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Topic: Audiophile latency comparison

  1. #1

    Audiophile latency comparison

    Hi everyone
    Could someone advise me how the Audiophile 2496 soundcard compares to other GSIF cards with regard to latency. I am building a dedicated Giga P4 computer, and will be using it for piano libraries only, and am looking at buying a soundcard with the lowest possible latency.
    Do all the GSIF cards similar latency, if not how does the Audiophile compare?

    thanks in advance :-)


  2. #2

    Re: Audiophile latency comparison

    Well...you get what you pay for. The audiophile is really a cheap card, which offers huge value for its price, but don\'t expect zero latency, such as with the more expensive higher quality RME interfaces. So, I wouldn\'t buy the audiophile to get low latency.


  3. #3

    Re: Audiophile latency comparison

    Thanks for that Herman [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]
    So are you saying RME are the lowest latency card? Which model would be the cheapest/most suitable for playing large piano samples? Would I need to buy a separate midi interface to plug in my 88 note controller? If so, which one would you recommend.?
    (One of the reasons I considered the Audiophile was that it is cheap and has midi ins and outs, but if an RME card has lower latency.....I\'ll go that way for sure?

    thanks again for any help :-)

  4. #4

    Re: Audiophile latency comparison

    I\'m wondering if the latency is all that different for various PCI audio cards. They all follow the PCI spec, have some buffers and D/A converters. Maybe RME has faster DMA controllers, maybe they have better drivers, but if it\'s not specified or measured, one can\'t know for sure.

    Almost certainly the higher end cards will have better audio specs (low S/N, flat frequency response...). That\'s because better D/As, amplifiers and filters cost real money. Low latency is free in terms of hardware - it just takes good engineering.

    Unless you have hard latency numbers, I\'d shop on features, price and a good reputation for quality. From what I gather, all of the GSIF cards are usable with Giga for live playing.

    For some perspective, the speed of sound through air is on the order or one foot per millisecond. Want to reduce latency by 10ms? Just move ten feet closer to your speakers!

  5. #5

    Re: Audiophile latency comparison

    Most soundcards with the VIA Envy24 chipset can reach 1.5ms output latency in Gigastudio with a fast enough CPU, a fast enough hard drive, a proper selection of motherboard, proper BIOS settings, and well written drivers. Some motherboard/chipsets are poorly designed and coupled with drivers that don\'t compensate for this, result in data stalls in the PCI bus transactions.

    The M-Audio Delta series, as well as the Ego-Sys cards, have well written drivers that allow you to go as low as 1.5ms output latency without pops or clicks. Other brands, like Terratec, have poorly written drivers that force you to go as high as 13ms(!) to avoid pops and clicks and crackle in Gigastudio.

    RME\'s cards and drivers (based on their own custom programmed FPGA chip) are so well designed that you can throw them into just about any machine and always get the lowest 1.5ms output latency (64 samples). Both Envy24 based cards and RME\'s cards have 0ms latency monitoring (actually a few microseconds because of the A/D to D/A conversions) which has no bearing on output the latency from Gigastudio.

    Mike W. Smith, Coyote R&D

  6. #6

    Re: Audiophile latency comparison

    Thanks a lot for the input guys [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]
    No one really seems to be able to say for sure whether the Audiophile will do the job as well as a more expensive card, but I\'d prefer to be safe than sorry so will probably opt for the RME.
    Which RME card would be the cheapest/most suitable for use in my new dedicated Giga computer (P4 3.2Ghz, 2 GB ram. Asus P4P800 delux mb) I will be using this setup solely for playing various piano libraries.


  7. #7

    Re: Audiophile latency comparison

    The Audiophile will absolutely do 1.5ms latency. All our systems do 1.5ms latency, 160 voices streaming at once, no pops or clicks, both with the M-Audio Delta series and the RME Hammerfall series. If you don\'t know how to configure and tweak your system, then the RME Hammerfall cards are the best way to go, but you defintely are paying for it.

    Mike W. Smith, Coyote R&D

  8. #8

    Re: Audiophile latency comparison

    I\'ve got the Echo MIA. It\'s another low-cost option. It\'s latency is also low enough that I don\'t perceive it, though I\'m not sure if it\'s hitting 1.5ms.

    Unfortunately, some people have had problems with the latest drivers. I\'m not sure why. It\'s fine on my system. I haven\'t heard if the situation has changed out there.

    Anyway, a nice aspect of the MIA is that the I/O is balanced, unlike the Audiophile, which uses single ended connections. Balanced I/O reduces hum and noise - especially on long connections. Another nice aspect is the virtual outputs. It\'s like having a four input stereo mixer in the PC.

    If you\'ve got the cash, then RME may be the way to go. For us penny pinchers, the MIA is another alternative to the Audiophile.

  9. #9

    Re: Audiophile latency comparison

    I also run the Audiophile Card at 1.5ms latency (the lowest possible setting). 160 voices streaming at once, no pops or clicks, with SONAR running the show on the same machine. ONE VERY IMPORTANT NOTE: this low setting with make Gigastudio sound a million times better than higher settings. Gigastudio quantizes events to the latency timing. So if you have the latency set at 11ms, the closest any 2 events can occur would be 11ms. It\'s a lot like over quantizing your MIDI data to a tempo that is different from your songs!

  10. #10

    Re: Audiophile latency comparison

    [ QUOTE ]

    Almost certainly the higher end cards will have better audio specs (low S/N, flat frequency response...). That\'s because better D/As, amplifiers and filters cost real money.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    That\'s true, but if you use gigastudio\'s internal \"bouncing\" option, and drag the recorded files to the workstation that uses the multitrack software you won\'t be needing high end D/A conversion, since the sound gets recorded before conversion and digitally transferred. I\'ve read that giga 3 will be able to bounce 8 stereo files simultaneously.

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