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PCIE Interfaces?

Discussion in 'Converters / Interfaces' started by Kuroneku, Aug 2, 2017.

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    The New AT5047 Premier Studio Microphone Purity Transformed

  1. Kuroneku

    Kuroneku Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2013
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    OC
    Hello lovely Recording.org Community!

    So over the years I've been using a USB 2 audio interface, and the latency/lag is just very upsetting. I understand there are USB 3 or 3.1 interfaces, Firewire, and Thunderbolt, but what about PCIE interfaces to install inside your Computer?
    Aside from that, USB 3 and 3.1 alone are much, much, much faster than USB 2. Would an audio interface with USB 3 or 3.1 would fast enough to not cause any latency when recording a direct mic signal?

    I read about PCIE interfaces, but I can't seem to find one that has XLR inputs. Any suggestions? Or any suggestions in general on audio interfaces with 2 XLR inputs, MIDI input, and loud Mic Monitoring output?

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Makzimia

    Makzimia The Minstrel Well-Known Member

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    Aug 20, 2014
    Location:
    Hyde, England
    Welcome Kuroneku,

    Firstly budget plays big into your question. There are a number of solutions that work perfectly fine on firewire and USB. Most reliable brands that have good drivers, MOTU, RME and Focusrite for example all give solid drivers and low latency with a capable machine. The specs and setup of your computer will effect the performance significantly also, is it a dedicated music computer?. If you're going to a PCI-e solution normally it will hookup to a external device for your XLR inputs. If anything ie: RME HDSPe card, it will have 1/4 inch outs midi and MADI and ADAT hooks, world clock too.

    Myself and several others have used RME HDSPe card with say an Antelope Orion 32 and then break out cables off DB25. Again, budget and requirements, capabilities of your current computer and OS and choice of DAW will effect all this :).

    Cheers,

    Tony
     
  3. Kuroneku

    Kuroneku Active Member

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    Mar 19, 2013
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    OC
    Hello Tony, and thank you for your response. I have a custom built high end PC system, and I have two separate partitions, one for Audio recording/mixing. Even though I have a high end system, it is frustrating that my Focusrite 8i6, which is actually good enough for my purposes as far as connectivity is concerned, has such terrible latency with its USB 2.0.

    Budget is not a big issue as long as the product takes care of the job. I figured to go with an interface that will give me a high Bandwidth so I would never have to worry about such latency issues.

    I will check out the interfaces you mentioned, thanks.
     
  4. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

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    Location:
    Pacific NW
    I'm not too sure your latency is coming from the interconnection of the Focusrite. It could be as simple as a setting in the DAW you're using or it could be your soundcard isn't up to speed to process audio recording and playback.
     
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  5. pcrecord

    pcrecord Quality recording seeker ! Distinguished Member

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    Better have 2 drives, beware of hdd speeds; ex: most notebook have poor drive performances.

    I have a 8i6 and it's not so bad on latency (I keep it for small onsite works)
    Did you try to lower the buffer setting and see if it's still stable ? If you run it at 1024 or more, you will notice latency when using VSTi and realtime effects.
    Thing is, there is not a lot of reason to use realtime effects other than ampsim (at least for my work)

    The PCIe cards are very good and latencies tends to be better indeed. But latency isn't just a hardware thing. USB - Thunderbolt - pcie - firewire can all fail .
    All the ressources of the computer are at play here. Antivirus, other peripherals, DRIVERS, etc...
    One common mistake people make is to record an mix at the same time. If you EQ and comp ever tracks, when you get to record the 20th one, your computer needs to process
    Drivers is where a lot of gains and fails are made by the makers.
    Some unit can record 32 tracks on USB2, so you can imagine how the drivers are made.

    Anything from RME is top notch in my opinion. The driver are nice and the live mixer is amazing (route any input to any output is hard to come by)
    There is also the Antelope Zen studio that caught my eyes, the preamps seems nice and you get 12 of them... (Limited amount of headphone mixes tho)
    There simply too many choices that surpasses the 8i6 to list here.

    Tell us more about your work and what you do, it will help.
     
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  6. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Distinguished Member

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    RME and Lynx, both offer pcie interfaces with xlr connections on the breakout cables. For my money it's the RME pcie card that's at the $800 price point. The breakout cable is both absolutely necessary, and cost like $80 or so in addition to the card. The card also has clocking, time code, Midi, built in and is expandable, should you need higher in/output counts.

    There's also very stable drivers from RME, and pcie is generally more stable than some of the other connections. Straight to the brain...
     
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  7. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Distinguished Member

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    Good call.
     
  8. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

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    I would second (or third, lol) my colleague's mention of looking into the internal settings in your computer (or DAW platform).
    I'm not trying to sway you away from PCIe; performance wise, there are obvious differences between it and USB2.
    But you may want to also take a look at your Focusrite's software settings ( and maybe check their support page for possible software/drivers or firmware updates, too), and get into your DAW's audio settings menu, and take a look at things like Record and Playback buffer settings.
    Also, can you give us more info on your computer's specs? CPU, Power Supply, RAM, HDD type ( internal, external, speed and capacity?)
    Again, I'm not saying you shouldn't look at an I-O that is PCIe. There are benefits to having the device connected directly to the MB as opposed to using a Universal Setial Bus ... but the Focusrite device itself might not be at the root of your issues, or at least not entirely so.
    FWIW
    -d.
     
  9. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Distinguished Member

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    My scarlet solo ran unstably, but did run at its lowest buffer settings on a pathetic celeron netbook recently in Samplitude. I belive it was like 8 or 16 samples of buffering (44.1) which is practically nothing, so the drivers and hardware are certainly high performance capable.

    Track count is the usual downfall of USB audio interfacing. It's usually not happy past 8 tracks, although 16 is pretty common, and antelope squeeze 32 via USB on the Orion.

    Sounds like a settings, and/or computer hardware issue.

    If your on an Intel based desktop, even a dual core (4 thread) processor, along w a dedicated audio drive (preferably SSD for at least the OS, ideally both) you should be able to handle a basic 24 track session at lowish buffer settings.

    In my case the Scarlett solo / craptop didn't run smoothly till 128 sample buffer, which is acceptable latency for me, even on guitar amp sims for tracking. Anything over 256 is the breaking point for latency to me. For that test I was internet connected, didn't optimize the OS, and was streaming the audio via a portable usb2 drive (5,200 rpm) from a big box store.

    So if that can handle 128, there should be no issue with a computer actually (reasonably) appropriate for audio, and properly optimized.
     
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  10. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

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    What CPU are you running, pal?
    It sounds as if your computer is powerful enough to enable 128 tracking.
     
  11. audiokid

    audiokid Chris Staff

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    Exactly.


    other than what others are suggesting to help you, PCIe interfacing is by far superior for both tighter clocking (lowest latency) and stability between the interface and the converter. I've used most of the available interface formats and PCIe is the only one that impresses me.
     
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  12. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Distinguished Member

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    Not sure if that was directed at me or not, but I was just doing test on a Lenovo netbook from Best Buy. I got it purely for downloading the vast amount of software/samples I've aquired over the last couple years, to keep my i5 desktop/laptop, master / slave systems clean.

    It's remarkable how many scraps are left around from intert browsing and downloading. It's also nice to keep them internet free as much as possible, and not have to tie them up for the actual time it takes to download 400gb of BFD or whatever.

    These three computers are all tests to see how typical computers will perform in this new remote recording system im designing, with a dual xeon pc being custom built by me as my 'real' daw pc. The others (i5's) pull double duty as slave and mixdown in the 3 pc configuration.
     
  • AT5047

    The New AT5047 Premier Studio Microphone Purity Transformed

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