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PeterHamm

Zero Latency with Helix Native.

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Here's what you do.

Plug your guitar into Helix, and in your DAW, record USB 7 raw, but do NOT record Helix's USB 1/2 output.

Now, make your recording (punching in is cool, too, as you are not recording any time based FX).

After you are done, load up an instant of Helix Native on that track you just recorded, and load in the exact same patch.

It sounds exactly the same, btw.

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You have Native? Not out yet! Your pulling our legs? Haha

 

I can neither confirm nor deny that I am a beta tester...

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Just fired up Helix Native and noticed some degree of audible latency.

 

Using a POD Studio UX1 as interface and reaper as the DAW. Also i've configure the line6 asio ux1 drivers to get the lowest possible latency. 

 

My computer is a Core I5 Quad core, 16MB RAM and a couple of SSDs

 

Anything i can do to improve latency? A new and better DI interface? ASIO4All drivers?

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I doubt the interface is the bottleneck, I can monitor the plug-in in real time with no perceptible latency with a UX2 on a Win7 machine I built in 2010.

For tracking you could dial in a tone in PF and capture the dry and tweak the plug-in post processing. 

 

You can play around with buffer sizes and also optimize your OS for audio production.

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I doubt the interface is the bottleneck, I can monitor the plug-in in real time with no perceptible latency with a UX2 on a Win7 machine I built in 2010.

For tracking you could dial in a tone in PF and capture the dry and tweak the plug-in post processing. 

 

You can play around with buffer sizes and also optimize your OS for audio production.

 

It seems like we have simliar setups. The latency is noticable when using clean tones only. I've already played around with the buffer settings. All settings are at the lowest possible setting for lowest latency.

 

"also optimize your OS for audio production." : any tips for that?

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It seems like we have simliar setups. The latency is noticable when using clean tones only. I've already played around with the buffer settings. All settings are at the lowest possible setting for lowest latency.

 

"also optimize your OS for audio production." : any tips for that?

It's weird that it's clean tones only. What happens when you play through an empty preset?

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Maybe the "clean tones" have some DSP intensive reverb and/or IR's

 

You maybe right. I'll have to do some testing tonight.

 

It's weird that it's clean tones only. What happens when you play through an empty preset?

 

Will try that tonight also.

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"also optimize your OS for audio production." : any tips for that?

 

To get started, create a power management profile for high performance. Also, if you purchased a mass produced PC form a store it's likely bloated and running unnecessary processes in the background (or processes that do not need to run until you need them). I would recommend doing some google searches specific to your OS.

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Ahhhhh the usual suspects when running windows like power management profile, antivirus profile, bloatware, windows services (startup automatic) etc. That's already been taken care of but thanks anyway.

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You are absolutely right. Besides helix/guitars i'm into flight simulators as well. Modern flight sims are way more taxing than any audio application i've bumbed into. So usually I setup all my computers with flight sims in mind. 

 

Apparently there's a discrepancy between how sweetwater thinks processor scheduling should be configured versus how the flight sim community thinks it should be configured.  I'll run a few tests but imho it should be set to foreground apps and not background apps (like windows services). But i'll certainly give it a shot.

 

Another thing. If I decide to skip my ux1 and replace it with something better what would you guys recommend? Presonus Audiobox? Focusrite Scarlett solo/2i2? I'm surprised that the presonus is USB 1.1.

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Apparently there's a discrepancy between how sweetwater thinks processor scheduling should be configured versus how the flight sim community thinks it should be configured. 

 

I wondered about that too. Maybe it has to do with ASIO drivers working at the hardware level.

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Took the time to try out Helix Native on my other computer this time using my Helix hardware as interface. Latency was not noticeable. 

 

So a better computer (Core I7 gamer rig) and presumably a better interface have a huge effect on latency. 

 

Nevertheless I decided to get rid of my UX1 because of driver stability issues. Ordered a Scarlett Solo 2gen. I'll measure latency when i receive the scarlett.

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You are absolutely right. Besides helix/guitars i'm into flight simulators as well. Modern flight sims are way more taxing than any audio application i've bumbed into. So usually I setup all my computers with flight sims in mind. 

 

Apparently there's a discrepancy between how sweetwater thinks processor scheduling should be configured versus how the flight sim community thinks it should be configured.  I'll run a few tests but imho it should be set to foreground apps and not background apps (like windows services). But i'll certainly give it a shot.

 

Another thing. If I decide to skip my ux1 and replace it with something better what would you guys recommend? Presonus Audiobox? Focusrite Scarlett solo/2i2? I'm surprised that the presonus is USB 1.1.

 

 

Well there is a big difference between flight simulators and audio software.

 

A flight simulator is working to a different time slice than audio software.

 

So lets say you flight simulator is  trying to hit 60 frames per second it needs to create a new frame of data around every 16.66 miliseconds in order for you to get a smooth experience. No dropped frames, no frame rate changes etc. The physics stuff may be running at a much faster rate but it still feeds into the visual feedback time slice.

 

With audio software lets say you are running at 48K with a 128 sample buffer, you have around 1.33 milliseconds to give the user a smooth experience. No crackles, no overloads etc. 

 

Also with audio unlike a flight simulator you have a complex changing directed graph of jobs that need processing as users use sends, returns, buses etc. So certain jobs need processing before other jobs as those jobs rely on their output data and possibly on the output data of other jobs and of course other jobs rely on them.

 

Now I'm not saying that the advise on the sweet water site is correct, I'm just saying that flight sims/audiosoftware stress the processing/cache system on the CPU in very different ways.

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Agree. It's two different animals but both put a tremendous load on the CPU. Nevertheless I would expect that setting up your processor to prioritize foreground work (the active app) would benefit both types of applications.

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I'm guessing they want you to prioritise the audio device driver rather than the front end app. In my opinion I would leave it on foreground.

 

Nowadays there isn't much needed to get modern computers to handle audio correctly, users should make sure the processors are not being throttled back and also on windows use DPC checker to make sure that you haven't got any hardware drivers that are causing problems. http://www.thesycon.de/eng/latency_check.shtml

 

The main thing is that some cheaper audio interfaces increase latency by using extra buffers, so you may think you are setting your buffer to 128 samples which would give you around 5ms in out latency (with a little extra for DAC/ADC times) while really the interface driver is adding another set of buffers that may be sticking it up to a noticeable 15ms, so the user drops the buffer size and then the driver or computer then cannot manage or the driver still uses the larger buffers and you still get latency.

 

Also some interfaces then lie about their extra latency by hiding it, this can cause problems for the DAW where it is getting buffer under-runs on input and over-runs on output.

 

Have you tried doing a test to see what the real latency is by connecting a loop cable to your interface Out to In and sending some audio out of the DAW and re-recording it, then measure the difference in time between the two tracks. Does this match up with the figure that the DAW is reporting for latency?

 

Make sure that any delay/latency compensation in the DAW is turned off when you do this.

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I'm guessing they want you to prioritise the audio device driver rather than the front end app. In my opinion I would leave it on foreground.

 

Nowadays there isn't much needed to get modern computers to handle audio correctly, users should make sure the processors are not being throttled back and also on windows use DPC checker to make sure that you haven't got any hardware drivers that are causing problems. http://www.thesycon.de/eng/latency_check.shtml

 

The main thing is that some cheaper audio interfaces increase latency by using extra buffers, so you may think you are setting your buffer to 128 samples which would give you around 5ms in out latency (with a little extra for DAC/ADC times) while really the interface driver is adding another set of buffers that may be sticking it up to a noticeable 15ms, so the user drops the buffer size and then the driver or computer then cannot manage or the driver still uses the larger buffers and you still get latency.

 

Also some interfaces then lie about their extra latency by hiding it, this can cause problems for the DAW where it is getting buffer under-runs on input and over-runs on output.

 

Have you tried doing a test to see what the real latency is by connecting a loop cable to your interface Out to In and sending some audio out of the DAW and re-recording it, then measure the difference in time between the two tracks. Does this match up with the figure that the DAW is reporting for latency?

 

Make sure that any delay/latency compensation in the DAW is turned off when you do this.

 

"Also some interfaces then lie about their extra latency by hiding it, this can cause problems for the DAW where it is getting buffer under-runs on input and over-runs on output.": that's bad... really bad if it's true. 

 

I have not done the loop test because it simply hadn't crossed my mind that you could measure latency that way  :) 

 

I did use the DPC and LatencyMon tools for diagnostics but they didn't reveal anything out of the ordinary. When my new Scarlett interface arrives i'll do a head-to-head between the Scarlett and the UX1.

 

Btw: In Reaper there's a checkbox "Use audio driver reported latency". Suddenly that checkbox makes perfect sense to me. Still leaning....

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My bet is any problem will go away with the Scarlett, Focusrite know what they are doing.

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I hope so. At least i'll get an interface that's not plagued by driver issues.

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Focusrite has good ASIO Drivers. I'm not able to get an acceptable Latency with Helix Hardware but with my Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 2nd Gen I get a usable Latency - It doesn't feel as good as with Helix but it's acceptable.

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My focusrite Solo arrived an hour ago. I took it for a run moments ago and wauuuu. Latency is no longer an issue. Gone. So in conclusion UX1 and Focusrite are not in the same ballpark when it comes to latency.

 

My Pod UX1 is now officially retired. Thanks to all for sharing their knowledge.

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On 8/17/2017 at 3:50 AM, Triryche said:

To get started, create a power management profile for high performance

Oh, my goodness! You just helped me, big time! For some reason, my PC was in Power Saver mode, and I had a bunch of crackling within Helix Native. It's all good, now :)

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I ended up with the Focusrite Solo. It works great for me. I don't have an overly powerful computer by any means but I followed a couple optimization guides and I've got the latency down to where it's very usable.

 

Up until a week ago I actually had to disable the network interface in Device Manager to get the low latency without pops and clicks. I read (yet) another article regarding PC audio it suggested trying drivers provided by the network chip set manufacturer (in this case Intel) vs those provided by the computer manufacturer (in this case Dell).

 

I really didn't think it would make much difference but it really did. No more pops and clicks and I can keep the network enabled(as well as anti-virus). I can surf the web and even view youtube videos. I can basically still use the computer while using Native noise free.

 

If I'm actually recording then I will go through the effort of disabling network and anti-virus.

 

Most of what I use Native for, however, is just playing guitar and building tones. Just to have a platform setup and ready to go at home without having the setup the hardware Helix and my FRFR speaker.

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