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Thread: M-Audio Audiophile + Virtualsynth = unusable latency,so use old PCI soundcards?

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    M-Audio Audiophile + Virtualsynth = unusable latency,so use old PCI soundcards?

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    Hello,

    Long story short, just want to do MIDI sequencing, so general MIDI is fine, once sequence is done, then use hardware synths (e.g. TX802) it's less work up front.

    Was using a Guillemot MaxiStudio, which actually worked great for this purpose, but I couldn't keep a Win98 box running, so built an XP box from an old server so it's older 2.4GHz Pentium something or other (again, it should be fine for sequencing, I don't want or need to do anything else "in the box." I have a M-Audio Audiophile 2496 in that, primarily for copying mixdown and burning, although I also can use a DAT recorder and pull the wav files directly from the tape using a hacked tape drive and dat2wav. Still, the system should be capable of two track 44.1 recording for CD writing.

    I have the latest M-Audio drivers, and replaced the XP softsynth with Virutalsynth. I've tweaked every parameter I can find, but the delay between keypress and note firing makes this setup useless. I'm tired of dicking around trying to get latency down, so am thinking of just slapping in an old SoundBlaster and using its onboard hardware synth. Is this still a viable option?

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    Well, I see your question was posed over half a year ago, but I thought I'd give it a go.

    First of all, I'm not familiar with the M-Audio Audiophile, but I own and have used for years an M-Audio Delta 66, which may share the same drivers, for all I know. Anyway, my Delta 66's latencies are usually incredibly low -- like 6 or 8 ms. But to get these low latencies, I must use the ASIO drivers, which were authored by M-Audio, thankfully. I was using ASIO way back in my Win98 days, so they should run on whatever platform you end up with. And I was getting very low latencies even back then, when my DAW had a 1.1GHz motherboard and maybe 4 gigs of RAM. One thing I do recall, though, was my latencies improved the faster I ran the frequency and bit rate -- 96/24 was ideal. You can always translate it back down to 44.1/16 for your CDs.

    Now, as for running a Soundblaster, that's also a viable option, as long as you've got an OS that recognizes your drivers -- so probably XP at the latest. I've recorded with Soundblasters back in my Win98 days, and I found that their audio-to-digital converters were decent enough for guitarwork I did for a couple tunes on one of my CDs. BTW, I recently tried to get the last Soundblaster I bought -- which would have probably been back in about 2001 or so -- to run on my Win7 machine, and try as I might, I couldn't get it to work. So . . . looks like you're stuck with an earlier OS if you want to go that route.

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    My son was running a 2496 with Cubase (Ess 4) on XP with very low latency years ago and the move to W7 and Cubase Ess 6 proved no different so, if you are running the right ASIO drivers with the card there is no reason I can see why it should not go down to 64 samples?

    Can you set 64 samples and if you do, do things crack up? If so you probably have either too little CPU grunt or, more likely, something gulping resources*. Main culprits are wireless adaptors. Download DPClat from Thesycon - USB Software development (think that's right, Google will know) . That won't tell you WHAT is causing the fault but it makes elimination easier.

    *I know peeps get sniffy these days unless a PC has an i9 CPU and 128G of ram "you'll never do ANYTHING with less!") but in fact even a very low spec PC, I am talking SUB 1G processor, can run a synth at low latency with a good card, good drivers and decent software so give Reaper a go.

    Dave.

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