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Latency in a Dante setup

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Latency in a Dante setup

Postby Maris » Sat Nov 10, 2018 8:50 pm

Hello,
For some time now I am recording with a Dante setup. The recording chain is quit long: analog console SSL X-desk > direct outs to Ferrofish A-16 mkII converter > MADI to DAD AX32 converter (there are no analog inputs bought for DAD) > Dante network > Dante Virtual Souncard > Nuendo 6 under Windows 7. The same route for playback, but eliminating Ferrofish, because we do have Analog outputs for DAD.
Everything would be fine, except for problems with headphone monitoring through Nuendo while tracking. The reported latency by Nuendo is 5ms for Input and 6ms for Output. From what I have checked the total round-trip latency is about 14ms. I think that's pretty good and most musicians feel comfortable.
Anyway I am concerned about reducing the latency as much as possible, although I understand that I am close to the limits. My DAD has 1msec, Dante VS has 4ms, Dante ASIO driver 1 ms and that has to be multiplied by 2.
What I am examining now is how much is the latency increased by using VST plugins in my multitrack project setup. It is very handy to start a large multitrack project with a template set ready with groups, plugins, effects... But now with Dante these plugins are adding some additional miliseconds to my system latency. I was going to ask some questions but probably I have answered them by myself? ;)
Any thoughts and comments are welcome.
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Re: Latency in a Dante setup

Postby James Perrett » Sat Nov 10, 2018 9:10 pm

That sounds an overly complex setup. I don't quite understand why you are using Dante with your setup when something like an RME Madiface or Digiface would give you a more direct route from the A16 to the PC with the additional advantage of Totalmix to give you very low latency monitoring.

If the use of Dante is essential then I understand that there are interface cards with better performance than the virtual soundcard. The Focusrite Rednet PCIe card claims a round trip latency of 3mS though I'm not sure whether that includes the A/D and D/A conversion stages.
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Re: Latency in a Dante setup

Postby Maris » Sat Nov 10, 2018 9:42 pm

We are using Dante because we have 2 recording studios side by side. One is the large studio and the other, where the DAD and Dante are installed, is the small one. The idea behind Dante is that we are going to abandon Ferrofish and install DAD in the big studio too. Then both studio recording rooms will be connected by Dante running through a single Ethernet cable in both directions and using one of the best converters- DAD. I was told that that is the future protocol for connecting studios and not only that.
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Re: Latency in a Dante setup

Postby James Perrett » Sat Nov 10, 2018 10:12 pm

I've just noticed that RME now have the Digiface Dante which also includes MADI connections. So you can have both the DAD and Ferrofish connected directly to the computer interface. RME are well known for their low latency drivers and decent control software.
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Re: Latency in a Dante setup

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Sun Nov 11, 2018 12:02 am

The Dante virtual sound card is probably the biggest single source of latency in your system. Switching to an internal Dante network card would make a big improvement in overall latency. Running VST plugins for monitored effects will also be a big problem for latency.

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Re: Latency in a Dante setup

Postby Maris » Tue Nov 13, 2018 9:26 pm

Hugh Robjohns wrote:The Dante virtual sound card is probably the biggest single source of latency in your system. Switching to an internal Dante network card would make a big improvement in overall latency. Running VST plugins for monitored effects will also be a big problem for latency.

H
I know, you are right. :) But the Dante accelerator cards are quite expensive, about € 1000.
Speaking about the VST plugin latency I wonder if maybe the Nuendo native built-in plugins does not have any perceived latency. At least that is what you see in Nuendo Plugin Information window. There is a column latency. The waves plugins I would like to use have a significant latency shown. So I would not use them while recording. Am I right?
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Re: Latency in a Dante setup

Postby future-retro » Mon Dec 17, 2018 11:31 am

If you´re not just recording in one direction (ie typical "record live show on laptop scenario), get the freaking Dante hardware. You say ferrofish aren´t good enough, so you´re looking at high end. And suddenly 1k for the PCIeR card is an issue? Come on.

I first used DVS and Via to get my head around Dante and see how things work. Two computers of current generation (i7 6core, lots of RAM, dedicated network) gave me great results, but there is too much latency in those software devices. Not for a single take, but my setup will see Dante as the studio backbone with signals being passed back and forth: to analog outboard, to a dedicated VST fx host, between VSTi etc.

Currently caught in the studio rebuild process, I´m not finished yet... but for Dante:
- I see 2ms total I/O latency in the Ableton Live audio config dialog (1ms in, 1ms out, PCIeR 96kHz/24 bit/64samples). I would expect the same numbers from other DAW.
- Add Dante transport latency, which depends on the devices being used. PICeR can go down to 0.15ms, ferrofish pulse16dx to 0.25ms, focusrite x2p down to 1ms (no idea how fast their rack boxes are, probably faster).
- Haven´t found numbers on MADI transport latency and DD conversion latency, sorry. MADI transport delay is said to be "negligible", but what does that mean? There is SOME delay due to digital transport, so I´d like to see numbers, otherwise I´d say the 0.15ms Dante transport delay is "negligible" as well. Unless you have a to transport enough times so that it becomes significant.
- No numbers on ADC/DAC converter latency either, sorry.

For direct monitoring and low latency, I´d take a closer look at some Dante enabled digital mixer like for example the Allen&Heath SQ series, if their converters fit your bill (probably not since you look at DAD). Be careful though, some Dante cards for mixers support 48kHz only, which of course will affect your DAW latency if set to that frequency.
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Re: Latency in a Dante setup

Postby Jack Ruston » Mon Dec 17, 2018 5:01 pm

DVS adds a lot of latency.

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Re: Latency in a Dante setup

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Mon Dec 17, 2018 5:32 pm

Yes. DVS is great for a laptop 'snooping' the audio on a Dante system, but it does introduce a lot of latency. For anything that needs to be real-time you're much better off with a dedicated Dante network interface card.

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