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Re: Latency in looping path

Am 19.02.2013 18:31, schrieb info@riversonicstudios.com:
However I now have another problem: progressive latency as I am now running my main mix 
into Ableton LIVE before it reaches the the audience! I suspect I will have to get a decent 
audio interface rather than using the MacPros I/O Have tried going in digitally from the KORG KRONOS via 
optical into the Mac- makes no difference. I suspect that coming out analog is the main culprit.

Anyway I was just wondering how any of you guys avoid this latency when running through ABLETON LIVE and 
if a Firewire 800 unit like the MOTU 828 Mk" or the RME 800 would be the obvious solution to this problem?
Whether you're coming out analogue or digital doesn't play a role really, that you're going through the computer is.

Things that mainly affect latency (assuming that your os is not anything to be negotiated):
1. The audio interface's chipset for connecting to the computer (the communication interface)
2. The communication interface in the computer (chipset, driver)
3. The communication interface itself
4. The computer (OS) configuration
5. The computer driver for the audio interface
6. Your processing stream (within the DAW)
7. The distance from the speaker to your ears

Things that do not affect latency:
a) the speed of the computer (this only affects how much you can load your CPU with the DAW for a given latency setting)
b) the transfer rate of your communication interface (FW800 does not automatically give lower latency than FW400).

ad 1: this comes from the audio interface manufacturer. Some use COTS chipsets, some (e.g. RME) use their own.
ad 2: this is part of the computer, and for Windows machines, is a huge hassle to find a good combination (but also a good way to really improve this, if you're hand-assembling your computer).
ad 3: proprietary interfaces which directly connect to e.g. PCIe do outperform standard interfaces (USB, FW). Again, RME comes to mind with HDSPe.
ad 4: disable drivers and background services you don't need.
ad 5: again, comes from the audio interface manufacturer.
ad 6: if you have a compressor with look-ahead in your processing chain, this will increase latency. Everything increases it, some things only minimally. Try and find out...
ad 7: instead of sitting 5 metres away from your monitor speaker, wear headphones. Latency reduced by about 17ms.

Note that (6) and (7) is not included in the dialogue for configuring your drivers! Meaning that if you have your displayed latency down to, say, 2ms either way, the best way to really make an improvement is to switch to headphones if you haven't done that already.

Another important thing is that you typically can configure the latency for a proper audio interface. There's no free beer in signal theory, though: if you reduce the latency, your audio interface driver needs more of your "processing power", meaning you can't do as much with your DAW effects-and-whatever-wise.

An old article on the subject: