• Register
  • Help
Results 1 to 6 of 6

Topic: Coping with delay/latency

Share/Bookmark
  1. #1

    Coping with delay/latency

    Until now I have been using Finale to drive GPO. However, with JABB on the way, I want to think about playing in real time into a sequencer. I see several problems in doing this, and wonder if the more experienced GPOers among you can help me understand whether these problems are real or imaginary, and whether I have to spend lots of money to solve them or they can be solved by less expensive techniques.

    1) Suppose I have laid down several tracks already (using FInale, say), and want to play another line on top of it. If I am using GPO, there will be some kind of delay before I can hear the note I've played. How much of a problem is this delay in practice? GPO says my sound card has 46 ms delay.

    2) If the delay is unacceptable, I presumably need a lower-latency audio interface. Should I be looking for a PCI interface, or is acceptably low latency possible via USB or Firewire?

    3) For entering notes, I am currently using an Edirol PCR-1. This is fine for use with Finale, but it has neither a mod wheel nor pedal inputs. I have seen in another thread that for JABB one would really like to have aftertouch. There don't seem to be many keyboards out there that support aftertouch, but the E-MU Xboard does, and seems reasonably priced to boot. Comments?

  2. #2

    Re: Coping with delay/latency

    I expect this thread should be moved to support/technical. Answering some of your questions though:

    1) modern hardware digital synths have a latency of 5-10ms which is not perceivable by most users. Some soundcards now claim latencies down to similar times. Even Creative cards can be set at latencies of around 7ms. 46ms is by no means bad, but some people will just begin to 'feel' the latency effects around this time and that may affect how you play. More than this and most people would find it irritating/impossible to play a piece with correct timing. The only way of knowing would be to try it out - if you play a piece live and it works for you at 46ms then no need to spend more cash on a soundcard with lower latencies. I, eg, can work happily at 46ms (but not 60ms!), and can't detect latency at all below 30ms.

    2) PCI or firewire (can't speak about USB, don't have one) - it doesn't make any difference to latency - you can get firewire interfaces (like MOTU 828) with very low latency, and PCI ones with high latencies [and vice versa]. Note the capability of delivering low latency doesn't translate to being able to use the capability - a lot of cards give up in a shower of audio snaps, crackles and pops at their lower latency settings.

    3) There's nothing like a keyboard that you love. The M-Audio Keystation ones are coming in for a lot of praise. I like my Roland one which has none of the midi-controllers needed so I have added an Evolution UC-16 and Behringer FCB1010 Foot controller to gain control of those cc-codes. There might be some who disagree, but keyboards with aftertouch are often a pain in the butt - the aftertouch often engaging when you don't mean it to. I think if you accept you are going to be playing with one hand and 'controlling' with another, then a midi controller with a knob or button mapped to aftertouch is probably as good as getting a new keyboard with aftertouch (if you can find one).

  3. #3
    Senior Member rwayland's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    California Redwoods
    Posts
    2,932

    Re: Coping with delay/latency

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Koenig
    Until now I have been using Finale to drive GPO. However, with JABB on the way, I want to think about playing in real time into a sequencer. I see several problems in doing this, and wonder if the more experienced GPOers among you can help me understand whether these problems are real or imaginary, and whether I have to spend lots of money to solve them or they can be solved by less expensive techniques.

    1) Suppose I have laid down several tracks already (using FInale, say), and want to play another line on top of it. If I am using GPO, there will be some kind of delay before I can hear the note I've played. How much of a problem is this delay in practice? GPO says my sound card has 46 ms delay.

    2) If the delay is unacceptable, I presumably need a lower-latency audio interface. Should I be looking for a PCI interface, or is acceptably low latency possible via USB or Firewire?

    3) For entering notes, I am currently using an Edirol PCR-1. This is fine for use with Finale, but it has neither a mod wheel nor pedal inputs. I have seen in another thread that for JABB one would really like to have aftertouch. There don't seem to be many keyboards out there that support aftertouch, but the E-MU Xboard does, and seems reasonably priced to boot. Comments?
    Well, my sound card is hardly top of the line, and I mostly use latency of 5 - 7 ms when I play my keyboard. It works well at this latency with almost everything I use the card for. If I use more tracks and polyphony than 8 or so, I may have to increase the latency. So I would say set your latency as low as you can work with, experiment until it gives you trouble. You must test it with YOUR system.

    If you have played a pipe organ with "second touch" you should have no trouble with aftertouch on your keyboard but since I play mostsly piano, the absence of aftertouch on my keyboard does not bother me.

    Richard

  4. #4

    Re: Coping with delay/latency

    Quote Originally Posted by rwayland
    Well, my sound card is hardly top of the line, and I mostly use latency of 5 - 7 ms when I play my keyboard. It works well at this latency with almost everything I use the card for. If I use more tracks and polyphony than 8 or so, I may have to increase the latency. So I would say set your latency as low as you can work with, experiment until it gives you trouble. You must test it with YOUR system.

    If you have played a pipe organ with "second touch" you should have no trouble with aftertouch on your keyboard but since I play mostsly piano, the absence of aftertouch on my keyboard does not bother me.

    Richard
    I have been trying to figure out how to set latency on my sound card but so far do not find a way to do it. Suggestions welcome -- it's the SoundMAX card that came with my machine.

  5. #5

    Re: Coping with delay/latency

    Quote Originally Posted by Prince of Music
    First I assume you are using ASIO drivers (I think GPO studio requires them)? If not see which type you are using (ASIO, MME. WDM). You don't have a particular setting for latency, it's a result of your buffer setting. The lower your buffer setting the lower the latency. I have heard that there is a generic ASIO driver for soundcards, but I do not personally know if it works well. Usually ASIO drivers get better latency, though that is not always the case.

    Tom
    When I start GPO and click "File -> Setup", it says "ASIO DirectX Full Duplex Driver"

  6. #6

    Re: Coping with delay/latency

    Quote Originally Posted by Prince of Music
    Then go to your ASIO setup screen and see what your buffer setting is (there should be a button called ASIO config on the setup screen). Start with the lowest buffer setting, then move up till you no longer get any crackles or pops (don't worry about the snaps)

    Tom
    Makes sense.

    One thing I can't figure out. Sometimes I change something and a dialog box pops up asking me whether I want to test the new configuration. Other times it doesn't. It looks like the test reestimates the delay, which would be nice to know. So how can I force the test to happen?

Go Back to forum

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •