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Audio Interface - Low Latency Performance Data Base : Audio Interfaces
Old 13th March 2018
  #1861
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brakka View Post
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?
Unfortunately there seems to be only one authoritative magazine review that I would trust - Sound on Sound, a magazine which has served me well for decades. Usually especially with audio interfaces, their review and opinions are quite accurate and unbiased.

Unfortunately you may need to wait a few months, to read this for free online.

For a relatively small investment of £1.00 the full review is also available for purchase at the link below, and well worth buying.

Other option would be if you could buy this months edition of the Sound on Sound magazine - March 2018, at your local newsagents.

Focusrite Clarett USB |

I am pretty sure that at this level of investment/product unlike the EMU 0404 USB, this will support multi-client access, allowing more than one audio client program to use the USB audio interface at the same time, in particular running a WDM(native Windows Audio) client app and a DAW which used the ASIO driver, simultaneously. I will check again. Just did, and I must say, as appealing as the Focusrite products may be (price, audio quality, low latency), their documentation on multi-client support is not as explicit as what I find in the RME products.

In conclusion I find no evidence from all their downloadable documentation, of how the Focusrite Clarett USB supports multi-client use.

On the EMU 0404 USB, I had to workaround this constraint, using the free to use shareware VoiceMeeter Banana, which connects in my config, to the native ASIO driver, and provides connections to other WDM apps and ASIO apps through virtual WDM and ASIO drivers. It did take a while to fully understand how to do this, cos the documentation of VoiceMeeter Banana written by a non English speaking writer, is not easy to understand. It does work, but with two side effects.

1. Some CPU(at least 5%) overhead is used by the Virtual Drivers and VoiceMeeter Banana mixer. Typically I have to set even higher latencies using this approach.

2. Compared with the direct use of the EMU 0404 USB ASIO drivers, the virtual audio stream degrades the audio slightly, most likely due to conversion in the signal path as the audio passes through VoiceMeeter Banana's internal mixer.

I only use this config when I'm doing things like sending streaming audio(i,e the audio aspects from things like Youtube videos), and media players for local files, using virtual WDM drivers through a virtual audio mixer, to my DAW(Reaper) - which then sends the audio back through virtual ASIO drivers to the Voice Meeter Banana mixer, and finally through the EMU0404 USB ASIO drivers to the audio interface.

In a way, this approach described above, is kind of similar to using the mixing/audio routing software provides with products like the Focusrite Clarett USB, or RME Babyface Pro, just not as elegant and efficient as the native mixing engines of these newer USB audio interfaces

I think as expensive as it may be, the Babyface Pro looks like the device that will provide the greatest peace of mind, with the least constraints. Yes its audio mixer is very comprehensive and will have a learning curve, but this may be the price of entry to a higher level of flexibility, and assured - no excuses support for multi-client operation.

I've bought several audio interfaces, including the EMU0404 USB, which from a learning perspective, I do not regret, but going forward, if I had the disposable funds, it would be RME and nothing else, especially when I add up the cost of the various audio interfaces that I have acquired, an RME would have given me the best value for money, and still be usable in another 10 years from now, if their legendary driver support continues! Professional grade(and professionally priced) audio interfaces, preamps and converters are RME's main and only business.
Old 13th March 2018
  #1862
Quote:
Originally Posted by liv4ree View Post
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
Dear Audient,

I have a lot of respect for Audient - I own a Mico Pre-amp/converter.

A lot more investment needs to be made in the software side of things, to remain a viable audio interface manufacturer.

With business like EMU and Echo Audio out of that business, whose unsupported devices I also own, Audient would need to resolve all their issues with driver performance as good as RME to win market share from more informed users.

In simple terms, like RME, all software development must be brought in-house, if that is not already the case. Driver quality is such a key part of the value proposition of your lower cost products, that there really is no alternative strategy that will deliver your promises - and keep up with updates from Microsoft and Apple, to their operating systems.

Otherwise what happens is customers buy Audient interfaces, on the appeal of a lower cost, get frustrated by lacklustre performance and you end up actually boosting RME's sales, when they are forced to upgrade - and painfully are unlikely to ever return.

In experience sensitive pursuits like audio and creative production, reliability and low latency are primary features of the product, and the desirable customer experience.

My 2 cents.
Old 13th March 2018
  #1864
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Quote:
Originally Posted by artem bankin View Post
TAFKAT
Review on russian tech site
Thanks for the heads up , I will have one shortly to run through the suite.

I have not had any confirmation of any changes to the Presonus universal driver supplied by Thesycon, so that number is interesting to say the least. It is using a different controller ( XMOS) to the 192 ( and no FPGA) , so worth checking out if its tightened the LLP.

Old 14th March 2018
  #1865
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I am SO happy that a few manufacturers are FINALLY bumping the headphone amps to the high levels that I've been screaming for (and no, I'm not deaf) in threads around here for the past several years.

One eventual benefit of future thunderbolt interfaces is that in a bus-power situation, there will be no excuse for not offering something in the order of a 1-watt headphone circuit.

But for now, in the case of Presonus with usb, 150mw (or even the 30mw model) is a nice bump up from the hundreds and hundreds of interfaces spewed out with anemic 18mw headphone amps over the past years (many still doing it today...shame shame).
Old 14th March 2018
  #1866
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Quick heads up re the new Presonus Studio Units, I have a Studio 6/8 unit on the bench and its not returning figures anywhere near those reported on the Russian site.

064 / 44.1 : Reported - In 3.515 / Out 2.857 : Reported RTL - 6.372 : ( Driver not reporting AD/DA ) : Measured RTL - 6.927 :

I'll post up a full report with all the benchmark numbers and rating in the next day or so.

I'd be taking anything on that review with a few grains.

Old 14th March 2018
  #1867
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by TAFKAT View Post
Quick heads up re the new Presonus Studio Units, I have a Studio 6/8 unit on the bench and its not returning figures anywhere near those reported on the Russian site.
Interesting... possible that they used a different driver version?
Old 14th March 2018
  #1868
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Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by 12Bass View Post
Interesting... possible that they used a different driver version?
I used the latest Universal Control/Driver , and there are no significant changes listed , so I doubt the variance is a different driver version. If it is in fact the case, then Presonus are taking the driver in the wrong direction.

Old 14th March 2018
  #1869
Gear Nut
 
kasami08's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by kodebode View Post
Unfortunately there seems to be only one authoritative magazine review that I would trust - Sound on Sound, a magazine which has served me well for decades. Usually especially with audio interfaces, their review and opinions are quite accurate and unbiased.

Unfortunately you may need to wait a few months, to read this for free online.

For a relatively small investment of £1.00 the full review is also available for purchase at the link below, and well worth buying.

Other option would be if you could buy this months edition of the Sound on Sound magazine - March 2018, at your local newsagents.

Focusrite Clarett USB |

I am pretty sure that at this level of investment/product unlike the EMU 0404 USB, this will support multi-client access, allowing more than one audio client program to use the USB audio interface at the same time, in particular running a WDM(native Windows Audio) client app and a DAW which used the ASIO driver, simultaneously. I will check again. Just did, and I must say, as appealing as the Focusrite products may be (price, audio quality, low latency), their documentation on multi-client support is not as explicit as what I find in the RME products.

In conclusion I find no evidence from all their downloadable documentation, of how the Focusrite Clarett USB supports multi-client use.

On the EMU 0404 USB, I had to workaround this constraint, using the free to use shareware VoiceMeeter Banana, which connects in my config, to the native ASIO driver, and provides connections to other WDM apps and ASIO apps through virtual WDM and ASIO drivers. It did take a while to fully understand how to do this, cos the documentation of VoiceMeeter Banana written by a non English speaking writer, is not easy to understand. It does work, but with two side effects.

1. Some CPU(at least 5%) overhead is used by the Virtual Drivers and VoiceMeeter Banana mixer. Typically I have to set even higher latencies using this approach.

2. Compared with the direct use of the EMU 0404 USB ASIO drivers, the virtual audio stream degrades the audio slightly, most likely due to conversion in the signal path as the audio passes through VoiceMeeter Banana's internal mixer.

I only use this config when I'm doing things like sending streaming audio(i,e the audio aspects from things like Youtube videos), and media players for local files, using virtual WDM drivers through a virtual audio mixer, to my DAW(Reaper) - which then sends the audio back through virtual ASIO drivers to the Voice Meeter Banana mixer, and finally through the EMU0404 USB ASIO drivers to the audio interface.

In a way, this approach described above, is kind of similar to using the mixing/audio routing software provides with products like the Focusrite Clarett USB, or RME Babyface Pro, just not as elegant and efficient as the native mixing engines of these newer USB audio interfaces

I think as expensive as it may be, the Babyface Pro looks like the device that will provide the greatest peace of mind, with the least constraints. Yes its audio mixer is very comprehensive and will have a learning curve, but this may be the price of entry to a higher level of flexibility, and assured - no excuses support for multi-client operation.

I've bought several audio interfaces, including the EMU0404 USB, which from a learning perspective, I do not regret, but going forward, if I had the disposable funds, it would be RME and nothing else, especially when I add up the cost of the various audio interfaces that I have acquired, an RME would have given me the best value for money, and still be usable in another 10 years from now, if their legendary driver support continues! Professional grade(and professionally priced) audio interfaces, preamps and converters are RME's main and only business.
Most DAWs has an option that let's you drop the audio signal aka stopping audio engine when you minimize the window. I can do that with Studio One and still use Windows Media player while Studio one is still open. It's not much of an issue for me.
Old 14th March 2018
  #1870
Gear Maniac
 

So all this data. Which Interface has some of the cleanest and highest quality mic preamps, also with lower latency. Thanks
Old 15th March 2018
  #1871
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O.K, here are the numbers and an overview of the new Presonus Studio series.



Presonus Studio 68 : These are the new series of Studio Interfaces directly replacing the older VSL range, are USB 2.0 and are using the XMOS controller, but the driver does not have the same characteristics of the Thesycon driver used on the 192 series or the previous USB units.

The Settings on the control panel dial all the way back to 16 Samples , which is little more than Window dressing IMO as it has the same playback latency for 016, 032 and 064, yes you read that correctly. If you check the playback latency of the above graph on 032 and 064, playback for both is 2.857ms reported ( its higher as the DA is not being reported ). Same playback was listed for 16, only the input levels are different ( 2.426ms on the 16 sample setting I did not include in the testing ).

With the identical playback latency I would have expected the delivered performance would be identical ( which it is on the DSP test at 032/064 ) , but that isn't the case. At 16 samples the DAWbench DSP plugin total was about 20 lower and the VI test failed to playback at all. The VI results for 032 and 064 are also different , so there isn't any consistency at the same reported playback latency for the 3 buffer settings There is obviously some other variables underlying the 3 different settings that are not immediately obvious.

Latency and overall performance at the respective latencies is O.K, better than then 192 series , the driver does run out of steam at the higher buffer settings which is another oddity that goes against the norm.

So a bit of a mixed bag and also a bit of a mystery what driver presonus are now running with on the newer USB 2 units.

*After some further investigation I believe the driver still is the Thesycon driver , with the primary buffer hidden , i.e, Minimal/Low/Normal , etc.

Presonus had been hard pairing their primary/secondary buffer options for a while , I first reported that on the 192 testing.

I cross referenced the latest Universal Control driver revisions for the VSL 44 , and it has the additional 016/032 listings not previously available on the earlier version VSL drivers that I had tested , and the same characteristic of the identical playback for the 016/032/064 buffer settings.*



Last edited by TAFKAT; 18th March 2018 at 11:10 PM.. Reason: * added some additional info re driver*
Old 15th March 2018
  #1872
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Hello. I`m looking for Studio 68. What can you say about it? Seems like you are a user of studio 68. tnhx
Old 16th March 2018
  #1873
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Itachi1701 View Post
Hello. I`m looking for Studio 68. What can you say about it? Seems like you are a user of studio 68. tnhx

I have the same question and I'd like to know if there's audible or relevant difference with audient products like id22 - the correct comparison should be with id44 but no one has ever heard it working -
Old 16th March 2018
  #1874
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kasami08's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Black Imp View Post
I have the same question and I'd like to know if there's audible or relevant difference with audient products like id22 - the correct comparison should be with id44 but no one has ever heard it working -
I use to own a id14 but returned it due to horrible drivers. Almost all the Audient ID interfaces uses the same chips and mic pre designs. It sounded as good as my forte but it was only bus powered.
I'm not to sure about the ID44 as it looks like they are publishing chip datasheet specs which is false marketing and misleading. The Presonus competes more with the Scarlett range.
Old 17th March 2018
  #1875
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kasami08 View Post
I use to own a id14 but returned it due to horrible drivers. Almost all the Audient ID interfaces uses the same chips and mic pre designs. It sounded as good as my forte but it was only bus powered.
I'm not to sure about the ID44 as it looks like they are publishing chip datasheet specs which is false marketing and misleading. The Presonus competes more with the Scarlett range.
sorry what do you mean? presonus is at lower level than audient?
Old 17th March 2018
  #1876
Gear Nut
 
kasami08's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Black Imp View Post
sorry what do you mean? presonus is at lower level than audient?
From clicking and popping, drivers very flaky. Reminds me of my old Roland UA-25EX Audio Capture that I used way back in the day. Latency not as good compared to 2nd gen Scarlett range. As some one said, Audient is developing new drivers.
Old 18th March 2018
  #1877
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kasami08 View Post
From clicking and popping, drivers very flaky. Reminds me of my old Roland UA-25EX Audio Capture that I used way back in the day. Latency not as good compared to 2nd gen Scarlett range. As some one said, Audient is developing new drivers.
ok we've understood about driver. by the way many people found some settings by which they dont get such bad results, otherwise noone would buy any audient interface.

my question was about sound quality of studio 6|8 compared to Audient products. You say Presonus is at level of 2nd Scarlett range... that means...?

higher or lower, in your opinion? so far I've only read good reviews about Audient preamps quality. I'd like to know something about Presonus studia 6|8 that only few people wrote about
Old 18th March 2018
  #1878
Gear Head
 

TAFKAT
Russian reviewer Maxim Lyadov -(author of RMAA )
Latest News. Audio Rightmark
from ixbt.com ,said about you and your test "unprofessional ,lame"
He is sure about his tests are correct ...I argued with him on ixbt.com forums
But it was useless. (((( he is overconfident
Old 18th March 2018
  #1879
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kasami08's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Black Imp View Post
ok we've understood about driver. by the way many people found some settings by which they dont get such bad results, otherwise noone would buy any audient interface.

my question was about sound quality of studio 6|8 compared to Audient products. You say Presonus is at level of 2nd Scarlett range... that means...?

higher or lower, in your opinion? so far I've only read good reviews about Audient preamps quality. I'd like to know something about Presonus studia 6|8 that only few people wrote about
I've never heard or own the studio 6|8 but if you look at the conversion specs, they are more inline with the Scarlett range. It doesn't have the same conversion performance as the Studio 192 as they are in a different league. Audient competes more the RME Babface Pro, Focusrite Forte and the Apogee Duet 2. As I previously said before, The ID14 sounded similar to my Forte than my Scarlett 18i20 but the drivers were horrible and buggy.
Old 18th March 2018
  #1880
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Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by artem bankin View Post
... said about you and your test "unprofessional ,lame"

He is sure about his tests are correct
Well of course, this is coming from someone who is reporting a total measured RTL including the AD/DA's of 4.74 ms @ 64 44.1 , when the driver itself is reporting a total of 6.372 ms sans AD/DA , ( In 3.515 ms / Out 2.857 ms ).

How is that even possible ?

Its not my testing that is in question !!

No point arguing with someone that doesn't even have the most basic level of understanding that a measured RTL cannot be lower than what the actual ASIO driver is reporting to the DAW Hosts sans AD/DA !

Old 18th March 2018
  #1881
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Old 18th March 2018
  #1882
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Hey guys if i wanted to buy a new interface for around 200 to 300 €, meant for windows, that has good stable drivers, with low latency, what should i get ? No mac means no thunderbolt or firewire for me, so usb only.

I was actually thinking about buying an audient id14, but heard about the bad latency...
Old 18th March 2018
  #1883
Gear Nut
 
kasami08's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by mareSLO View Post
Hey guys if i wanted to buy a new interface for around 200 to 300 €, meant for windows, that has good stable drivers, with low latency, what should i get ? No mac means no thunderbolt or firewire for me, so usb only.

I was actually thinking about buying an audient id14, but heard about the bad latency...
You are not going to find too many decent interfaces in that price range with very low latency. The 2nd Scarlett range latency performance is quite good much better than the 1st gen. The Clarett USB range which came out a few months back shares the same driver as the 2nd gen Scarlett range. The cheapest one is around $399 though. I generally would wait until bugs are worked out for newly released products since the first early adopters are the first to report bugs. A used BabyFace Pro is still very expensive about $500-$600. The Scarlett 6i6 you can't go wrong with but it all depends on how many ins and outs that you need.
Old 18th March 2018
  #1884
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kasami08 View Post
You are not going to find too many decent interfaces in that price range with very low latency. The 2nd Scarlett range latency performance is quite good much better than the 1st gen. The Clarett USB range which came out a few months back shares the same driver as the 2nd gen Scarlett range. The cheapest one is around $399 though. I generally would wait until bugs are worked out for newly released products since the first early adopters are the first to report bugs. A used BabyFace Pro is still very expensive about $500-$600. The Scarlett 6i6 you can't go wrong with but it all depends on how many ins and outs that you need.
I'm leaning more in the direction of 6i6 or maybe komplete audio 6. Which one would you say is better in the driver department and latency. For starters i'm only going to be recording my voice and digital keyboard, so i don't need more then two inputs and midi.

Midi is optional since keyboard can just plug straight to usb. I could also get a used rme babyface( not the pro version ) for about 350 €. Would that be a huge step up in terms of audio quality, latency, and stability ? I could get it for around a 100 € more, if compared to 6i6.
Old 18th March 2018
  #1885
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Thread Starter
Quick heads up re the Presonus 68

After some further investigation I believe the driver still is the Thesycon driver , with the primary buffer hidden , i.e, Minimal/Low/Normal , etc.

Presonus had been hard pairing their primary/secondary buffer options for a while , I first reported that on the 192 testing.

I cross referenced the latest Universal Control driver revisions for the VSL 44 , and it has the additional 016/032 listings not previously available on the earlier version VSL drivers that I had tested , and the same characteristic of the identical playback for the 016/032/064 buffer settings.

I'll add the above to the original post/overview*

Old 19th March 2018
  #1886
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Hi. I just registered to post this. I have a Presonus 22 VSL. Before the Universal Control Driver, there was a "Performance" setting. I found that the best settings combination was:
Sample Rate: 48khz
Performance: Fastest
Asio Buffer size: 64

That gave a Total STABLE round-trip latency of 6.1ms, measured with CEntrance Latency Tet Utility.

Then with Universal Control Driver I found it had the EXACT SAME round-trip latency using 48khz, 64 Samples and Sage mode to "minimum latency". See attachment.
22vsllatency — Postimage.org

So it is possible that the newer Presonus Studio 6|8, or even the SAME VSL 44 and VSL 1818 have better latency duo to faster AD/DA converters. 64-sample buffer equates to 1.5ms, right? So it'd be 3ms + AD/DA and any hidden buffer, if exists. So in my opinion the RTL of the 22 VSL listed in that "big table image" of all results it incorrect. The VSL is a VERY good and stable Interface.

Hope that helps.
Bullo
Old 19th March 2018
  #1887
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As a professional Software Developer, I wanted to see if I could "hack" the driver somehow to get even lower RTL Latency.
I realized that I could slightly lower the RLT latency by tweaking the Registry, as the drivers stores the save driver values there.

If the maximum USB Polling rate is 1ms, I thought it made sense to try a 48-sample buffer @ 48khz and 96-sample buffer @ 96khz. Obviously, the panel does not have those values, so that is why the Registry trick works. That tweak gives you:

At 48khz and 48 Sample buffer, 5.44ms RTL latency.
At 96khz and 96 Sample buffer, 4.68ms RTL latency.

If interested, you can try it. I uploaded a file here:
Presonus-AudioBox-Latency-Tweak.zip

It has all the instructions and snapshots. This is a harmless tweak.

Regards,
Bullo
Old 19th March 2018
  #1888
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mareSLO View Post
I'm leaning more in the direction of 6i6 or maybe komplete audio 6. Which one would you say is better in the driver department and latency. For starters i'm only going to be recording my voice and digital keyboard, so i don't need more then two inputs and midi.

Midi is optional since keyboard can just plug straight to usb. I could also get a used rme babyface( not the pro version ) for about 350 €. Would that be a huge step up in terms of audio quality, latency, and stability ? I could get it for around a 100 € more, if compared to 6i6.

Ok since you are recording vocals and a keyboard, you would need at least 3 inputs if you don't want to keep plugging in and unplugging your mic or keyboard line inputs. I don't know how well the the latency performance of the Audio 6, but did hear a lot people having clicking and popping noises with that interface due to a driver or USB issues. I have no clue if that problem was ever resolved. Here's a quick comparison from best to worst performance specs. Obviously both the RME and Focusrite have much more gain, more headroom in Signal to Noise Ratio and much lower distortion than the Audio 6.



RME Babyface


Mic Pre/ADC


EIN ?
Maxiumum Input Level 60 dB: -48 dBu
Gain +60 dB

THD+N 0.0012 % -98 dB
Dynamic Range 111 dB

Line Out/DAC

THD+N 0.001 % -100 dB
Dyanmic Range (Line Out) 115 dB



Focusrite Scarlett 6|6


Mic Pre/ADC

EIN -127 dBu
Maxiumum Input Level +8.5 dBu
Gain 50 dB

THD+N (Mic) 0.002% % -93 db
THD+N (Line In) 0.003% % -90 db
Dynamic Range 109 dB

Line Out/DAC

THD+N 0.001% -100 db
Dyanmic Range (Line Out) 108 dB





Native Instruments Audio 6

Mic Pre/ADC

EIN -127.5 dBu (A)
Maxiumum Input Level +14.3 dBu
Gain +47 dB

THD+N 0.013% -77 db
Dynamic Range (Line In) 98.3 dB
Dyanmic Range (Mic) 98.0 dB

Line Out/DAC

THD+N 1/2: 0.01% -80 db, 3/4: 0.02% -73 db
Dyanmic Range (Line Out) 98.0 dB
Old 19th March 2018
  #1889
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Tnx kasami08, i did not know that about komplete 6, and thank you for providing the specs for all the interfaces. Hope someone who owns komplete, can pop in here and shed some light.
Old 19th March 2018
  #1890
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dallon426 View Post
Has anyone out the new Motu drivers to the test?

Here's how MOTU says they're improving latency on their new interfaces - CDM Create Digital Music

I'm interested out of curiosity in the Mk4
That interview is from 2016.
I tested their AVB line which introduced their new USB drivers, which is only compatible with AVB and newer models AFAIK.
Vin hasn't tested these so there is no nice comparison in this thread, but in our tests, the AVB units were top of the line both regarding latency and performance.
The driver version I tested was a bit quirky with the double settings (USB buffer, basically), which weren't responding linear regarding performance, but a setting with 64/64 samples for example was an absolute low latency performance winner, both with TB and USB.

I detested MOTU on Windows since 1999 due to messy driver versions, while using a 2408 in the studio on a Mac always has been dead reliable. When I read that the AVB line introduced new drivers I decided to give them a try, with positive result.
BTW: you can add AVB channels with multiple units without performance being reduced.
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