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Tracking through DSP plugins DSP Audio Systems
Old 6th September 2007
Gear Nut
joec's Avatar

Tracking through DSP plugins

I have some decent sounding plugins, and I have a well appointed computer system (dual core athlon, 4 gig ram), but I need to set unacceptable latency levels in order to track with them. It’s OK to perform a take with input monitoring, but it’s really nice to track against your intended sound because you can play against it. Plugins are good because you don’t have to commit to your sound upfront. I’d like to add some compression and a little verb to my Vox, acoustic and electric guitar monitor.

After some investigation, I thought that perhaps a DSP plugin’s such as UAD’s, might be a cost effective solution, but there seem that there may be some latency during tracking issues there as well. I’m leaning towards UAD’s because everyone is saying out great they sound.

I’m having no trouble tracking at 96k/24 monitoring dry through my current setup.

So cutting to the chase here are my questions:
  • Can one track 2 or 3 channels with acceptable latency levels monitoring through UAD or a similar DSP solution? I’d considering upgrading to an over clocked Intel Q6600 quad processor system with fast memory if that would get me there. The price of the hardware upgrade and DSP would be considerably cheaper that buying similar caliber compressors.
  • Or, is monitoring through DSP plugins while tracking with sub-10ms latency just completely out of the question for 96k/24, and should I just bite the bullet and purchase hardware outboard gear?
  • Recommendations welcome...
Thanks for your help guys and/or girls...
Old 6th September 2007
Lives for gear
Improv's Avatar

Ah... 24/96, there's your problem. Though it more than halves the latency of 44.1, it more than doubles the processing load. The latter generally wins, forcing you to increase your buffer anyway.

However, a new quad-core should work for you. I have a dual dual-core and I can punch into a reasonably busy session at 24/96 with low latency. The new single-chip quads are supposed to be really good at low latency chomping, so I'd go that route.

External DSPs will always add a layer of latency to translate from and to your DAW software, so they're meant to be used more in a mix application.
Old 6th September 2007
Gear Nut
joec's Avatar

Would you say that using a PCI DSP solution would be better than a Firewire DSP solution from a latency perspective?

I'm also looking into TC Electronic's PowerCore and they have both.
Old 7th September 2007
Lives for gear
Improv's Avatar

I don't own any external DSP of the sort you're speaking of, so I could be wrong here. But I think you'll encounter latency with ANY external DSP system due to the nature of the way they operate. You'll likely get less latency with a PCI solution than a Firewire one, but you should really pick on which has the plugins you want anyway.

Regardless, with a fast computer, you'll likely get the least latency live with native plugins.
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