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Tony Cariddi
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13th October 2010
Old 13th October 2010
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Low latency recording with Pro Tools|HD Native

Hi everyone,

There seems to be some confusion around the latency performance of HD Native and the low latency monitor (LLM) capabilities so I'd like to try to clarify.

With throughput latency down to 1.6 ms (64 sample buffer at 96k), HD Native will let you rely on the Pro Tools mixer to deliver cue mixes without distracting talent with any noticeable delay. Obviously this measurement will vary depending on the buffer setting and sample rate.

Some additional latency measurements:
44.1k @ 32 sample buffer = 3.3 ms
44.1k @ 64 sample buffer = 4.7 ms
96k @ 64 sample buffer = 1.6 ms
96k @ 128 sample buffer = 3 ms

Depending on the speed of your computer and the amount of processing you use, these low latency figures would allow you to record and create cue mixes from within Pro Tools|HD Native without the need for any LLM or direct mix.

On the other hand, there may be times when you prefer to set up a direct monitoring mix, especially when turning up your playback buffer to settings that cause noticeable latency. By monitoring inputs directly from the hardware you can avoid the latency that comes from the DAW buffer setting and system. To control the mix between playback and the direct signal, most companies employ an additional mixer app outside of the DAW—we'd heard from our customers that this is cumbersome and not the way they want to work. Pro Tools|HD Native provides an elegant solution for this issue that allows you to designate specific outputs for direct mixes that are controlled by the same Pro Tools mixer.

With Pro Tools|HD Native you set up a direct monitor mix by enabling Low Latency Monitoring (LLM) in the Output tab of the I/O Setup window (Image_1) and select the output path that will be used for the direct mixes. In the example below I created an output path labeled CUE OUTPUT (Image_1). You can then use aux sends to route audio to the LLM CUE mix (Image_3). While the output for the LLM mix is limited to stereo, the throughput latency of HD Native is incredibly low and will be sufficient for tracking with multiple cue mixes with plug-ins active.

I hope this helps clarify that HD Native gives you the lowest throughput latency when recording and monitoring inputs, but when you need direct monitoring the integrated LLM capabilities make a really elegant solution.

* This post was edited. I initially posted that HD Native allowed for multi-channel cue mixes but the LLM output is limited to 2 channels. Sincere apologies for any confusion.
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Low latency recording with Pro Tools|HD Native-image_1.jpg   Low latency recording with Pro Tools|HD Native-image_2.jpg   Low latency recording with Pro Tools|HD Native-image_3.jpg  
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13th October 2010
Old 13th October 2010
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Hi Tony,

Thanks for replying on this subject again and hopefully clarifying some of the questions.

The following is an excerpt from the manual:

"When Low Latency Monitoring is enabled, any plug-ins and sends assigned to record-enabled tracks (routed to the selected Low Latency Monitoring Path) are automatically bypassed, and must remain bypassed. Also, these tracks do not register on meters for Master Faders."

I noticed in the example that you gave, none of the tracks were in Low Latency input mode. Therefore how do you deal with routing a live low latency input channel to the cue mixes when the sends are disabled? Are all Low latency live inputs fed at an equal level to all the Low latency output paths, or can you control the levels of the live inputs to each cue mix? Although I appreciate the latency going through the host is very low and during initial tracking the host CPU loading would be at its lowest, I would still like the assurance that if required I could track a whole band in LLM.

Cheers
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13th October 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony Cariddi View Post
With throughput latency down to 1.6 ms (64 sample buffer at 96k), HD Native will let you rely on the Pro Tools mixer to deliver cue mixes without distracting talent with any noticeable delay. Obviously this measurement will vary depending on the buffer setting and sample rate.

Some additional latency measurements:
44.1k @ 32 sample buffer = 3.3 ms
44.1k @ 64 sample buffer = 4.7 ms
96k @ 64 sample buffer = 1.6 ms
96k @ 128 sample buffer = 3 ms
Hi, what do these numbers look like for people who use Logic with this hardware?
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13th October 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nativeaudio View Post
Hi, what do these numbers look like for people who use Logic with this hardware?
Yes. This would be very interesting to know. I´m using HD3 DAE/TDM with Logic to record @ the moment but looking for a new solution.

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Thanks for the numbers. I assume those throughput numbers include the new Digi converters on the I/O, it looks to be roughly about 1 ms lower than the mobile ASIO device numbers I'm looking at here on a desktop native rig.

I guess what I'm asking is I'm not sure how throughput would be any lower than any other native system (LLM excluded I guess if the hardware assisted mode does something else) except for the fact that the newer class of Digi converters have lower I/O latencies themselves than some others. Not sure how that applies to strapping another converter (or older digi converter) on the Native card.

Can you clarify that? Thanks.
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14th October 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lawrence View Post
Thanks for the numbers. I assume those throughput numbers include the new Digi converters on the I/O, it looks to be roughly about 1 ms lower than the mobile ASIO device numbers I'm looking at here on a desktop native rig.

I guess what I'm asking is I'm not sure how throughput would be any lower than any other native system (LLM excluded I guess if the hardware assisted mode does something else) except for the fact that the newer class of Digi converters have lower I/O latencies themselves than some others. Not sure how that applies to strapping another converter (or older digi converter) on the Native card.

Can you clarify that? Thanks.
The throughput latency performance is due to the extremely efficient FPGA allowing for only less than a 10 sample delay between the HD Native hardware and computer. The new HD Series converters are also very fast and they only shave off some extra time.

Here are some latency measurements between HD Series v. 192:
44.1k: HD Series are 20 samples faster (.45 ms)
96k: HD Series are 50 samples faster (.52 ms)

I don't have any measurements of throughput latency when using a Core Audio app like Logic with HD Native hardware but I will post that as soon as I can get it.
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Hi all,

After speaking with engineering, I need to let you know that I made an error in my previous post on creating LLM mixes. The LLM mixer is a 64x2 channel matrix so creating multiple direct stereo mixes is not possible.

However, there is a funny story there. I had been experimenting with the system, creating cue mixes and while I had taken all of those steps I had described, I omitted to enable "Low Latency Monitoring" (Image_4) in the Options menu. As I was checking the sound of my voice through the cue mix with a mic and headphones I noticed absolutely no latency. The sample rate was 44.1 and the buffer had been set to 32. To check that my mixes were LLM I turned up the buffer to 128 and still didn't notice any delay, so I mistakenly concluded that the multi-channel direct mix was working. What I had actually shown (to myself) was that the throughput latency of HD Native is insanely low, and that tracking at 128 sample buffers using 44.1k sample rates was an incredible sounding solution.

I haven't put the rig through the paces in terms of processing power at those settings yet—but they are pretty unreal. I'll put it to the test over the weekend.
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Low latency recording with Pro Tools|HD Native-image_4.jpg  
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14th October 2010
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Ok, so, I was overly excited when I saw HD Native, as for me it excels over a TDM system in every single way. I mean really, I would have absolutely no reason, whatsoever to get a TDM system. Then, I see that Native is limited to one stereo output for low latency monitoring. So can I get a simple "correct" or "incorrect" answer:

With Native, I am limited to one single hardware stereo output for low latency monitoring, correct?
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14th October 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Freq AudioWorks View Post
Ok, so, I was overly excited when I saw HD Native, as for me it excels over a TDM system in every single way. I mean really, I would have absolutely no reason, whatsoever to get a TDM system. Then, I see that Native is limited to one stereo output for low latency monitoring. So can I get a simple "correct" or "incorrect" answer:

With Native, I am limited to one single hardware stereo output for low latency monitoring, correct?
My knowledge is limited to what has been posted to the forum, but:
1) the LLM output can be configured to be up to 8 physical outputs (4 stereo cue sends)
2) Latency when running a 64 or 128 buffer is practically unnoticeable (1.4 ms)
-and-
3) as a user of a competing product running on an 8 core MacPro with a MOTU pci 424, I never run in to latency issues when doing large tracking sessions @ 96k (buffers set at 64-256).
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14th October 2010
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So tony's running PT9...
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14th October 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andsonic View Post
My knowledge is limited to what has been posted to the forum, but:
1) the LLM output can be configured to be up to 8 physical outputs (4 stereo cue sends)
2) Latency when running a 64 or 128 buffer is practically unnoticeable (1.4 ms)
-and-
3) as a user of a competing product running on an 8 core MacPro with a MOTU pci 424, I never run in to latency issues when doing large tracking sessions @ 96k (buffers set at 64-256).
... First post clearly says LLM is limited to 1 ( One ) stereo output and so says the user guide.But if you have a decent computer it should be possible to track without LLM with 64 samples latency and THEN you can have LOADS of stereo cue mixes. And BTW the MIXER screenshot says PT 9...Cool... Edit, ajcamlet was a second faster than me...:D
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14th October 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Firechild View Post
... First post clearly says LLM is limited to 1 ( One ) stereo output and so says the user guide.

EDIT
Ignore me - I now see Tony C's post has been changed...
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14th October 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Firechild View Post
... First post clearly says LLM is limited to 1 ( One ) stereo output and so says the user guide.But if you have a decent computer it should be possible to track without LLM with 64 samples latency and THEN you can have LOADS of stereo cue mixes.
My understanding is that the OP of this thread shows how the LLM can be configured for 8 outputs. Since the OP is straight from the horse's mouth, I would take that as good information.

Since I regularly use 3 separate native apps for recording of live concerts at our studio (our studio is set up with a stage & lights. we regularly do dvd shoots), I can concur that native is ready for primetime with negligible latency. We use Logic, Digital Performer, or Samplitude depending on the client and/or engineer.

I think we are a prime candidate for HD Native. We are already considering the Lynx Aurora. If HD/Native truly is uncrippled PTHD software with a 64 i/o card that is useable by other DAWs; then HD/Native is a slam dunk for a facility like ours.
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See, this is why I'm asking.. Everyone everywhere is talking cross with eachother.. Even AVID reps can't give a clear friggin' answer :D
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14th October 2010
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Maybe I'm reading it wrong but the answer seems clear.

"While the output for the LLM mix is limited to stereo, the throughput latency of HD Native is incredibly low and will be sufficient for tracking with multiple cue mixes [without LLM it sounds to me] with plug-ins active."

... and the screenie showing only one selector box for LLM output ....



Seems to suggest one stereo pair in LLM. I think it's the case that you can't use plugs with LLM so it seems clear to me that the second half of that sentence (after the comma) is not talking about LLM. But yeah, he could have cleared it all up by saying "limited to one stereo pair only".

Still looks like a good product though. I hope they're successful with it.
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14th October 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andsonic View Post
My understanding is that the OP of this thread shows how the LLM can be configured for 8 outputs. Since the OP is straight from the horse's mouth, I would take that as good information.

Since I regularly use 3 separate native apps for recording of live concerts at our studio (our studio is set up with a stage & lights. we regularly do dvd shoots), I can concur that native is ready for primetime with negligible latency. We use Logic, Digital Performer, or Samplitude depending on the client and/or engineer.

I think we are a prime candidate for HD Native. We are already considering the Lynx Aurora. If HD/Native truly is uncrippled PTHD software with a 64 i/o card that is useable by other DAWs; then HD/Native is a slam dunk for a facility like ours.
re-read...it's been edited...
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14th October 2010
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Its a pity that they didn't implement a full LLM mixer on the core card. Enough that all the inputs could be split and sent to multiple cue mix buses. I guess I will wait and hear the first reports of these systems running through the host to see what latencies are achieved on different MacPros.
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14th October 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by i_b_tulloch View Post
Its a pity that they didn't implement a full LLM mixer on the core card. Enough that all the inputs could be split and sent to multiple cue mix buses. I guess I will wait and hear the first reports of these systems running through the host to see what latencies are achieved on different MacPros.
Indeed.

I'm in the process of setting up a new place from scratch in the coming months, and depending on how the latency is using non LLM outputs for monitoring, this could be a deal breaker for me. Then again, I think that is precisely what AVID wants, since then I'll be getting a TDM system.
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14th October 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by i_b_tulloch View Post
Its a pity that they didn't implement a full LLM mixer on the core card. Enough that all the inputs could be split and sent to multiple cue mix buses.
That would seem to have been a home run with this product.

But as has been suggested above, someone probably balanced that and how well that would work for people who don't often or ever track through plug-ins against potential sales of current or new TDM systems.

It's probably a business decision. I suppose a person who doesn't track through plugs or use any VI's at all might be much less inclined to consider hardware based HD if the PTHD Native hardware did what RME's TotalMix or MOTU's Cuemix or just about every other ASIO hardware device does for near zero latency input monitoring, giving you as many discreet cuemix outputs as you have hardware outputs available with zero load on the host.

From that perspective it probably makes some measure of good business sense I guess...
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It seems like maybe Tony has used a version that did allow for 8 channels of LLM. Maybe that will come with PT 9 so they can charge us to unlock something that was there all along. Just when you think Avid is moving forward they disappoint you again.
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I'm in a similar situation as you Freq Audio. I will also be setting up a new studio from scratch but it will be over the next couple of years so I have a bit of time I guess.

A full LLM mixer would have done it for me too. I'm still totally split on whether this is a future replacement for TDM or not. Initially, I thought no way but I'm not so sure anymore. With the latency as low as 3.3ms for 44.1, this figure is only going to get lower as computers get faster and more powerful, meaning an inevitable overlapping of native and TDM latency figures and hence no need for TDM. So one argument is that the LLM is a cripple to keep TDM (old and possibly new) on top, but the flip side is that if the host latency on PTHN is so low and stable then there is no need for TDM for a lot of people and LLM is not a cripple because you don't need it. This seems to be the message from the Avid guys, which will only become evident once PTHDN has been tested. I guess I will just wait it out to see what happens.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dankin View Post
It seems like maybe Tony has used a version that did allow for 8 channels of LLM. Maybe that will come with PT 9 so they can charge us to unlock something that was there all along. Just when you think Avid is moving forward they disappoint you again.
I thought this at first too - and that there was something fishy going on. However, I tend to think it is just a slip up from Tony.

In my first response to Tony, I was asking about the live inputs. His example didn't deal with these, only routing tracks which were already recorded. I still think you can setup the sub-paths (4 x stereo buses) that Tony was showing, but it may be that there is now way to split the incoming live signals between these (because they are stereo), making the sub-paths irrelevant.

If the Avid guys are saying that with a fast computer PTHD native is the most stable lowest-latency host based system available and you don't need LLM, then I think that a LLM upgrade in future would be going completely against this and very unlikely.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by i_b_tulloch View Post
If the Avid guys are saying that with a fast computer PTHD native is the most stable lowest-latency host based system available and you don't need LLM, then I think that a LLM upgrade in future would be going completely against this and very unlikely.
You're probably right. Very anxious to see how it performs once it's released. IF it is as stable as they are claiming then I will be moving to it for sure.
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Yeah, same with me too.. If the latency performance is good enough to provide monitor mixes for several artists without the LLM path, then it's a sure fire buy for me.

I'm used to PTHD, but the TDM version just seems... well, unnecessary for me as I rarely even use TDM plugins, and modern computers easily tackle more plugins than any DSP system.

We'll see once the test data starts pouring in.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony Cariddi View Post
By monitoring inputs directly from the hardware you can avoid the latency that comes from the DAW buffer setting and system. To control the mix between playback and the direct signal, most companies employ an additional mixer app outside of the DAW—we'd heard from our customers that this is cumbersome and not the way they want to work. Pro Tools|HD Native provides an elegant solution for this issue that allows you to designate specific outputs for direct mixes that are controlled by the same Pro Tools mixer.
Thanks for the clarification, Tony.

However, I disagree with the way you picked up the customer feedback. While I agree that an extra mixer might be cumbersome, ASIO 2.0 with its Direct Monitoring feature allows any hardware with well implemented ASIO 2 drivers (or later) to route inputs to outputs in the hardware for monitoring purposes. While interfaces like the first generation 9652 from RME had no on board DSP to route signals any other way than In A goes to out A and in B goes to out B, later interfaces with mixing capabilities allowed a signal flow from any input to any output, controlled from withtin the ASIO 2 host mixer. Making multiple cuemixes was not the easiest thing, but that had more to do with the still limited monitoring functionality of most ASIO host mixers. This was in the year 2000.

In fact, M-Audio was one of the first companies to implement this correctly for their Delta series.

Don't get me wrong, I'm very excited about HD | Native, I just see a few missed opportunities to make it an even stronger package.
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15th October 2010
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You can't build multiple cans mixes with ASIO DM via only the host software afaik. You get a 1-to-1 in/out relationship. To build multiple cue mixes with ASIO hardware you do typically have to use the mfg dsp mixer panel. You can use as many output pairs as you like with ASIO DM from software, you just can't send to multiple destinations from one channel (afaik) ... which effectively limits it to a stereo pair... unless you create multiple input channel mults for your other cue mixes which is really unmanageable.

The best method I've personally used is below. It's proprietary zero latency hardware monitoring like PT Native LLM (I guess) but not only can you build multiple hardware zero latency cue mixes directly in the software, you can mix and match hardware (the Z's are hardware switches) and software monitoring at the same time if you need to do that for some reason. You just check (or uncheck) output pairs as "CUE" in the I/O matrix and the cue sends appear and disappear by themselves, with faders and pans locked to (following in real time) the main mix until you unlock them.

The big Z on the channel is to switch hardware monitor to mains, for the fader channel.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by andsonic View Post
2) Latency when running a 64 or 128 buffer is practically unnoticeable (1.4 ms)
It's 4.7ms (a very noticeable amount), according to Tony's post above, when running in normal situations. ;-)
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15th October 2010
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Tony im assuming the LLM feature is ONLY available in protools and not any other core audio or asio applications

also can you explain why you have limited the asio drivers to a minimum of 128 samples

and what was the reasoning behind limiting the LLM to 2 outputs? it seems strange considering almost every other interface on the market (including cheap low end MAUDIO devices) can provide multiple LLM HDM mixes?
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Some initial plug-in tests

Hi all,

Some have asked for an idea of what kind of plug-in capability an HD Native system has when running at a 32 sample buffer. The results are pretty astounding.

Machine: Mac Pro 2.8 GHz Intel Xeon (Harpertown)
Sample rate: 44.1 (96k coming)
Buffer: 32
All plug-in are mono
Ren Compressor: 925
SSL Channel: 650
Dverb: 130
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Low latency recording with Pro Tools|HD Native-image_5.jpg   Low latency recording with Pro Tools|HD Native-image_6.jpg   Low latency recording with Pro Tools|HD Native-image_7.jpg  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Hepworth View Post
It's 4.7ms (a very noticeable amount), according to Tony's post above, when running in normal situations. ;-)
Yes, which must mean that it's even higher for CoreAudio users, for people with 192 I/Os, and of course for users with the 192 and CoreAudio based apps. I'm looking forward to the day where Avid will announce what these values will be for people who buy the hardware fir use with other apps.

Having said that, it seems that Apple also has some announcing to do, since the new 9.1.1 apparently has some changes regarding how virtual cores behave -which means that some users can't run songs that were running fine on 9.1.1.
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