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Audio Interface - Low Latency Performance Data Base :

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Re: Audio Interface - Low Latency Performance Data Base :

Postby ef37a » Tue Sep 24, 2013 1:23 pm

Thanks Sam.
Been meaning to ask, how do you sync two units together please?

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Re: Audio Interface - Low Latency Performance Data Base :

Postby Sam Inglis » Tue Sep 24, 2013 1:40 pm

Sync uses the S/PDIF in and out according to the manual. I haven't had two units at the same time to try it.

It's a nice piece of kit, all told.
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Re: Audio Interface - Low Latency Performance Data Base :

Postby ef37a » Tue Sep 24, 2013 5:00 pm

Sam Inglis wrote:Sync uses the S/PDIF in and out according to the manual. I haven't had two units at the same time to try it.

It's a nice piece of kit, all told.

Yes I see now. I had some trouble getting hold of the manual. Each unit goes back via its own usb cable to the PC, the pictures do look impressive.

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Re: Audio Interface - Low Latency Performance Data Base :

Postby Goddard » Tue Sep 24, 2013 11:08 pm

Sam Inglis wrote:Well...

I was just getting ready to feel smug about having exposed the Roland Studio Capture's poor low-latency performance, when Roland got in touch. They have sent me a second unit for testing and provided some additional guidance as to how to get best results. I have updated the online version of the review <a href="/SOS/aug13/articles/roland-studio-capture.htm" target="_blank">here</a> if you want the details, but the nitty-gritty of it is that the driver is set up by default for operation under WDM. To achieve best ASIO performance you need to tick a small box labelled 'Reduce CPU Load'. This isn't enabled by default, and the documentation makes no mention of it having an effect on latency (whenever I've encountered options like this in other interface drivers, they invariably make latency worse!).

With this box enabled, ASIO latency is roughly comparable with many other USB interfaces, and unlike some, I could get the Studio Capture to work at a 32-sample buffer size in my system.

Sam, thanks for your update.

FWIW, the "Reduce CPU load" ASIO driver setting option is documented on p.55 of the Studio-Capture pdf manual, and afaik was first introduced in Roland's version 1.50 VS drivers (as documented in the V. 1.50 Quad-Capture driver update release notes).

And tying in with Pete's 'peek under the lid' reveal, came across this earlier info tidbit.
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Re: Audio Interface - Low Latency Performance Data Base :

Postby TAFKAT » Thu Sep 26, 2013 1:10 am

Sam Inglis wrote:Well...

I was just getting ready to feel smug about having exposed the Roland Studio Capture's poor low-latency performance, when Roland got in touch. They have sent me a second unit for testing and provided some additional guidance as to how to get best results. I have updated the online version of the review <a href="/SOS/aug13/articles/roland-studio-capture.htm" target="_blank">here</a> if you want the details, but the nitty-gritty of it is that the driver is set up by default for operation under WDM. To achieve best ASIO performance you need to tick a small box labelled 'Reduce CPU Load'. This isn't enabled by default, and the documentation makes no mention of it having an effect on latency (whenever I've encountered options like this in other interface drivers, they invariably make latency worse!).

With this box enabled, ASIO latency is roughly comparable with many other USB interfaces, and unlike some, I could get the Studio Capture to work at a 32-sample buffer size in my system.

Hey Sam,

Its inane that they set up the unit to primarily work under WDM and to be hobbled for the vast majority of DAW's using ASIO. For that matter, I can't even remember the last time I attempted WDM even in Sonar.

I would still like to see the full RTL listing as well as comparable performance, maybe Pete can offer up something there. My understanding there are still a few grey areas with the units overall , its very interesting that they are using an Analog Devices Controller , which could tie in with some of the grey.

In the end its the delivery that matters and cudos to you for stepping up and addressing the earlier review, at least it got Rolands attention and we are all the more informed over it.

Peace.

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Re: Audio Interface - Low Latency Performance Data Base :

Postby Pete Kaine » Thu Sep 26, 2013 12:32 pm

TAFKAT wrote:
I would still like to see the full RTL listing as well as comparable performance, maybe Pete can offer up something there.

I was under the impression Tom had already furnished you with one a few months back? Let me check to see if he has one on record when he returns from the show next week, otherwise it can go on the to do pile.

My sticking point with it appears to come down to compatability with the X79 chipset and I've multiple confirmations on it now from Roland themselves. I may have a couple of skype chats lined up with Japan to look into this in more depth if no easy answer is found, so it looks like those guys are getting on top of it now which is great to see. Needless to say I'm a lot happier at this point too!
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Re: Audio Interface - Low Latency Performance Data Base :

Postby Sam Inglis » Thu Sep 26, 2013 6:11 pm

Goddard wrote:

FWIW, the "Reduce CPU load" ASIO driver setting option is documented on p.55 of the Studio-Capture pdf manual, and afaik was first introduced in Roland's version 1.50 VS drivers (as documented in the V. 1.50 Quad-Capture driver update release notes).

The 'Reduce CPU Load' box is indeed documented, but the documentation doesn't mention it having an effect on latency. The way it's described made me think that if anything it would make the latency higher.
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Re: Audio Interface - Low Latency Performance Data Base :

Postby Goddard » Thu Sep 26, 2013 10:08 pm

Sam Inglis wrote:
Goddard wrote:

FWIW, the "Reduce CPU load" ASIO driver setting option is documented on p.55 of the Studio-Capture pdf manual, and afaik was first introduced in Roland's version 1.50 VS drivers (as documented in the V. 1.50 Quad-Capture driver update release notes).

The 'Reduce CPU Load' box is indeed documented, but the documentation doesn't mention it having an effect on latency. The way it's described made me think that if anything it would make the latency higher.

True enough, although Patrice B. had previously noted (in 27th March post #1040100 above) lower RTL when the 'Reduce CPU load' option was ticked.
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Re: Audio Interface - Low Latency Performance Data Base :

Postby Patrice Brousseau » Thu Dec 05, 2013 3:13 am

Unfortunately, I've been away from this forum for a lot of reasons but...

I repeat, 48 samples (Windows or Mac): 6.3-6.4 ms RTL, not bad I think for an USB2 device ...

64 samples equal 7.1 ms RTL in Mac and somewhat a little bit higher in Win7 64.

Now, I can't do the other tests as I don't have the needed software for the complete Soundcard Latency Tests. So, I don't know how well the Roland interfaces scores in this department.

And obviously, I use an I5 chipset on a MacBook Pro early 2011 with Reaper.

Greatly satisfied with this interface.

**Strangely, moving the buffer slider in the Roland control panel under OSX impacts the safety buffers and it could read as low as 6ms in and out but I don't know if it is real or if audio breaks up more easily with such little safety buffers (reported by AuLab BTW).

Should I also add that the performance of the Roland/Reaper combo seems better under Bootcamp. However it is quite fine for my use in OSX Lion/Mavericks.

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Re: Audio Interface - Low Latency Performance Data Base :

Postby TAFKAT » Thu Dec 12, 2013 9:59 pm

Patrice,

I see you are posting across multiple forums re the cryptic lower RTL settings , you went off 1/2 cocked at G.S claiming flawed data , etc, when I don't even have these interface in the database, so lets connect the dots shall we.

I'll repeat what I posted at GS, RTL is only one factor in calculating the LLP, we need to know the actual performance at the respective latencies to have a true comparative , maybe Pete or Tom at Scan can help clear that up for us.

The LLP result you noted was Scan's internal testing which has been right on the money comparatively to mine, despite having different reference systems, so I have full confidence in their data.

If they have the time and energy they may be able to test with the new driver / decrypted settings.

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Re: Audio Interface - Low Latency Performance Data Base :

Postby Patrice Brousseau » Mon Dec 16, 2013 7:15 pm

Thanks for your reply. Sorry to be so obsessive about it...

BTW, I don't know what "1/2 cocked" means (French speaking here) but I would guess that it's not a compliment :)

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Re: Audio Interface - Low Latency Performance Data Base :

Postby Martin Walker » Thu Dec 19, 2013 3:27 am

Patrice Brousseau wrote:BTW, I don't know what "1/2 cocked" means (French speaking here) but I would guess that it's not a compliment :)

Going off half-cocked means "to speak or act prematurely." ;)


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Re: Audio Interface - Low Latency Performance Data Base :

Postby Goddard » Fri Apr 18, 2014 11:05 am

What about benching at different sample rates?

(also posted in parallel thread over on GS)
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Re: Audio Interface - Low Latency Performance Data Base :

Postby TAFKAT » Wed Apr 30, 2014 1:00 am

Goddard wrote:What about benching at different sample rates?

(also posted in parallel thread over on GS)

I'll have a go at converting some of the sessions to 96K , I have some DAWbench DSP Cubase sessions already , I'll just need to convert the DAWbench VI's.

As I mentioned on the other thread, it will be impossible to retest all the interfaces, but I'll try and do some runs at 96K on future tests.

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Re: Audio Interface - Low Latency Performance Data Base :

Postby Goddard » Sun May 04, 2014 2:35 pm

Great! Much appreciated. Should be very interesting (even though I'm no longer personally using Cubendo).

The only benching data I've come across so far wrt high-sample-rate audio was in Noel B's CW blog post wrt proprietary 192k testing of Sonar X1 under Win 8 of which you are already well aware. ;)
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Re: Audio Interface - Low Latency Performance Data Base :

Postby tex » Tue May 06, 2014 12:07 am

While not wanting to knock the valid remarks here about how the manufacturers could improve their drivers it is evident that some (!many)users expect to work at way below real world latency which "physically" cannot be practical. Any stage instruments, from the players and not (even worse) the audience's perspective, has considerable latency. While I appreciate that for processing this is an actual issue at high levels of production FX processing I feel that for most of us rather more conservative levels of latency are more than adequate especially on the sort of computers most users actually use. They can only do so much. Listeners EARS can only do so much, miraculous as they are. AIR can only do so much.
I have a feeling that, like the level wars, zero latency processed music would actually become as annoying to the ear as over compression over time.
Attractive dynamics involve the timing of them as well as the level being attractive.
Thus I feel there's a point at which latency becomes musically meaningless below somewhere around 6ms and more likely around 8ms which is somewhere around the real latency of an actual live instrument onstage. It may also be the case in all but the most powerful computers too.
This could be behind the "sloppiness" of some drivers' latency figures as the manufacturers take that into account and so save some processing effort.
Just a bit of devil's advocacy to balance the books a bit. ;)
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Re: Audio Interface - Low Latency Performance Data Base :

Postby TAFKAT » Tue May 06, 2014 1:06 am

? !

You seem to be missing one vital point , in that the real world latency you speak of is added to the interface playback and RT latency once the sound leaves the DA to either a speaker or headphones. Manufacturers are not taking real world latency into account when being lax with driver efficiency, they simply do not have or want to apply the resources to improve them.

Re whether latency becomes musically meaningless at certain levels , well that's up to the individuals , and I know from experience what a lot of my composer based clients require/demand in that department to be able to feel comfortable with playing in real time.

I have always stated clearly that this project is for those that require ultra low latencies in their working environments using VI's and monitoring with FX/Amp simulators, horse's for course's.

I have no idea where you were going with the zero latency processed music becoming annoying, this is all about maintaining musical feel when composing and playing within the working environments and managing the latencies involved. With ASIO Direct or Hardware Monitoring the latency is substantially lower, so going by your definitions, you would find that an even bigger disadvantage ?? !!

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Re: Audio Interface - Low Latency Performance Data Base :

Postby TAFKAT » Wed May 28, 2014 3:12 am

Hey All,

Its been a while since the last update , I haven't had a lot of new interfaces across the bench the last 12 months of so , but I have added a few , summary below.

Image

Image

Added :

Mackie Onyx Blackbird : Posted a summary last September on its own, but will repeat here. Like Focusrite and Presonus , etc, using the TC Applied Dice FW controller and base driver , the unit has been updated to also be using the TC applied V4.x driver that has dramatically improved performance as it did for the previously mentioned.

The Mackie Unit has lower latency converters than the tested Presonus and Focusrite units , resulting in a lower RTL , placing the above those in LLP Ratings, just below the UFX Firewire.

Results were a little down perhaps because of the 4.1 version driver , but overall a very impressive result which has elevated the unit IMO to a very attractive option.

Audient iD22 : I know quite a few are interested in this little box. The unit uses the same OEM controller and base driver as the Presonus VSL Series, driver is solid and scales as expected as you ramp up the buffers. Overall Low Latency Performance is O.K , certainly very usable for most environments, those requiring/demanding higher efficiency at the lower buffer settings may find it not as suitable.

Tested but not included.

Prism Titan : I spent quite a lot of time trying to navigate the idiosyncrasies of this unit , too much time actually. The driver simply refused to install on the X58 chipset reference system that I had successfully installed and tested over 2 dozen units prior , and the iD22 since. Communication with their technical support resulted in an ongoing and increasingly frustrating chasing of the tail without resolution. They concluded I was incapable of installing the driver correctly , despite the fact that it installed on the X79 dev system without issue , and despite close to 30 other interfaces installing and working correctly , on the same core image , it had to be something I was doing wrong as far as they were concerned.

So Unfortunately I couldn't get a comparative result for the Database.

However, I did manage to install and attempt to do a comparative shootout on the newer X79 system against one of the better performing interfaces, the RME UCX. The testing had to be aborted as I could not get any consistency out of the driver once a heavy load was placed on it. What I found was that if you saved a resource heavy session and then attempt to reopen the session at the saved buffer setting, or even 2 -3 buffer settings above that originally working , the driver would collapse , ranging from a garbled slowed down mess, to heavily glitching at buffer settings 3 levels above.

I haven't experienced behaviour that extreme on any interface I can remember testing over the years , to say it was disturbing and totally unacceptable on a unit of that calibre, is an understatement.

I have no idea whether the issue has been addressed, nor do I care. The experience from start to finish is not something I care to ever revisit.
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Re: Audio Interface - Low Latency Performance Data Base :

Postby TAFKAT » Wed May 28, 2014 7:59 am

Posted the updated charts, report and summary to the main DAWbench website :

http://www.dawbench.com/audio-int-lowlatency3.htm
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Re: Audio Interface - Low Latency Performance Data Base :

Postby robinv » Wed May 28, 2014 10:06 am

Hey Vin,
I mentioned your work in a video i did recently on latency. Although i'm sure you don't approve of much of it I hope i havent misrepresented you :)

http://youtu.be/ojnnP_GXNaM
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