Iīm a keyboardist and donīt use VSTi (means MIDI in audio out) only.

But also striking a note on a MIDI keyboard and "what comes out when" as audio from the soundcards outputs is roundtip latency,- especially if you perform live.
So,- MIDI over LAN reduces roundtip latency and improves jitter compared to the usage of USB audio interfaces offering integrated MIDI I/Os.

Now, if you use MIDI In/ audio out w/ VSTis and MIDI Out to hardware keys and modules in addition, the roundtip latency is even higher for the connected hardware keys modules as also more jittery for MIDI out.
This not only counts for live gigging but also for the recording of these hardware keys and modules,- isnīt it ?

Also recognize I said "the futute is..." by reason, we now see pro hardware MIDI products w/ connectivity to ethernet/LAN and it might be not the end.
With gigbit LAN thereīs enough bandwidth to stream audio too, at least 2 channels for audio out.
So, itīs only a matter of time weīll see more hardware coming up using this technology and not only for MIDI.

Personally, since Iīm a user of S|C XITE-1 DSP system (PCIe), I have very low latency in SCOPE mode (not XTC/VSTIM) for audio, but usage of MIDI OX virtual MIDI cables is necessary up to now and when using native DAW sequencer, Reason rewired and SCOPE.
So, Copperlan MIDI over LAN software as a 1st step and w/ now offered MIDI over LAN hardware is very welcome.

Even Iīd own any USB based audio interface w/ MIDI I/Os, w/ MIDI over LAN Iīd decide not to use the USB interfaces MIDI I/Os at all.

PeWe
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Old 07-27-2012, 01:02 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by viscofisy View Post
How can I check the actual latency?I have a Focusrite Scarlett 8i6 that I use with Reaper,but mainly with Ableton in my live setup (which I'm practising with now through a PA),and I don't notice any offputting latency.

I notice Boray posted a link for Centrance LTU latency checker,but it says Windows XP on their site,and I'm using 7 (64bit).I wonder if it'll be accurate?

I'll post the results here,and spec etc if I can find an accurate way to measure it.

As I said,I don't notice any latency,but that doesn't mean it's not there - and I'm mainly talking about listening back through PA speakers/monitor,so it wouldn't be as obvious I spose.
Change these settings in Reaper: In preferences, turn off 'Use audio device reported latency'. Set the time selection unit to 'samples'.

Connect a physical input to output on your interface (you might want to disconnect, or turn off your monitors for this). Insert a click source or some other track with fast peaks, and insert a new track, setting the new track to record the respective input. Record. Measure the difference between the source media and new media using a time selection. Divide the number of samples by the sample rate, e.g., 245 samples in the time selection: 245/44100 = 0.005555..., or 5.5 ms.
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Old 07-27-2012, 01:11 AM   #32
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Originally Posted by PeWe View Post
Roundtip latency has very well to do w/ MIDI and ASIO.
Iīm a keyboardist and donīt use VSTi (means MIDI in audio out) only.

But also striking a note on a MIDI keyboard and "what comes out when" as audio from the soundcards outputs is roundtip latency,- especially if you perform live.
So,- MIDI over LAN reduces roundtip latency and improves jitter compared to the usage of USB audio interfaces offering integrated MIDI I/Os.

Now, if you use MIDI In/ audio out w/ VSTis and MIDI Out to hardware keys and modules in addition, the roundtip latency is even higher for the connected hardware keys modules as also more jittery for MIDI out.
This not only counts for live gigging but also for the recording of these hardware keys and modules,- isnīt it ?

Also recognize I said "the futute is..." by reason, we now see pro hardware MIDI products w/ connectivity to ethernet/LAN and it might be not the end.
With gigbit LAN thereīs enough bandwidth to stream audio too, at least 2 channels for audio out.
So, itīs only a matter of time weīll see more hardware coming up using this technology and not only for MIDI.

Personally, since Iīm a user of S|C XITE-1 DSP system (PCIe), I have very low latency in SCOPE mode (not XTC/VSTIM) for audio, but usage of MIDI OX virtual MIDI cables is necessary up to now and when using native DAW sequencer, Reason rewired and SCOPE.
So, Copperlan MIDI over LAN software as a 1st step and w/ now offered MIDI over LAN hardware is very welcome.

Even Iīd own any USB based audio interface w/ MIDI I/Os, w/ MIDI over LAN Iīd decide not to use the USB interfaces MIDI I/Os at all.

PeWe
Sure, it could be an improvement over USB MIDI, but straight up MIDI? Or straight up audio? You still have the conversion times, and ASIO buffer. I could see this audio/MIDI over lan stuff being useful for reducing cabling costs for long runs (depending on how much the hardware costs), but I don't see it reducing roundtrip latency in general.
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Old 07-27-2012, 03:52 AM   #33
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Originally Posted by brainwreck View Post
Sure, it could be an improvement over USB MIDI, but straight up MIDI? Or straight up audio? You still have the conversion times, and ASIO buffer. I could see this audio/MIDI over lan stuff being useful for reducing cabling costs for long runs (depending on how much the hardware costs), but I don't see it reducing roundtrip latency in general.
As a general statement,- only a real-world test next future will tell.
The guy @PlanetZ forum just only used the Copperlan freeware, not eliminating the usage of the actual standard (MIDI-) interface.
But because he used the SCOPE DSP system w/ Reaper, his MIDI is calculated on DSP hardware already (PCI card and XITE/PCIe use their dedicated MIDI I/O) and not on the host computerīs CPU.

For MIDI, Iīm pretty sure itīs an improvement, but most usable for the users doing much keyboard/MIDI work and use hardware outboard MIDI gear.
Why?

USB and Firewire are not designed for realtime messages,- the data isnīt a continuous stream but packages and thatīs why an additional safety buffer is neccessary not to lose ASIO sync (for audio).
This safety buffer is what you get rid off already if NOT using USB or Firewire but PCI and PCIe/PCIexpress 34/54 instead.

For MIDI, every 3rd party driver (coming w/ the audio/MIDI interface) sits on top of Windows MIDI and USB drivers, so a driver layer is created resulting in higher jitter and latency.
Using MIDI over LAN eliminates Windows MIDI and USB drivers processing freeing CPU ressources,- the only "driver" software will be the Copperlan manager organizing the MIDI routing peer-to-peer over LAN.

ASIO is a different story,- it will be in the ballpark always but itīs efficiency also depends on the quality of the interface and connection as well as the stability and quality of the ASIO driverīs code.

So, for these using MIDI intensively and ASIO for audio, the combination of MIDI over LAN and quality PCIe audio interface might come up w/ best results NOW.

For these using lost of MIDI outboard gear, up to now w/ 32Bit OS because there are no 64Bit drivers for their 8x8 MIDI interfaces, the Alyseum network gear might become a gift of god because they are now able to use 64Bit OS without thinking about their old interfaces anymore, IF the host software supports MIDI over LAN embedded.

As we know, Reaper is able to stream audio over network and we get more and more improvements in regards of MIDI, OSC support and such ...
Thereīs network connection in every computer,- all other connections change always.
Firewire disappears, PCIexpress 34/54 disappeared in actual laptops, USB will disappear for Thunderbold,- what comes next ?

So, why not a network audio interface for the future, especially for the laptop users ?
Itīs the next logical step to me.
I expect Copperlan supporting audio next future and hardware companys coming up w/ network interfaces for audio,- maybe Alyseum.

Just to make clear,- Iīm not related to any company in any way, just only investigating for best results and by technical interest.

Also and as a owner of the XITE and if I can believe Sonic Core and Audio Bisquit, w/ the release of ParseQ, ASIO might become 2nd row for me too when complete sequencer channel strips will be calculated on the DSPs but w/ VST support.
But thatīs future music up to now and Reaper is prefered as the fastest loading and most stable and efficient ASIO host for realtime usage.

PeWe
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Old 07-27-2012, 05:36 AM   #34
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Originally Posted by brainwreck View Post
Change these settings in Reaper: In preferences, turn off 'Use audio device reported latency'. Set the time selection unit to 'samples'.

Connect a physical input to output on your interface (you might want to disconnect, or turn off your monitors for this). Insert a click source or some other track with fast peaks, and insert a new track, setting the new track to record the respective input. Record. Measure the difference between the source media and new media using a time selection. Divide the number of samples by the sample rate, e.g., 245 samples in the time selection: 245/44100 = 0.005555..., or 5.5 ms.
OK,I'll do that.First of all,I suppose I have to have it operating stably for the measurement to mean anything?
So,what would be a reasonable track count and number of VST + VSTi etc?

Also,how does bit and sample rate affect the result?Should I just set it to,say,24bit 44.1 kHz?

I don't normally pay a lot of attention to this - I usually just set it to where's "acceptable" .
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Old 07-27-2012, 07:15 AM   #35
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OK,I'll do that.First of all,I suppose I have to have it operating stably for the measurement to mean anything?
So,what would be a reasonable track count and number of VST + VSTi etc?

Also,how does bit and sample rate affect the result?Should I just set it to,say,24bit 44.1 kHz?

I don't normally pay a lot of attention to this - I usually just set it to where's "acceptable" .
Well, you might start by setting the buffer to 'acceptable' settings, and measure that. I usually shoot for a buffer setting that I don't have to mess with while recording a song. That could involve any number of plugins.

I haven't noticed any difference for bit rate, but higher sample rates can require upping the buffer to stop clicking and drop outs.
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Old 07-27-2012, 08:47 AM   #36
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at 128 samples I have latency of between 4.5/5.8 ms and at 256 samples 7.4/11ms
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Old 07-27-2012, 10:13 AM   #37
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How can I check the actual latency?I have a Focusrite Scarlett 8i6 that I use with Reaper,but mainly with Ableton in my live setup (which I'm practising with now through a PA),and I don't notice any offputting latency.


http://www.oblique-audio.com/free/rtlutility

http://centrance.com/downloads/ltu/

VERY IMPORTANT: when doing those tests you HAVE to turn of the DIRECT signal passing directly to the output. IOW you have to have the same scenario as when monitoring though software,where you only listed to the signal passing thru the pc (100% wet, 0% dry).

Not doing so will give you an incorrect (lower than real) value. Yes...absolutely minimum for 64 samples is ~5.5ms. if lower, check your settings

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Old 07-27-2012, 05:13 PM   #38
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I downloaded both the Centrance and the Oblique Audio apps,and ran the tests at both 44.1 kHz and 96 kHz.
The Focusrite Asio driver allows you to change settings in 1msec steps.

I ran the tests at both 1msec and 2msec.

The Centrance and Oblique Audio tests gave slightly different results at the same settings.
Both of them gave lower results for 96kHz than for 44.1kHz ?
Is this because the buffers clear at 2X the speed,or something?
As you can tell,I haven't spent long looking into this kind of thing,I only know the basics.

I checked that I'm monitoring the DAW outs.The Focusrite Mix Control shows this,and has a seperate routing option for Zero Latency monitoring,which I don't use.
As far as I can tell,there is no mixture of direct monitoring in the chain.
I'm not well up on this,and I'll double check over the weekend if I get time.
The reason I'm saying this is that bullo says the results must be over 5.5msec - but one of the centrance tests shows less.

Also,if these results look strange,and I've made an error,I'll sort it out if it's pointed out.I don't usually get too into the technical stuff,so bear with me.

The lowest setting I got was set on the Focusrite Asio control at 1msec 96kHz.
I then recorded a quick project of 6 tracks at this setting (96kHz,1msec) to try it out.It was a short 15min test,and I didn't hear any dropouts or crackling.

My processor is a 4year old Q9400 2.66gHz - 12gb RAM

The VSTs are mainly Valhalla,and they're seperate instances on each track.

I used 5 tracks of VSTi's -
AAS Chromaphone - 2 tracks with Valhalla Room on each
AAS Tassman - 1 track with Valhalla Shimmer
Trilian - 1 track with Focusrite reverb
BFD Eco drums - 1 track with Valhalla room

The last track was a quick vocal track with the other 5 running in the background.I monitored it both dry (couldn't hear any latency) and with Valhalla Room.
No dropouts or crackles,but it was only a short test.

Reaper reported 2.4/3.4msec at this setting - 96kHz 24bit (the test results are TEST3)

Here's the results from CentranceRTL and ObliqueLTU :
***************************
TEST1

INPUT : 44.1kHz - 45 samples (1msec on Focusrite Asio Control)

RESULT :
CentranceLTU : 311 samples - 7.062msec
ObliqueRTL : 267 samples - 6.05msec
**************************************
TEST2

INPUT : 44.1kHz - 89 samples (2msec on Focusrite Asio Control)

RESULT :
CentranceLTU : 532 samples - 12.052msec
ObliqueRTL : 534 samples - 12.11msec
**************************************
TEST3

INPUT : 96kHz - 96 samples (1msec on Focusrite Asio Control)

RESULT :
CentranceLTU : 570 samples - 5.936msec
ObliqueRTL : 474 samples - 4.94msec
***************************************
TEST4

INPUT : 96kHz - 192 samples (2msec on Focusrite Asio Control)

RESULT :
CentranceLTU : 1050 samples - 10.935msec
ObliqueRTL : 858 samples - 8.94msec

Last edited by viscofisy; 07-27-2012 at 05:55 PM.
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Old 07-28-2012, 12:57 AM   #39
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Trouble is, when all is said and done it STILL comes down to "what does it feel like to ply with" doesn't it?

Very interesting stuff though visco.

Makes you wonder if there are other factors we could be futzing with to get better perceived latency numbers... and of course if we would really and truly tell the difference.
My cracking point seems to be somewhere between 5 and 10ms, as reported by Reaper, so at 0.7/1.4 I am fine.
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Old 07-28-2012, 01:37 AM   #40
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Trouble is, when all is said and done it STILL comes down to "what does it feel like to ply with" doesn't it?


My cracking point seems to be somewhere between 5 and 10ms, as reported by Reaper, so at 0.7/1.4 I am fine.
Yeah,the feel is the important thing.I'm fine with it anyway,though I don't tend to use loads of tracks,and if it was a problem then effects can be added during mixing,with buffers increased if need be.

I'm going to try brainwreck's suggested method if I've time today,and see what actual figures come out when the instruments and effects are added,but as I said,I cant hear any delay whatsoever with 6 tracks of VSTi's,vocals,and effects.

I'll try to hear where (in msec) the delay becomes apparent to me.
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