Concept of reducing latency by hardware monitering,,,

Discussion in 'Converters / Interfaces' started by SirRiff, May 25, 2002.

  1. SirRiff

    SirRiff Guest


    one thing i have never quite understood is the concept of reduring the latency you hear (through headphones i would assume) when overubbing onto a whole lotta tracks. obviously the computer has to do alot of stuff to kee up with the info flow..but i am trying to get my head around the hardware fix.

    the recorded tracks have to get off the HD, through the processor/soundcard, and into your headphones. The added track has to get into your soundcard, into the processor, onto the HD. it also has to get back into the headphones at the same time the recorded stuff does.

    now assuming you have a mixer for preamp.
    somehow monitoring through the mixer will reduce the latency alot?

    my conclusion is, because the recorded track has to get both in and out, monitoring at an earlier 'pre-digital' stage lets you get a signal earlier in the chain of delays. the recorded tracks come out into the ins of the mixer, and are almost monitoered there too to get a complete mix.

    is this the functional reason? if not, can someone give me a conceptional map as to why this is so?

    I have only recorded on a stand alone unit, so even 8 tracks input output has no latency.

    any info would be appreciated.
  2. Opus2000

    Opus2000 Well-Known Member

    Apr 7, 2001
    Good question indeed
    Latency has to deal with the time it takes for the buffering of the data going in..processed..and back out again..the faster your processor and memory are the quicker the signal can go in and out. Also higher sampling rates can help with that as well.
    A lot of it has to deal with the drivers for the audio card and if they are ASIO based or not. Plus setting Win2K or WinXP to background applications will help tremendously since ASIO runs in the background and not through the OS.
    Certain cards can achieve 3 to 1.5ms of latency which is barely noticable to the human ear.
    Having a mixer is usally a good idea but if you want to use real time effects in the loop through the software than it defeats the purpose.
    Defeats the purpose if you are using the mixer to use as a monitoring source before going into the software. If you are doing it that way than there is no delay at all. signal coming out is in real time to what you are recording with it if monitoring through the mixer.
    Also having a fast hard drive helps in the long run as well..consider the WD 8MB cached drives..very fast in the processing of data in the fact that it can help with the buffered data.
    Remember that when recording the buffer size should be set to as low as possible and when mixing should be raised as high as possible to help with the amount of data being beuffered out with fx and so forth
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