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Audio Interface - Low Latency Performance Data Base : Audio Interfaces
Old 7th June 2018
  #2161
Gear Maniac
 

My results have been (best to worst)
1. Presonus quantum
2. Babyface pro
3. Apogee Duet
4. Zoom UAC (haven't tried the tac yet)
5. Muto 424 (usb )
.
If Apogee has a better design ie no breakout cable and usb or tb3 powered it would be a great interface IMO.

Zoom is best bang for buck.

Rme has had the best quality / features/ RTL results/ sound out of all. It's hard to find used in Europe:/
Old 7th June 2018
  #2162
Quote:
Originally Posted by DAW PLUS View Post
My test results for 44.1k, which makes more sense in this price class IMO.
Reported latency between brackets.
Obviously this states nothing about performance at the given buffer size.
Quote:
Originally Posted by TAFKAT View Post
Just a quick one for now, I'll be back with a full report.

Audient V4.0 / ID 22 / 44.1

016 - Reported 192 samples / Measured 298 samples / RTL 6.753ms

032 - Reported 208 samples / Measured 313 samples / RTL 7.093ms

064 - Reported 240 samples / Measured 346 samples / RTL 7.842ms

128 - Reported 436 samples / Measured 544 samples / RTL 12.347ms

256 - Reported 829 samples / Measured 936 samples / RTL 21.220ms

512 - Reported 1261 samples / Measured 1368 samples / RTL 31.016ms

Variance between reported and measured with the RTL Utility is around 105-108 samples , so very consistent and is attributed to the AD/DA's.
Note that Vin's and my results are not matching. I tested with an iD14, which has faster converters than Vin's iD22. The reported values are identical, as they are not counting the converter latency.
Old 7th June 2018
  #2163
Gear Head
 
Brakka's Avatar
 

Quote:
Zoom UAC (haven't tried it yet)
Quote:
Zoom is best bang for buck.
Yeh, sounds about right.
Old 7th June 2018
  #2164
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brakka View Post
Yeh, sounds about right.
I meant to type TAC I did test the UAC but not the thunderbolt version. Supposedly it is faster than the UAC
Old 7th June 2018
  #2165
Lives for gear
 
TS-12's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dallon426 View Post
My results have been (best to worst)
1. Presonus quantum
2. Babyface pro
3. Apogee Duet
4. Zoom UAC (haven't tried the tac yet)
5. Muto 424 (usb )
.
If Apogee has a better design ie no breakout cable and usb or tb3 powered it would be a great interface IMO.

Zoom is best bang for buck.

Rme has had the best quality / features/ RTL results/ sound out of all. It's hard to find used in Europe:/
I was gonna get Zoom , but opted out because it doesn’t have line inputs
Old 7th June 2018
  #2166
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by TS-12 View Post
I was gonna get Zoom , but opted out because it doesn’t have line inputs
How does an interface NOT have line inputs?

What are you supposed to do? Wave at it?
Old 7th June 2018
  #2167
Lives for gear
 
TS-12's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by terrible.dee View Post
How does an interface NOT have line inputs?

What are you supposed to do? Wave at it?
It only has mic preamp inputs , preamps cannot be bypassed.
Old 8th June 2018
  #2168
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TAFKAT's Avatar
 

Heads up.

64Bit version of the RTL Utility in the works for both Windows and OSX !

I'll let you guys know when they are live.

Old 8th June 2018
  #2169
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by TAFKAT View Post
Heads up.

64Bit version of the RTL Utility in the works for both Windows and OSX !

I'll let you guys know when they are live.


Hopefully a feature that allows us to clear the log will be implemented. That could be useful instead of closing the program and reopening it.
Old 8th June 2018
  #2170
Gear Maniac
 

Here are results from an Audient iD14 Driver v4





Old 8th June 2018
  #2171
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by msmucr View Post
Sorry, but I have to disagree, especially with the emphasis just on sole driver.
It's unfortunately not as simple, because otherwise lot of vendors would already tried to improve the performance their existing interfaces by software update.
In my opinion you are incredibly NAIVE. The reason why other vendors have NOT improved their performance to their existing interfaces is simply due to the lack of demand from the consumer. As I said in my post you quoted, the main blame comes down to the consumer. Because you, me, the majority of people who purchase these things, are ignorant and don't understand the benefits of low latency at high system stress/high CPU usage they have not had any incentive at all to improve this. Capitalistic systems truly work. If there is TRUE demand, things will improve. If there is none (= ignorance) it all goes down the drain.

Thus they have simply outsourced the drivers to 3rd parties (This is incredibly easy to verify) and not done any real work themselves.

It really is this simple in my opinion.

There's no voodoo. No magic hardware. It's ALL about software and the ability to code good real time performing drivers, that still perform well under heavy stress of the system.
Old 8th June 2018
  #2172
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by TAFKAT View Post
* Looks like I was typing the same time as Michal, and the results bode well with what he just noted, yes drivers are important, but the controller is equally so. One product I tested extensively in the last few years is well evidenced that the solution cannot be made in driver alone, as they dropped the ball at the hardware level development. Having said that, I am not in total agreement that Thesycon may not be able to do better with the cards they have been dealt, evidence is that they are actually going backwards regards latency with recent driver releases , and not to any advantage in performance.

Why are some onboard motherboard and super cheap soundcard solutions working so well then? I really do think it's all about the driver and how deep the manufacturer goes into the coding of the driver (overriding the operating system limitations or using workarounds).

This has been the case since forever. I've owned sound cards for windows computers since the very first Adlib card way back in the early 90's.. and already then the basic performance of various software/music applications was pretty much one to one with the skill of the actual programming of the sound card manufacturer.. how well it integrated with DOS/windows.

I don't know for sure but this is my gut feeling about things. It's incredibly trivial to just get something "up and running" and if there is no demand to have good performance then there is no incentive to make this a priority and actually improve things.

I feel like it's a bit of a cop-out to just say that hardware limits the performance of the system. Having said that, I do accept the possibility that I'm wrong about this. Perhaps it really is possible to design such a bad hardware combination that it's impossible to improve things.

.. but why on earth would a sound card manufacturer even select these bad solutions to begin with? Are they really THAT ignorant that they select impossible components and gimp their whole product line right from the get-go? If that's the case then it's even more depressing than I thought possible.

The benefits of a good overall system is just ridiculously advantageous for the consumer. It really boils down to this:

1) Bad system -> needs top of the line CPU/motherboard and other components -> leads to "mediocre amount of plugins per mix" until you get crackling. Lets say 200 plugins.. in a modern mix with 80 to 100 tracks (including any sends and other such extra stuff) that means about 2 plugins per track. Bottleneck thus being the sound card.. which means the end user has wasted money on all the other components of the system due to the bad audio card + bad driver.

2) Good system -> needs only a moderate CPU/motherboard -> can cope with almost 500 plugins easily before mix starts braking down. The literal bottleneck being the CPU.

This was just a general overview of how much it matters to have a good sound card + driver (the driver being the key to the performance).

This is why I have such a hard time understanding why very few people seem to understand the equation. Everybody is talking CPU upgrades left and right to get more plugins to run.. when the solution to get up to 200% more plugins is simply to buy a better optimized sound card (aka the driver/software part).

As I have both exact systems at the studio I can actually compare directly how a bad system performs versus a good system, without changing the underlying CPU/motherboard hardware at all. In this case it's Prism Orpheus vs RME hardware (babyface pro and old RME Hammerfall 9632). It really is that simple. A mix on the Orpheus craps out at a certain amount of plugins, no matter what buffer I run (up to 50ms of latency!! so a HUGE buffer). I then switch to the RME.. either Babyface Pro or the Hammerfall 9632 and suddenly the mix plays without any hickups and I can run hundreds of extra plugins (!!!!) before it starts crapping out again.

Surely I'm not the only one in this situation? Why are so few people putting 1+1 together? One system is clearly inferior to the other.

NOTE: All my observations of the benefits of a great audio driver is on WINDOWS systems only. I don't have enough experience on Mac OS X where everything seems a lot more straight forward and even.

Last edited by bmanic; 8th June 2018 at 11:10 PM.. Reason: trying to make sense of it all while slightly intoxicated
Old 8th June 2018
  #2173
Lives for gear
 
TAFKAT's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bmanic View Post
Why are some onboard motherboard and super cheap soundcard solutions working so well then? I really do think it's all about the driver and how deep the manufacturer goes into the coding of the driver (overriding the operating system limitations or using workarounds).
Are you seriously trying to dictate to me about the importance of drivers ?

Did you actually read any of my reports at DAWbench / comments over the years on this thread, or even understand my response to Michel you just quoted ?

Drivers will only take you so far with some respective hardware/firmware was the point , clearly evidenced with the exact same Thesycon driver performing differently across multiple devices using different hardware solutions, ( XMOS/FPGA ).

That was the point I made about hardware.

I also made the point that Thesycon can still improve the driver.

As to the rest of your post , who do you think you needed to dictate any of that to ?

The performance variables at respective latencies is exactly what I have been demonstrating with the project from the inception !


Last edited by TAFKAT; 9th June 2018 at 02:44 AM..
Old 8th June 2018
  #2174
Gear Nut
 

thanks for the resource !

I may get a Quantum 1 or 2 soon, haven't decided which, I think the only differences are extra pre's, extra headphone out, some more columns of monitor leds on the face. Am I correct to think drivers and internals are essentially identical?

Re: LLP Database Update: August 2017:
Is there an updated one up with chart and tables up somewhere?

Thanks !!
Old 9th June 2018
  #2175
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TAFKAT's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dallon426 View Post
Hopefully a feature that allows us to clear the log will be implemented. That could be useful instead of closing the program and reopening it.
I'll make a note of it to Andrew, but considering it takes a few seconds to launch the application, its not overly complicated to get a clean slate.

Old 9th June 2018
  #2176
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foxwaves's Avatar
 

It seems the facts suggest that because of poor latency the Audient ID series is lacking. Too bad. Would the same be true if compared to only interfaces in the same price range?
Old 9th June 2018
  #2177
Lives for gear
 
TS-12's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by TAFKAT View Post
Heads up.

64Bit version of the RTL Utility in the works for both Windows and OSX !

I'll let you guys know when they are live.

So all these latency test reports here were of audio cards on 32bit systems ??!
Old 9th June 2018
  #2178
Gear Guru
 
UnderTow's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by TS-12 View Post
So all these latency test reports here were of audio cards on 32bit systems ??!
No. You can run 32 bit apps on a 64 bit system.

Alistair
Old 9th June 2018
  #2179
Lives for gear
 
TAFKAT's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by TS-12 View Post
So all these latency test reports here were of audio cards on 32bit systems ??!
No, all testing has been done on Win7 x64 and W10 x64.

As Alistair has already noted, the RTL Utility is 32 Bit and runs fine on 64Bit systems , however it needs a 32Bit driver component to read the ASIO driver.

Most drivers come with both 32Bit and 64Bit components to the driver.

Some the latest TB interfaces have now negated the 32Bit driver , so they were not being recognised in the RTL Utility.

The 64Bit Utility will remedy that issue.

Old 9th June 2018
  #2180
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by el touristo View Post
I may get a Quantum 1 or 2 soon, haven't decided which, I think the only differences are extra pre's, extra headphone out, some more columns of monitor leds on the face. Am I correct to think drivers and internals are essentially identical?

Re: LLP Database Update: August 2017:
Is there an updated one up with chart and tables up somewhere?

Thanks !!

Yes they are identical.
Old 9th June 2018
  #2181
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by foxwaves View Post
It seems the facts suggest that because of poor latency the Audient ID series is lacking. Too bad. Would the same be true if compared to only interfaces in the same price range?

I personally don't think the Audient sounds that great either. The headphone out is rather weak. I think for the money an apogee duet is superior. Good sounding preamps and an excellent sounding and loud headphone out. And lower latency.
Old 10th June 2018
  #2182
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bowzin's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dallon426 View Post
I personally don't think the Audient sounds that great either. The headphone out is rather weak. I think for the money an apogee duet is superior. Good sounding preamps and an excellent sounding and loud headphone out. And lower latency.
I actually think the Audient's sound very good, though fair point about the headphone amp. The pre's sound good, musical, and the AD is good and the DA even better. Its expandable with adat in/out, and comes with four DA outputs so you have an extra two channels to send to outboard hardware. Very inexpensive for what you're getting, easy to recommend but yes a shame about the driver update.

In comparison my Babyface Pro was more expensive, and noticeably more clean, clear, and transparent at every stage, which I very much enjoyed (especially the DA) but that also means less forgiving and little-to-no vibe or sound imparted. The ID22 has a slight vibe, better hardware layout with dedicated controls, and it's very musical and great for the price with more of an analog vibe vs the fast/open/transparent vibe of the Babyface Pro.
Old 10th June 2018
  #2183
Here for the gear
 

so what is the best device after all the testing for windows 10 64bit ?
Old 10th June 2018
  #2184
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Tenant View Post
My old faithful EMU 1616m PCIe.
Windows 7 64bit / i5 / 32 RAM

Measured with Oblique RTL Utility.
I don't know whether the figures are good enough for today's standards.
Good old PCI-e times. Don´t know if you will get a sound card with latencies as low and its noise floor under 2K.
Old 14th June 2018
  #2185
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TAFKAT's Avatar
 

O.K, to draw a line under a few topics that have been navigated of late, one being the new driver being wheeled out by Thesycon to various vendors and also to demonstrate the actual differing performance of the driver across numerous interfaces. I tested the new Thesycon/Audient V4 driver on both the ID22 and ID4. This exact driver was also tested on the Presonus Studio 68 previously posted, so some of what I will be reporting will be ringing a similar bell.

I will be focusing on the evolution of the drivers from V1 through to V4 , Audient is simply the vehicle to be demonstrating the evolution of the drivers and the respective performance.


Audient ID22 : If you analyse the performance results for the drivers over the evolution, apart from an additional buffer setting being offered with V4, ( that doesn't really correlate to anything resembling the 032 Buffer its supposed to be representing ) , 064-512 buffer settings have actually increased I/O and RTL over the earlier 1.6 driver. Performance at the respective buffer settings is slightly better at V4 but it isn't anything to be promoting as a significant improvement IMO. Also take note that the reported playback latency is identical for 032/064 ( also the same for 016 , as it was on the Presonus Studio 68 tested previously ). Despite that, there was a difference in delivered performance at the higher buffer setting, indicating other variables at play. Also take note of the significantly higher RTL over the reported I/O over an above AD/DA . I suspect that is due to the additional hidden buffers attributed to the DSP Mixer.


Audient ID4 : The evolution of the driver performance for the ID4 has been shorter as it was released later in the piece, so I only have a comparison for V3-V4, but as indicated from the charts, still shows some interesting variables. With V3 the ID4 completely collapsed using the Minimal Safety Buffer setting that was available on the earlier drivers , forcing me to use the Low Safety Buffer which then eliminated the 064 Buffer setting availability.

I reported the issue and was subsequently dismissed and ignored, as Audient claimed that there were no other reports of issues with ID4 - ( a quick browse of the forum here will say otherwise ) , and the issue was obviously at my system end. Fast forward to V4 on the same system using the same USB port, and the performance is significantly different.

Granted, there is still a performance variable between the ID4 and ID22 , but nowhere near what was experienced on V3 , also the RTL is significantly lower than the ID22 , despite reporting identical I/O. With the ID4 not have a DSP mixer, I am confident that is the hidden variable on the ID22 results.

So in Summary , 2 points stand out. 1: Evolution of the Thesycon driver has not delivered any significant improvement , while at the same time creeping up to a higher overall latency , and 2: Using the exact driver will deliver differing results across interfaces depending on other variables.

Nothing really new for those paying attention over the years.

I'll be posting an updated complete list with some overviews of the new additions shortly.


Last edited by TAFKAT; 14th June 2018 at 09:03 PM.. Reason: Fixed a few typos
Old 14th June 2018
  #2186
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TAFKAT's Avatar
 

LLP Database Update: June 2018 :

Some additions, updates and amendments.





(* Sorry guys the full chart picture is not displaying via the embedded link, maybe the file is too large ? )

Direct link as an interim solution until I resolve the issue.

Chart 1 Here

Added.

RME Babyface Pro : Class leading LLP performance on par with all of the other RME USB2 siblings .

Lower overall RTL due to the respective converters used.

Not much else to say past same ole same ole from RME.

Focusrite Clarett 2Pre : With all of the recent buzz with the RME and Presonus Thunderbolt units, and the increased focus on Thunderbolt in general , I was expecting these units to be in a similar ballpark , but unfortunately they are not on the same level as the other 2 units.

I/O and RTL is actually higher than the Scarlett USB2 unit, ( once we use the USB2 corrected values). The results for the I/O and measured RTL is kind of in between the USB2 panel/corrected settings, so not as easy to say that it is one panel setting out like I figured out on the USB2 units. Check out the graphs and you will see what I am referring to.

Performance on the benchmarks is comparatively higher per respective buffer setting, but we are dealing with higher playback latency , so its a balancing act. In the end , as noted the unit does have measurably higher I/O and RTL at the preferred working latencies , which needs to be taken into account by those looking at the unit.

This highlights what I have maintained all along, that Thunderbolt in itself is not going to automatically deliver PCIe performance , it will come down to the driver/controller implementation.


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 new thesycon driver does not have the same characteristics of the 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.

Updated.

Audient ID22 : Apart from an additional buffer setting being offered with V4, ( that doesn't really correlate to anything resembling the 032 Buffer its supposed to be representing ) , 064-512 buffer settings have actually increased I/O and RTL over the earlier 1.6 driver. Performance at the respective buffer settings is slightly better at V4 but it isn't anything to be promoting as a significant improvement IMO. Also take note that the reported playback latency is identical for 032/064 ( also the same for 016 , as it was on the Presonus Studio 68 tested previously ). Despite that, there was a difference in delivered performance at the higher buffer setting, indicating other variables at play. Also take note of the significantly higher RTL over the reported I/O over an above AD/DA . I suspect that is due to the additional hidden buffers attributed to the DSP Mixer.

Nothing really new, Thesycon shuffling the deck chairs behind some smoke and mirrors.

Audient ID4 : Performance is now similar to the ID22 ( being the same universal V4 driver ). As previously outlined, with V3 the iD4 completely collapsed using the Minimal Safety Buffer setting that was available on the earlier drivers , forcing me to use the Low Safety Buffer which then eliminated the 064 Buffer setting availability. So obviously V4 is an improvement over V3 with overall performance now on par to upper models.

Thats it for now, I'll keep you up to date with what ever crosses my desk.


Last edited by TAFKAT; 14th June 2018 at 01:38 PM..
Old 14th June 2018
  #2187
Gear Maniac
 
locojohn's Avatar
Can you add an interface or two from MOTU AVB line of products, for example 828es? It would be interesting to compare its Thunderbolt and USB performance with top products reporting lowest latency in your table.

Andrejs
Old 14th June 2018
  #2188
Gear Addict
 

Thanks for the continued testing, Vin. Audient does seem to see an LLP improvement with the v4 drivers, particularly with the ID4. Sadly, they are still not competitive with the top interfaces like the Babyface Pro.
Old 14th June 2018
  #2189
Lives for gear
 
TS-12's Avatar
Any testing on Behringer X32 / Midas m32?

I was surprised how well Behringer X32 performs,
I stopped using focusrite Scarlett 18i8 and currently use X32 and get far better performance
Old 14th June 2018
  #2190
Gear Maniac
 

Was considering a Clarett USB until I saw this
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