A quick one about Asio4all

I want more latency and bigger buffers

Now I use M-Audio fw1814 Asio drivers and I have increased the buffers into maximum (2048) from it’s control panel. Latency is far shorter than I need and I would willingly have more in exchange for more effects and tracks before hick-ups while play back.

Earlier I used wdm drivers and I could adjust the buffers very high so I could use insane amounts of tracks and vst-plugins when needed.

Question is, can I increase the buffer size even further with Asio4all to get what I want or should I go back to wdm-drivers while mixing?

And what are the benefits of asio-drivers anyway? Is it just lower latency?

Use WDM.

There’s no inherent advantage of ASIO over WDM, except that it’s easier to configure low latency and some software doesn’t support WDM.

You won’t get more FX befor hiccups. Hiccups aren’t caused by CPU overload per-se, it’s caused by the CPU’s attention being drawn away from audio to do some other purpose. Try disconnecting from the network and turning off all other applications. Also, there are lots of things you can do to configure your system to minimize this problem. But if you don’t need low latency you shouldn’t need to do most of them. There’s some ill-behaved program or driver on your system if you’re getting hiccups at maximum ASIO latency.

On a previous computer that had wireless, I did get nasty hiccups whenever the wireless receiver was enabled but there was no wireless network (which I discovered when playing at a blues jam). So, disable any devices you’re not using.

HTH
Jeff

Thanks! I try wdm again.

My laptop is clean, there’s nothing but N-track there basically. No internet connect, no nuthin’. There shouldn’t be anything going on there.

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You won’t get more FX befor hiccups. Hiccups aren’t caused by CPU overload per-se, it’s caused by the CPU’s attention being drawn away from audio to do some other purpose. Try disconnecting from the network and turning off all other applications. …There’s some ill-behaved program or driver on your system if you’re getting hiccups at maximum ASIO latency.


Well, I see and hear a connection between amount of effects used, cpu load and clicks in playback. If I turn them off one by one, clicks disappear completely when cpu load goes down to 25 %. And vice versa.

Don’t be too sure there’s nothing else running. Computers come with a lot of crap installed, and Windows runs a lot of unnecessary processes.

That’s interesting about the relationship you see between clicks and CPU load. Doesn’t make any sense to me at all; something funny is going on. I’m a real-time programmer and deal with latency issues all the time, so I’m a bit of an expert in the area. However, I’m not a Windows expert or audio device driver expert, so of course there’s always the possibility I’m missing something important.

Make sure you’ve installed the latest drivers for your soundcard from the manufacturer’s website.

Ok, what should happen if the cpu load goes too high because of excessive use of effects and too many tracks if not clicks? Complete stop then or what would that be?

Oh sorry – if CPU load redlines, anything can happen. In that case, increasing your buffering probably won’t help. (That’s assuming the FX CPU usage is constant per buffer rather than a function of time or the signal, which is usually true but not always. In the case that an FX sometimes uses a bunch more CPU for a moment, then increased buffering might help, at least I think so off the top of my head.)

When recording, you can click the little green “fx” square in the upper left hand corner of the timeline view, and it turns off all FX, so at least you won’t get dropouts while recording. To minimize the effect of too much CPU usage during playback and/or recording (and still hear the effects), use the “Freeze track” function. This applies the fx chain to the selected track(s) and saves the results on disk, and locks the tracks’ controls. Meanwhile you can record or playback and fiddle with the controls on other tracks, using less CPU time for the frozen track(s). A very useful feature when trying to use more FX than your CPU can handle.

There are other ways to reduce CPU usage. One of the best is to use an aux bus rather than plugging the same plugin on multiple tracks. This works if the FX settings are the same for each track (other than send amount), and for SOME kinds of effects but not all. For example, it’s great for reverb, but for a compressor, it’s different to compress tracks independently than to compress them together as a group – and a compressor works different on an aux anyway.

Perhaps you’re running afoul of n-Track’s “always on” FX. Make sure you turn off any effects on channels where they’re not needed.

Thanks for the hints, Learjeff!

I do turn effects off while recording and recording goes with no problems - however I’ve turned them of one by one, but the the little green “fx” square is indeed handy.

Sometimes it’s a bummer though! All that nice juice gone! :wink:

Quote (learjeff @ July 26 2006,09:35)
Use WDM.

There's no inherent advantage of ASIO over WDM, except that it's easier to configure low latency and some software doesn't support WDM.

Now I think I've found where the problem lies. It really seems like the WDM-drivers that M-Audio offers do work better than their ASIO-drivers - at least in my set up anyway.

Also increasing the buffer size seems to help plenty - if I use the automate setting of N-track called higher buffering (or something sort of, not the extreme one) I seem to be able to use as many plug-ins I want, even more so. CPU load goes well over 40 % but there's no problems whatsoever anymore.

Sometimes it's a bummer though! All that nice juice gone! ;)

On the other hand, I was astonished how clear and focused everything sounded in a song when the effects were removed.

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On the other hand, I was astonished how clear and focused everything sounded in a song when the effects were removed.


Clue alert! Clue alert! :;):

Well, I’ll move to WDM for mixing, as I can get more, and larger, buffers than I can with ASIO. In the early stages I’ll use ASIO if I need LIVE, but otherwise it’s pretty much 6 of one, half a dozen of the other.