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Audio Interface - Low Latency Performance Data Base : Audio Interfaces
Old 16th April 2018
  #1981
Gear Maniac
 
Arcana's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by thedberg View Post
I used a UR-interface with Cubase. Switched to an RME pcie-card. Gave me lower latency and, more significant, the ability to run more VSTs at a specific latency. Have so far never gone over 64 samples on 70+ track projects. My 4790K box feels like a new computer.

According this thread the USB-interfaces from RME are also very efficient, if not quite as good as pcie.
Wow....that's quite a difference. I often run at 512 samples, and I mostly have under 20 tracks, although I don't spare on effects.
Old 16th April 2018
  #1982
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arcana View Post
Wow....that's quite a difference. I often run at 512 samples, and I mostly have under 20 tracks, although I don't spare on effects.
Hmm.... that gives me a feeling that there is something else different between our systems or workflows. I rarely had to go to 512 with my old interface, only when loading a single bus (typically output) with too much junk on the inserts. I try to avoid that nowadays.

Maybe you shouldn't expect to be able get to down to 64 just by switching interfaces...
Old 16th April 2018
  #1983
Gear Maniac
 

I really wish I would have known better and got an rme interface years ago. I've messed about with a lot of different interfaces. I'd have never looked for another interface. Preamps yes. But that's it. I've messed with USB for years and had decent results but when I needed more power and plugins I was lacking. I've always been a musician first an audio nerd second. Yes, I've finally seen the error in my ways.
Old 16th April 2018
  #1984
Here for the gear
 

@TAFKAT

Any chance you can throw an Antelope Discrete 8 or Orion Studio into the mix? Curious as to how these would perform.
Old 16th April 2018
  #1985
Gear Nut
 

TAFKAT you have said
"Testing was done via Native Thunderbolt 2 on an early rev X99 dev system , not tested on TB3 with step down adapter as yet.
As far as i know you are supposed to do all the test in the following system

Desktop System Detail:
Intel i7 920 Quadcore/ 2.66 GHZ/
Intel X58 / 6 GB DDR3-PC12800."


but you used x99 motherboard instead of the reference x58 motherboard. right?
Thunderbolt should be supported only through native way.. so it require certain mainboard and chipsets.. but your reference pc (x58 motherboard) is so old that it can't support thunderbolt..
I understand that's why you did it..
I am worried about how can it be fair test?
but can you let me know the x99 system pc specs which you tested for presonus quantum? like which cpu and rams etc...
Old 16th April 2018
  #1986
Gear Maniac
 
Arcana's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by thedberg View Post
Hmm.... that gives me a feeling that there is something else different between our systems or workflows. I rarely had to go to 512 with my old interface, only when loading a single bus (typically output) with too much junk on the inserts. I try to avoid that nowadays.

Maybe you shouldn't expect to be able get to down to 64 just by switching interfaces...
I just loaded one of my recent tracks.
Only 15 tracks of VSTi's - although things like Modo which is fairly CPU intensive, but most other things sample based, like The Orchestra, Dracus, Symphobia etc.
At 128 samples my 'Real time peak' meter goes to 100% and there's stuttering.
This is even after disabling Frei:Raum and Neutron which are the most demanding plugins.
I do have a couple of insert fx on most tracks but it's basic stuff like Pro-C, Relayer, Pro-Q2 etc.

Old 17th April 2018
  #1987
Gear Addict
 

Does anybody have latency tests for the Focusrite Clarett 4Pre Thunderbolt?
Old 17th April 2018
  #1988
Lives for gear
 
Robert Randolph's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mtl777 View Post
Does anybody have latency tests for the Focusrite Clarett 4Pre Thunderbolt?
I have an 8preX, which is based on the same chipset and drivers. The latency numbers published on focusrite's website are correct (I've tested them)

Clarett In Depth | Focusrite
Old 17th April 2018
  #1989
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TAFKAT's Avatar
 

Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by bluesj View Post
TAFKAT you have said
"Testing was done via Native Thunderbolt 2 on an early rev X99 dev system , not tested on TB3 with step down adapter as yet.

As far as i know you are supposed to do all the test in the following system
I explained the process of testing the thunderbolt interfaces in more detail Here

The Quantum performed very well and within range comparatively of the other top performing TB interfaces, not sure why you are concerned about my testing not being fair ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Uberphat View Post
@TAFKAT

Any chance you can throw an Antelope Discrete 8 or Orion Studio into the mix? Curious as to how these would perform.
I have responded to a previous query re Antelope testing Here

Old 17th April 2018
  #1990
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by thedberg View Post
Switched to an RME pcie-card. Gave me lower latency and, more significant, the ability to run more VSTs at a specific latency. Have so far never gone over 64 samples on 70+ track projects. My 4790K box feels like a new computer.
Which RME card are you using?
Old 17th April 2018
  #1991
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Randolph View Post
I have an 8preX, which is based on the same chipset and drivers. The latency numbers published on focusrite's website are correct (I've tested them)

Clarett In Depth | Focusrite
Thank you!

You get lower latency on a Mac, huh.
Old 17th April 2018
  #1992
Quote:
Originally Posted by onewire View Post
Which RME card are you using?
HDSPe AIO. The cheapest one
Old 17th April 2018
  #1993
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arcana View Post
I just loaded one of my recent tracks.
Only 15 tracks of VSTi's - although things like Modo which is fairly CPU intensive, but most other things sample based, like The Orchestra, Dracus, Symphobia etc.
At 128 samples my 'Real time peak' meter goes to 100% and there's stuttering.
This is even after disabling Frei:Raum and Neutron which are the most demanding plugins.
I do have a couple of insert fx on most tracks but it's basic stuff like Pro-C, Relayer, Pro-Q2 etc.

Sounds wrong to me. Maybe you can get some ideas how to improve performance if you start a thread in the Computer forum here on GS?
Old 17th April 2018
  #1994
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by thedberg View Post
HDSPe AIO. The cheapest one
That's exactly what I wanted to hear! I have the same processor and have been doing a mental (occasionally public) back and forth between the AIO, RayDAT and MOTU 828es. AIO was my initial choice.

Thanks!
Old 17th April 2018
  #1995
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by thedberg View Post
HDSPe AIO. The cheapest one
Now you've done it. Went checking the usual sites and wouldn't you know it. Reverb had a listing for:

RME Hdspe aio
Quantity: 1
Condition: Mint
Seller: tom's Gear Locker

"Essentially brand new, never installed. Church pro audio supply went out of business."

Never seen one this inexpensive before. $465 shipped. That settled it. I pulled the trigger.

Crossing my fingers.
Old 17th April 2018
  #1996
Gear Maniac
 

I would like to see some TB3, USB-C units from RME. Something in a rack. Maybe next year.
It would be great to see a Babyface in a desktop rack shape as well. I'm not a big fan of having cables come from multiple sides.
Old 17th April 2018
  #1997
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arcana View Post
I'll admit, an audio interface is something I plug into my PC and plug my headphones into - and that's about it.

Currently I'm using Steinberg UR12. Latency is fine to me. However, I often find that the 'Real time peak' in Cubase can get rather high - like 70-80%, running just a few tracks. I do use some pretty CPU heavy plugins like Frei:Raum, Neutron, Diva etc. though.

So, would upgrading to something like Babyface pro help in this case, or would it purely just give me lower latency?
Considering it's like 7 x the price, I'm not sure if a few ms' latency is enough improvement for me to justify a purchase, but if my projects would run more smoothly I'd certainly be interested. Any thoughts on that?

I have an i7-6700k overclocked to 4.5 Ghz and 16 GB RAM, so a pretty decent PC.
pardon me for restating what others might have said, or what you already know.

1. Every workload is different, so your mileage may vary, even when you have the same spec computer as someone else.

2. We are so fortunate to live in a time of rapid advancement in software based audio tools, we overlook the reality that barely 25 years ago, PC based audio recording, software effects and software instruments had only just started to become available in the same DAW, via Steinberg's VST and VSTi standards. Now on top of the complex and demanding plugins/VST instruments, Some like me also want to do esoteric things like monitor audio recordings through effects in near real time e.g. guitar processor plugins (impulses, heads, cabinets, microphone choice and placement). And oh yes in some cases we also need to keep a few web browser tabs open, researching plugins or audio processing or taking online lessons, and maybe streaming from youtube/spotify, all at the same time.

3. There is no ALL you can eat buffet - with PC resources, we either upgrade our hardware ideally quite significantly to cope with all that we wish to happen in real time - which will be very expensive, or change our workflow to fit in with a hardware config whose cost we can justify.

4. The question will always be - do I go for an incremental upgrade such as the one you contemplate - by moving to an RME USB audio interface

AND/OR

Do I really move up to some heavy duty hardware - Xeon processors, maybe multiple Xeon processor servers, maybe a server farm - many computers all working together across a network., and/or upgrade my local audio interface to a PCIe RME device? - this would be the master audio interface on a single computer which feeds the composite audio to your speakers/amp or active monitors.

AND/OR

Can I transform my workflow so that as I complete aspects of tracks, I can commit them - using features such as rendering, freezing or whatever term you DAW uses, to convert all the softsynth/sampler output into audio files, which allow it to suspend the use of CPU (and optionally memory) for any aspects of work that I consider are completed. And you can do this in various stages, at track level, sub-group level, busses - fortunately unlike in previous times, you can reverse this to make changes and run these changes in real time or re-freeze/re-render the changed elements.

Mixing audio tracks, up to at last 100 simultaneous tracks (probably more) where most of the elementary tracks have been frozen/rendered (with all insert effects included in the render/freeze), leaving only active plugins on busses, auxes and the master, should leave plenty of available CPU on a PC with your specs, and should also allow you to run a few tracks with plugins in real time - during real time audio/MIDI recording or to play back MIDI/Audio in real time at low latencies - like 128 buffers or less - with ease.

The question then becomes one of - Am I working efficiently - rather than - do I have enough hardware - for a less efficient workflow?

You choose your battles - the luxury of having all choices available in real time (but already you are not able to run at low latencies with your current hardware) which implies getting more efficient USB audio interface drivers, which is what RME provides, and possibly a hardware replacement/upgrade.

OR

Commit early (and with full availability of going back to change your mind, so you really lose nothing) and have no need to upgrade.

It is a safe assumption that software will potentially place more demand than can be met by available hardware, as software developers continue to optimize the quality of newer plugins, with the availability of newer better processors _ this trend will never stop, so adopting a more pragmatic workflow, especially where interim commits are now reversible, looks like something we should all embrace as our 1st optimisation step.

Yes the RME USB or better still PCIe audio interface will give you lower latency, higher track counts and more efficient use of CPU, but its easy to use up that now available headroom, when the real answer is going back to the drawing board and solving the real issue - sub optimal workflow- vis a vis the DAW features that are available today to solve this problem - and you get a more significant benefit with whatever audio interface you have now, and this benefit is retained with any audio interface you upgrade to.

Last edited by kodebode; 17th April 2018 at 05:36 PM..
Old 17th April 2018
  #1998
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dallon426 View Post
I would like to see some TB3, USB-C units from RME.
Likely we're back at square one.. Get an adapter, if you need it, and make some music

Quote:
It would be great to see a Babyface in a rack shape as well.

It's designed as desktop bus powered compact interface, there's no point to make it in rack format.
Basically every other external RME interface with analog I/Os is rackmountable, either directly or via extended rack ears for smaller units.

Michal
Old 17th April 2018
  #1999
Gear Maniac
 
Arcana's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kodebode View Post
pardon me for restating what others might have said, or what you already know.

1. Every workload is different, so your mileage may vary, even when you have the same spec computer as someone else......
Thanks. I appreciate the thorough reply.

Digging a bit deeper today I've realised that I've run into the all too common 'Disk usage = 100%' issue that Win 10 seems to have.
This causes my PC to boot up in no less than 4 min. - HDD, but still
It does seem to drop a bit after 10 min. or so, but never stays low. So that might well be my issue, or least contribute heavily to it. After 6 hours I've still not managed to fix it though.
Old 18th April 2018
  #2000
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arcana View Post
Thanks. I appreciate the thorough reply.

Digging a bit deeper today I've realised that I've run into the all too common 'Disk usage = 100%' issue that Win 10 seems to have.
This causes my PC to boot up in no less than 4 min. - HDD, but still
It does seem to drop a bit after 10 min. or so, but never stays low. So that might well be my issue, or least contribute heavily to it. After 6 hours I've still not managed to fix it though.
Really sorry to hear about your probable issue with Windows 10. While on the face of it Windows 10 should not be the root cause of performance bottlenecks, I find that in my case where I have, the following all taking up CPU cycles, there needs to be some best practice way of setting up a DAW to run optimally in Windows 10.

1. Windows Defender running alongside

2. Another antivirus/security tool (cos Windows Defender on its own is not strong enough security if you regularly use the same computer for browsing)

3. And all manner of intrusive Microsoft diagnostics and ET phone home reporting gathering my stats, at the expense of my own CPU cycles, for the benefit of Microsoft cos I use Windows 10 home edition !!!


My recommendations, which I am planning to implement on another PC:

1. Revert to Windows 7 ideally Windows 7 Professional so I can upgrade to the professional version of Windows 10 a bit more conveniently.

2. Stay on Windows 7 Professional until there is a compelling reason to upgrade to Windows 10 - to avoid Microsoft's snooping and eating up processor cycles.

3. Avoid installing any antivirus on this PC, ideally installing only Windows Defender. And for this reason, avoid all excursions to the internet from browsers on this computer, limiting all internet traffic to compulsory online activations of plugins and audio software.

4. No Microsoft Office installed on this PC.

5. Avoid installing any non audio software - so this becomes an audio purposed workstation.

6. Do myself a favor - and be far more judicious about the plugins I install. At the moment I have probably over 60 different freeware and payware EQ's - installed - that's just a recipe for chaos. So really keep things simple. Be a bit picky about which tools I choose to install. I do not need 5 different DAW's installed, when in truth I only need one - Reaper! At the very least this should make it a lot easier to backup and recover this Audio Workstation, even though trimming the list of installed plugins may not have any direct impact on its performance.

7. See if I can split the disk access across at least three disks (minimum of 2) - 1 for system, 2 for plugins and samples and impulses, 3 for DAW project files including audio recordings, stems and stereo mixdowns - to reduce any cause of disk input/output contention.

8. Since I have hopefully enough RAM - avoid using any swap file in Windows, so all.
Old 18th April 2018
  #2001
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kodebode View Post
Really sorry to hear about your probable issue with Windows 10. While on the face of it Windows 10 should not be the root cause of performance bottlenecks, I find that in my case where I have, the following all taking up CPU cycles, there needs to be some best practice way of setting up a DAW to run optimally in Windows 10.

1. Windows Defender running alongside

2. Another antivirus/security tool (cos Windows Defender on its own is not strong enough security if you regularly use the same computer for browsing)

3. And all manner of intrusive Microsoft diagnostics and ET phone home reporting gathering my stats, at the expense of my own CPU cycles, for the benefit of Microsoft cos I use Windows 10 home edition !!!


My recommendations, which I am planning to implement on another PC:

1. Revert to Windows 7 ideally Windows 7 Professional so I can upgrade to the professional version of Windows 10 a bit more conveniently.

2. Stay on Windows 7 Professional until there is a compelling reason to upgrade to Windows 10 - to avoid Microsoft's snooping and eating up processor cycles.

3. Avoid installing any antivirus on this PC, ideally installing only Windows Defender. And for this reason, avoid all excursions to the internet from browsers on this computer, limiting all internet traffic to compulsory online activations of plugins and audio software.

4. No Microsoft Office installed on this PC.

5. Avoid installing any non audio software - so this becomes an audio purposed workstation.

6. Do myself a favor - and be far more judicious about the plugins I install. At the moment I have probably over 60 different freeware and payware EQ's - installed - that's just a recipe for chaos. So really keep things simple. Be a bit picky about which tools I choose to install. I do not need 5 different DAW's installed, when in truth I only need one - Reaper! At the very least this should make it a lot easier to backup and recover this Audio Workstation, even though trimming the list of installed plugins may not have any direct impact on its performance.

7. See if I can split the disk access across at least three disks (minimum of 2) - 1 for system, 2 for plugins and samples and impulses, 3 for DAW project files including audio recordings, stems and stereo mixdowns - to reduce any cause of disk input/output contention.

8. Since I have hopefully enough RAM - avoid using any swap file in Windows, so all.
So, is Windows 7 Pro still the OS of choice for a PC DAW? Avoid Windows 10 if you want to guarantee not having problems?
Old 18th April 2018
  #2002
Lives for gear
 
TAFKAT's Avatar
 

Thread Starter
Guys,

Can we please pull this back on topic , W7 vs W10, etc, discussions are better served in respective threads so we don't clutter up the AI LLP info.

Old 19th April 2018
  #2003
Quote:
Originally Posted by mtl777 View Post
So, is Windows 7 Pro still the OS of choice for a PC DAW? Avoid Windows 10 if you want to guarantee not having problems?
I replied by PM - do check your gearslutz inbox, to avoid derailing this thread.
Old 21st April 2018
  #2004
Gear Maniac
 

I just got a chance to demo this unit
First thing I'll say is the build quality is nice albeit a bit heave for such a small unit.
Let's get started
The mixer interface is really cheesy. It accesses a webpage which brings up the modification page. (Instead of a software, so immediately it feels hokey)

I ran the RTL with "Host safety offset" at the lowest Buffer setting I could. 16 samples. If I turned that up the RTL shot WAY up.

All in all I am not impressed with this unit. It is slow to turn on. Slow to update the firmware. Do yourself a favor and pick up an RME unit

[IMG][/IMG]


Old 21st April 2018
  #2005
Lives for gear
 
DeadPoet's Avatar
For those interested:

Antelope Orion32 via USB has been my main interface the past 2 years. Worked great for tracking mics (monitoring via the software patchbay) and lots of I/O. Took some time to "behave" on my Win10 desktop PC though.

Found a 2nd hand RME HSDPe Madi FX last week and installed it yesterday.

It made me sad.

Sad that I didn't buy it two years ago. Buffer size had to be 1024 for the Orion32 via USB, now it's at 32 and stable. Using VSTi's was a PITA with the Orion, now I can finally ditch that 2nd PC (which I had to use to play VSTi's) and do everything in one box.


I had a Hammerfall ADAT thing some 10 years ago and I'm glad I'm back in the RME family. Will be here for a long time to come.



Herwig
Old 21st April 2018
  #2006
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by DeadPoet View Post
For those interested:

Antelope Orion32 via USB has been my main interface the past 2 years. Worked great for tracking mics (monitoring via the software patchbay) and lots of I/O. Took some time to "behave" on my Win10 desktop PC though.

Found a 2nd hand RME HSDPe Madi FX last week and installed it yesterday.

It made me sad.

Sad that I didn't buy it two years ago. Buffer size had to be 1024 for the Orion32 via USB, now it's at 32 and stable. Using VSTi's was a PITA with the Orion, now I can finally ditch that 2nd PC (which I had to use to play VSTi's) and do everything in one box.


I had a Hammerfall ADAT thing some 10 years ago and I'm glad I'm back in the RME family. Will be here for a long time to come.



Herwig
I'm super impressed with Babyface Pro.
Old 23rd April 2018
  #2007
Lives for gear
 
TAFKAT's Avatar
 

Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by DeadPoet View Post

Found a 2nd hand RME HSDPe Madi FX last week and installed it yesterday.

It made me sad.

Sad that I didn't buy it two years ago. Buffer size had to be 1024 for the Orion32 via USB, now it's at 32 and stable. Using VSTi's was a PITA with the Orion, now I can finally ditch that 2nd PC (which I had to use to play VSTi's) and do everything in one box.
The difference would have been immediately night and day between the 2 as the driver performance is at opposite ends of the spectrum. I have configured a few Orions in the same manner for clients.

There is a reason why the RME HDSPe cards will remain one of the best options for LLP, as well as stability and efficiency when pushed to the nth degree. Even with the posted results of the testing, it is very difficult to convey the feeling of solidity the cards convey in a well configured system.

Old 23rd April 2018
  #2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dallon426 View Post
I just got a chance to demo this unit
First thing I'll say is the build quality is nice albeit a bit heave for such a small unit.
Let's get started
The mixer interface is really cheesy. It accesses a webpage which brings up the modification page. (Instead of a software, so immediately it feels hokey)

I ran the RTL with "Host safety offset" at the lowest Buffer setting I could. 16 samples. If I turned that up the RTL shot WAY up.

All in all I am not impressed with this unit. It is slow to turn on. Slow to update the firmware. Do yourself a favor and pick up an RME unit

[IMG][/IMG]


This is not matching my test results. Set both buffers to 64 samples, it offers lower latency AND better performance. At least with the older drivers. 4.2ms analog RTL @44.1k and RME matching performance.
Old 23rd April 2018
  #2009
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by DAW PLUS View Post
This is not matching my test results. Set both buffers to 64 samples, it offers lower latency AND better performance. At least with the older drivers. 4.2ms analog RTL @44.1k and RME matching performance.
I tried that but it raised the RTL.
These were the lowest results I could obtain.
Old 23rd April 2018
  #2010
Hmmm, then they might have updated the drivers in a negative way. I don't have a unit atm but I'll try to look into this shortly.
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