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Audio Interface - Low Latency Performance Data Base
Old 1st March 2018
  #1831
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kasami08's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger Starr View Post
Best low latency and quality converters for a pro home recording setting would be currently the choice using Windows 10 (I have Firewire as well Thunderbolt connections)?

- RME Fireface 802
- RME UFX II
- UA Apollo 8
- MOTU 1248.

Thank you for your input.

Best,

RGH
You forgot the Thunderbolt Clarett range. It's very closely related to the red range interfaces as they both use the same converters and same mic pre designs. The Red 4 Pre just takes it a little farther from the Clarett range. Latency is great with my 8 Pre Clarett as I can record with Native plugins in real time on Win 10 just as if I was using UAD. The gap is closing since that was one of UAD advantages. PC hardware is also getting better. I still have my Forte as the Clarett conversion is on par with it. Infact the Clarett 8 Pre uses a separate 2 channel DAC for it's monitor outs as it's the same CS3981 chip found in the Forte and Rednet 1 and 2 converters.
Old 2nd March 2018
  #1832
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Looking at the latency chart, I'm finding it hard to choose the Babyface Pro over the Scarlett Gen 2. The scores are so close but the difference in price is $450 more for the Babyface than for the 18i8 (which is on sale for $299); not to mention that the 18i8 wouldn't require more expenditure by me on something like an ADA8200 since the 18i8 has so many line inputs on it already.

Are the drivers that good on the BabyFace Pro to justify the extra cost?
Old 2nd March 2018
  #1833
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sim238 View Post
Looking at the latency chart, I'm finding it hard to choose the Babyface Pro over the Scarlett Gen 2. The scores are so close but the difference in price is $450 more for the Babyface than for the 18i8 (which is on sale for $299); not to mention that the 18i8 wouldn't require more expenditure by me on something like an ADA8200 since the 18i8 has so many line inputs on it already.

Are the drivers that good on the BabyFace Pro to justify the extra cost?
The BFP has somewhat better LLP and likely better sound quality. Obviously, the 18i8 offers more I/O for the money. Is it worth the increase in price? That's up to the individual to decide....
Old 2nd March 2018
  #1834
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kasami08 View Post
You forgot the Thunderbolt Clarett range. It's very closely related to the red range interfaces as they both use the same converters and same mic pre designs. The Red 4 Pre just takes it a little farther from the Clarett range. Latency is great with my 8 Pre Clarett as I can record with Native plugins in real time on Win 10 just as if I was using UAD. The gap is closing since that was one of UAD advantages. PC hardware is also getting better. I still have my Forte as the Clarett conversion is on par with it. Infact the Clarett 8 Pre uses a separate 2 channel DAC for it's monitor outs as it's the same CS3981 chip found in the Forte and Rednet 1 and 2 converters.
Ah, thank you. I did not know this. Seems like a very intersting option as well!

Best,

RGH
Old 2nd March 2018
  #1835
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger Starr View Post
Best low latency and quality converters for a pro home recording setting would be currently the choice using Windows 10 (I have Firewire as well Thunderbolt connections)?

- RME Fireface 802
- RME UFX II
- UA Apollo 8
- MOTU 1248.
You can add the Presonus Quantum on there as well.
Old 6th March 2018
  #1836
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Hello Tafkat et al! This is one of the all-time greatest threads on gearslutz, so thanks for everyone's contributions...

I need Windows USB connectivity and can't compromise on that unfortunately. I also don't particularly need nor want any preamps, just looking for 8-16 channels AD and 8-16 channels DA on the cheap with acceptable low-latency performance that beats my current Audient ID22.

Right now, I'm strongly considering the RME Digiface USB, but there's not a lot info, and I'm dying for more. It seems like a very viable choice for a Windows USB audio interface if you're willing to BYOC (Bring Your Own Conversion!).

If I understand Tafkat's posts correctly, the Digiface USB gets you into the newer RME interface USB architecture/performance (not sure what the proper wording is...). That's a plus, vs. shelling out $1500 for a used U F X which is only getting older at this point...

However you're still dependent on latency introduced by the ADAT protocol and the conversion process itself, correct? That still seems like a workable, flexible, and expandable option to me as someone who's effectively stuck on USB forever. I like the idea of being able to bargain-hunt conversion upgrades down the road, vs. buying a used U F X or UC and it just continuing to get older and older...

---> I'm curious about a rough idea regarding low-latency performance, would it be comparable on the master Tafkat list to, say, a Babyface Pro? Better/worse? I do realize the specific unit connected to the ADAT matters, just looking for more general discussion. Switching to RME only makes sense to me for the better latency performance and driver support over Windows USB so that's what I'm seeking. If I can get a conversion upgrade immediately or down the road, great, but low-latency performance is the primary goal.

For example, you can pick up a Lucid 88192 or something like that these days for very cheap. It's an audio interface in its own right, but getting old. It could run (I think) through either a Digiface USB or MADIface USB, taking advantage of RME Windows USB drivers, and TotalMix... sounds pretty attractive. Am I understanding the Digiface/MADIface properly? I'd love for more discussion on why this line of thinking is good/bad.

Just trying to work through this stuff... thanks!!!
Old 7th March 2018
  #1837
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kasami08's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by bowzin View Post
Hello Tafkat et al! This is one of the all-time greatest threads on gearslutz, so thanks for everyone's contributions...

I need Windows USB connectivity and can't compromise on that unfortunately. I also don't particularly need nor want any preamps, just looking for 8-16 channels AD and 8-16 channels DA on the cheap with acceptable low-latency performance that beats my current Audient ID22.

Right now, I'm strongly considering the RME Digiface USB, but there's not a lot info, and I'm dying for more. It seems like a very viable choice for a Windows USB audio interface if you're willing to BYOC (Bring Your Own Conversion!).

If I understand Tafkat's posts correctly, the Digiface USB gets you into the newer RME interface USB architecture/performance (not sure what the proper wording is...). That's a plus, vs. shelling out $1500 for a used U F X which is only getting older at this point...

However you're still dependent on latency introduced by the ADAT protocol and the conversion process itself, correct? That still seems like a workable, flexible, and expandable option to me as someone who's effectively stuck on USB forever. I like the idea of being able to bargain-hunt conversion upgrades down the road, vs. buying a used U F X or UC and it just continuing to get older and older...

---> I'm curious about a rough idea regarding low-latency performance, would it be comparable on the master Tafkat list to, say, a Babyface Pro? Better/worse? I do realize the specific unit connected to the ADAT matters, just looking for more general discussion. Switching to RME only makes sense to me for the better latency performance and driver support over Windows USB so that's what I'm seeking. If I can get a conversion upgrade immediately or down the road, great, but low-latency performance is the primary goal.

For example, you can pick up a Lucid 88192 or something like that these days for very cheap. It's an audio interface in its own right, but getting old. It could run (I think) through either a Digiface USB or MADIface USB, taking advantage of RME Windows USB drivers, and TotalMix... sounds pretty attractive. Am I understanding the Digiface/MADIface properly? I'd love for more discussion on why this line of thinking is good/bad.

Just trying to work through this stuff... thanks!!!
The problem with people that keeps bringing up the Digiface is it has no analog monitor outputs. It's not a studio converter as it's more gear towards mobile on the go. That's why it only a headphone out.
Old 7th March 2018
  #1838
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TAFKAT's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bowzin View Post

If I understand Tafkat's posts correctly, the Digiface USB gets you into the newer RME interface USB architecture/performance (not sure what the proper wording is...). That's a plus, vs. shelling out $1500 for a used U F X which is only getting older at this point.
It uses the newer generation universal driver, I do need to get some numbers for some of those units apart from the UFX+ , but the delivered performance should be close to par to the original USB2 family of interfaces.

Quote:
However you're still dependent on latency introduced by the ADAT protocol and the conversion process itself, correct? That still seems like a workable, flexible, and expandable option to me as someone who's effectively stuck on USB forever.
I don't know the actual latency associated with the ADAT protocol itself, maybe someone can chime in that has more detail there, but I doubt it would be much.

Quote:
---> I'm curious about a rough idea regarding low-latency performance, would it be comparable on the master Tafkat list to, say, a Babyface Pro? Better/worse?
Driver efficiency will be on par, overall I/O and RTL will depend on the actual external converters being used.

Old 7th March 2018
  #1839
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Hey guys! I'm currently trying to figure out my upgrage from E-MU 0404 USB, because, you know, it's time. What i really curious to learn is how exactly good it is in terms of latency comparing to nowadays devices? I never used anything else so I can't compare :/ Any tips?
Old 7th March 2018
  #1840
+1 for Dante accelerator card figures. Apparently people are getting a stable, usable 64 samples.

...and interesting to know if AVB has a similar solution to get low latency.
For me as a composer with heavy vsti and amp sim use my next interface setup:

1. the Dante accelerator pcie card with JBL Intonato w/Dante, and interfacing my older ADAT gear with Ferrofish Verto ADAT 64 Dante.

or

2. Dante card with Ferrofish A32 Dante

But really what interests me is the pcie accelerator card and future similar cards because the convertors are largely irrelevant to latency (adding perhaps 1ms)
Old 10th March 2018
  #1841
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Thanks Tafkat!

Quote:
Originally Posted by kasami08 View Post
The problem with people that keeps bringing up the Digiface is it has no analog monitor outputs. It's not a studio converter as it's more gear towards mobile on the go. That's why it only a headphone out.
Yep, completely understood and good to point out. I'd pair it with something old/cheap but still good like an ADI 8 DS or Apogee or Lucid 88192 or MOTU, Ferrofish, Audient, etc. Lots of interesting options.

I think at this point it's down to whether I can live with the track counts available on the Digiface USB (I think I can), or whether I want to bump up to the Madiface USB to obtain higher track count potential at sample rates higher than 44.1.

Cool option I was not aware of! Excited to get into RME.
Old 10th March 2018
  #1842
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kasami08's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by bowzin View Post
Thanks Tafkat!



Yep, completely understood and good to point out. I'd pair it with something old/cheap but still good like an ADI 8 DS or Apogee or Lucid 88192 or MOTU, Ferrofish, Audient, etc. Lots of interesting options.

I think at this point it's down to whether I can live with the track counts available on the Digiface USB (I think I can), or whether I want to bump up to the Madiface USB to obtain higher track count potential at sample rates higher than 44.1.

Cool option I was not aware of! Excited to get into RME.
The only thing I can think of with the Digiface for audio play back if the digital signal coming from the Digiface ADAT out is going into ADAT in, into an audio interface. It reminds me how you can expand an audio interface's I/O with an Octopre via ADAT. The audio interface would just act like an Octopre ADAT to a digiface while the digiface interfaces with the computer. Of course the audio interface would have to support standalone mode since not all interfaces are designed like that.
Old 10th March 2018
  #1843
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brakka View Post
Hey guys! I'm currently trying to figure out my upgrage from E-MU 0404 USB, because, you know, it's time. What i really curious to learn is how exactly good it is in terms of latency comparing to nowadays devices? I never used anything else so I can't compare :/ Any tips?
These kinds of questions as always have an - "it depends" answer.

I'm attempting to respond cos I also have an EMU 0404USB.

Your enquiry states only latency as your key criteria for comparison.

It depends on so many factors, besides the USB interface itself.

Let me make an effort to enlist them - primarily those factors affecting latency, and by this I imply stable latency that is usable.

1. This obviously depends on the software drivers, and how good they are. As it has been several years since their drivers were updated, it is a somewhat unknown quantity. Installing these drivers in my experience has not been as predictably reliable as I would prefer - its a bit touch and go, and in recent times, simply switching off power to the EMU 0404 USB, crashes Windows 10.

2. Your platform (hardware/operating system) - In Windows 10 (and I would expect the same from Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8), my DAW - Reaper, reports input latency of 3.4 milliseconds, and an output latency of 6.4 ms, if we add on 1 millisecond each(assumed) for converter latency, that's about 12 milliseconds round trip milliseconds. It could be that converter latency is already included in the reported latency - who knows, as I did not measure this in real terms.

All this is at the lowest buffer setting via the ASIO driver using Reaper - of a 2 millisecond target in the buffer size settings of the ASIO driver, with 192 samples @ 96 Khz.

You would expect that 44.1 Khz would be worse. - approx twice the RTL, but the driver does something interesting it gives a reported input latency of 3.8 milliseconds, and 6.8 milliseconds output latency, which is approx 1 second worse than the best performance @ 96 Khz, but note the samples still using the target of 2 milliseconds is now reduced to 88 samples. Not bad for an old soundcard.

I am running on an Intel i5 2.8 Ghz(Turbo speed) laptop. - A 2 core 4 thread CPU.

In reality, I typically play and record voices - monitoring input to output, via the DAW - using the full RTL, without any perceptible latency either on headphones or studio monitor speakers

In simple terms yes it has acceptably low latency to play and monitor via software, in real time, without perceptible delays.

At the lowest latency, certain aspects of the processor utilisation - the RT aspects reported by Reaper go as high as about 50% - typically this is the CPU utilisation required on the main thread supporting the input output processing, at 96K. Note I have some plugins in this monitoring path - including reverbs, analyzers, a limiter, which also contribute to this CPU utilisation

It is usable, no doubt, but not if I also have lots of CPU intensive plugins in the monitoring audio chain, however this applies to all all audio interfaces.

So while the USB audio interface itself will do decent Round Trip Latency (RTL), what you can do with this, will depend on how powerful your CPU is, to also in addition to managing the input/output processing, run plugins at the same time.

Typically I run at 96K - target of 5 milliseconds in ASIO driver, which yields input latency of 6.4 and output latency of 9.4 milliseconds, and an effective buffer of 480 samples, which in my case allows me to play hardware instruments and record vocals with no discernible latency to the listener,, monitoring via the DAW.

3. Type of music and sensitivity/experience of user - In my case I do not play music with lots of fast tempos, and tons of notes per bar, so the perceptible delay is not an issue, especially as I also do not play or record acoustic drums.
The reported RTL's above may be inadequate for someone who plays very fast ddrums or instrument riffs, and expects to monitor via the DAW.

In conclusion, if you have a fast enough computer with a recent CPU, the EMU0404 USB should not be the limiting factor in recording stereo or quadraphonic (4 channels) if you add a further 2 channels via the SPDIF interface.

If you use software instruments, your latency should effectively be predominantly that of the output latency, which in my opinion is good enough from the examples above.

In my opinion the audio quality of the converters and analog circuitry are pretty good and at part with most USB interfaces up to about £1500. Unless I was investing in a top flight audio interface and/or external converters, with a budget in the region of about £2000+, the EMU0404 USB does a really good job, - clean audio, including high quality converters on the headphone output.

The only real reason I would consider something more modern would be to increase the number of simultaneously recorded inputs beyond 4 (two on the interface and two more via SPDIF coaxial or SPDIF optical)

One possible issue with the E0404 is also its lack of support for multiple audio subsystems such as ASIO and WDM at the same time, you either use one or the other, so If I'm streaming something from the Internet (youtube, spotify) - typically via the WDM device drivers, it is impossible to simultaneously also use a DAW to connect to the audio interface via the ASIO driver.
Old 10th March 2018
  #1844
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Brakka's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kodebode View Post
These kinds of questions as always have an - "it depends" answer.

I'm attempting to respond cos I also have an EMU 0404USB.

Your enquiry states only latency as your key criteria for comparison.

It depends on so many factors, besides the USB interface itself.

Let me make an effort to enlist them - primarily those factors affecting latency, and by this I imply stable latency that is usable.

1. This obviously depends on the software drivers, and how good they are. As it has been several years since their drivers were updated, it is a somewhat unknown quantity. Installing these drivers in my experience has not been as predictably reliable as I would prefer - its a bit touch and go, and in recent times, simply switching off power to the EMU 0404 USB, crashes Windows 10.

2. Your platform (hardware/operating system) - In Windows 10 (and I would expect the same from Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8), my DAW - Reaper, reports input latency of 3.4 milliseconds, and an output latency of 6.4 ms, if we add on 1 millisecond each(assumed) for converter latency, that's about 12 milliseconds round trip milliseconds. It could be that converter latency is already included in the reported latency - who knows, as I did not measure this in real terms.

All this is at the lowest buffer setting via the ASIO driver using Reaper - of a 2 millisecond target in the buffer size settings of the ASIO driver, with 192 samples @ 96 Khz.

You would expect that 44.1 Khz would be worse. - approx twice the RTL, but the driver does something interesting it gives a reported input latency of 3.8 milliseconds, and 6.8 milliseconds output latency, which is approx 1 second worse than the best performance @ 96 Khz, but note the samples still using the target of 2 milliseconds is now reduced to 88 samples. Not bad for an old soundcard.

I am running on an Intel i5 2.8 Ghz(Turbo speed) laptop. - A 2 core 4 thread CPU.

In reality, I typically play and record voices - monitoring input to output, via the DAW - using the full RTL, without any perceptible latency either on headphones or studio monitor speakers

In simple terms yes it has acceptably low latency to play and monitor via software, in real time, without perceptible delays.

At the lowest latency, certain aspects of the processor utilisation - the RT aspects reported by Reaper go as high as about 50% - typically this is the CPU utilisation required on the main thread supporting the input output processing, at 96K. Note I have some plugins in this monitoring path - including reverbs, analyzers, a limiter, which also contribute to this CPU utilisation

It is usable, no doubt, but not if I also have lots of CPU intensive plugins in the monitoring audio chain, however this applies to all all audio interfaces.

So while the USB audio interface itself will do decent Round Trip Latency (RTL), what you can do with this, will depend on how powerful your CPU is, to also in addition to managing the input/output processing, run plugins at the same time.

Typically I run at 96K - target of 5 milliseconds in ASIO driver, which yields input latency of 6.4 and output latency of 9.4 milliseconds, and an effective buffer of 480 samples, which in my case allows me to play hardware instruments and record vocals with no discernible latency to the listener,, monitoring via the DAW.

3. Type of music and sensitivity/experience of user - In my case I do not play music with lots of fast tempos, and tons of notes per bar, so the perceptible delay is not an issue, especially as I also do not play or record acoustic drums.
The reported RTL's above may be inadequate for someone who plays very fast ddrums or instrument riffs, and expects to monitor via the DAW.

In conclusion, if you have a fast enough computer with a recent CPU, the EMU0404 USB should not be the limiting factor in recording stereo or quadraphonic (4 channels) if you add a further 2 channels via the SPDIF interface.

If you use software instruments, your latency should effectively be predominantly that of the output latency, which in my opinion is good enough from the examples above.

In my opinion the audio quality of the converters and analog circuitry are pretty good and at part with most USB interfaces up to about £1500. Unless I was investing in a top flight audio interface and/or external converters, with a budget in the region of about £2000+, the EMU0404 USB does a really good job, - clean audio, including high quality converters on the headphone output.

The only real reason I would consider something more modern would be to increase the number of simultaneously recorded inputs beyond 4 (two on the interface and two more via SPDIF coaxial or SPDIF optical)

One possible issue with the E0404 is also its lack of support for multiple audio subsystems such as ASIO and WDM at the same time, you either use one or the other, so If I'm streaming something from the Internet (youtube, spotify) - typically via the WDM device drivers, it is impossible to simultaneously also use a DAW to connect to the audio interface via the ASIO driver.
Thank you for your answer! I should've been more specific, you are right. I'm not recording much, but I use a lot of heavy vst plugins all the time and at some point in every project I just can't play anything using midi-keyboard, because pops and clicks already forced me to increase latency up to 40ms for example. My CPU or RAM aren't the limit there - that's what I'm sure off.

You also mentioned another issue, that bothers me a lot - an absent of multitask support. And the drivers are giving me headache pretty much in every session. So I'm not really doubting the fact, that I need an upgrade, I'm just not really sure what should I get to really feel an upgrade - that's why I asked how actually good E-MU comparing to nowadays devices.

Let's say I'm aiming for Audient iD22 - will I feel it or not?
Old 10th March 2018
  #1845
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Have a look at the LLP charts. At present, Audient would not be my first choice if LLP were the main decision making critereon. Instead look at the interfaces with higher LLP. That said, some may find the iD22's latency acceptable.
Old 10th March 2018
  #1846
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Originally my plan was to go with an RME AIO card to future-proof myself a little 'cuz it's PCIe and RME. But now I'd like to see results with the MOTU 828es. USB and TB. Hey MOTU! Think you could send one TAFKAT's way!
Old 10th March 2018
  #1847
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brakka View Post
Thank you for your answer! I should've been more specific, you are right. I'm not recording much, but I use a lot of heavy vst plugins all the time and at some point in every project I just can't play anything using midi-keyboard, because pops and clicks already forced me to increase latency up to 40ms for example. My CPU or RAM aren't the limit there - that's what I'm sure off.

You also mentioned another issue, that bothers me a lot - an absent of multitask support. And the drivers are giving me headache pretty much in every session. So I'm not really doubting the fact, that I need an upgrade, I'm just not really sure what should I get to really feel an upgrade - that's why I asked how actually good E-MU comparing to nowadays devices.

Let's say I'm aiming for Audient iD22 - will I feel it or not?
Thanks for clarifying your specific use case - MIDI triggered software instruments(VST's).

In my case, at this time, I do not do much with multitracking - mostly demos and sketches with one or two real instruments and a voice. so my needs are modest, and I have not used VST;s for many years - having moved sideways back to a digital piano and sound modules, for the kind of music I do - keyboard accompaniment to church music/christian songs or ballads - slow emotional music, for which the presets on hardware keyboards require less tweaking.

I would hazard a guess that in such a creative environment of writing music with software instruments, stability and latency are of the utmost importance.

The best recommendation I could give would be either upgrade to an RME Babyface Pro, or a combination of the RME Digiface + an 8 in/8 out ADAT converter AD/DA from Focusrite, or Presonus or Audient. The Babyface can be expanded via ADAT, should you need more ins and outs in the future.

For your situation the Babyface Pro would be ideal should you need to stick to a USB connected interface.

These will be more expensive than the ID22 but are some of the most assured USB audio interfaces ever, because of the excellent drivers created by RME and their legendary support for their devices, over many many years.

I think the audio quality of an RME Babyface Pro would be more than good enough to not be the limiting factor, especially in a software instrument centric scenario.

The Babyface like all RME USB interfaces, has low latency - which in you case would be the output latency that is of importance. The total output latency = MIDI input latency + latency software instrument latency + Audio Interface output latency + D/A converter latency should regularly achieve less than 15 milliseconds, even at buffer settings of about 256 samples @ 44.1K. This should be adequate for most MIDI input. Dropping this to 128 samples @ 44.1K should definitely reduce the total output latency to less than 10 milliseconds, but with increased CPU utilisation.

The ID22 does not have a very good reputation for low latency - especially on Windows. I would not recommend it for that reason.

There is an impending device the ID44 which is expected to be out any time soon which has claims of a rewritten audio driver, better than that of the ID22, which in theory should address all the low latency challenges that have plagued all of the Audient USB interfaces.

There is a possibility that the audio driver for the ID22 will also be improved - bit this is not assured. We have to wait and see.

The Arturia Audiofuse has has a similar development path, with poor latency at its initial release but much better latency in recently released driver revisions.

You will find an outstanding review of this device here which would be my alternate recommendation to the RME Babyface Pro, for a decent USB Audio interface - at a slightly lower cost.

YouTube

The RME Babyface Pro and the Arturia Audiofuse both have excellent audio quality.

The key difference is that with the Arturia more of the controls are dedicated buttons on the device, while RME tends towards a more multifunction per physical control approach.

Which you may not need though, the RME has an excellent routing mixer in software.

I think that the RME and Arturia devices come from manufacturers that have more of a reason to deliver outstanding performance with software instruments - especially as Arturia does have software instruments as their mainstay.

Having said all this, in my case, for heavy duty mixing, recording, and VST instruments, I came to the conclusion that a desktop or high end workstation would serve me so much better than most laptops, providing a platform that avoids the throttling(reduction in speed) of CPU and GPU performance - a common feature of mid and even high end laptops - to accommodate the limited power(current) and cooling constraints of laptops. This throttling which may not be disabled on many laptops, turns them into nightmares of unpredictable variable performance, especially under heavy usage.

Desktops generally avoid this throttling as they have far more space to provide adequate cooling, and also have higher capacity power supplies, to deliver whatever the processor needs to run maximum speed.

For heavy duty work, I would suggest nothing less than an i7 or Xeon CPU with at least 4 cores and 8 hyperthreads (2 per core) - to support your low latency and high CPU performance. The speed of the CPU and the number of cores, is especially relevant to the high CPU utilisation targets. More is better. Faster is better.

Furthermore for really intensive work, PCI/PCIe or Thunderbolt audio interfaces, provide even lower latencies and more efficient CPU utilisation, at higher workloads. in comparison to USB. In my desktop, for heavy duty mixing I plan to use a PCI or PCIe audio interface, at some point in time, to get the best performance out of it.

The other options for low latency using a network interfaced device via the Ethernet port will usually cost even more than those outlined above.

Another really important issue is your DAW - some DAW's are more efficient than others. I found Reaper and Tracktion 6 which are either free or low cost, to be some of the most efficient DAW's, enabling higher plugin counts and lower latencies free of audio glitches.

Beyond choice of hard or software, is workflow technique. There is a relatively unknown approach to improving the performance of heavy workloads, by manually distributing plugins to more than one channel/track, to improve their utilisation of the CPU cores. I have written about this in some of my other posts on gearslutz so please search for these. It would take too long to detail here on this already lengthy post.
Old 10th March 2018
  #1848
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Quote:
For heavy duty work, I would suggest nothing less than an i7 or Xeon CPU with at least 4 cores and 8 hyperthreads (2 per core) - to support your low latency and high CPU performance. The speed of the CPU and the number of cores, is especially relevant to the high CPU utilisation targets. More is better. Faster is better.
I've just upgraded to Ryzen 1700x and added 16 more gigabytes of RAM to have 32 in total. I think it's going to be more than enough.
Quote:
For your situation the Babyface Pro would be ideal should you need to stick to a USB connected interface.
I don't know why, but it's also seems like the only decent option at all. It might be something in the air.
Quote:
Furthermore for really intensive work, PCI/PCIe or Thunderbolt audio interfaces, provide even lower latencies and more efficient CPU utilisation, at higher workloads. in comparison to USB. In my desktop, for heavy duty mixing I plan to use a PCI or PCIe audio interface, at some point in time, to get the best performance out of it.
I'm not really sure, if PCIe devices would work fine with kinda raw AM4 motherboards, but I'm aware that they are faster.
Quote:
Another really important issue is your DAW - some DAW's are more efficient than others. I found Reaper and Tracktion 6 which are either free or low cost, to be some of the most efficient DAW's, enabling higher plugin counts and lower latencies free of audio glitches.
I'm using Cakewalk Sonar Platinum and as much as I know it has no issues with latency in general.

Anyway, thx for your advices, I'm pretty much made my mind on Babyface Pro already. It's actually out of my budget, but probably worth the struggle.
Old 12th March 2018
  #1849
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brakka View Post
I've just upgraded to Ryzen 1700x and added 16 more gigabytes of RAM to have 32 in total. I think it's going to be more than enough.

I don't know why, but it's also seems like the only decent option at all. It might be something in the air.

I'm not really sure, if PCIe devices would work fine with kinda raw AM4 motherboards, but I'm aware that they are faster.

I'm using Cakewalk Sonar Platinum and as much as I know it has no issues with latency in general.

Anyway, thx for your advices, I'm pretty much made my mind on Babyface Pro already. It's actually out of my budget, but probably worth the struggle.
Not wishing to change your mind, but I just remembered that the Focusrite Clarett 2 Pre USB, a very recent USB device, which has really excellent audio quality, as well as excellent latency is now available and costs about half the price of the RME Babyface Pro. With the recent version 2 of similar USB Focusrite devices in the Scarlett range, which have very good latency, as good as the RME Babyface Pro, this new product may just be the right one for you. Great audio quality, as good latency as any other product out there, and a great price.
Old 12th March 2018
  #1850
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by kodebode View Post
Not wishing to change your mind, but I just remembered that the Focusrite Clarett 2 Pre USB, a very recent USB device, which has really excellent audio quality, as well as excellent latency is now available and costs about half the price of the RME Babyface Pro. With the recent version 2 of similar USB Focusrite devices in the Scarlett range, which have very good latency, as good as the RME Babyface Pro, this new product may just be the right one for you. Great audio quality, as good latency as any other product out there, and a great price.
Maybe 'cuz RME supports their products into the future. Unlike my Gen 1 Scarlett. Not saying my Scarlett is bad, but...it's been abandoned.
Old 12th March 2018
  #1851
Gear Head
 
Brakka's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kodebode View Post
Not wishing to change your mind, but I just remembered that the Focusrite Clarett 2 Pre USB, a very recent USB device, which has really excellent audio quality, as well as excellent latency is now available and costs about half the price of the RME Babyface Pro. With the recent version 2 of similar USB Focusrite devices in the Scarlett range, which have very good latency, as good as the RME Babyface Pro, this new product may just be the right one for you. Great audio quality, as good latency as any other product out there, and a great price.
That's a good call, thank you. It really looks like a good choice for me on paper. Unfortunately, I couldn't find any tests yet and no info neither about latency or drivers stability. I also interested, if it supports multitasking, because that's one of the reasons I'm upgrading in the first place. Do you happen to know anything about it?
Old 12th March 2018
  #1852
Quote:
Originally Posted by onewire View Post
Maybe 'cuz RME supports their products into the future. Unlike my Gen 1 Scarlett. Not saying my Scarlett is bad, but...it's been abandoned.
Yeah the Gen 1 Scarlett's did have issues with latency higher than desirable, and overload on inputs.

I did read however that the Gen 1 Scarletts can improve latency by using the Gen 2 software drivers. Not sure if this is officially supported by Focusrite. I do not own any Focusrite devices, so am unable to personally confirm this anecdotal claim.

I think with the latest Focusrite USB interfaces, I would expect them to be at par with the RME USB interfaces, in latency, so the choice is down to factors like price and brand reputation, and budget.
Old 12th March 2018
  #1853
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by kodebode View Post
I did read however that the Gen 1 Scarletts can improve latency by using the Gen 2 software drivers.
I'll look into that. Thx.
Old 12th March 2018
  #1854
Gear Nut
 

Any news about new presonus studio series ? I heard about pretty stable and low latency drivers on them ...
4.60 ms on 64 samples buffer ....via RTL utility
Old 12th March 2018
  #1855
Lives for gear
 
TAFKAT's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by artem bankin View Post
Any news about new presonus studio series ? I heard about pretty stable and low latency drivers on them ...
4.60 ms on 64 samples buffer ....via RTL utility
Where did you hear/see those reports ?
Old 12th March 2018
  #1856
Gear Nut
 
kasami08's Avatar
This is the only thing I found comparing both the 1st and 2nd gen scarlett RTL. Those latency numbers are pretty horrible for the 1st gen. Its the same as my Forte as they share the same USB driver.

Ableton Live 9 running on Windows 10 64bit i5 2500k.

Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 (1st Gen) – Overall Latency
13.5 ms at 44kHz/64 samples
12.4 ms at 48kHz/64 samples
10.4 ms at 88kHz/128 samples
9.5 ms at 96kHz/128 samples

The same settings on the 2nd gen model:

Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 (2nd Gen) – Overall Latency
Update: Focusrite released new updated drivers for the 2nd gen model that changed the latency numbers that were originally posted here (see section below). The latency numbers are a bit higher with these drivers but they work much better and it’s still an improvement over the 1st gen models.

7.89 ms at 44kHz/64 samples
7.79 ms at 48kHz/64 samples
7.80 ms at 88kHz/128 samples
7.29 ms at 96kHz/128 samples

The highest settings on the 2nd gen 2i2:

5.31 ms at 44kHz/32 samples
5.17 ms at 48kHz/32 samples
3.85 ms at 88kHz/32 samples
3.63 ms at 96kHz/32 samples
3.08 ms at 176kHz/32 samples
3.06 ms at 192kHz/32 samples

Middle-ground settings on the 2nd gen 2i2:

12.8 ms at 44kHz/128 samples
12.4 ms at 48kHz/128 samples
12.6 ms at 88kHz/256 samples
11.9 ms at 96kHz/256 samples

Old Latency Numbers
Below are the original latency numbers that were posted using the first set of drivers for the 2nd model, which didn’t work very well at higher CPU usage levels. But it does illustrate how low they can get the latency with these models.

6.17 ms at 44kHz/64 samples
5.88 ms at 48kHz/64 samples
5.80 ms at 88kHz/128 samples
5.29 ms at 96kHz/128 samples

The highest settings on the 2nd gen 2i2:

5.31 ms at 44kHz/32 samples
5.17 ms at 48kHz/32 samples
3.97 ms at 88kHz/32 samples
3.63 ms at 96kHz/32 samples
3.08 ms at 176kHz/32 samples
2.97 ms at 192kHz/32 samples

Middle-ground settings on the 2nd gen 2i2:

11.0 ms at 44kHz/128 samples
10.5 ms at 48kHz/128 samples
10.6 ms at 88kHz/256 samples
9.9 ms at 96kHz/256 samples

Source: Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 (2nd Gen) vs 2i4 (1st Gen) Latency Comparison | Masters of Music
Old 13th March 2018
  #1857
Quote:
Originally Posted by kasami08 View Post
This is the only thing I found comparing both the 1st and 2nd gen scarlett RTL. Those latency numbers are pretty horrible for the 1st gen. Its the same as my Forte as they share the same USB driver.

Ableton Live 9 running on Windows 10 64bit i5 2500k.

Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 (1st Gen) – Overall Latency
13.5 ms at 44kHz/64 samples
12.4 ms at 48kHz/64 samples
10.4 ms at 88kHz/128 samples
9.5 ms at 96kHz/128 samples

The same settings on the 2nd gen model:

Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 (2nd Gen) – Overall Latency
Update: Focusrite released new updated drivers for the 2nd gen model that changed the latency numbers that were originally posted here (see section below). The latency numbers are a bit higher with these drivers but they work much better and it’s still an improvement over the 1st gen models.

7.89 ms at 44kHz/64 samples
7.79 ms at 48kHz/64 samples
7.80 ms at 88kHz/128 samples
7.29 ms at 96kHz/128 samples

The highest settings on the 2nd gen 2i2:

5.31 ms at 44kHz/32 samples
5.17 ms at 48kHz/32 samples
3.85 ms at 88kHz/32 samples
3.63 ms at 96kHz/32 samples
3.08 ms at 176kHz/32 samples
3.06 ms at 192kHz/32 samples

Middle-ground settings on the 2nd gen 2i2:

12.8 ms at 44kHz/128 samples
12.4 ms at 48kHz/128 samples
12.6 ms at 88kHz/256 samples
11.9 ms at 96kHz/256 samples

Old Latency Numbers
Below are the original latency numbers that were posted using the first set of drivers for the 2nd model, which didn’t work very well at higher CPU usage levels. But it does illustrate how low they can get the latency with these models.

6.17 ms at 44kHz/64 samples
5.88 ms at 48kHz/64 samples
5.80 ms at 88kHz/128 samples
5.29 ms at 96kHz/128 samples

The highest settings on the 2nd gen 2i2:

5.31 ms at 44kHz/32 samples
5.17 ms at 48kHz/32 samples
3.97 ms at 88kHz/32 samples
3.63 ms at 96kHz/32 samples
3.08 ms at 176kHz/32 samples
2.97 ms at 192kHz/32 samples

Middle-ground settings on the 2nd gen 2i2:

11.0 ms at 44kHz/128 samples
10.5 ms at 48kHz/128 samples
10.6 ms at 88kHz/256 samples
9.9 ms at 96kHz/256 samples

Source: Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 (2nd Gen) vs 2i4 (1st Gen) Latency Comparison | Masters of Music
Enlightening. Thanks. The link also provides confirmation of the improvement in the Gen 1 hardware using Gen 2 Focusrite Scarlett drivers.
Old 13th March 2018
  #1858
Quote:
Originally Posted by onewire View Post
I'll look into that. Thx.
This link kindly provided by another contributor to this thread, indicates that the Gen2 drivers improve latency on the Gen 1 Focusrite Scarlett hardware.

Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 (2nd Gen) vs 2i4 (1st Gen) Latency Comparison | Masters of Music
Old 13th March 2018
  #1859
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by kodebode View Post
This link kindly provided by another contributor to this thread, indicates that the Gen2 drivers improve latency on the Gen 1 Focusrite Scarlett hardware.

Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 (2nd Gen) vs 2i4 (1st Gen) Latency Comparison | Masters of Music
Quote:
Update: The 2nd gen drivers work with the 1st gen 2i2, 2i4, and Solo models, not the higher up Scarletts apparently…
Guess I'll have to wait to test it.

There's a used RayDAT on Reverb for $650 that I may just pull the trigger on.
Old 13th March 2018
  #1860
FYI for those interested. I messaged Audient about their driver update. This update is suppose to include a fix pertaining to their latency issue. The following is their response.
Hello there,

The new drivers for the entire iD range will be released shortly after the release of ID44 which should be in early April. We are currently in the early testing process for the new drivers and we will be moving to beta testing shortly before the final public release.

More information regarding driver releases will be posted on our social media and website.

All the best,

Daniel Mills
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