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Audio Interface - Low Latency Performance Data Base :

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Re: Audio Interface - Low Latency Performance Data Base :

Postby TAFKAT » Thu May 29, 2014 3:14 am

robinv wrote: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 :)

Hey Robin,

Thank you for including the project in the video, you didn't misrepresent the work at all , much appreciated.

As always, I am really enjoying what I have watched so far , currently getting intermittent dropouts in playback from this side of the pond, which is pretty amusing considering the subject matter...lol

I am attempting to download it so I can watch it all glitch free... :-)

Well this may come as a surprise to you, but we are very much on the same page for a lot if not most of it, except maybe the amount of latency that end users will tolerate comfortably , I know that if I said to my professional composer clients that 10-20ms is OK, I'd get lynched... LOL !!

It needs to be reiterated that the latency experienced when listening , whether headphones or more to the point, studio monitors at a varying distance, is an addition to that provided by the interface drivers , so the efficiency of the quality of the drivers is paramount.

The 2 key areas of importance are the actual resulting latency with all variables in play, and of course the quality and efficiency of the drivers , which you covered very well in the video.

BTW - I got to the lego explanation and was sitting back LMAO at how good it was , and then the buffering stopped. I have to show that one to the kids who are lego mad.

Peace
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Re: Audio Interface - Low Latency Performance Data Base :

Postby TAFKAT » Thu May 29, 2014 4:14 am

On a side note, watching the video I was looking at the formatting of the DAWbench website being so skewed and wondered WTF. Checked in my IE and it was fine , of course I was running IE9 , updated to 11 and sure enough, its all skewed.

:roll:

Bloody MS and their tiles, its a conspiracy , I tell ya.

I digress , I'll need to sort that for the IE/Win8 crowd.
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Re: Audio Interface - Low Latency Performance Data Base :

Postby robinv » Thu May 29, 2014 11:07 am

TAFKAT wrote:

Well this may come as a surprise to you, but we are very much on the same page for a lot if not most of it, except maybe the amount of latency that end users will tolerate comfortably , I know that if I said to my professional composer clients that 10-20ms is OK, I'd get lynched... LOL !!

I appreciate that, most definitely. I polled a bunch of people i know in the industry and it varied from "must have zero latency" to the "under 10" level which told me a lot - including that some pro's have no clue what they're talking about :)
I think i was trying to root it in some kind of real world scenario - so for instance if your pro composer was working with an orchestra then it could take ages for him to hear the trombones at the back. That's not to say that's acceptable in a DAW situation but just that latency exists all around us and we're actually quiet good at dealing with it. Really that's for the benefit of non-tech people who are frightened by a word they don't really understand. Otherwise it has to come down to what "feels" right to the user. But you're right, it all adds up in the end.


It needs to be reiterated that the latency experienced when listening , whether headphones or more to the point, studio monitors at a varying distance, is an addition to that provided by the interface drivers , so the efficiency of the quality of the drivers is paramount.

The 2 key areas of importance are the actual resulting latency with all variables in play, and of course the quality and efficiency of the drivers , which you covered very well in the video.

Yeah, most definitely


BTW - I got to the lego explanation and was sitting back LMAO at how good it was , and then the buffering stopped. I have to show that one to the kids who are lego mad.

Peace

That warms my heart :)
I've been trying to explain that idea in books and articles in all sorts of ways over the years and i think i finally cracked it.

Thanks Vin, i feel very encouraged :)
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Re: Audio Interface - Low Latency Performance Data Base :

Postby TAFKAT » Thu May 29, 2014 9:41 pm

Hey Robin,

I agree that we naturally compensate for latency in real world , and it is interesting talking to the clients of their requirements across a wide range of respective user environments. I have always been very clear that its horses for courses , and for those that require/demand the lower working latencies , they need to be very diligent in interface selection.

The other edge of the sword is that simply having lower latency available , doesn't mean much if the drivers collapse - perfect example was the Steinberg unit you highlighted. I was scathing in my summary of that unit when it first came out, thankfully Steinberg/Yamaha worked with the OEM base driver/firmware and improved it. Same with TC Applied , who's Dice FW solution is now one of the best on the market , which has benefited a large number of manufacturers and end users. One other thing I noticed was the UR28M driver is now reporting the AD/DA to Cubase , Niice.

All of the above has to be a Win/Win.

You did a great job in helping clear the fog in regards to what the manufacturers bundle under the umbrella of low latency, when in many respects they are referring to direct monitoring. I have typed thousands of words on the subject , and some still don't get it, but your video explanation will allow the penny to drop - a picture is better than a thousand words and all that... ;-)

BTW- I managed to download and watch the whole lot ( I have had some other people I passed the link onto locally also have issue with streaming it ), awesome job , but if I may just bring up one point re measuring the latency ( old school way ). I'll give you an A for effort, but seriously Mate, how many have 2 interfaces , 2 computers, and the energy to configure that method ?

Do yourself a favour and use the RTL Utility by Oblique Audio that I use in all my testing, its accurate to within a few samples , and all that is required is a cable from In to Out.

http://www.oblique-audio.com/free/rtlutility

Now to fix the formatting on the website , I have discovered that IE 11 and the latest Safari have both broken the formatting :?

Peace

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Re: Audio Interface - Low Latency Performance Data Base :

Postby robinv » Fri May 30, 2014 9:54 am

TAFKAT wrote:

The other edge of the sword is that simply having lower latency available , doesn't mean much if the drivers collapse - perfect example was the Steinberg unit you highlighted. I was scathing in my summary of that unit when it first came out, thankfully Steinberg/Yamaha worked with the OEM base driver/firmware and improved it.
I think it was the first time i was really hit by the driver performance issue, where what you'd been going on about suddenly became very clear. I was planning to do a review and i just couldn't bring myself to do it because it would have been so poor. I was amazed and confused by other glowing reviews published at the time - although the difference in sound quality between this and my Delta 44 was huge so it was really only the drivers that let it down. It's all good now thank god.


... but if I may just bring up one point re measuring the latency ( old school way ). I'll give you an A for effort, but seriously Mate, how many have 2 interfaces , 2 computers, and the energy to configure that method ?
Ha! It's the only way :lol:



Now to fix the formatting on the website , I have discovered that IE 11 and the latest Safari have both broken the formatting :?

There's always something to fix :roll:
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Re: Audio Interface - Low Latency Performance Data Base :

Postby TAFKAT » Fri May 30, 2014 10:54 pm

Hey Robin,

LOL, lets agree to disagree on measuring the RTL... :-)

The driver performance issue sits under the radar for many , until they encounter it head on as you did , and then suddenly the penny drops. As you noted in the video, I haven't exactly placed myself on some X-Mas card lists of some manufacturers for highlighting the area. In the end it is their responsibility to deliver workable drivers instead of playing Ossie Ostriche , and hoping no one notices. If the work brings some accountability to them to provide a better driver, then it can only be a positive.

Re the reviews, hmmm, its a mixed bad, a lot read like advertorials , some reviewers are brave enough to dig deeper, Sam and Martin are 2 of the later , but it would be a fine line when the manufacturers ads are paying the bills. With reviews that read like ads, the punters have to be informed enough to dismiss them as exactly that , unfortunately they are the majority. Also the shills let loose at various forums are a source of amusement for me as well, as soon as you ask a question re the actual delivered latency and performance , it all seems to get too hard.

Anyhoo,

I am going to have the opportunity to finally test a Roland Capture unit shortly, as I have a client build and configuration using his unit. I will take note of the "Reduce CPU Load" box, also I do hope thy have sorted the issue with the X79 Chipset , otherwise thats going to be an interesting one.

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Re: Audio Interface - Low Latency Performance Data Base :

Postby Goddard » Tue Jun 03, 2014 8:59 pm

Hey V, note that, in their latest "x-Capture" range drivers, Roland changed the label for the "Reduce CPU load" setting tick box to read "Low Latency mode". ;)

Possibly Roland are playing around with the USB I/F parameters in conjunction with toggling the routines their ASIO driver employs at small buffer settings, in which case perhaps Thesycon's USB spy tool utility might shed some light.
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Re: Audio Interface - Low Latency Performance Data Base :

Postby TAFKAT » Tue Jun 17, 2014 7:33 am

A quick one with the Roland Studio Capture results and summary

Image

Roland Studio Capture : This is a series of interfaces that I have wanted to qualify for a while , and I finally managed to get one across the bench. I am not sure whether the drivers are universal across the range - i.e Quad Capture / Octo Capture , but this being the latest I would expect the drivers to be the most up to date.

There has been a fair bit of discussion of not only this particular interface but also the others in the Capture range re Rolands claims of superior latency performance and some favourable reviews from some established music tech journos. In the past there has been some confusion navigating the low latency mode , but its clearly marked now, and was duly engaged.

Figures above are for the Low Latency Mode , so I was very surprised to see the double buffering on playback , which is not overly apparent at the lower latency settings, but become significantly more apparent as the buffers are ramped up.

Playback buffers are the largest I have seen on any of the tested interfaces, which brought about some interesting results across the benchmarks , which are based on playback buffer size mostly.

Benchmark results on the surface look very good at the respective latencies in comparison to the reference and most other interfaces, what is not evident unless highlighted is that the results are achieved in some cases at double the actual playback latency per respective buffer setting. The leveller is the RTL value , but the unit still achieves a higher rating due to the faux 032 setting , IMO.

The double buffering on playback forces you to work at a lower buffer setting when requiring comfortable real time playing of VI's , and those requiring tight RTL for Guitar Amp Sims and monitoring with FX will need to be mindful that anything above the 064 buffer setting ramps the RTL quite substantially.

I know Sam Inglis amended the original review due to him missing the low latency mode, but to be honest even with it engaged , the results are not anything I would even remotely consider good , due to the double buffering.

Has the double buffering been introduced with the new driver , or was it present with the older one as well ?

If they got rid of the double buffering on playback this unit would be right up there, but in its current state, I would place it in the tread carefully basket.

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Re: Audio Interface - Low Latency Performance Data Base :

Postby Patrice Brousseau » Wed Jun 18, 2014 3:22 am

TAFKAT wrote:

Has the double buffering been introduced with the new driver , or was it present with the older one as well ?

If they got rid of the double buffering on playback this unit would be right up there, but in its current state, I would place it in the tread carefully basket.

V.C


I think your results in pure latency confirm mine. I had something around 7.5 ms (loopback test in Reaper) in Win7x64. In OSX, it's around 7.1 ms (why, I don't know. Same loopback Reaper test).

The test was developed by a Reaper user and built like an addon. It sends a pulse out back to the inputs and calculate the number of samples it takes.

I use the 1.5.1 driver in both Windows and Mac on my MBP (Octa-Capture) and 1.5.0 on my XP DAW with my Quad-Capture.

However, there's a 48 samples setting available, more useful than the "faux" 32. It give 6.3-6.4 ms if I remember well. Also a 96 samples if you want to stay in the 10 ms RTL range.

Thanks for the enlightenment...

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Re: Audio Interface - Low Latency Performance Data Base :

Postby Pete Kaine » Wed Jun 18, 2014 10:21 am

TAFKAT wrote:
Has the double buffering been introduced with the new driver , or was it present with the older one as well ?

Nope, it was there last time we looked at it last year.
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Re: Audio Interface - Low Latency Performance Data Base :

Postby TAFKAT » Wed Jun 18, 2014 9:26 pm

Pete Kaine wrote:
TAFKAT wrote:
Has the double buffering been introduced with the new driver , or was it present with the older one as well ?

Nope, it was there last time we looked at it last year.

Thanks Pete,

Looks like it was something that totally slipped under the radar for most, even the reviewers.

After all the hoopla starting back at the run in over the OctoCapture , I was expecting better than that.

Oh well , next... :-)

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Re: Audio Interface - Low Latency Performance Data Base :

Postby alexis » Wed Jun 18, 2014 11:28 pm

Hi Vin and Robin -

I see you have directly mentioned the UR28M, which I recently purchased, and indirectly mentioned another Steinberg unit.

Can you clarify for me please, what the issues were with those units, it sounds like they were rectified in the end? I'm happy w/ my UR28M (mainly record w/ direct monitoring/zero latency), so it's just from the point of view of learning more when I ask.

Also, Vin - I've been to your website in the past, but couldn't find the "Here's how to read these tables, and why it's important" page ... is there one of those somewhere?

Thanks much!
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Re: Audio Interface - Low Latency Performance Data Base :

Postby robinv » Thu Jun 19, 2014 9:31 am

alexis wrote:Hi Vin and Robin -

I see you have directly mentioned the UR28M, which I recently purchased, and indirectly mentioned another Steinberg unit.

Can you clarify for me please, what the issues were with those units, it sounds like they were rectified in the end? I'm happy w/ my UR28M (mainly record w/ direct monitoring/zero latency), so it's just from the point of view of learning more when I ask.

Hi,
The issue was massive playback latency and poor performance - but this was a couple of years ago. If you are using current drivers and current firmware - in other words if it came with the Yamaha DSP effects in the MixFX mixer - then you are all up to date and shouldnt see any problems. Does that help?
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Re: Audio Interface - Low Latency Performance Data Base :

Postby ef37a » Thu Jun 19, 2014 10:38 am

robinv wrote:
alexis wrote:Hi Vin and Robin -

I see you have directly mentioned the UR28M, which I recently purchased, and indirectly mentioned another Steinberg unit.

Can you clarify for me please, what the issues were with those units, it sounds like they were rectified in the end? I'm happy w/ my UR28M (mainly record w/ direct monitoring/zero latency), so it's just from the point of view of learning more when I ask.

Hi,
The issue was massive playback latency and poor performance - but this was a couple of years ago. If you are using current drivers and current firmware - in other words if it came with the Yamaha DSP effects in the MixFX mixer - then you are all up to date and shouldnt see any problems. Does that help?

I am confused now! Surely Vin will have done all this?

Dave.
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Re: Audio Interface - Low Latency Performance Data Base :

Postby alexis » Thu Jun 19, 2014 1:30 pm

Thank you, robinv! I figured things were all fixed now, but as a long-time Steinberg customer, I was wondering what the issues were.

Thanks!
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Re: Audio Interface - Low Latency Performance Data Base :

Postby TAFKAT » Thu Jun 19, 2014 10:05 pm

alexis wrote:

Also, Vin - I've been to your website in the past, but couldn't find the "Here's how to read these tables, and why it's important" page ... is there one of those somewhere?

Thanks much!


Hey Alexis,

Robin covered the UR series issues we encountered in the initial driver release, I was scathing in my summary on first testing the unit. Steinberg sorted the issues on a later driver/firmware realese, thankfully.

In regards to better understanding the data and tables, it is detailed in Part II of the Audio Interface LLP reports :

Here : http://www.dawbench.com/audio-int-lowlatency2.htm

In a nutshell, the interfaces are tested at respective latencies across 3 different benchmarks and the results are gauged % wise against the reference hardware , which is the RME HDSPe/ADI-8 combo. Those results are then placed in context by the delivered Round Trip Latency, as that is a very important variable and leveller, as there is huge variance in actual delivered latency at respective buffer settings provided by the drivers/control panels.

The LLP Rating is achieved by taking all of the data and using a formula to calculate the rating from 1-10 , 1 being worse , 10 being best

Hope that helps.

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Re: Audio Interface - Low Latency Performance Data Base :

Postby robinv » Fri Jun 20, 2014 9:28 am

ef37a wrote:
I am confused now! Surely Vin will have done all this?

Dave.

Done all what sorry?
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Re: Audio Interface - Low Latency Performance Data Base :

Postby ef37a » Fri Jun 20, 2014 9:57 am

robinv wrote:
ef37a wrote:
I am confused now! Surely Vin will have done all this?

Dave.

Done all what sorry?

Used the latest drivers and firmware updates? Or are we both confused now?

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Re: Audio Interface - Low Latency Performance Data Base :

Postby robinv » Fri Jun 20, 2014 3:55 pm

ef37a wrote:
Used the latest drivers and firmware updates? Or are we both confused now?

Dave.

I'm sure he has - the guy was asking for an opinion, there's nothing to be confused about :)
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Re: Audio Interface - Low Latency Performance Data Base :

Postby alexis » Fri Jun 20, 2014 4:34 pm



Thanks, TAFKAT, I have gone to the page, whew!, but great!


TAFKAT wrote:...

Hey Alexis,

Robin covered the UR series issues we encountered in the initial driver release, I was scathing in my summary on first testing the unit. Steinberg sorted the issues on a later driver/firmware realese, thankfully.

Thanks - just wondering, since the UR28M is listed as having driver 1.1.1 on the page you linked to, would those results not necessarily be applicable to the latest driver?






TAFKAT wrote:In regards to better understanding the data and tables, it is detailed in Part II of the Audio Interface LLP reports :

Here : http://www.dawbench.com/audio-int-lowlatency2.htm

In a nutshell, the interfaces are tested at respective latencies across 3 different benchmarks and the results are gauged % wise against the reference hardware , which is the RME HDSPe/ADI-8 combo. Those results are then placed in context by the delivered Round Trip Latency, as that is a very important variable and leveller, as there is huge variance in actual delivered latency at respective buffer settings provided by the drivers/control panels.

The LLP Rating is achieved by taking all of the data and using a formula to calculate the rating from 1-10 , 1 being worse , 10 being best

Hope that helps.

V.C

Yes sir, thank you!

One question on your last column if I could - some of the RTL columns have a double " ** ", with the comment "RTL calculated via utility". What does that mean, as opposed to RTL being calculated in a different fashion?

I guess in a practical sense, for my UR28M - the numbers in your column are greater than my old Delta 44 card reported in its control panel ... 10 years ago! Do the RTL numbers in your last column reflect the "real-world" latency, regardless of what the UR28M's control panel reports?

And if I'm recording/tracking using "direct monitoring" does the actual latency become unimportant? (Or maybe it is still very important? ... For example if another application like UAD-2 looks to Cubase's Control Panel to perform latency compensation, but it is reported by Cubase incorrectly as determined by your testing, and so things go awry?)

Thanks again!
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