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Topic: noob queastion about latency in virtual instruments

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  1. #1

    noob queastion about latency in virtual instruments

    Hi guys, I know that for most of you my question will be kindergarden leverl but still i really need the answer in order to make a good purchase - So I was looking at USB audio sound cards around the price of 160 EURO and I was wonderingwill this be enough to purchase a USB sound card that will give no latency when used on my DAW, my Amplitube Metal ot Guitar Rig 4 ( all with asio drivers of course ) cause having no latency will make my mixing a lot easier and also when adding voice and stuff....
    So, how can I know if a certain card will have enough processing power to do that ? what parameters of the card should I be looking at ? I really do not need more than a single line in for a microphone and one for a guitar. All I am focused is to prevent latency. Thank you in advance.

  2. #2
    Senior Member playz123's Avatar
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    Re: noob queastion about latency in virtual instruments

    In order of preference, a PCIe card connected to a breakout box gives the best performance followed closely by a Firewire device and then in last place is a USB interface. I'm not saying that if you are on a tight budget you should still avoid USB, but basically you get what you pay for. Personally, if I were starting out, I would look at a unit like the Presonus Firebox for example. It's firewire, and seems to meet the needs of many folks who don't require an elaborate interface, but do want stability, low latency and solid ASIO drivers....something else that is extremely important no matter which interface you consider...............playz
    Cubase 7.0.3, Wavelab 7.1, Omnisphere, Trilian, Stylus RMX, Symphobia 1 & 2 , all Spitfire libraries, LASS 2, Requiem Pro, Voxos, Superior Drummer 2, Komplete 8, Cinematic Guitars, most EW libraries, Chris Hein Horns, Guitar & Bass, 2.8 GHz Mac Pro, 18 GB RAM, OS 10.6.8, RME Multiface II + HDSP PCIe

  3. #3

    Re: noob queastion about latency in virtual instruments

    Quote Originally Posted by playz123 View Post
    In order of preference, a PCIe card connected to a breakout box gives the best performance followed closely by a Firewire device and then in last place is a USB interface. I'm not saying that if you are on a tight budget you should still avoid USB, but basically you get what you pay for. Personally, if I were starting out, I would look at a unit like the Presonus Firebox for example. It's firewire, and seems to meet the needs of many folks who don't require an elaborate interface, but do want stability, low latency and solid ASIO drivers....something else that is extremely important no matter which interface you consider...............playz
    OK, I seem to be a bit noober than I thought Thanks for your reply, but what is a breakout box ? I thought that the PCI audio cards are going directly in the PC.

    So, the PCI cards actually provide lower latency than the USB ?? Hmm I didn't know that - this is some useful info, it seems I have been searching in the wrong division.

    That device - Presonus Firebox it says it is a bit out of my price range ( twice above ) And what is Firewire ?

    Please, can anyone name a sound card no matter usb or PCI in the 160EURO range that will suit my needs - zelo latency on vst and guitar rigs and amplitubes and to have at lease one microphone and one guitar input. Thank you guys

  4. #4
    Senior Member Steve_Karl's Avatar
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    Re: noob queastion about latency in virtual instruments

    Zero latency is a myth when it comes to VSTi.
    That "zero" description is about the mixer software supplied by the sound card. You will never get zero latency inside of your host using a vsti...
    even with the best sound card on the planet.

    Good low price:
    Have a look at M-Audio Audiophile 2496 ( pci )
    Try to avoid USB as it will never compete with PCI or PCIe for low latency performance.

    Google audio breakout box in google images.

  5. #5
    Senior Member playz123's Avatar
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    Re: noob queastion about latency in virtual instruments

    Re: "but what is a breakout box ? I thought that the PCI audio cards are going directly in the PC"
    ---Yes, the card goes in the computer, but there's often not enough room on the exterior of a card for numerous inputs and outputs, so with some higher end units there's a box with all these things that attaches via a special cable to the card. The card still does all the processing though. But with your low budget, you won't be dealing with those units.

    Re: "So, the PCI cards actually provide lower latency than the USB??
    ---Normally yes. Also, one would be buying PCIe 'cards' these days. PCI is basically a thing of the past now.

    Re: "That device - Presonus Firebox it says it is a bit out of my price range"
    ---True, but also I alos suggest it's better to save for awhile and buy something solid and reliable than invest in something that isn't. You might also be able to pick up some sort of a used interface now though, but personally I won't recommend that sort of thing.

    Re: "And what is Firewire?"
    ---Ouch! Best Google that and do a little research. Firewire is another type of connection protocol used in computers, just like USB is, but it's much faster tha USB. Many computers these days come with Firewire ports, and one can also buy cards with ports. HTH.............playz.
    Cubase 7.0.3, Wavelab 7.1, Omnisphere, Trilian, Stylus RMX, Symphobia 1 & 2 , all Spitfire libraries, LASS 2, Requiem Pro, Voxos, Superior Drummer 2, Komplete 8, Cinematic Guitars, most EW libraries, Chris Hein Horns, Guitar & Bass, 2.8 GHz Mac Pro, 18 GB RAM, OS 10.6.8, RME Multiface II + HDSP PCIe

  6. #6

    Re: noob queastion about latency in virtual instruments

    Quote Originally Posted by playz123 View Post
    Re: "but what is a breakout box ? I thought that the PCI audio cards are going directly in the PC"
    ---Yes, the card goes in the computer, but there's often not enough room on the exterior of a card for numerous inputs and outputs, so with some higher end units there's a box with all these things that attaches via a special cable to the card. The card still does all the processing though. But with your low budget, you won't be dealing with those units.

    Re: "So, the PCI cards actually provide lower latency than the USB??
    ---Normally yes. Also, one would be buying PCIe 'cards' these days. PCI is basically a thing of the past now.

    Re: "That device - Presonus Firebox it says it is a bit out of my price range"
    ---True, but also I alos suggest it's better to save for awhile and buy something solid and reliable than invest in something that isn't. You might also be able to pick up some sort of a used interface now though, but personally I won't recommend that sort of thing.

    Re: "And what is Firewire?"
    ---Ouch! Best Google that and do a little research. Firewire is another type of connection protocol used in computers, just like USB is, but it's much faster tha USB. Many computers these days come with Firewire ports, and one can also buy cards with ports. HTH.............playz.

    Thanks for the replys. I checked in the net about firewire and if this is it's socket : http://api.ning.com/files/RKeTrDmIkj...wireSocket.jpg - than i am afraid that i do not have such which means that presonus firebox ( and inspire 1394 which i liked ) are not an options, so it is either a USB or PCI card.


    On one hand you say PCI is unbeatable in low latency but on he other - "PCI is basically a thing of the past now" so should i be looking at the PCI cards or not ? I jusr prefer the one ( usb or pci ) with the better and stable recording and lower latency

  7. #7
    Senior Member playz123's Avatar
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    Re: noob queastion about latency in virtual instruments

    Re: "I checked in the net about firewire and if this is it's socket : http://api.ning.com/files/RKeTrDmIkj...wireSocket.jpg - than i am afraid that i do not have such which means that presonus firebox ( and inspire 1394 which i liked ) are not an options"
    ---Not correct. It's quite easy to buy and install a card with Firewire ports in most computers. There are many different combinations...i.e. 4 firewire ports, or 2 FW and 2 USB etc., and the cards are not that expensive. If you don't know about these things, then perhaps consult with a local computer store that builds and services computers.

    Re: "so it is either a USB or PCI card"
    ---Again, unless your computer is now very old and therefore not that useful for music apps anyway, it should have at least some PCIe slots. PCI is NOT "PCIe", so please don't confuse the two. Also what USB ports do you have: USB 1.1 or USB 2??

    Re:On one hand you say PCI is unbeatable in low latency"
    ---No, we're suggesting that "PCIe" generally is.

    Re: "PCI is basically a thing of the past now" so should i be looking at the PCI cards or not?"
    ---No, if your computer supports it, you could look at "PCIe" cards!
    If your computer doesn't have PCIe slots then it might be best to consider updating your computer before proceeding with music apps. This is where a signature file comes in handy. We have no idea of your system specs or even what kind of computer you are running, so you might want to consider adding that information so that more accurate answers can be provided.................playz
    Cubase 7.0.3, Wavelab 7.1, Omnisphere, Trilian, Stylus RMX, Symphobia 1 & 2 , all Spitfire libraries, LASS 2, Requiem Pro, Voxos, Superior Drummer 2, Komplete 8, Cinematic Guitars, most EW libraries, Chris Hein Horns, Guitar & Bass, 2.8 GHz Mac Pro, 18 GB RAM, OS 10.6.8, RME Multiface II + HDSP PCIe

  8. #8

    Re: noob queastion about latency in virtual instruments

    Quote Originally Posted by playz123 View Post
    Re: "I checked in the net about firewire and if this is it's socket : http://api.ning.com/files/RKeTrDmIkj...wireSocket.jpg - than i am afraid that i do not have such which means that presonus firebox ( and inspire 1394 which i liked ) are not an options"
    ---Not correct. It's quite easy to buy and install a card with Firewire ports in most computers. There are many different combinations...i.e. 4 firewire ports, or 2 FW and 2 USB etc., and the cards are not that expensive. If you don't know about these things, then perhaps consult with a local computer store that builds and services computers.

    Re: "so it is either a USB or PCI card"
    ---Again, unless your computer is now very old and therefore not that useful for music apps anyway, it should have at least some PCIe slots. PCI is NOT "PCIe", so please don't confuse the two. Also what USB ports do you have: USB 1.1 or USB 2??

    Re:On one hand you say PCI is unbeatable in low latency"
    ---No, we're suggesting that "PCIe" generally is.

    Re: "PCI is basically a thing of the past now" so should i be looking at the PCI cards or not?"
    ---No, if your computer supports it, you could look at "PCIe" cards!
    If your computer doesn't have PCIe slots then it might be best to consider updating your computer before proceeding with music apps. This is where a signature file comes in handy. We have no idea of your system specs or even what kind of computer you are running, so you might want to consider adding that information so that more accurate answers can be provided.................playz
    Aha - So i see that it is possible to get a firewire port but fisrts i should buy a card that has it. After that I should buy the presonus firebox and attach it.
    And what about prosonus inspire 1394 ? this card seems to be lower priced - same manifacturer - can you please compare it to firebox ?
    Also, since I am aiming into one of those 2 card - with both i can recort microphone and guitar right ??

    My PC is fairly new - Intel Quad Core 2.39 4 gb ram and USB 2

    PS - I just saw that inspire has no midi IO which means unusable for me.

    Basicly I wanted an advice - on a PC with my confuguration and with my pricerange of 150-170 Euro what is the best I can get. I am so interest in low latency cause I plan on playing guitar rig and amplitube metal and I really do not wat to hear a delay between when I touch the string and when I hear the sound - I want ti to be as much as real

    What about EMU 0404 USB ? - how would it perform ? anyone ? any impressions ?

    http://pro-audio.musiciansfriend.com...ace?sku=242516

  9. #9

    Re: noob queastion about latency in virtual instruments

    A latency time of 0.6 msec or less is useable, but I prefer a little less 3-4 msec. Its all about how to wait after you hit a key (if you didnt know this).
    The Adiophile 2496 is an industry standard at the price, its a good card, have one myself for a long time, however there may be fast ones by now, with batter quality ad and da converters (audio/digital) - this impacts on the quality of the sound - msot are 'good enough' though.
    Unless your working on a lap top go for the PCI card option, think about how many inputs and outputs you need.
    Core i7 920, Win 7 RC 64, Cubase 5 64, Omnisphere, Trilogy, RMX, EWQLSO Plat EW Choirs, GPO, Stradivari, Gofrilla, Absynth 4, Halion 3, Kontakt3, BFD2, VSL Strings, JBridge running all 32 bit apps well.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Steve_Karl's Avatar
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    Re: noob queastion about latency in virtual instruments

    Quote Originally Posted by ZeroZero View Post
    A latency time of 0.6 msec or less is useable, but I prefer a little less 3-4 msec. Its all about how to wait after you hit a key (if you didnt know this).
    The Adiophile 2496 is an industry standard at the price, its a good card, have one myself for a long time, however there may be fast ones by now, with batter quality ad and da converters (audio/digital) - this impacts on the quality of the sound - msot are 'good enough' though.
    Unless your working on a lap top go for the PCI card option, think about how many inputs and outputs you need.
    You seem to have it all backwards.
    .6 MS is a very fast and great setting.
    3 to 4 MS is a longer gap and not nearly as good ( or fast ) as .6 MS.

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