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MOTU 1248, 8M, 16A Thunderbolt interface Audio Interfaces
Old 2nd March 2016
  #2401
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Phillips View Post
As someone who uses a 16A on a Mac Pro via USB, I will speak for those who would indeed continue to value higher channel counts. As well as channel names. :-)

I'm guessing that you're referring to this thread: New Motu AVB Series Users (1248, 16a, 8m etc) What's Your Latency?
Yes please post your loopback test with this utility in that thread. I'd love to see your results as would others.

RTL Utility | Oblique Audio

16a owner here too. I totally understand the higher track count being a priority if you have little need for VSTi's or real time plugin monitoring. I also record bands in a live setting and latency is not an issue in that setting but I hardly ever need more that 16 channels and max would be 24 which the unit easily provides over USB.
Old 2nd March 2016
  #2402
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Quote:
Originally Posted by loopy View Post
I'm getting great latency with my MOTU Ultralite AVB over USB. I just posted some screen shots from Oblique over in the MOTU What's Your Latency Thread here:

https://www.gearslutz.com/board/11743822-post20.html

With Studio One v3.2 and Reaper at 44.1k 64 Samples I'm at 4.9msec total RTL.
Hey Loopy, so at those lowest settings you get rock solid performance using VSTi's?

I ask because when I do those same tests I can get those same figures but in real world tests with VSTi's I'm lucky if the system is stable at a buffer setting of 128, really if I start pushing it I need to go higher and I start noticing latency.
Old 2nd March 2016
  #2403
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Mulcahy View Post
Hey Loopy, so at those lowest settings you get rock solid performance using VSTi's?

I ask because when I do those same tests I can get those same figures but in real world tests with VSTi's I'm lucky if the system is stable at a buffer setting of 128, really if I start pushing it I need to go higher and I start noticing latency.
Yes.
I can run Ivory all options at 100 percent, (1000 voices etc) along with say Superior Drummer, Trillian and some synth horns from Presence or Dimension Pro etc.

Ivory by itself is extremely demanding of an interface and system in general. I have it on an SSD but even still it will cause clicks and pops when provoked.

I have an Alesis Mastercontrol (firewire to a TI chipset card) and when I was using it under Windows 7, Ivory would bring it to it's knees even though the RTL numbers were pretty good, around 5.5ms if I remember.

At 96k I have to go to 128 Samples because at 64 samples hitting even a single key in Ivory causes clicks and pops.

One thing though, I don't use any FX when recording other than what might be available in the VSTi. So for Ivory let's say I would use the Room Reverb or Concert Hall Reverb from inside the program. I will replace that with something more appropriate like Lexicon or Valhalla during mixdown.

I also rarely use amp simulators as I'm usually recording real amps with mics.

Last edited by loopy; 2nd March 2016 at 03:34 AM.. Reason: Additional Info
Old 2nd March 2016
  #2404
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I might have to invest in a Ultralite AVB, my 16a does not fare so well. I've ran it on three systems and I get basically the same RTL and the same performance in terms of stability at low latency. It's not end all sh!t but compared to the competition and at what I paid for it I would hope that in future releases of firmware/driver updates Motu could decrease the latency a bit and increase stability? Excellent product otherwise imho
Old 2nd March 2016
  #2405
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Seeing as the latency subject has looped 'round again(!)...

Any word on Apple's progress in reducing the AVB Ethernet-connected figure? Is it still around 9ms minimum?

I take it that there's nothing MOTU can do about this.
Old 2nd March 2016
  #2406
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Mulcahy View Post
I might have to invest in a Ultralite AVB, my 16a does not fare so well. I've ran it on three systems and I get basically the same RTL and the same performance in terms of stability at low latency. It's not end all sh!t but compared to the competition and at what I paid for it I would hope that in future releases of firmware/driver updates Motu could decrease the latency a bit and increase stability? Excellent product otherwise imho
Are you on a PC or a Mac?
I would look toward PC configuration first.

Also, specifically what VSTi are you trying to run, how many and where does it become unstable?

Reason I ask, is AFAIK the Ultralite and 16a are very similar so they "probably" have quite similar drivers so going from one model to the other will probably not solve your problem.

I can hit the wall as well with VSTi at some point too. You might just be running more demanding VSTi and more of them than I am.

Brian is filling in for Mr. Miller so maybe he can chime in here?
Old 2nd March 2016
  #2407
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Quote:
Originally Posted by loopy View Post
Are you on a PC or a Mac?
I would look toward PC configuration first.
PC here. I've gone through the configs, bios etc. Tested on three PC's one of them a laptop. All have similar RTL within a 1 msec or less.

Also compared to others who have tested they are in the same ballpark with similar RTL's.

Quote:
Reason I ask, is AFAIK the Ultralite and 16a are very similar so they "probably" have quite similar drivers so going from one model to the other will probably not solve your problem.
I have noticed RTL times tend to get worse on other manufacturer's interfaces as they move up in physical channel connections. Not sure if that applies here, but I would guess the Ultralite AVB uses a different driver to accommodate its functionality.
Old 2nd March 2016
  #2408
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Mulcahy View Post
PC here. I've gone through the configs, bios etc. Tested on three PC's one of them a laptop. All have similar RTL within a 1 msec or less.

Also compared to others who have tested they are in the same ballpark with similar RTL's.

I have noticed RTL times tend to get worse on other manufacturer's interfaces as they move up in physical channel connections. Not sure if that applies here, but I would guess the Ultralite AVB uses a different driver to accommodate its functionality.
That's a good point. Maybe Mr. Miller or Brian can comment?

What is the breaking point for VSTi?
One Vsti?
Five?
And specifically which ones (Kontakt, Ivory, Amplitube, etc)?
Old 2nd March 2016
  #2409
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Quote:
Originally Posted by loopy View Post
What is the breaking point for VSTi?
One Vsti?
Five?
And specifically which ones (Kontakt, Ivory, Amplitube, etc)?
This is tricky, because there’s no set threshold past which the RTL will be reliably altered. It mainly depends on how demanding the VIs being used are, coupled with the strength of the system on which the VI and drivers are installed. The more busses and plug-ins (both VIs and FX inserts) your system is using, the more effort your computer has to put in to get things done. Basically, the “breaking point” can be different depending on a lot of different variables, which unfortunately makes the limit hard to determine.
Old 2nd March 2016
  #2410
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@ loopy For instance running Kontakt 5 with one multi-sampled instrument, I can get it to perform with USB streaming mode set at 'low latency' and a buffer size of 128. Just a hair of latency to touch when playing. If I set it under that I get distortion. The RTL's I've posted at those settings put the 16a towards the bottom of this list.

https://www.gearslutz.com/board/11591001-post771.html

My Steinberg MR816 is a few msec faster at lower buffer settings (32 in this case, may not be the same as the Motu btw) and it's rock solid with no latency. In fact I have it setup where the 16a is slaved via ADAT to the MR816 as it will then get the lower RTL of the MR816 but with the addition of ADC conversion of the 16a on it's physical I/O's.

Here's a heated thread that mrmiller and bmyr should investigate here on GS. Apparently Zoom is burning it up with incredibly low latency hardware/drivers might be worth Motu investigating (see page 4 in particular)

audio interface with the lowest latency, small budget!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by bmyr View Post
This is tricky, because there’s no set threshold past which the RTL will be reliably altered. It mainly depends on how demanding the VIs being used are, coupled with the strength of the system on which the VI and drivers are installed. The more busses and plug-ins (both VIs and FX inserts) your system is using, the more effort your computer has to put in to get things done. Basically, the “breaking point” can be different depending on a lot of different variables, which unfortunately makes the limit hard to determine.
See the above link in regards to the Zoom stuff. Also RME and others do it pretty well, but check that thread out.
Old 2nd March 2016
  #2411
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Quick question. Is MOTU planning on adding an AVB PCI-e card something like the Focusrite RedNet PCIe card they use for Dante? Sorry if this was previously asked and answered. thx
Old 2nd March 2016
  #2412
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Mulcahy View Post
@ loopy For instance running Kontakt 5 with one multi-sampled instrument, I can get it to perform with USB streaming mode set at 'low latency' and a buffer size of 128. Just a hair of latency to touch when playing. If I set it under that I get distortion. The RTL's I've posted at those settings put the 16a towards the bottom of this list.

https://www.gearslutz.com/board/11591001-post771.html
That chart shows the author's relative gradings based on a complicated (and not entirely explicit) combination of latency and the effect of low latencies on processing capability, using a specific Windows hardware setup, with his favorite RME interface at 10.0 and others relative to that. His description of the metric is at DAW Bench : DAW Performance Benchmarking under the heading "LLP ( Low Latency Performance ) Rating."

So, I'm not sure how one would take an RTL measurement alone and compare it to this chart. How are you approaching that?
Old 3rd March 2016
  #2413
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Quote:
Originally Posted by demane22 View Post
Quick question. Is MOTU planning on adding an AVB PCI-e card something like the Focusrite RedNet PCIe card they use for Dante? Sorry if this was previously asked and answered. thx
We haven't announced anything like this, but thanks for the suggestion! I'll pass that along to the Dev Team.
Old 3rd March 2016
  #2414
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@ Dan There is a guide somewhere in that thread on how to set it up for testing, I'm going off that. Using the MR816 as sort of 'control test' my numbers are pretty much spot on with what others are also getting for that device. You'll notice that the and others from the AVB lineup are not posted yet. But a few other owners recently posted loopback RTL tests in a recent thread with similar results as mine. Like I said my 16a is a few msec off with higher latency than the MR816 if that tells you anything. Also I'm not entirely convinced it's hardware specific. For instance I've tested on three PC's myself, one having an i5, another i7, and a laptop (forget the CPU) all with plenty of RAM all with just the 16a on it's own buss. Not to mention others with Mac's using thunderbolt are not getting much better numbers.
I had an Echo hooked up to that same i5 PC that had better latency performance. That audio interface sported technology that was introduced in what the late 90's?

Old 3rd March 2016
  #2415
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Mulcahy View Post
Also I'm not entirely convinced it's hardware specific.
Latency at a given buffer setting, on the same OS, shouldn't be hardware-specific. This particular benchmark certainly is, though, since CPU performance (and not latency) is the primary metric. He's looking at how many instances of a certain plug-in he can run at a given buffer setting. Raw RTL is apparently also included as a portion of the rating, but as far as I can tell it's not his main focus.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Mulcahy View Post
Not to mention others with Mac's using thunderbolt are not getting much better numbers.
MOTU quotes specific latency values for Thunderbolt, which seem sufficiently low (1.4 ms with 32 sample buffers at 96kHz). Have others measured something different from that?
Old 3rd March 2016
  #2416
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Mulcahy View Post
I have noticed RTL times tend to get worse on other manufacturer's interfaces as they move up in physical channel connections. Not sure if that applies here, but I would guess the Ultralite AVB uses a different driver to accommodate its functionality.
I can't speak to other manufacturer's products, but we didn't make any tradeoffs with latency to increase channel count. The UltraLite AVB and 16A utilize the same USB driver and internals, so there will be no difference in RTL. Loopy's RTL readings are the same we see in-house, which is about as fast as USB gets.
Old 3rd March 2016
  #2417
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Phillips View Post
Have others measured something different from that?
New Motu AVB Series Users (1248, 16a, 8m etc) What's Your Latency?
Old 3rd March 2016
  #2418
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmyr View Post
Loopy's RTL readings are the same we see in-house
I can get those at the same settings but it sounds like aliens talking or like the crackle/pop of a badly scratched vinyl record.

Quote:
which is about as [fast as] USB gets.
Zoom reports it's getting 2ms RTL with it's new lineup. Others have confirmed this.

See link below:

https://translate.google.com.au/tran...27_713546.html
Old 3rd March 2016
  #2419
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loopy's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Mulcahy View Post
I can get those at the same settings but it sounds like aliens talking or like the crackle/pop of a badly scratched vinyl record.



Zoom reports it's getting 2ms RTL with it's new lineup. Others have confirmed this.

See link below:

https://translate.google.com.au/tran...27_713546.html

It looks like you are gettting 11.241 ms at 128 where I'm getting 8.141 with the same settings so something is weird here?

You:

https://www.gearslutz.com/board/11737950-post17.html

"Rtl 496 samples/ 11.241 msec (with an analog loopback)"

"Rtl 454 samples/ 10.295 msec (with ADAT digital loopback)"

Me:

https://www.gearslutz.com/board/11743822-post20.html
Old 3rd March 2016
  #2420
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Quote:
Originally Posted by loopy View Post
It looks like you are gettting 11.241 ms at 128 where I'm getting 8.141 with the same settings so something is weird here?
With USB streaming set to 'minimum latency' I'm getting hair higher latency than yours in that 128 buffer pic. But my posted results were from when testing at the 'low latency' setting in the Motu control panel. I can't run it at the 'minimum latency' setting without digital artifacts.
Old 3rd March 2016
  #2421
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loopy's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Mulcahy View Post
With USB streaming set to 'minimum latency' I'm getting hair higher latency than yours in that 128 buffer pic. But my posted results were from when testing at the 'low latency' setting in the Motu control panel. I can't run it at the 'minimum latency' setting without digital artifacts.
Ahh ok that explains it.
My bad.
Old 3rd March 2016
  #2422
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1248: what I don´t understand:

In the "aux mixing" page there are separate pan controls for Aux 1/2 but no pan controls fot Aux 3/4, etc......
Why is this ? Is this adjustable ?
Old 3rd March 2016
  #2423
Quote:
Originally Posted by musicsound-2 View Post
1248: what I don´t understand:

In the "aux mixing" page there are separate pan controls for Aux 1/2 but no pan controls fot Aux 3/4, etc......
Why is this ? Is this adjustable ?
Yes, it's configurable - there are Pan enable buttons for each aux bus in the "Legend" section.
Old 3rd March 2016
  #2424
Since I assume that MOTU measured carefully for their published figures, it seems possible that the tester was using a different methodology, which may or may not be accurate. I've asked in that thread; I'm interested to see a response.

The screen-shot in this post implies double-buffering plus change, which seems like a reasonable minimum to me. For playing software instruments, the latency contributed by the interface would be roughly half of that, or about 2.5 ms - significantly less than the latency of many hardware synths. Of course, other factors contribute to actual latency, including the USB controller or MIDI interface, the software synth itself (plus effects), and the software host (if any).

I'm used to the PCI-424 system, which is highly rated by the "DAW benchmark" guy. So far, the 16A seems roughly equivalent to me. A buffer size of 128ms is acceptable for playing drums from a USB controller (one of my other hats is drummer/percussionist, so I'm fairly picky about timing), and seems plenty solid. 64ms also works, but doesn't make much of a perceptual difference for playing soft-synths. All this said, I'm on a Mac, and Core Audio performance will presumably be at least a little different from whatever drivers are being used on Windows.
Old 3rd March 2016
  #2425
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Phillips View Post
I'm used to the PCI-424 system, which is highly rated by the "DAW benchmark" guy. So far, the 16A seems roughly equivalent to me. A buffer size of 128ms is acceptable for playing drums from a USB controller (one of my other hats is drummer/percussionist, so I'm fairly picky about timing), and seems plenty solid. 64ms also works, but doesn't make much of a perceptual difference for playing soft-synths. All this said, I'm on a Mac, and Core Audio performance will presumably be at least a little different from whatever drivers are being used on Windows.
Yes the 424 scores high marks in the low latency dept. The 16a is not equivalent. My MR816 scores like about halfway down that list. Based on a real world working comparison between the two the 16a lags a few msec behind the MR816 which is firewire based. It is common knowledge that PCI and Firewire performs better than USB fwiw. Only a few manufacturers have really broke through that glass ceiling, RME, I think Lynx, and apparently now with ZOOM way ahead of the pack at less than 2 msec RTL.
Old 4th March 2016
  #2426
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Mulcahy View Post
Yes the 424 scores high marks in the low latency dept. The 16a is not equivalent.
My experience, as I wrote, is different. In use, on my Mac system, the 16A latency seems equivalent to that of the 424. With both the 424 and the 16A, a buffer size of 128 is where I start to feel that the latency is manageable for realtime playback.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Mulcahy View Post
It is common knowledge that PCI and Firewire performs better than USB fwiw.
My group developed several PCI audio cards, so I have some familiarity with the subject:-)
Old 4th March 2016
  #2427
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@ Dan when you say on your Mac are you talking about USB?
Old 4th March 2016
  #2428
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Mulcahy View Post
@ Dan when you say on your Mac are you talking about USB?
Yes, 16A via USB. I have a Mac Pro tower, so no Thunderbolt.

I got a couple of new MIDI interfaces along with the 16A, and right now I'm actually more concerned about latency with MIDI patch-through. I need to do some more testing, but at the moment that's presenting more significant delays.

I want to stress that this is all my personal experience. I'm not saying that you aren't having problems with latency on your system. I'm also still getting settled into this new hardware, so it's possible that I'll encounter gotchas along the way.
Old 4th March 2016
  #2429
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Phillips View Post
Yes, via USB. I have a Mac Pro tower, so no Thunderbolt.
Yeah Kontakt on Mac has supposedly even worse latency than on PC so that must be a screaming Mac tower kudos to you amigo.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Phillips View Post
I want to stress that this is all my personal experience. I'm not saying that you aren't having problems with latency on your system. I'm also still getting settled into this new hardware, so it's possible that I'll encounter gotchas along the way.
Your system seems to be amazing, I wish I had it. For me and many others there seems to be a real need for a little lower latency running VSTi's from a $1450 audio interface in 2016. Just saying.

I'm just putting it out there that I love the interface. My relation with Motu goes back to the 90's. I've never had a bad word to say about the company. I just think this thing could be "it" and I would love to see that happen.

Old 5th March 2016
  #2430
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All

With the current discussion on latency I thought I would chime in with results for a Win7, USB2, MOTU 1248 setup. Basically, I can run solidly (no clicks etc) with “Minimum Latency” set in the MOTU USB control panel at 128 samples buffer, recording at 24/96 in Protools 12.4. The Protools session includes 16 analogue tracks, and 8 instances of Kontakt (Native Instruments sample libraries: Gentleman Piano, E Piano, Clav, Vintage Organ, Strings, Horns, Retro Synth, Abbey Road 60s kit). There are 2 H-EQ and 1 H-Delay running during recording. All Pro tools settings are set for minimum latency monitoring. For mixing I use a 256 samples buffer with lots more plugins.

The computer is a 3770K with 16 Gig RAM, SSD drives, GeoForce 950 video. I use all common Win7 optimizations (e.g. background processing, turbo off, c states off, HPET off, network adapters off in BIOS (I don’t use the web interface when recording), onboard audio off in BIOS. Also, this is a very clean install: Win 7, Protools 12.4, Waves Gold, Native Instruments Komplete – that’s it. Another tweak that made a big difference was moving all other USB devices to the USB3 port. The only device plugged into a USB2 port is the MOTU 1248. I found heavy midi activity on the USB2 channels resulted in the odd click when recording.

I haven’t measured actual round trip latency (lazy), but everything is set to minimize latency and the buffer does not go any lower in the MOTU app when recording at 24/96. Still, the drummer doesn’t notice any latency (Roland TD 6V triggers) and all three keyboardist triggering Kontakt are quite content with the feel.

I think the only way to get lower latency would be with Thunderbolt – waiting patiently for Win 7 Thunderbolt support from MOTU...

ejinbc
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