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Sound Cards:  Latency Tuning?

30-Jan-02 (mbeaudet)
01-Feb-02 (bbtheory)
01-Feb-02 (subhuman)
01-Feb-02 (subhuman)
03-Feb-02 (mbeaudet)
05-Feb-02 (subhuman)

Original Message
mbeaudet.... Latency Tuning? (30-Jan-02  07:35PM )

- Is there a good guide out there on how to perform latency tuning? I'm having troubles getting my Creamware Luna II card under 25ms on my P3-650mhz Win2k box.

It's got ASIO drivers and I'm not getting any buffer overruns but I keep encountering sync issues, both in win2k and 98.

Any ideas?

ps. the card has unnoticable monitoring latency with the DSP features. it's only bad with VST stuff...


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bbtheory.... Re:Latency Tuning? (01-Feb-02  11:07AM )

- Is there a samples per buffer or buffer size setting for these drivers? If so, setting it from 1024 samples per buffer to 256 or less will reduce latency to the playable range...


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subhuman.... Re:Latency Tuning? (01-Feb-02  05:01PM )

- Sync issues? Hmmm. Well, let me first tell you, I have been able to get the Luna2 down to 1ms@96khz under Win98SE, ME, *and* WinXP(!). Of course, the lower latencies take a lot more CPU, this was on a 1.8Ghz P4.

But, on my P3 933mhz system I had for the past 1.5-2 years, I was able to get 7ms latency pretty easily & clearly.

1. Make sure your Luna is not sharing an IRQ with any other cards. Usually you can change the IRQ of a PCI slot easily with the BIOS of a good motherboard.

2. Of particular importance: a) Luna *NOT* sharing an IRQ with anything (ACPI IRQ Steering is okay). b) MUST have the latest Chipset/IDE/AGP drivers installed. Name your motherboard model number and I can point you to the right place to get the drivers you need. c) CPU power must be sufficient. You should get 13ms EASILY, maybe 7ms or even 4ms after tweaks. d) Win2k you definitely want to install in Standard PC mode. During install, hit F5 as soon as you see the message "Press F6 now for any SCSI controller" during install. e) Win2k has lots of background services on by default, which makes it less-than ideal for audio. It also has a 10 WAV driver limit and the same 10 MIDI port limit. WinXP is absolutely better than Win2k in my tests, for audio. In any case, you have Win2k already, so you will want to remove as many of the services as you can get away with - this is in the Control Panel Services section - most services have descriptions next to them, you can do a search on them in to find out a little more of what they do, so you can "more" safely disable some of them. If you get problems with anything after you do this, you'll have to find the service you need (run google search on any error messages) and re-enable it. This is a huge one!

Right now I'm running 3ms latency with lots of audio channels on a P4 1.8Ghz using the ASIO drivers... 1ms @ 96khz works, but I need the DSP power :)


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subhuman.... Re:Latency Tuning? (01-Feb-02  05:03PM )

- Also, explain "sync issues" - what other digital kit do you have connected up, and who's the digital clocking master in your system?


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mbeaudet.... Re:Latency Tuning? (03-Feb-02  03:36PM )

- The specs for my computer are P3-650mhz w, 256m RAM. That's the unconfusing part, where it starts getting complicated is that it's a Dell Latitude CPxJ laptop, with a C-Dock II providing two PCI slots. I'm running the most recent BIOS and have disabled power management (running as Standard PC).

As for the Sync issue, the sync errors that I get are coming from the ASIO Multimedia Setup program provided with Cubase. In Win2k I get them with both the Luna II and the onboard ESS Maestro soundcards. In Win98 (dual boot) I can get the ESS Maestro to pass the sync/buffer test but not the Luna II.



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subhuman.... Re:Latency Tuning? (05-Feb-02  05:22PM )

- I can't believe the Luna even works *at all* in such a PCI restricted environment.

The only PCI expansion system that is "officially Creamware approved" are the Magma PCI expansions. They are also Digidesign approved.

Best bet would be to avoid PCI-using devices from Luna projects - no realtime reverbs/delays, (or less of them), no or less sampler voices/playback, and fewer ASIO channels...


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