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robinv



Joined: 31/08/04
Posts: 757
Re: Audio Interface - Low Latency Performance Data Base : new [Re: TAFKAT]
      #962920 - 09/01/12 10:32 PM
Quote TAFKAT:



Re The Propellerhead unit, what do you mean it has a fixed latency and no control panel, are you sure Mate ?




Yeah, pretty sure. Nothing in Control Panel, or under it's program menu or in any folder that i can find. I'm writing a review and am waiting to hear back from Props about it. You can change the buffer in Reason, within Reasons Audio Properties but it doesnt stick. In Cubase it's 5.8ms in and out - nothing comes up pressing the control panel button in Cubase either. Very strange - but at least you're not having to mess about


Quote:



I think it might be safer for me to leave that up to individual interpretation.. :-)




Totally - but y'know, just a "I think anything over a 6 is pretty good" type thing.
Yeah, i'll poke you about the utility - although i try to not to concern myself with anything too scientific.

Had a slightly better idea than the mic's after a facebook discussion, to use a stereo pulse from a CD or hardware synth and put one side through the interface and one not - plug both channels into soundforge on the other computer and make a stereo recording - easy to measure difference and all the measuring has been done outside the test system (which is something i like). A bit more elegant than my holding mics and snapping fingers - but less fun - and i liked the distance in air bit and huge margin of error

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ef37a



Joined: 29/05/06
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Re: Audio Interface - Low Latency Performance Data Base : new [Re: robinv]
      #962924 - 09/01/12 10:46 PM
Err?
Don't know if it helps but most DAW sofware, even Audacity can generate tones of almost any desired frequency, level and duration. So you could for example have a 1mS burst of 10kHz.

Dave.


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TAFKAT
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Re: Audio Interface - Low Latency Performance Data Base : new [Re: robinv]
      #962926 - 09/01/12 10:53 PM
Quote robinv:


Yeah, pretty sure. Nothing in Control Panel, or under it's program menu or in any folder that i can find.




Did you check under the device manager listing as I suggested and see if the panel is there ?


Quote:

Totally - but y'know, just a "I think anything over a 6 is pretty good" type thing.




Sure , but then punters will be asking where the 5-6's fit into the equation, etc,

Personally I only use RME and Lynx PCI/PCIe cards in the studio , that will give you an idea of the level of performance I prefer to work with ... :-)

Quote:

Yeah, i'll poke you about the utility - although i try to not to concern myself with anything too scientific.




LOL, Hmmm, I think what you are doing with your testing would be construed by many as being pretty scientific in nature... :-)

V.C

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robinv



Joined: 31/08/04
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Re: Audio Interface - Low Latency Performance Data Base : new [Re: TAFKAT]
      #963238 - 11/01/12 11:45 AM
Quote TAFKAT:



Did you check under the device manager listing as I suggested and see if the panel is there ?





Yes, and then no
Quote:


Sure , but then punters will be asking where the 5-6's fit into the equation, etc,




Impossible isn't it? Actually maybe that's a question for Pete because Scan have put "LLP approved" stickers on some interfaces - Pete, at what point is an interface good enough to get a sticker?

Quote:



LOL, Hmmm, I think what you are doing with your testing would be construed by many as being pretty scientific in nature... :-)





Ah yes but i havent told you about the parallel testing of sitting in a room and "feeling" various latencies and then expressing that in poetry.

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TAFKAT
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Re: Audio Interface - Low Latency Performance Data Base : new [Re: TAFKAT]
      #964248 - 15/01/12 10:53 PM
Quick Update.

3 years back I had a rather frustrating experience with a Prism Orpheus that I outlined in a thread at the Cubendo Forum , in short the unit was extremely inconsistent , had a convoluted buffer setting protocol , large safety buffers and mediocre performance , so not exactly impressive in respect to LLP .

With the focus on the 3rd party OEM Firewire controllers being used in some of the current crop of interfaces , this unit has my added interest because it doesn't use the more widely used Dice chip, instead using the BridgeCo/ArchWave OEM controller/driver , which would allow me to do some direct head to head against the 2 available OEM controllers.

This unit is a strange bird IMO - Prism are renown for the extreme high end converters , and this unit of course has the geneology of the higher end product line but is priced substantially lower, but not what anyone would call low mind you at around 5K, and it is an audio interface first and foremost. The full AD/DA potential of this unit is reserved to the audio interface as using it as a stand alone AD/DA it has only 1 x ADAT I/O which locks it to 48K, and no AES/MADI option which would allow it to use its 192 capability.

With the potential of the unit being so dependent on the audio interface component , I would expect that Prism would ensure that the audio interface controller and driver would deliver performance that would be worthy of such a high end professional unit.

Since my last experience which was on XP and Driver/Control version 1.05 , there has been a few upgrades to the current version of 1.07, not exactly a lot in the last 3 years but it was worth investigating and I was lucky enough to have a unit available for me to run it thru its paces again. FWIW - The client has been running his Orpheus units via ADAT the last 3 years connected to an RME HDSPe RAYDAT , as the units were simply unworkable for him as stand alone interfaces.

First off , the units control panel is identical the last time I tested the unit, there are 2 parameters that need to be adjusted to set the latency - Buffer (us) / Latency (ms) , the buffer time setting can be manually adjusted in increments of 250 us which in turn alters the available latency settings as multiples . Standard setting is 1500 us, which would then give a range of latency values from 3 ms to 12 ms. The 2 settings give a lot of flexibility to the available latency values over all other interfaces I have tested, but also an added level of complexity and there will be latency settings that will be available across multiple buffer time settings as well.

Some quick points on the latency values available on the units - the settings are listed in ms ( nominal ) , so I was able to use .75 / 1.5 / 3.0 / 6.0 / 12.0 ms for the standard test values of 032 / 064 / 128 / 256 / 512 , however the actual sample buffers as calculated by the RTL Utility were actually 032 / 066 / 132 / 264 / 528 . I tested both the 064/128 settings across 2 available buffer time settings 250/500 for 064 , 500/1000 for the 128 setting, and found in both instances that the lower buffer time setting for the respective latency values performed substantially better , in the range or 15-30%. I then used only the lowest buffer time for each respective latency value.

I hope that makes sense.

O.K, with that out of the way , how did it perform.



Performance is typical of interfaces using 3rd party OEM controllers , large safety buffers , average to below average performance at lower latencies in regards to Virtual Instruments , but there is an interesting quirk in the RXC results. Performance on that particular test was quite good all the way down to 032 samples , but the performance achieved at 064 samples could not match the 032 result - I reran the tests 3 times at each respective buffer to be 100% sure. Add to that if we factored in the 064 result using the larger buffer time which dropped the number of RXC's 30% to 89 , and the 032 results stands as even more of an oddity.

So in closing , the experience this time around was definitely more consistent than my first run on the unit , but the overall performance of the unit as an audio interface is average at best , and with no option to use the full potential of the AD/DA sans the interface, those looking at the unit as a primary interface will need to take that into account.

Of course YMMV.

Now stating the obvious before I get a wave of irate Orpheus users on here taking issue, this report is purely on the Low Latency Performance of the FW Controller/Driver , it is not in reference to the feature set , quality of the AD/DA , so please use the numerous other threads to continue that debate.

P.S : I have updated the previous charts from last week to now include the Orpheus

Peace

V.C

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TAFKAT
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Re: Audio Interface - Low Latency Performance Data Base : new [Re: TAFKAT]
      #964509 - 17/01/12 04:08 AM
Quick heads up,

The Round Trip Latency measuring utility that I have helped develop is now available for public download.

RTL Utility by Oblique Audio : Here

Peace

V.C

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fito_88



Joined: 27/01/12
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Re: Audio Interface - Low Latency Performance Data Base : new [Re: TAFKAT]
      #968249 - 04/02/12 11:13 AM
guys to clear this out to me , are you stating that the rme hdspe aio is the card which has the lowest rtl latency in the market , is that why you are taking it as a baseline reference in all your tests ? and does that mean its the best PCIe card in the rme series in term of latency ? does it out perform the rme 9632 PCI card or they are both the same with the AIO is only PCIe card ? help please


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Martin WalkerModerator
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Re: Audio Interface - Low Latency Performance Data Base : new [Re: fito_88]
      #968285 - 04/02/12 02:53 PM
Yes, RME’s HDSPe AIO PCIe card currently gives the best results at low latency of all the interfaces so far tested:

www.rme-audio.de/en_products_hdspe_aio.php

The 9632 PCI card is good, but up to the standard of the newer PCIe version as far as low latency is concerned.

Hope this helps!


Martin

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YewTreeMagic


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TAFKAT
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Re: Audio Interface - Low Latency Performance Data Base : new [Re: Martin Walker]
      #968362 - 04/02/12 10:47 PM
Hey Martin,

Quick heads up, the base reference card is actually the HDSPe AES / ADI8 QS combo, which superseded the AIO as the base reference due to its tighter AD/DA and subsequent lower RTL.

Overall performance of the driver is identical.

The HDSP 9632 and HDSPe AIO are actually pretty much on par performance and RTL wise, its really down to the required interconnect - i.e, I would recommend the AIO over the 9632 on any current Intel chipset system using a bridged PCI implementation for example.

P.S - It would be great if we can edit the original post and add the latest results at the bottom with a link to the latest posting and summary. That may help minimise the confusion re what the current base reference card is.

Peace

V.C

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TAFKAT
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Re: Audio Interface - Low Latency Performance Data Base : new [Re: TAFKAT]
      #969999 - 13/02/12 09:13 PM
Quick Update,

I managed to finally run a Lynx AES16e / Aurora combo thru its paces.

The earlier Lynx 2 card performed very well so I was interested in getting the latest PCIe offering on the bench to see if the performance could be maintained , especially with the ultra tight AD/DA latency of the Aurora.



Overall performance of the PCIe unit did not match the older Lynx 2 card unfortunately , I also expereinced some very odd loss of buffer sync issues at 256 samples with the DAWbench VI test sessions which resulted in random garbled playback and metallic like artefacts on release tails, etc. This was more often than not triggered by loading a previous maxed out session from the 128 buffer size and trying to incrementally continue to load the session. I had to to start the 256 session from scratch each time. Where this could be a problem in Real World is if you had a heavily loaded session and wanted to bump up a buffer size to get some more headroom, you would in fact not be able to play the previous session without artefacts.

Overall I/O and RTL latency is actually lower than the RME AES/ADI8 reference unit , so potentially could have tipped the base reference interface if it had performed equally to the older Lynx 2 card, but unfortunately it didn't measure up to its older sibling. The results look quite good, but there are a few quirks that left me with the feeling that its not as solid as it could be.

I am currently in contact with Lynx support and am working thru a few angles.

I'll give you guys a heads up if anything fruitful eventuates.

* I have added the Lynx to the most recent database list *

Peace

V.C

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TAFKAT
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Re: Audio Interface - Low Latency Performance Data Base : new [Re: TAFKAT]
      #986202 - 07/05/12 09:55 PM
Hey All,

Just a small update to the database with amended results for the Steinberg UR28M which has shown a significant improvement with the new drivers.





Updates.

Steinberg UR28M : Significant improvement with the latest version 1.1.1 drivers over the original release drivers which in short were unworkable on Windows IMO, unit still has high comparative I/O and RTL for the respective buffer settings , but scaling performance at the respective latencies is now quite respectable.

Peace

V.C

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Martin WalkerModerator
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Re: Audio Interface - Low Latency Performance Data Base : new [Re: TAFKAT]
      #986220 - 07/05/12 11:50 PM
Thanks for the update Vin!


Martin

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alexis



Joined: 10/01/03
Posts: 1774
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Re: Audio Interface - Low Latency Performance Data Base : new [Re: Martin Walker]
      #986233 - 08/05/12 01:42 AM
Quote Martin Walker:

Yes, RME’s HDSPe AIO PCIe card currently gives the best results at low latency of all the interfaces so far tested:

www.rme-audio.de/en_products_hdspe_aio.php

The 9632 PCI card is good, but up to the standard of the newer PCIe version as far as low latency is concerned.

Hope this helps!


Martin




Warning, newbie question to follow:

"0.7 msec latency..." . Does achieving that latency depend not only on the card, but also on the computer? Or is all the heavy lifting done by the card, and any reasonably good music computer can tag along and perform well?


Cubase 6.0.5, 32-bit; XP SP2; Seagate Barracuda 80/160/160GB; Intel 550 Pentium 4 3.4GHz, 2GB RAM, HT+; Intel D915PBL mobo; Dual Radeon ATI X300SE 128MB video; Delta 66 in Omni I/O Studio; Motif8; UAD-1

Thanks!

--------------------
Alexis -Cubase7.5.20 64bit;i5-4570 3.2GHz,16GB RAM;W7SP1 64bit on Samsung SSD840 Pro256GB;Seagte 1TB SATA600 Audio;UR28M;Motif8;UAD2Solo;Jamstix 3.3;BCF2K;TC Helicon VoiceOne;RevoicePro2.5


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Martin WalkerModerator
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Re: Audio Interface - Low Latency Performance Data Base : new [Re: alexis]
      #986453 - 09/05/12 01:14 AM
Quote alexis:

"0.7 msec latency..." . Does achieving that latency depend not only on the card, but also on the computer? Or is all the heavy lifting done by the card, and any reasonably good music computer can tag along and perform well?




Hi alexis!

It's a combination of the two - you're unlikely to achieve glitch-free low latency audio on a PC that hasn't been set up carefully, but neither are you likely to achieve it with a mediocre audio interface.

Only when the two are combined can you manage the dizzy lows of under 3mS


Martin

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alexis



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Re: Audio Interface - Low Latency Performance Data Base : new [Re: Martin Walker]
      #986456 - 09/05/12 01:27 AM
Quote Martin Walker:

Quote alexis:

"0.7 msec latency..." . Does achieving that latency depend not only on the card, but also on the computer? Or is all the heavy lifting done by the card, and any reasonably good music computer can tag along and perform well?




Hi alexis!

It's a combination of the two - you're unlikely to achieve glitch-free low latency audio on a PC that hasn't been set up carefully, but neither are you likely to achieve it with a mediocre audio interface.

Only when the two are combined can you manage the dizzy lows of under 3mS


Martin




Thanks for that, Martin!

My computer has been set up properly (A Carillon, specs in this post), but what once made it a pretty snazzy machine is only ho-hum (if that) by today's standards.

I've had my eye (and heart) on maybe the Fireface UCX. I'm wondering - is there any way of "looking" inside the computer to get an idea of whether it would be able to take reasonably full advantage of that interface?

Thanks for any thoughts!

--------------------
Alexis -Cubase7.5.20 64bit;i5-4570 3.2GHz,16GB RAM;W7SP1 64bit on Samsung SSD840 Pro256GB;Seagte 1TB SATA600 Audio;UR28M;Motif8;UAD2Solo;Jamstix 3.3;BCF2K;TC Helicon VoiceOne;RevoicePro2.5


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robinv



Joined: 31/08/04
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Re: Audio Interface - Low Latency Performance Data Base : new [Re: TAFKAT]
      #986500 - 09/05/12 09:50 AM
Vin, these images dont get any bigger so it's really hard to see - should they be linked to larger versions?

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ef37a



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Re: Audio Interface - Low Latency Performance Data Base : new [Re: robinv]
      #986501 - 09/05/12 09:53 AM
Quote robinv:

Vin, these images dont get any bigger so it's really hard to see - should they be linked to larger versions?




I think there was a fix for this....Can't remember what it is tho!

Dave.


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TAFKAT
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Re: Audio Interface - Low Latency Performance Data Base : new [Re: robinv]
      #986806 - 10/05/12 10:26 PM
Quote robinv:

Vin, these images dont get any bigger so it's really hard to see - should they be linked to larger versions?




Hey Robin,

Hmmmm, they used to pop up to the full size when clicked , looks like that feature has been disabled by the forum admins.

The actual links in the body of the post are to full size images on my server , if you hit quote, you will see the direct links.

PITA, but at least a workaround for now until the admins can sort whats happening on the forum posts

Martin,

Can you please look into that for me.

Peace

V.C

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Martin WalkerModerator
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Re: Audio Interface - Low Latency Performance Data Base : new [Re: alexis]
      #986815 - 10/05/12 11:44 PM
Quote alexis:

I'm wondering - is there any way of "looking" inside the computer to get an idea of whether it would be able to take reasonably full advantage of that interface?

Thanks for any thoughts!




Hi alexis,

Glad I could help

What you need is Thesycon's DPC Latency Checker ( www.thesycon.de/eng/latency_check.shtml ), which I discussed in this sticky thread:

www.soundonsound.com/forum/showflat.php?Cat=&Number=588140

Running this should tell you how likely you are to manage a really low latency with a suitable audio interface


Martin

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YewTreeMagic


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Martin WalkerModerator
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Re: Audio Interface - Low Latency Performance Data Base : new [Re: TAFKAT]
      #986816 - 10/05/12 11:48 PM
Quote TAFKAT:

Quote robinv:

Vin, these images dont get any bigger so it's really hard to see - should they be linked to larger versions?




Hey Robin,

Hmmmm, they used to pop up to the full size when clicked , looks like that feature has been disabled by the forum admins.

The actual links in the body of the post are to full size images on my server , if you hit quote, you will see the direct links.

PITA, but at least a workaround for now until the admins can sort whats happening on the forum posts

Martin,

Can you please look into that for me.

Peace

V.C




Hi Vin!

Sorry that this is seemingly broken, but over the years we've had so many large images 'breaking' our forum code (causing text to become invisible beyond the right hand margin) that it's been tweaked quite a few times now.

For the time being your 'quote' and direct link approach works well for these two images, and most other smaller ones still work fine with the current code and don't break anything

I will mention it behind the scenes though


Martin

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alexis



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Re: Audio Interface - Low Latency Performance Data Base : new [Re: Martin Walker]
      #986826 - 11/05/12 03:07 AM
Martin, thank you!

I downloaded DPC and tested my system. Before I post on that thread though, I wanted to make sure I was running the test properly. Also, this is the week that I have become totally humbled by the awareness of the large holes in my basic DAW knowledge. I can write, play, record and put on youtube, but somehow I don't know so many basic things!

I ran the test with a project running as you suggested in the other thread. I ran my Delta card at its lowest buffer size (64 samples, about 1.5 msec), and something large like 2056 samples or something.

1) The DPC test was green in both cases, averaging 200-300 at 64 sample buffer size, and 50-75 at the very large buffer size. At the largest buffer size, not surprisingly, the project ran smoothly, and the VST performance meter was close to zero. "This machine should be able to handle real time streaming of audio and/or video without dropouts" it said for both buffer sizes. Great!

2) BUT: at the smallest buffer size, the DAW was unusable: crackles/pops, VST performance meter pegged at 100%, stuttering graphics, etc. (Which of course isn't surprising either).

So how do I extrapolate from these tests whether my current machine will be able to run at less than 1 msec latency if I get an RME Fireface UCX? The DPC program says no problem ... but is the limiting factor my computer in ways the DPC program doesn't identify?

I guess I'm not sure why my DAW can't run at 64 sample buffer size - is it the stuff like motherboard/processor/RAM etc., or is it the Delta card?

Thanks for helping me think through this ... <<steam coming out of ears icon here>>

P.S. Also, I don't see that you asked for the buffer size as one of the parameters of interest to be listed in the DPC checker thread ... am I missing a main point by testing it as a function of buffer size?

--------------------
Alexis -Cubase7.5.20 64bit;i5-4570 3.2GHz,16GB RAM;W7SP1 64bit on Samsung SSD840 Pro256GB;Seagte 1TB SATA600 Audio;UR28M;Motif8;UAD2Solo;Jamstix 3.3;BCF2K;TC Helicon VoiceOne;RevoicePro2.5


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Martin WalkerModerator
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Re: Audio Interface - Low Latency Performance Data Base : new [Re: alexis]
      #986960 - 11/05/12 10:30 PM
Hi again alexis!

My gut feeling is that with DPC Latency Checker measurements of 200-300 with a 64-sample buffer size your PC is well set up, and that it's your audio interface that limits how low you can go.

Once you have that RME Fireface UCX I suspect you'll be able to run with significantly smaller buffer sizes

I've occasionally had this issue with review machines – have a read of this review and you'll see what I mean:
www.soundonsound.com/sos/jun11/articles/nimbus-project-studio-plus.htm

This is the relevant section:
“My final tests, and, as always, the most important ones, were with DAWbench running inside Cubase 5.5, since this provides a much better indication of how the machine compares with others when running audio tracks and plug‑ins. At this point, I have to admit that with the ‘well‑known Firewire audio interface’ I was sent with the review PC I got impressive results at high latency (249 Cockos Reaxcomp plug‑ins with 256‑sample buffers). However, there was a significant drop-off in performance at smaller buffer sizes, with audio glitches at just 80 percent load with 128‑sample buffers, at a paltry 50 percent load with 64 samples, and no 32‑sample option at all.

I nearly finished my review at this point, but a nagging doubt in my mind about the poor efficiency of some Firewire audio interfaces at low latencies resulted in my pulling out the elderly Echo Mia PCI interface from my own PC and running the Sandy Bridge tests again. I’m very glad I did, because they rose to new highs. With the Echo Mia and a 256‑sample buffer size, this system managed a massive 305 Reaxcomp plug‑ins — an amazing achievement for a computer at this modest budget level.
Dropping to 128‑sample buffers this time resulted in a much smaller reduction to 273 plug‑ins (instead of 200), while at 64 samples I still managed 239 plug-ins (but only 120 with the Firewire interface!). This really does prove that the performance of audio interfaces can vary hugely, especially at lower latencies, so anyone who needs to monitor incoming audio with plug‑in effects should choose their audio interface very carefully.”

Hope this helps!


Martin

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YewTreeMagic


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alexis



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Re: Audio Interface - Low Latency Performance Data Base : new [Re: Martin Walker]
      #986981 - 12/05/12 12:29 AM
Quote Martin Walker:

Hi again alexis!

My gut feeling is that with DPC Latency Checker measurements of 200-300 with a 64-sample buffer size your PC is well set up, and that it's your audio interface that limits how low you can go.

Once you have that RME Fireface UCX I suspect you'll be able to run with significantly smaller buffer sizes

I've occasionally had this issue with review machines – have a read of this review and you'll see what I mean:
<a href="/sos/jun11/articles/nimbus-project-studio-plus.htm" target="_blank">www.soundonsound.com/sos/jun11/articles/nimbus-project-studio-plus.htm& lt;/a>

This is the relevant section:
“My final tests, and, as always, the most important ones, were with DAWbench running inside Cubase 5.5, since this provides a much better indication of how the machine compares with others when running audio tracks and plug‑ins. At this point, I have to admit that with the ‘well‑known Firewire audio interface’ I was sent with the review PC I got impressive results at high latency (249 Cockos Reaxcomp plug‑ins with 256‑sample buffers). However, there was a significant drop-off in performance at smaller buffer sizes, with audio glitches at just 80 percent load with 128‑sample buffers, at a paltry 50 percent load with 64 samples, and no 32‑sample option at all.

I nearly finished my review at this point, but a nagging doubt in my mind about the poor efficiency of some Firewire audio interfaces at low latencies resulted in my pulling out the elderly Echo Mia PCI interface from my own PC and running the Sandy Bridge tests again. I’m very glad I did, because they rose to new highs. With the Echo Mia and a 256‑sample buffer size, this system managed a massive 305 Reaxcomp plug‑ins — an amazing achievement for a computer at this modest budget level.
Dropping to 128‑sample buffers this time resulted in a much smaller reduction to 273 plug‑ins (instead of 200), while at 64 samples I still managed 239 plug-ins (but only 120 with the Firewire interface!). This really does prove that the performance of audio interfaces can vary hugely, especially at lower latencies, so anyone who needs to monitor incoming audio with plug‑in effects should choose their audio interface very carefully.”

Hope this helps!


Martin




Yes sir!!

Once again, so grateful to the nth degree for this forum, and the SOS uber-experts. My goodness, where would newbies be without it?

Thanks - all that remains is to look between all the couch cushions for the extra coins so as to afford that UCX sooner!

Thanks so much again -

--------------------
Alexis -Cubase7.5.20 64bit;i5-4570 3.2GHz,16GB RAM;W7SP1 64bit on Samsung SSD840 Pro256GB;Seagte 1TB SATA600 Audio;UR28M;Motif8;UAD2Solo;Jamstix 3.3;BCF2K;TC Helicon VoiceOne;RevoicePro2.5


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Goddard



Joined: 04/04/12
Posts: 943
Re: Audio Interface - Low Latency Performance Data Base : new [Re: Martin Walker]
      #987047 - 12/05/12 02:52 PM
Quote Martin Walker:

I nearly finished my review at this point, but a nagging doubt in my mind about the poor efficiency of some Firewire audio interfaces at low latencies resulted in my pulling out the elderly Echo Mia PCI interface from my own PC and running the Sandy Bridge tests again. I’m very glad I did, because they rose to new highs. With the Echo Mia and a 256‑sample buffer size, this system managed a massive 305 Reaxcomp plug‑ins — an amazing achievement for a computer at this modest budget level.
Dropping to 128‑sample buffers this time resulted in a much smaller reduction to 273 plug‑ins (instead of 200), while at 64 samples I still managed 239 plug-ins (but only 120 with the Firewire interface!). This really does prove that the performance of audio interfaces can vary hugely, especially at lower latencies, so anyone who needs to monitor incoming audio with plug‑in effects should choose their audio interface very carefully.”




Hi Martin, do you recall which drivers you were using for your Mia in the above testing? I assume it was the ASIO drivers? Just curious, as Echo have been offering WaveRT drivers (for Vista and Win7) as well as ASIO for some of their PCI interfaces, but I can't find any info on how the WaveRT drivers perform (or have I missed some info on Vin's site?).

(As you probably know, the P67 motherboard in that PC you reviewed uses a PCIe<>PCI bridge, so it is nice to know that your Mia actually worked so well in that board.)

Thanks!
=Goddard


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Martin WalkerModerator
Watcher Of The Skies


Joined: 28/02/01
Posts: 17409
Loc: Cornwall, UK
Re: Audio Interface - Low Latency Performance Data Base : new [Re: Goddard]
      #987454 - 15/05/12 12:44 AM
Quote Goddard:

Hi Martin, do you recall which drivers you were using for your Mia in the above testing? I assume it was the ASIO drivers?




Hi Goddard!

Yes, you're quite correct in your assumption - they were the ASIO drivers for my Echo Mia


Martin

--------------------
YewTreeMagic


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Goddard



Joined: 04/04/12
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Re: Audio Interface - Low Latency Performance Data Base : new [Re: Martin Walker]
      #987887 - 16/05/12 09:07 PM
Thanks for confirming that, Martin!

BTW, I know you had mentioned Echo's WaveRT Vista drivers back in your April 2009 PC Notes, but I'm wondering whether you (or anyone else here) have tried Echo's latest (ver. 8.6 - 12/2011) ASIO and WaveRT drivers under Win7x64?

=Goddard


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Goddard



Joined: 04/04/12
Posts: 943
Re: Audio Interface - Low Latency Performance Data Base : new [Re: TAFKAT]
      #987896 - 16/05/12 09:33 PM
Quote TAFKAT:

Quote Kayvon:

I never see Marian mentioned much. I'm looking into their PCIe solutions for my next desktop PC. Anyone care to venture any opinions on them?




Marian unfortunately do not have any x64 drivers at present, which kind of leaves them off the radar for many if not most.

I have access to them, fingers crossed they get the x64 driver sorted.




Hi Vin, it looks like Marian have released Win7x64 drivers for their Seraph PCIe cards. Any chance you could run some tests now?

Thanks in advance!
=Goddard


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MartinJG



Joined: 14/04/11
Posts: 70
Re: Audio Interface - Low Latency Performance Data Base : new [Re: TAFKAT]
      #991870 - 07/06/12 10:10 PM

Can anyone offer feedback on the following based on their own experience.

I have just replaced my old M-Audio 2496 with an RME Babyface. However, I am not entirely convinced the D/A convertors on the Babyface are that much better than my old 2496. Is this a case of diminishing returns or is my hearing up the spout? I am using AE22 monitors by the way.

MJG


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ef37a



Joined: 29/05/06
Posts: 6698
Loc: northampton uk
Re: Audio Interface - Low Latency Performance Data Base : new [Re: MartinJG]
      #991882 - 07/06/12 11:44 PM
Quote MartinJG:


Can anyone offer feedback on the following based on their own experience.

I have just replaced my old M-Audio 2496 with an RME Babyface. However, I am not entirely convinced the D/A convertors on the Babyface are that much better than my old 2496. Is this a case of diminishing returns or is my hearing up the spout? I am using AE22 monitors by the way.

MJG



As an impecunious user of two 2496s you are warming my cockles Martin! I really can't tell ZED10 into 2496 or NI KA6 via usb!

And is it just my perspective or do we not get the careful converter/AI comparisons we used to in SoS? Perhaps like Vins latency tests some VI noses would be put out of joint?

Dave.


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MartinJG



Joined: 14/04/11
Posts: 70
Re: Audio Interface - Low Latency Performance Data Base : new [Re: ef37a]
      #991914 - 08/06/12 09:48 AM
Hi Dave

As you know, I had probs with buzz (Sandybridge issues) on my 2496 so feel my hand was forced. I guess we have to go by what we hear despite the technostuff that tells us which are good and which are not. The reason I went (reluctantly) for the Babyface is the latency which is incidently very close to the 2496. I just don't like the 'feel' of anything more than @8ms. In this respect and the audio 'bit'(which I won't really use very much), the Babyface seems to be way out in front, but the sound? I have pretty good ears on the music front but can't vouch for their technical performance after a few years of wear and tear (although I have looked after them where poss'). Am I being unreasonable? I suppose I was expecting something special given the price difference of @£400.


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TAFKAT
member


Joined: 08/01/03
Posts: 346
Loc: Australia
Re: Audio Interface - Low Latency Performance Data Base : new [Re: TAFKAT]
      #991952 - 08/06/12 01:54 PM
Hey All,

Sorry for not being around much lately.

@ Goddard,

Re WaveRT , only Sonar of the major is using WaveRT and not many audio interface developers , from my understanding performance wise its not up to the performance of ASIO, so no real reason to go there.

Re Marian, one step ahead of you, I have already asked the local reps for a test card, just waiting for an available unit.

RE the AD/DA testing, yeh thats a whole other can of worms I suspect, the SOS reviews sadly have not gone into the heavier details for quite a while now , pretty much since Martin has stopped doing the interface reviews , IMO :-(

which has been attempted over at Gearslutz with a huge Converter Shootout. I can't really comment on the methodology of the test over at G.S except to say I have my own reservations, in the end , use your own ears.

BTW: I haven't direct linked but its in the Shoot Out area of the forum, so easy enough to find.

Peace

V.C


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Goddard



Joined: 04/04/12
Posts: 943
Re: Audio Interface - Low Latency Performance Data Base : new [Re: TAFKAT]
      #992161 - 10/06/12 08:37 AM
Quote TAFKAT:

@ Goddard,

Re WaveRT , only Sonar of the major is using WaveRT and not many audio interface developers , from my understanding performance wise its not up to the performance of ASIO, so no real reason to go there.

Re Marian, one step ahead of you, I have already asked the local reps for a test card, just waiting for an available unit.




Hi Vin,

Well, as a Sonar user, WaveRT is of interest here, so was kinda hoping... Of course, only relevant for PCI/PCIe interfaces, but the potential is there for some seriously low latency.

Look forward to what you find re Marian.

Cheers!
=Goddard


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TAFKAT
member


Joined: 08/01/03
Posts: 346
Loc: Australia
Re: Audio Interface - Low Latency Performance Data Base : new [Re: TAFKAT]
      #1004150 - 18/08/12 01:19 AM
Hey All,

Quick heads up, I have finally managed to complete the report on the audio interface testing over the last 12-18 months for the main DAW Bench website.

A good summary of the testing and the curves navigated as well as some thoughts and conclusions.

Those interested can read in Here

Peace

V.C

--------------------
AAVIM Technology
DAWbench.com


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Goddard



Joined: 04/04/12
Posts: 943
Re: Audio Interface - Low Latency Performance Data Base : new [Re: TAFKAT]
      #1004161 - 18/08/12 03:56 AM
Hey Vin, thanks very much for the updated info and for all your work! You've been keeeping busy this winter!

Couple of Q's for ya:

I'm almost certain the Lynx 2 you tested was PCI (or is there a PCIe version now?), but what about the MOTU 424 you tested? PCI/PCI-X or PCIe version? (As you probably know, the 424 PCIe uses a TI PCIe<>PCI bridge chip)

The tested Mbox Pro driver is listed at version 1.0.11, but a newer version driver/firmware (1.0.19) was released end of May. Was there any particular reason you tested with the older version?

Oh, one more thing, any chance of testing an onboard HDA chip using WaveRT/ASIO drivers? I'm really curious about the performance.

Btw, regarding that Intel IDF demo and the Thunderbolt/LightPeak cabling, afaik the USB people objected to the use of USB connectors/cabling (which was being used afaik for carrying power for TB), so Apple went with Display Port connectors/cabling for their commercialized version.

Sorry for bugging you here, Vin. I should probably sign up over at your own forum (but then I'd probably bug you even more, like asking about why no testing of the old M-Audio Delta PCI cards...)


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TAFKAT
member


Joined: 08/01/03
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Re: Audio Interface - Low Latency Performance Data Base : new [Re: Goddard]
      #1004223 - 18/08/12 02:25 PM
Quote Goddard:



I'm almost certain the Lynx 2 you tested was PCI (or is there a PCIe version now?), but what about the MOTU 424 you tested? PCI/PCI-X or PCIe version? (As you probably know, the 424 PCIe uses a TI PCIe<>PCI bridge chip)




Hey G,

Lynx 2 are PCI , only the AES16e made it to PCIe so far.

I have tested both the PCI and PCIe MOTU 424, performance is identical.

Quote:

The tested Mbox Pro driver is listed at version 1.0.11, but a newer version driver/firmware (1.0.19) was released end of May. Was there any particular reason you tested with the older version?




The listed driver is the version that was used at the time of testing , there are a number of interfaces on the database with updated drivers , but unless there is a significant change/improvement in performance- i.e Steinbergs UR28M, its not viable to retest all at each driver revision.

Quote:

Oh, one more thing, any chance of testing an onboard HDA chip using WaveRT/ASIO drivers? I'm really curious about the performance.




I don't know of any onboard HDA with ASIO drivers , and WaveRT is Sonar only, and to be honest, anytime I get in front of X1 lately, I swear like a trooper. I was never overly fond of Sonar pre X1, post even less so. I can't believe its still has the issue with the spiked core that compromises the potential scaling of the systems , but I digress...

Quote:

Btw, regarding that Intel IDF demo and the Thunderbolt/LightPeak cabling, afaik the USB people objected to the use of USB connectors/cabling (which was being used afaik for carrying power for TB), so Apple went with Display Port connectors/cabling for their commercialized version.




I have never heard of the USB Consortium being against the use of the USB port , can you link me to any online articles to confirm that ?

From my understanding Lightpeak was originally designed to piggyback onto USB , using the existing port design to simply the transition.

Apple stuck their beak in and re-steered the ship , the rest is history... :-)

A few Articles that mimic that view Here and Here

Quote:

Sorry for bugging you here, Vin. I should probably sign up over at your own forum (but then I'd probably bug you even more, like asking about why no testing of the old M-Audio Delta PCI cards...)




You are not bugging me Mate.. :-)

Re the M-Audio PCI cards.., LOL, still haven't had a chance to get in front of one... :-)

Peace

V.C

--------------------
AAVIM Technology
DAWbench.com


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ef37a



Joined: 29/05/06
Posts: 6698
Loc: northampton uk
Re: Audio Interface - Low Latency Performance Data Base : new [Re: TAFKAT]
      #1004227 - 18/08/12 03:28 PM
I am SO made up! Vin does not like Sonar X1!

I bought X1E about a year ago for son and he gets along with it tolerably well but I can't get a peep out of the synths. Even my son tells me he can't export a MIDI file and I spent best part of a week asking peeps how but nobody knew ("export" is in the box but greyed out and nothing seems to "un grey" it!).

He has been in La Belle France since March and Sonar has not had an outing since.

Dave.


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Goddard



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Re: Audio Interface - Low Latency Performance Data Base : new [Re: TAFKAT]
      #1004273 - 19/08/12 04:19 AM
Quote TAFKAT:

Quote Goddard:



I'm almost certain the Lynx 2 you tested was PCI (or is there a PCIe version now?), but what about the MOTU 424 you tested? PCI/PCI-X or PCIe version? (As you probably know, the 424 PCIe uses a TI PCIe<>PCI bridge chip)




Hey G,

Lynx 2 are PCI , only the AES16e made it to PCIe so far.




Right, what I thought. Thanks for confirming.

Quote TAFKAT:

I have tested both the PCI and PCIe MOTU 424, performance is identical.




Very interesting.

Quote TAFKAT:

Quote:

The tested Mbox Pro driver is listed at version 1.0.11, but a newer version driver/firmware (1.0.19) was released end of May. Was there any particular reason you tested with the older version?




The listed driver is the version that was used at the time of testing , there are a number of interfaces on the database with updated drivers , but unless there is a significant change/improvement in performance- i.e Steinbergs UR28M, its not viable to retest all at each driver revision.




Ah, understood.

Quote TAFKAT:

Quote:

Oh, one more thing, any chance of testing an onboard HDA chip using WaveRT/ASIO drivers? I'm really curious about the performance.




I don't know of any onboard HDA with ASIO drivers , and WaveRT is Sonar only, and to be honest, anytime I get in front of X1 lately, I swear like a trooper. I was never overly fond of Sonar pre X1, post even less so. I can't believe its still has the issue with the spiked core that compromises the potential scaling of the systems , but I digress...




Hmm, now that I think about it more, I guess it was HDA with the ASIO4ALL wrapper, not a native ASIO driver for HDA I had in mind.

Yeah, I realize you are a Cubendo maven and not fond of Sonar (been there and back a few times myself), although I believe that WaveRT drivers should work with any DAW app, not just Sonar (if they are installed and show up in the app's audio setup options)

Quote TAFKAT:

Quote:

Btw, regarding that Intel IDF demo and the Thunderbolt/LightPeak cabling, afaik the USB people objected to the use of USB connectors/cabling (which was being used afaik for carrying power for TB), so Apple went with Display Port connectors/cabling for their commercialized version.




I have never heard of the USB Consortium being against the use of the USB port , can you link me to any online articles to confirm that ?




Can't recall offhand where I'd heard about that, but boogling just now I found the wiki does mention it also (under "Market introduction"):

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thunderbolt_%28interface%29


Quote TAFKAT:

From my understanding Lightpeak was originally designed to piggyback onto USB , using the existing port design to simply the transition.

Apple stuck their beak in and re-steered the ship , the rest is history... :-)

A few Articles that mimic that view Here and Here




Interesting stuff. I'm really hoping that extension of PCIe outside the box will enable some good functionality to be realized and avoid some of the drawbacks with FW and USB. The actual cabling and connector format for extending PCIe is not that important afaik, as long as there is sufficient bandwidth and bus power can be made available, such as by combining an optical cable with a copper one carrying power.

Quote TAFKAT:

Quote:

Sorry for bugging you here, Vin. I should probably sign up over at your own forum (but then I'd probably bug you even more, like asking about why no testing of the old M-Audio Delta PCI cards...)




You are not bugging me Mate.. :-)

Re the M-Audio PCI cards.., LOL, still haven't had a chance to get in front of one... :-)

Peace

V.C




Well, that's good to know. And in that case, may I please add an SSL MX4 (MADI + DSP) card to the to-test wishlist?


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TAFKAT
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Re: Audio Interface - Low Latency Performance Data Base : new [Re: TAFKAT]
      #1004718 - 21/08/12 08:46 PM
Hey G,

Thanks for the info re opposition of the USB-IF to the USB connector being used. I can understand it seeing they are pushing USB3 , still a shame that it couldn't be implemented.

For another perspective and a bit of chuckle , read in Here

TB is going to be a harder sell unless Intel/Apple loosen the reigns , first step would be to allow 3rd parties license to be able to develop and market TB PCIe x 4 only expansion cards, IMO.

Re the SSL MX4, I'll put it on the list, but from past experience I suspect SSL will not be overly enthused to allow me access to the hardware... :-)

Peace

V.C

--------------------
AAVIM Technology
DAWbench.com


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Goddard



Joined: 04/04/12
Posts: 943
Re: Audio Interface - Low Latency Performance Data Base : new [Re: TAFKAT]
      #1004759 - 22/08/12 04:17 AM
Hey Vin, thanks for that link. Hah! I recall that at one time Intel were actually demo'ing an ADAT output for multi-channel PC audio, but that eventually got overtaken when HDMI emerged. So, even with Intel's clout, nothing is necessarily set in stone/silicon.

I had heard that Lynx were supporting their AES16e card for use in external TB chassis (Magma, Sonnet) but dunno, maybe Mac-only.

I'm still keeping my fingers crossed for e-PCIe 3.0. Maybe the PCI-SIG will come through on that. At least on paper, 3.0 has a nice performance boost (lower overhead) than earlier PCIe versions.

And maybe e-SATA III for external storage. I completely avoid USB/FW for external storage whenever possible.

I'll keep my fingers crossed for an SSL MX4 test too! Very intrigued by that card.

Btw, regarding the Presonus Audiobox VSL USB interfaces, Presonus removed the 32 samples buffer option and dropped the "performance mode" USB buffer adjustment feature from their latest (May '12) PC driver version, which can't be good signs:

http://www.presonus.com/uploads/products/1167/downloads/AudioBox_12_Releas e_Notes.pdf

So you may want to revisit those Audiobox 44 VSL results...

Hey, just a heads up, I signed up over at GS and on your forum too (still awaiting confirmation) so I could keep up with this topic's iterations across the boards and possibly join in any discussions of interest (not stalking, mind you, just multi-foruming)


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TAFKAT
member


Joined: 08/01/03
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Re: Audio Interface - Low Latency Performance Data Base : [Re: Goddard]
      #1005108 - 23/08/12 09:30 PM
Quote Goddard:

I had heard that Lynx were supporting their AES16e card for use in external TB chassis (Magma, Sonnet) but dunno, maybe Mac-only.




RME also demoed the HDSPe cards in a Sonnet as well, in theory it should be fine.

The idea of using an external expansion for PCIe cards on a notebook just doesn't sit with me tho , but I am sure some will navigate there.


Quote:

Btw, regarding the Presonus Audiobox VSL USB interfaces, Presonus removed the 32 samples buffer option and dropped the "performance mode" USB buffer adjustment feature from their latest (May '12) PC driver version, which can't be good signs:




Thanks for the heads up, I'll try and get in front of a unit to retest ASAP.

Not overly surprising that they got rid of the 032 setting, it was useless anyway, simply Window Dressing to impress the less informed IMO.

Seeing the unit didn't even post a result @ 032 , it probably won't effect the LLP Rating that much, but I'll give it another run up when I can.

Quote:

Hey, just a heads up, I signed up over at GS and on your forum too (still awaiting confirmation) so I could keep up with this topic's iterations across the boards and possibly join in any discussions of interest (not stalking, mind you, just multi-foruming)




You are right to go now... :-)

Peace

V.C

--------------------
AAVIM Technology
DAWbench.com


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