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Re: Laptops -dedicated to music only?

On 28 jun 2007, at 12.07, andy butler wrote:

> afaik best possible for Windows is 3mS from in to out.
> (+ AD/DA times)
> ( though I don't know if anyone achieves that figure in harsh reality)

Generally you should be able to achieve lower buffer settings with  
good ASIO drivers on a Windows system compared to OS X, if both  
systems run on equal hardware. That's  because OS X keeps some sort  
of safety margin.

The next question would  be why you need 6 ms rather than 12 ms? I  
honestly can't tell. When touring as a guitarist (with no laptop) I  
sometimes had to stand on stage five meters away from my amp/speaker  
and I never had a problem with that latency. Latency tends to be a  
problem for bedroom musicians that are used to headphone monitoring,  
but it's really not a problem for those who have any experience in  
playing live. You can easily learn to compensate for latency by how  
you're playing your instrument, as the hornists in a symphonic  
orchestra often do; when they play with horns targeting the ceiling  
behind the stage they have to play a little earlier than the other  
instruments (like for example trumpets and trombones that target the  
audience spot on) in order to let the audience perceive the notes  
musically in time.

Latency could be a problem though, for acoustic instruments where you  
hear both the direct sound and the delayed sound, going through the  
hardware. The perceived sound would then be afflicted with phasing  

Finally, all DAWs and the looping software Mobius (Windows XP) do  
proper compensation for any latency induced by the hardware. Every  
recording is shifted in time on playback to line up correctly in  
time. So there can only be a problem when you use the hardware to  
recalculate your direct input sound and it's not worse than using an  
amp/speaker compared to using head phones.

Finally, finally, we have the scenario when the hardware is not  
working correctly because the user have not adjusted the software  
properly. Like for example if you should try to use MME drivers  
instead of ASIO on in Windows etc. Maybe a lot of the reported  
latency issues fall into the category?

Greetings from Sweden

Per Boysen
www.boysen.se (Swedish)
www.looproom.com (international)