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Elektron Overbridge Drum Machines & Samplers
Old 17th March 2014
  #121
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Karloff70 View Post
The whole point of Expert Sleepers going out of audio outs is that it is the place of sample accurate output, unlike the jittery usb ports. Usb ports on a modern computer are inherently flawed. If no midi interface can do well with that I would be surprised if these guys can do better.
Ah, I see... I suppose I was naively hoping that if you have the same wonky clock going out used on the digital audio coming back in, the jitter would cancel out... but as you can probably tell I dont really know a lot about this sort of thing...
Old 17th March 2014
  #122
cant remember where but Ive heard there is a potential way around the timing issues of an external instrument via a plugin architecture (not using MIDI via USB). Perhaps Elektron will go that way...
Old 17th March 2014
  #123
Quote:
Originally Posted by Karloff70 View Post
The whole point of Expert Sleepers going out of audio outs is that it is the place of sample accurate output, unlike the jittery usb ports. Usb ports on a modern computer are inherently flawed. If no midi interface can do well with that I would be surprised if these guys can do better.
There is nothing inherently wrong with USB. Several companies deliver extremely tight devices such as RME, antelope audio and soon metric halo. The only problem with USB is the poor implementation done by manufacturers and low end soundcards.

People spreading misinformation regarding USB capabilities are also a part of the problem. Countless people are very happy with audio-to-midi clock solutions like innerclocksystems because even the ****tiest usb devices are enough and better than some midi solutions.

I'm not sure how elektron implements the audio-via-usb. If it shows up as a soundcard that you need to aggregate then it will be a problem. Like someone else stated on this thread, the aira buyers believe this to be great but will soon find out why ADAT ports would have been a better solution. I'm hoping they deliver a solution similar to universal audio, where you can send audio to the soundcard and back.

Again, please stop misinforming people about usb. There's enough crap out there about audio solutions needing USB3 and TB. This is simply not true.
Old 17th March 2014
  #124
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elgordito View Post
There is nothing inherently wrong with USB. Several companies deliver extremely tight devices such as RME, antelope audio and soon metric halo. The only problem with USB is the poor implementation done by manufacturers and low end soundcards.

People spreading misinformation regarding USB capabilities are also a part of the problem. Countless people are very happy with audio-to-midi clock solutions like innerclocksystems because even the ****tiest usb devices are enough and better than some midi solutions.

I'm not sure how elektron implements the audio-via-usb. If it shows up as a soundcard that you need to aggregate then it will be a problem. Like someone else stated on this thread, the aira buyers believe this to be great but will soon find out why ADAT ports would have been a better solution. I'm hoping they deliver a solution similar to universal audio, where you can send audio to the soundcard and back.

Again, please stop misinforming people about usb. There's enough crap out there about audio solutions needing USB3 and TB. This is simply not true.
As tight as RME claims to make it's USB you're failing to mention the real problem which is implementation on the computer end. PC's and Mac's USB utilization is buried under layers of software which account for the timing issues. They don't necessarily stem from the actual interfaces. An old Atari ST will have tighter midi than an RME and that's not RME's fault.
Old 17th March 2014
  #125
Quote:
Originally Posted by vstace View Post
As tight as RME claims to make it's USB you're failing to mention the real problem which is implementation on the computer end. PC's and Mac's USB utilization is buried under layers of software which account for the timing issues. They don't necessarily stem from the actual interfaces. An old Atari ST will have tighter midi than an RME and that's not RME's fault.
I was not talking about USB MIDI implementations. There are ways to get very tight MIDI. These things can be measured. See here: Innerclock Systems - Precision Midi Clock Din Sync and Tempo Synchronisation Solutions
Old 17th March 2014
  #126
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Not sure how you're trying to defend USB by suggesting a device that doesn't use it.

EDIT: If you're just talking about audio over USB then I've misunderstood you. We don't really have a problem delivering audio via USB depending on your interface, just sample accurate midi messages.
Old 17th March 2014
  #127
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For anyone that questions usb 2 capabilities (as I once did) should read the metric halo thread and see what they're able to do over a USB 2 connection - they where going to release a thunderbolt card but investigated USB 2 more, wrote their own transport driver from the ground up and now are getting performance that you have to read a couple of times to make sure you read it right.
Seeing as elektron have been at this for a couple of years of say they probably went the same way - there's no other way I could think of that's still native that could keep up with the elektron harware.
Old 17th March 2014
  #128
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So it's the MIDI device drivers, and the MIDI interfaces that are crap.

Trouble is, I've tested the RME UFX's MIDI, whilst it was streaming 30 input channels @ 48k. Add summing to that, which I now do, and you're not talking *best case* MIDI transmission jitter figures. This test convinced me to go the Silent Way.
Old 17th March 2014
  #129
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To my understanding usb uses serial data transmission and problems arise when you have more than one usb device attached to the single usb root. Laptops for example typically have single usb root and available ports are hub/replication so if you connect you high throughput interface to one usb port and some other device to other (which both are under the same root), than there is a chance for some possible instability.
Old 18th March 2014
  #130
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elgordito View Post
I was not talking about USB MIDI implementations. There are ways to get very tight MIDI. These things can be measured. See here: Innerclock Systems - Precision Midi Clock Din Sync and Tempo Synchronisation Solutions
There are no ways to get very tight midi over usb with a modern computer. Otherwise someone would have managed to do it. And it is to do with the architechture of a modern computer, which unlike an Atari, which had the midi connection pretty much straight on the motherboard, has a kernel as a bottleneck. This is not something any third party companies can 'design away' and makes for jitter you can't escape.

It's funny how you choose to try and justify you opinion by pointing at Innerclock's site, who are only in business because of this in the first place, providing a way to get tight midi clock out of a modern rig because you can't get one out of usb ports....
Old 18th March 2014
  #131
Quote:
Originally Posted by Karloff70 View Post
There are no ways to get very tight midi over usb with a modern computer. Otherwise someone would have managed to do it. And it is to do with the architechture of a modern computer, which unlike an Atari, which had the midi connection pretty much straight on the motherboard, has a kernel as a bottleneck. This is not something any third party companies can 'design away' and makes for jitter you can't escape.

It's funny how you choose to try and justify you opinion by pointing at Innerclock's site, who are only in business because of this in the first place, providing a way to get tight midi clock out of a modern rig because you can't get one out of usb ports....
I'm using facts to make an arguement. My only issue is that you are spreading misinformation repeating things that from an engineering point of view don't make any sense. First of all, if you measure an atari, it is not as tight as people believe so. People have made DIY solutions to do it. I believe even others in this thread have pointed to another thread where you can do some back of the envelope math to show that it wouldn't be hard to do using an audio stream.

It all boils down to your workflow. Do you want to sequence from a computer (1) or do you prefer/want to sequence from an hardware sequencer (2). In some cases, you prefer to use an external sequencer clocked by the computer (3).

(1) Ideally you would use a MIDI device with custom drivers and chipsets that buffers data like AMT8 did, having a dedicated processor for midi duties. There is no reason from an engineering point of view that would make it less tight than any hardware box (I'm assuming you are not running you computer to the ground). There are no such devices on the market, but UM-880, ESI and motu express XT are your best bets and jitter is not too bad, ranging from <0.5ms to <2ms.

(2) If you want to use external sequencers, then you can use an ASQ10 or MPC3000 if you need the best. These will give you tight midi across multiple ports.

(3) If you need to sync it to a computer, you can use a soundcard (yes, a usb one) with innerclock or Expert sleepers, to clock your external hardware.

Most class compliant and stock midi devices over usb are jittery because they are not designed for demanding users. If developers invested time developing a good midi over usb like they have done for audio this would not be a problem. The problem is not inherent to USB interface itself. The problem is that companies have not made efforts to deliver the accuracy some end users expect given how good dedicated hardware sequencers are. Building such boxes is not cheap and companies understandbly realize that they will never sell that many. The external analog hardware renaissance is upon us, but still a niche market. Most of these even have cheapo usb midi and most people don't care.

I do find all this is pretty amusing given that some synths themselves have more jitter than a motu midiexpress XT for example. But this is gearslutz...

I can't remember anymore how this is related to elektron's new setup so I'll just stop now and apologize for the noise.
Old 18th March 2014
  #132
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I'm not going to bite on the schooling hook and instead leave this thread alone too, as to let the noise pass.
Old 23rd March 2014
  #133
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Instead of fancy boxes () Elektron might build finally serious groove machine containing analogue and digital drums, sequencer, 8-voice analogue + 16-voice digital synths, sampleplayer and an array of analogue effects (at least chorus, flanger, delay, EQ and compression).
All controlled and recallable via VST, but still full stand-alone machine.
Old 23rd March 2014
  #134
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GYang View Post
Instead of fancy boxes () Elektron might build finally serious groove machine containing analogue and digital drums, sequencer, 8-voice analogue + 16-voice digital synths, sampleplayer and an array of analogue effects (at least chorus, flanger, delay, EQ and compression).
All controlled and recallable via VST, but still full stand-alone machine.
Yeah, and price it at $5000+, ideal for the groovebox demographic.
Old 19th April 2014
  #135
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Anyone worried about the ADC / DAC aspect needs to remember that all of this is/was already available on the A4. The Ext Ins do an exemplary job routed to either to the effects bus, or to the filters.... and then pump that back out as analog. There's also the internal effects chain/bus which is digital. So there's an additional ADC > DAC stage of the analog signal path going on there via the same converters... this means it was already capable of converting 4 mono (analog) channels + 1 stereo channel in and out in near realtime with no noticable lag. If I'm also routing the INs through the filters then its doing even more...

Elektron are a new breed for sure. The company philosophy is deeply routed in providing what the artist wants and needs, driven by a young and extremely intelligent development strategy team. Their products already integrate analog with digital in the most sophisticated way on the market....and with the right hardware/software architecture... which they have... it was only a matter of time for them to exploit the opportunity their initlal vision provided. They knew exactly what the core product was meant to be capable of... but like any business needed to factor speed to market - hence the roll out of features. They were also keen to see what the market wanted before they committed further time in developing the OS.

Smart chaps.

There's defo more heading our way.... thats for sure. And perhaps some more things we haven't even thought of yet. MY guess is that digital effects processor can do more than just Chorus/Del/Verb. Its just software after all.....but what a Verb.... I use my A4 for purely verb duties when Im not using for anything else. Gives my lexicon a run for its money and more.

You are witnessing the making of future classics with these units.... and the build quality suggests they might even last long enough to become such a thing...

Hats off...

D
Old 20th April 2014
  #136
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Wait, so can the A4 sequence itself and also 2 external mono synths (Sub Phatty & Minitaur) for jamming live and then act as a soundcard to record into a DAW?
Old 20th April 2014
  #137
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I don't really get the sceptism. After seeing metric halo build their own usb2 drivers and getting near to 1 sample latency and they've spent 2 years on its implantation I'm prepared to give them the benefit of the doubt. The OT - which is a really powerful machine on its own doesn't have the hardware spec to run overbridge. There's s program for the a4 where you morph between 50 different patches at once in some type of Mega waveform trick so it's stupidly powerful - how that will translate well see when it's released
Old 20th April 2014
  #138
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beany View Post
Wait, so can the A4 sequence itself and also 2 external mono synths (Sub Phatty & Minitaur) for jamming live
Correct! (Plus you can route in external oscillators which can be controlled from the A4 and mixed with the A4's OSCs.)

Quote:
and then act as a soundcard to record into a DAW?
Not until Overbridge.
Old 20th April 2014
  #139
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dogma View Post
I don't really get the sceptism. After seeing metric halo build their own usb2 drivers and getting 1 sample latency
1 sample latency through USB2 drivers?

I think you must have misunderstood something!
Old 20th April 2014
  #140
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Well it's a bit confusing but I'll post the link and scroll down half way to see what can be done with a USB connection. It will absolutely floor you.
Metric Halo announces new technologies and upgrade path
Old 20th April 2014
  #141
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And this relates directly to the discussion here


.The USB latency is higher than one sample (obviously). USB2 uses 125 microsecond isoch periods. Latency on the USB bus is quantized in units of isoch periods. In the sureClock implementation, we need to have 2 packets plus a couple of samples of safety offset on the input and output side of the USB. The 2 packets correspond to 250 microseconds of latency in each direction.

On the computer side, there is some additional transport latency due to the way that the USB hardware works -- 2 or 3 packets worth. So that is an additional 250-375 microseconds.

On top of that you have the audio buffer latency that is determined by the size of the audio buffer you choose in your host -- that's going to be the same regardless of the transport protocol.

All told the transport latency adds up to around 1 - 1.5 ms (maybe a little bit more) at all sample rates. This is consistent with what we were able to achieve on FireWire.

*** Q7: So very exciting - love the Ethernet connectivity - love to hear the details on USB in/out latencies. But isn't the 1 sample stuff is being taken way out of context?

It is a little bit, in that the USB <-> Computer latency is higher, and is generally dominated by the buffer size you choose for the host.

But the latency is 2 samples per hop (1 sample for input to the MH Router and 1 sample for output from the MH Router) on the box -> box connection, which is much, much lower than anything that can be achieved with other high-bandwidth transports and allows for the aggregation of boxes in a way that we cannot achieve on USB, FireWire or something like Dante.

The latency would be achievable on something like MADI, but MADI does not have the channel counts that we can attain with MHLink, nor does it have the bandwidth for control data, and it has much more expensive and less generally available cabling.
Old 20th April 2014
  #142
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dogma View Post
All told the transport latency adds up to around 1 - 1.5 ms (maybe a little bit more) at all sample rates.

The RME Digiface (with 3 PCIe units) can do 78 channels with a transport latency of 1.75 ms (on OS X).


Quote:
Originally Posted by dogma View Post
But isn't the 1 sample stuff is being taken way out of context?

It is a little bit, in that the USB <-> Computer latency is higher, and is generally dominated by the buffer size you choose for the host.

But the latency is 2 samples per hop (1 sample for input to the MH Router and 1 sample for output from the MH Router)

Most of RME's interfaces achieve 2-4 samples of internal latency.

Nobody knows the true RTL of the Metric Halo stuff yet. They've just been talking about transport & internal/routing latency. You have to add on your DAW's buffers.


STILL, highly impressive results for USB transport latency.
Old 20th April 2014
  #143
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[QUOTE=DanRand;10044806]The RME Digiface (with 3 PCIe units) can do 78 channels with a transport latency of 1.75 ms (on OS X).

Yes but that's with PCIe which has a much higher native bandwidth - we are talking about little ol usb2 here which is on every computer on the planet




Most of RME's interfaces achieve 2-4 samples of internal latency.

With how many channels of I/0?

The whole scheme is a bit nebulous at the moment - the router? I'm guessing that's an additional box but that is irrelevant to me as I have one 2882
Old 20th April 2014
  #144
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I agree, that's why I said it was impressive. Was just using the Digiface for a comparison of the transport latency figures.

Was just trying to say that the latency figures published so far are just transport & routing figures. Not final roundtrip latency figures. Routing latency is 1 sample per input/output. RME's routing latency has been blisteringly fast for years too...
Old 20th April 2014
  #145
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Quote:
Originally Posted by barryfell View Post
Correct! (Plus you can route in external oscillators which can be controlled from the A4 and mixed with the A4's OSCs.)



Not until Overbridge.
Thanks! OK that's it, def getting one now!
Old 20th April 2014
  #146
Quote:
Originally Posted by barryfell View Post
Correct! (Plus you can route in external oscillators which can be controlled from the A4 and mixed with the A4's OSCs.)



Not until Overbridge.
AK owner here. Not being snarky at all, but I'm wondering how you sequence 2 separate synths with only 1 CV track. Do they just do the same thing?
Old 20th April 2014
  #147
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slaughtrhaus View Post
AK owner here. Not being snarky at all, but I'm wondering how you sequence 2 separate synths with only 1 CV track. Do they just do the same thing?
Sorry, my mistake*, it's only 1, as per the CV track. I was thinking about the fact that 2 external synths can be routed in as external oscillators so controlled on 2 separate tracks in that way.

*Edit: Actually you can.
Old 20th April 2014
  #148
Quote:
Originally Posted by barryfell View Post
Sorry, my mistake, it's only 1, as per the CV track. I was thinking about the fact that 2 external synths can be routed in as external oscillators so controlled on 2 separate tracks in that way.
Gotcha.
Old 20th April 2014
  #149
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jitter makes me laugh. on the one hand, we have people shelling out tons of money to avoid jitter, on the other, we have often the same people, recording stuff to analog tape, often VHS, in order to get....jitter.

Quote:
Originally Posted by slaughtrhaus View Post
AK owner here. Not being snarky at all, but I'm wondering how you sequence 2 separate synths with only 1 CV track. Do they just do the same thing?
you can choose to use the trigs of the other tracks on the CV pages. the fx track is probably a good choice especially if you're running stuff in.

you could start a (relatively) cheap and useful modular to process (divide, delay, etc) the gate and clock from the analog 4, so you'd only need to use one gate. it's a actually a cool way to sequence. although a used machinedrum to send 6 gates would probably be roughly the same price. (and you can trigger it from the analog 4 too) i like both.
Old 20th April 2014
  #150
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Quote:
Originally Posted by barryfell View Post
Sorry, my mistake, it's only 1, as per the CV track. I was thinking about the fact that 2 external synths can be routed in as external oscillators so controlled on 2 separate tracks in that way.
No worries, still good for me as I can have it sequencing the Minitaur for bass and jam over the top with the Phatty.

Although I'm 75% I sure read a review saying it could control 2 external synths with the AB & CD CV/Gate Outs with some sort of splitter cable. Maybe it was the Keys, maybe I was dreaming/hoping lol...
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