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Audio Interface - Low Latency Performance Data Base
Old 12th August 2019
  #3421
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TAFKAT's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by loopy View Post
When the Studio 192 was first released the advertising copy glowed about "near zero latency" which implied using VST but what they were really talking about was direct monitoring. It was IMHO a bit deceptive. Somewhere along the way they dropped that description so they did the right thing.
Personally I feel the dynamic that was created navigating that whole soap opera was a tipping point for some changes of attitudes and approaches, but I can't say all of them are positive, sadly.

The positive is that there has been some improvements in what is being presented and delivered regards driver efficiency and latency performance from some of the developers, which is a benefit to all.

The negatives I have seen develop since that was being navigated across numerous media platforms, is the level of detail that more mainstream reviewers are comfortable including now may as well be ad copy, IMO. Reporting of driver efficiency, true RTL, etc, have disappeared, where they were once a focus.

It can be argued that the majority just aren't interested enough , sales of lower to mid level interfaces that I know that have actually gone backwards re driver performance, are selling in large and increasing quantities locally.

Obviously not my focus, but a sign that the average consumer is not focused on this area, or are just navigating it in a continuing fog, as they are none the wiser of the limitations imposed.

I digress.


Last edited by TAFKAT; 12th August 2019 at 11:34 PM..
Old 12th August 2019
  #3422
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throbert's Avatar
 

Thanks Vin, that makes good obvious sense.
Old 12th August 2019
  #3423
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I got a Studio 192 Mobile to demo, and maybe the copy had changed by then, but I remember the documentation being clear about the near-zero latency being for the DSP monitoring, and it worked as advertised. Not sure what I missed prior to that, but sounds like I should be glad I did.

In terms of reviews and/or what users are buying, I think for many consumers it boils down to:

1. What's the price?
2. Does this interface have the I/O I need?
3. Is it the right type of connector for my needs (USB2, USB3, Firewire)?
4. Do I recognize the company? If yes, must sound good/be good.
5. Is the interface an appropriate physical size for my needs?
6. What software is included?

I think understanding RTL and driver performance are far more difficult to wrap your head around if you're new to the game and don't know to ask. I'd also venture to guess that the highest selling interfaces, are probably among the poorer performing, and in my head, that's because they're catering and marketing to newbies, and pricing accordingly.
Old 13th August 2019
  #3424
Aef
Here for the gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by msmucr View Post
Despite all of that, Marian seemed to perform well to me and it was stable also at short buffers with low overhead for audio streaming, which indicates well executed DMA.

Of course exact reported latency of such ADAT card doesn't make much sense itself, unless whole setup is the same, because there will be always influence of used external converter.

Michal
Thanks, this is good news, even if it's only an indication so far.

I was wondering about the influence of the AD/ DA convertor mic pre's and mixer on the latency. I have this idea of using the reasonably good mic pre's of a Behringer U-Phoria UMC1820 USB interface as well as the outputs, connected via ADAT, not using the USB. I'm wondering:
a. does that work?
b. could it introduce any sort of serious extra latency?

I have more questions about alternatives, but they would be off topic here.
Old 13th August 2019
  #3425
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aef View Post
Thanks, this is good news, even if it's only an indication so far.

I was wondering about the influence of the AD/ DA convertor mic pre's and mixer on the latency. I have this idea of using the reasonably good mic pre's of a Behringer U-Phoria UMC1820 USB interface as well as the outputs, connected via ADAT, not using the USB. I'm wondering:
a. does that work?
b. could it introduce any sort of serious extra latency?

I have more questions about alternatives, but they would be off topic here.
Hi,

a) in short - no, because UMC1820 is primarily USB audio interface with very limited options for standalone use. You can't route all ADAT input signals to analog outputs and vice versa to use it that way.
ADAT ports here are meant for UMC expansion with another converter like ADA8200.

You'll need either another similar interface, which can do that (say Scarlett) or suitable standalone ADAT converter with mic-pres and likely also monitor controller (as converter has fixed line level outs).
But I agree, it would be best to create a thread dedicated to just to that for discussing all the options and concerns.

b) By its nature every sigma-delta converter chip adds own latency due to reconstruction/decimation filters and there also is always some slight latency associated with ADAT en/decoding and internal signal routing. In total RTL figure that can be ranging from say 0.7 to 2.5 ms (for converters with older older chips or some further internal processing) depending on all those factors at base sample rates (it decreases at higher ones).
I just mentioned that previously for completeness and to realize, reported RTL figures for digital-only cards in complete setups can differ due to that.

Similarly like Vin and Leon mentioned, when I have time and options to experiment a bit, I try to dissect total RTL to analog-analog, digital-digital and even DSP loopback (like in TotalMix or MOTU mixer) for particular interface to have some bare latency figures without those other factors. But as I've touched before, for me that's not always easily possible in practice.

Michal
Old 21st August 2019
  #3426
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MOTU UltraLite mk4

Hi there
Thanks for this awesome thread that is helping a lot of audio fans around the world!
I am surprised not to see the MOTU UltraLite mk4 in the list. It's out for 3 years, with a new DSP, and they claim having worked on minimizing latency. I would be very interested to see how it compares to others.
Does anyone own it?
Olivier
Old 22nd August 2019
  #3427
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Hey All,

No, I dont have any new interface testing to share atm, its been a very lean year in that regard , but that doesnt mean I haven't been busy in other areas of the DAWbench paradigm.

For those that have followed the DAWbench Project over the years, and are interested in having a listen to a podcast, you can catch myself, Leon Herbers from XI Machines and Pete Kain from Scan Pro Audio chatting on the first DAWbench Radio Show Here

We cover the early history of the project, the past and present curves of navigating the area of DAW multiprocessor support and optimization , dip our toes into the pro's and con's of hybrid playback engines, and more.

Episode 2 and 3 are already recorded and in production , where I have some additional special guests on each respective show, one being a leading cross platform DAW developer , the other the co-founder of a leading and highly respected audio interface company.

That 3rd show has the greatest relevance to this thread, and we cover some great technical details regards the curves navigating audio interface low latency performance, protocols, cross platform hurdles, etc.

New DAWbench 2019 Suite on the way as well, which I have detailed on the dedicated thread Here

Old 22nd August 2019
  #3428
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throbert's Avatar
 

Vin,
Ep1 is awesome, definitely woke up my memory of the early days and the nightmarish
times trying to get Sonar working on XP back in 2002. I think it was 85 I had just retroed my
poly 61 to MIDI and was trying to get it to work I think on an earlier version of sonar
with an Apple II. was able to record and playback only.

All the OS/OSX wars and you, Pete and Leon dealing with those ignorant coders and such.
The multicore count to core speed and getting the DAW apps to make use of multicores,
Pro tools inabilities. All that crap trying to get those people to wake up to the flaws.

Oh, that was great,
Looking forward to ep3 and 4
Thanks, Vin
Old 22nd August 2019
  #3429
Lives for gear
Yep episode 1 of "Days of Our DAWBench Lives" was great background to where you guys came from in terms of individual histories, and how the testing regime became what it is today. Looking forward to further episodes as they become available !

I didn't quite understand your reference to Reaper being different to the majority of other DAW engines...was that in its use of available cores ?

I'd love to see tests on ESI USB interfaces (German mfr).... don't know how you'd initiate getting test units though ?
Maybe Leon/DAW PLUS (XI) could have some luck, as they're based near Stuttgart ?
https://www.esi-audio.com/products/u168xt/

Last edited by studer58; 22nd August 2019 at 07:03 AM..
Old 22nd August 2019
  #3430
Here for the gear
That was really great Vin, Pete and Leon. Thank you for putting that together.

I'm really looking forward to the other episodes. When I read your posts now, not only will I have some sense of your years of experience, but I'll be able to "hear" your voices while reading! That's cool!

Last edited by Royce; 22nd August 2019 at 09:14 AM..
Old 22nd August 2019
  #3431
Tui
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Tui's Avatar
As ever, thanks much to @ TAFKAT for a very informative and well-maintained thread.

Here's a question: I am considering replacing my RME Hammerfall Digiface/ HDSPe card inside a Sonnet TB chassis with a PreSonus Quantum 2. Connection would be via S/PDIF coax.

Could I expect an appreciable performance boost with respect to latencies and voice counts of VIs?

The Digiface is no slouch, I just wonder if the Quantum 2 might have an edge, considering it is a much newer product.

Any insights would be much appreciated.
Old 22nd August 2019
  #3432
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TAFKAT's Avatar
 

Throbert, Studer58, Royce,

Thanks for the feedback and kind words guys, much appreciated.

It was good to give some insight on the history, background and curves to get to the space we navigate in today .

@ studer58 , re Reapers engine, I was referring to it not having a hybrid ( higher playback ) engine such as Cubase, Protools, StudioOne currently employ. Reapers playback is still locked to the hardware buffer assigned at the audio interface, whereas the other engines have a higher buffer when not track armed and simply playing back . This is akin to disabling ASIO Guard in Cubase for example , which returns the engine playback to the set hardware buffer of the interface.

Re the ESI USB interfaces, I might be able to get a hold of one of the new units for testing from the local reps.

Reaper has the Anticipative Engine, which works in a different manner. That is covered extensively in a later show :-)

@ Tui ,

The direct performance comparative is listed in the charts , the HDSPe driver still has the edge in overall performance at respective buffer settings.

I/O and LLP could be an advantage with the Quantum using its native AD/DA over what you currently use, but depends on the latency of your current converters.

Are you saying you will still be using your current converters via SPDIF with the Quantum?

Old 22nd August 2019
  #3433
Tui
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Tui's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by TAFKAT View Post
@ Tui ,

The direct performance comparative is listed in the charts , the HDSPe driver still has the edge in overall performance at respective buffer settings.

I/O and LLP could be an advantage with the Quantum using its native AD/DA over what you currently use, but depends on the latency your current converters.

Are you saying you will still be using your current converters via SPDIF with the Quantum?

Thank you for your reply, much appreciated.

So, it seems the answer would be "no", the Quantum would not provide any improvements with respect to latencies.

For DA, I still use a rather nice Ross Martin Converter which I might upgrade at some stage, but for now I am very happy with the sound.

Basically, I need low latencies for practising drums and piano.
Old 22nd August 2019
  #3434
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tui View Post
For DA, I still use a rather nice Ross Martin Converter which I might upgrade at some stage, but for now I am very happy with the sound.

Basically, I need low latencies for practising drums and piano.
Use the RTL Utility to measure your current RTL vai your converters and compare them to the listed I/O and RTL of the Quantum, that will give you a clear indication of what improvements the Quantum could have re latency over the current rig.

The Quantum does offer some great I/O and RTL natively.

Old 22nd August 2019
  #3435
Tui
Gear Guru
 
Tui's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by TAFKAT View Post
Use the RTL Utility to measure your current RTL vai your converters and compare them to the listed I/O and RTL of the Quantum, that will give you a clear indication of what improvements the Quantum could have re latency over the current rig.

The Quantum does offer some great I/O and RTL natively.

Right, thank you.

I haven't tried the RTL Utility yet. I am a little confused by the concept since it also measures input latencies, am I correct?

The Digiface has no AD inputs, so I would have to use my Apogee Rosetta, I guess.

My only concern is output latency. I seek to practise with a realistic feel that is as close to playing a real instrument as possible.

Edit: Does the RTL Utility work with Macs?
Old 24th August 2019
  #3436
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Gomjab's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tui View Post
Right, thank you.

I haven't tried the RTL Utility yet. I am a little confused by the concept since it also measures input latencies, am I correct?

The Digiface has no AD inputs, so I would have to use my Apogee Rosetta, I guess.

My only concern is output latency. I seek to practise with a realistic feel that is as close to playing a real instrument as possible.

Edit: Does the RTL Utility work with Macs?
Yes. They have a Mac version that worked well for me.
Old 24th August 2019
  #3437
Tui
Gear Guru
 
Tui's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gomjab View Post
Yes. They have a Mac version that worked well for me.
Thanks. Would you have a link..?
Old 24th August 2019
  #3438
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TAFKAT's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tui View Post
Thanks. Would you have a link..?
Latest RTL Utility builds for both Windows / OSX : Here

Old 24th August 2019
  #3439
Tui
Gear Guru
 
Tui's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by TAFKAT View Post
Latest RTL Utility builds for both Windows / OSX : Here

Great stuff, thanks.

Come to think of it, trying to test input and output latencies separately would probably be a major undertaking. I'm not even sure it can be done...
Old 25th August 2019
  #3440
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Gomjab's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by TAFKAT View Post
Latest RTL Utility builds for both Windows / OSX : Here

Thanks for posting link. I was away from an internet connection all day.
Old 2nd September 2019
  #3441
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Hi. Does anyone know how the new Focusrite Scarlett 3 series measures up? I noticed that the drivers have been updated to 3.2.1.
Old 2nd September 2019
  #3442
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dickiefunk View Post
Hi. Does anyone know how the new Focusrite Scarlett 3 series measures up? I noticed that the drivers have been updated to 3.2.1.
Not sure exactly where, but I recall reading that testing showed that the Scarlett 3rd generation's LLP is essentially the same as the 2nd... which is decent, but not as good as the Saffire Pro series. BTW, the latest driver revision is 3.4.0.
Old 2nd September 2019
  #3443
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 12Bass View Post
Not sure exactly where, but I recall reading that testing showed that the Scarlett 3rd generation's LLP is essentially the same as the 2nd... which is decent, but not as good as the Saffire Pro series. BTW, the latest driver revision is 3.4.0.
Thanks for the info! In the "Low Latency Database" the driver version of the Scarlett used was 2.1.5? Since the Scarlett Gen 3 is on 3.4.0 I'm wondering if the newest versions of the drivers have improved latency performance?

I am also interested to know how the latest Focusrite Scarlett Gen 3 compares to the Motu 828ES using USB regarding latency?
Old 2nd September 2019
  #3444
Here for the gear
hi guys,

What would you recc for a 600EUR budget with at least 6 PROPER ins? (not counting optic ins) for mic, guitar, synths and some outs
Ideally I need something reliable in the latency department, as I do live gigs.
I was looking at the Behringer UMC1820 because uh I'm cheap
But it might not be the most latency-efficient option out there.. I hear it's half a notch below the Focusrite Scarlett 18i20. Would the 18i20 have similar ratings to the 6i6?
My other option was the Soundcraft 12MTK as it's currently 350EUR.. 150 off the original price, but again, I have no idea how it would perform against an audio interface of similar value.

Any reccs? Starting to feel I should just bite the bullet and buy something like an Apollo Twin and connect it to a 6-in ADAT preamp.

Sorry for the wall of neurotic text but I've been 2 weeks gear hunting all day longand it's taken its toll
Old 3rd September 2019
  #3445
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TAFKAT's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dickiefunk View Post
Thanks for the info! In the "Low Latency Database" the driver version of the Scarlett used was 2.1.5? Since the Scarlett Gen 3 is on 3.4.0 I'm wondering if the newest versions of the drivers have improved latency performance?
I had attempted to test some of the later versions on other Scarlett units, but they had a bug that corrupted the driver in Cubase on Win7 , of all things , so didn't complete the testing.

The RTL's were very similar to the earlier driver, I can't see them changing too much for Gen 3 , but I'll get around to testing them eventually.

Unless the AD/DA's are significantly different regards latency, I think it would be safe to say the driver themselves will be close/par to Gen 2.

Old 5th September 2019
  #3446
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Anyone know if the Roland Studiocapture drivers were updated, seeing as its low rating was- from what I gathered- due to bad drivers?
Old 5th September 2019
  #3447
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dickiefunk's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by TAFKAT View Post
I had attempted to test some of the later versions on other Scarlett units, but they had a bug that corrupted the driver in Cubase on Win7 , of all things , so didn't complete the testing.

The RTL's were very similar to the earlier driver, I can't see them changing too much for Gen 3 , but I'll get around to testing them eventually.

Unless the AD/DA's are significantly different regards latency, I think it would be safe to say the driver themselves will be close/par to Gen 2.

Thanks Vin. I remember reading somewhere that the v3 drivers had lower latency but don’t know by how much if any. Also interested to know how the Scarlett 3 interfaces compare to the Motu 828ES.
Old 9th September 2019
  #3448
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Hi,

How are you all testing your interfaces with RTL Utility?

I would like to test my Focusrite Saffire with RTL to compare the results? Do you have a DAW loaded etc or are you simply going by the measurement the RTL Utility displays when you select your ASIO interface?

I'm new to this program and am not sure how to properly set it up to measure the RTL I'm getting here at the moment and would really appreciate some help
Old 9th September 2019
  #3449
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dickiefunk View Post
Hi,

How are you all testing your interfaces with RTL Utility?

I would like to test my Focusrite Saffire with RTL to compare the results? Do you have a DAW loaded etc or are you simply going by the measurement the RTL Utility displays when you select your ASIO interface?

I'm new to this program and am not sure how to properly set it up to measure the RTL I'm getting here at the moment and would really appreciate some help
Outs going to inputs methink...
Old 10th September 2019
  #3450
Gear Maniac
 
Dewdman42's Avatar
 

No DAW needed. Just connect a cable from the output on your device to an input on your device and run the RTL utility. it will measure that actual round trip latency at various different buffer settings.
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