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Topic: Sound card latency?

  1. #1

    Sound card latency?

    This is not exactly a GPO question so feel free to tell me to go pound sand. Although 99% of my work is done with GPO-4, I still use a few sounds from an external sound module (such as steel drums). I recently switched sound cards from an old Sound Blaster Live to what I thought would be an upgrade to Sound Blaster Audigy (I am on a budget). With the Audigy, the audio that comes back to the computer from the external module starts off in sync with the GPO generated tracks. After a few measures of the piece, the two audio tracks are noticeably out of sync and it just keeps getting worse towards the end of the piece.

    When I put the old SB Live card back in the computer and re-record the ext. module audio, the track is in sync with the GPO track (undetectable latency).

    Hate such a long post but this thing is really bugging me. The reason I want to change cards is the old SB Live card is introducing distortion even though I check levels and reduce them significantly ( the Audigy card has no such distortion).

    Two questions:

    1. As I understand (or don't understand) latency in this case, there is a finite time burned up in sending the MIDI signal out to the ext. module, then converting the signal to sound, and finally sending the audio back to the computer. It seems that this delay would be relatively constant. Why then would the track recorded by the Audigy card get progressively more and more out of sync as the piece plays? It seems to me that each note throughout the piece would be offset by the same amount of time.

    2. Are there any selections in the software for the soundcard that might correct this problem or am I doomed to the distortion of my old card?

    I have tried to get help from Soundblaster but they say they no longer support Audigy, even though I only bought the card a couple of months ago.

    There seems to be a vast storehouse of knowledge here on the forum and I will certainly appreciate any help.



    The English Horn is neither English, nor is it a horn - not to be confused with the French Horn which is, of course, German.

  2. #2

    Re: Sound card latency?

    Have you checked the sync settings in the control panel of your card and your external module?


  3. #3

    Re: Sound card latency?

    I think the problem that you're going to run into is poor MIDI and ASIO drivers for the Audiology. From what I've read off the boards, lots of people have had problems trying to get the Audiology to work in pro apps.
    Unfortunately, that card is just not targetted to the "Pro audio" crowd.

    I used the Creative XFi-Elite and the ASIO and MIDI drivers for it were acceptable. I've since upgraded to a Pro Firewire card which has better drivers, but I think the XFi series would have been a better choice for you and would probably work for what you need.

    You wouldn't have to go with the "Elite" since Creative has some cheaper models that are the same essential hardware as the Elite (as far as you are concerned, anyway). The huge breakout box that comes with the Elite is a bit of a waste, IMO.

  4. #4

    Re: Sound card latency?


    Thanks for the reply. The sync setting on the ext. module is on "MIDI" which I have always used for the old card. The only other setting is "INT" which I assume means internal. I did try putting it on "INT" but it didn't make any difference. I don't know how to check the sync setting on the card. I assumed since the cards are from the same manufacturer they would have the same sync setting, but I will try to find out by looking again on the windows that are associated with the card.

    Thanks again for the suggestion.


  5. #5

    Re: Sound card latency?

    Can you switch the sync. settings on the ext. module to EXT. ?
    Are there any clock settings for the card or the module?


  6. #6

    Re: Sound card latency?


    There are only two settings for sync on the external module - "MIDI" and "INT". I have tried them both with no difference. I guess I'm pretty convinced that the trouble lies on the card end and not the module because every thing is the same with the module and the path through a mixer on it's way back to the computer. The only thing different is which card is in the computer slot. I was going to try to find some adjustment or setting on the Audigy card that is different from the SB Live card but that means swapping cards in the slot which is a pain in the rear. Since I'm working on a project right now I think I'll just leave the old card in and live with the little bit of distortion for now. At least the timing is right.

    Thanks so much for your time. Maybe I'll get it sorted out later - guess I was just looking for some quick fix that I'm overlooking. Should have learned over the last 70 years or so that there are no quick fixes!


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