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DAW latency/bad performance with 2408mk3
Old 22nd August 2005
  #1
Gear Nut
 

DAW latency/bad performance with 2408mk3

Ok, so the problem I'm having is this:
Ever since I went from using a Firepod to a 2408mk3 w/Digimax LT, everything has been a lot slower, and buggier.
With the pod I was able to get it down to 1.5ms latency and able to record 8 tracks at once without a hitch, and mix 16 or more before having to move up to higher latency to prevent popping and glitches.
On it's lowest latency setting, the MOTU will pop and freak out when recording only one track, I have to move it to the third setting to get it to sound right (and I havent even done 8 tracks at once yet, so I'm worried about that)

My PC is:
ASUS motherboard, w/ PCI-E
1GB RAM
AMD Athlon 64 3200+ CPU
1 80GB IDE drive for Windows
1 250GB SATA drive for audio
PCI video card (could this be causing a problem?)

I'm currently using Cubase and recording in 44.1/24-bit.
Cubase performance has also suffered since the hardware move. It's a lot slower when moving around, and feel a lot less stable (though it hasn't crashed on me)
When I move a software fader or setting while the track is playing, the audio will distort and skip, it never did that.
The PC is not on the internet at all, it's isolated.

I also have an AMD 64 2800+ system with an AGP Graphics motherboard, might this one be a better choice?

baah
Old 22nd August 2005
  #2
FWIW...

I'm thinking you've got an optimization issue, here, lurking... somewhere.

I have a MOTU 828mkII running on a general purpose Dell Centrino laptop (1.4 GHz/7200 internal drive -- which I use for everything form my database/web dev day job to (basic) video editing, and which is on the net all the time, even, sometimes in sessions. (Depending on what helper apps load in, IE is usually well behaved and doesn't suck down much more RAM than it releases. Some helper apps, OTOH, are total pigs, like QT or, ugh, Sun's Java runtime. So you do have to watch it.)


Now, I have to set my buffers a bit higher: the 828mkII has a 96 sample buffer setting -- but I do get pops and crackles -- so I use 128* and don't generally have any such issues. (Obviously, increasing buffer size can substantially reduce CPU churn, but as a rule I can leave it at 128. I do tend to use a lot of plugs, but I don't usually have a whole lot of tracks, typically 12-22, I'd guess, seldom, if ever more than 30. In my experience, individual tracks don't seem to bog down the system -- but plugs and v-synths [my other addiction] do. So I do tend to use synth/track freeze when the burden gets high].


Now, I realized since I started writing this that my initial test to make sure I could record 10 tracks of audio (44.1/24) was performed at 1024 sample buffer setting. If I had a little more time, I'd set up a test to make sure that holds up at my current buffer setting.

But the fact that my relatively modest setup can deliver that would seem to suggest that yours may have some kind of optimization/setup issue...

_______________________

* All that said -- I don't use through-the-CPU input monitoring, so keeping the buffer size low is of considerably less interest to me than when I was experimenting with guitar amp sim plugs (not workable for me, I'm not able to adjust to the barely perceptible lags involved -- even monitoring at "near-zero latency" directly out of the MOTU -- which would have a turnaround time of less than 2 ms, I believe, since the i/o buffers are not used as I understand it -- is problematic for me. But I seem to be in a minority position, there.)

So I will probably be experimenting with increasing my i/o buffers on the MOTU and/or increasing the "mixing latency" buffer setting in Sonar. When I do so, one of the critical areas I will be monitoring is "track misalignment" due to converter latency. Right now, when I record, newly recorded tracks are 'misaligned' 366 samples late. I'm assuming this is due to roundtrip latency in the converter (this occurs independently of whether or not there are plugins, with or without plug latency compensation). I figure it's 128 x 2 for the i/o buffers going in and out, and then about a 55 sample delay for A/D and another for D/A. (As I understand it, all converters take the better part of a ms for one way conversion at 44.1 kHz; my 55 sample figure is about 1.2 ms, so the parts loosely fit, as it were.)

Anyhow, if my theory is correct and I increase the hardware buffers on the MOTU, I'm expecting to see an increase in this track misalignment. If I don't, then my theory's out the door... heh
Old 22nd August 2005
  #3
I have a 2408 MKIII plus two 1224's and nuendo and roughly have half the computer horsepower you are running. without any of those problems


get into your vst setup and max out your buffer setting and work backwards from there.


If it actually turns out to be a hardware issue I'd advise emailing motu support, you will never get through on the phone


(edit) oh yeah make sure in your vst setup you are using the motu 424 asio driver, not the generic asio that cubase ships with. Sorry if thats terribly obvious but got to start somewhere
Old 22nd August 2005
  #4
Here for the gear
 

The Firepod uses the Firewire bus. The 2408mk3 uses the PCI bus. Firewire typically has less bandwidth than PCI, but you could be getting PCI bus overload if you have other PCI devices connected.
In the MOTU PCI Console, disable all inputs and outputs that are not in use.

Why are you running with the sample buffer set so low, especially if you're tracking? If you monitor input to output with the CueMix console, you won't get any latency delay and you'll be able to raise the sample buffer in the hardware driver to 1024 (which will help a great deal)

zip
Old 22nd August 2005
  #5
Lives for gear
 
cdog's Avatar
I believe you are experiencing a driver conflict bewteen the MOTU PCI 424 and Cubase.

There are well known clocking issues when running MOTU PCI 424 hardware on Steinberg DAWs.

You cannot set the MOTU to external clock.

This may or may not be your problem (it was for me). Drove me nuts.

My main piece of advice: if you're using Steinberg software, use their hardware too!!!

Check out the Cubase user forums, things may have changed since I was using Nuendo with MOTU hardware on a PC but I would guess not. Logic 5.5.1 forevah.


Old 23rd August 2005
  #6
Gear Nut
 

Thanks for the advice guys. Here's some more info:
I have nothing like QT or anything else installed. I have the system doing absolutely NOTHING but running audio. I;m also using the correct drivers in Cubase.
What I DO have (and i hope this is the problem, because it's an easy fix), is all 3 PCI ports on my comp filled.
1. Video card
2. PCI-424
3. Firewire card (left in from using the firepod)
I can remove the fw card and use a PCI-E video card instead.
My next choice after Cubase if it doesn't work out is Sonar. Do any other apps work particularly better with my interface? I'd like to go to Digital Performer, but I can't buy a Mac at the moment.
I don't particularly NEED to monitor through audio, but every once in a while I do use some software modelers like Amplitube and Guitar Rig.
The biggest problem is how slow and buggy the software is. Mixing is kind of tough when whenever I touch an onscreen plug in or fader the audio freaks out.
I'm gonna try everything you guys suggested, thanks.
Old 24th August 2005
  #7
Gear Nut
 

Hi... there are some known problems like what you describe with PCI-e based motherboards/chipsets, particularly NF4s. You can read all about it here:

http://www.nforcershq.com/forum/nfor...e-vt57659.html

I would try it with your other amd system and see if it works there. Personally I like the nforce3 ultras. they are very stable. Also if you don't already have., consider some high performance RAM modules like corsair TWINX C2 (2-2-2-5). Makes a huge difference IMHO.
Old 25th August 2005
  #8
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aeonian
Hi... there are some known problems like what you describe with PCI-e based motherboards/chipsets, particularly NF4s. You can read all about it here:

http://www.nforcershq.com/forum/nfor...e-vt57659.html

I would try it with your other amd system and see if it works there. Personally I like the nforce3 ultras. they are very stable. Also if you don't already have., consider some high performance RAM modules like corsair TWINX C2 (2-2-2-5). Makes a huge difference IMHO.
goddamnit, it's gonna be such a hassle moving all my hardware over and reinstalling everything.
puh
Old 25th August 2005
  #9
Lives for gear
 

enzo....
i have a general rule when using pci based soundcards.....ie....dont have other pci slots with devices in them.....this way the pci based sound card is given FREE REIN OVER THE PCI bus. are you SURE....your vid card is pci based ? or in an agp slot ?...also tell me if you are getting click and pop and other anomolies....
IF YOU ARE....this is normally a clue that some other pci device is "locking out"
the pci sound device. video cards can do this. other culprits are pci based internet cards and fancy tv tuner cards....or ANYTHING that demands high bandwidth from the pci bus and THUS takes bandwidth from the pci based sound device........now...this might not be the situation in your case....
but i suspect IT IS...and would suggest you investigate this aspect further.
Old 25th August 2005
  #10
Gear Addict
 
mplancke's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Enzo Polotso
On it's lowest latency setting, the MOTU will pop and freak out when recording only one track, I have to move it to the third setting to get it to sound right

My PC is:
ASUS motherboard, w/ PCI-E
1GB RAM
AMD Athlon 64 3200+ CPU
1 80GB IDE drive for Windows
1 250GB SATA drive for audio
PCI video card (could this be causing a problem?)
A PCI video card could definitely cause a problem, use AGP instead. Get a Latency Config tool and check the PCI latencies of all the devices. Your MOTU should have the highest (255), your video card should be around 64. You'll most likely find that your video card is set to the highest latency. Make sure that your MOTU isn't in a shared slot, if it is move it to another slot.

Also go to MusicXP.net and perform the tweaks that they suggest.

Mark
Old 25th August 2005
  #11
Gear Nut
 

After reading up on the nforce4 + PCI audio issues thread, I decided to switch over.
i was basically using exactly what they said didn't work well, and 3 pci devices (out of 3 slots).
I moved everything over onto my Abit MB, with a 2800+ AMD 64 CPU, the rest of the specs are the same, except it's an AGP Video Card (I'm using a Radeon 9800 Pro) and the PCI 424 is the only PCI device.
I'm going to get everything installed and running tomorrow, i'll update this then.
thanks
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