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Two channel audio interface for computer with zero latency?
Thu, 04/17/2008 - 12:00
I need to replace a Sound Devices USBPre with one that has two key features: (1) much higher quality mic preamps, and (2) the ability to have zero or near zero latency.
You see and use much more gear than me .. any suggestions?
Thu, 04/17/2008 - 12:18#1
For zero latency, check out the MOTU UltraLite (2 mic pres) or the Traveler (4 pres). Mic pre quality is tough to compare because it's so subjective, and I don't know the preamps in the USBPre, but the best bet is a dedicated outboard mic preamp, then send line level into your interface. That being said, for better built-in mic pres (I think...) but "near-zero" latency, check the Mackie Onyx Satellite. Digi's Mbox 2 gets you Pro Tools software.
Or a hardware step-up from all of those would be the Metric Halo Mobile I/O.
Descriptions, links and prices of all of these are here:
And of course check compatibility with your software of choice... They all come with their own software recording apps.
Thu, 04/17/2008 - 13:36#3
Oh, if you want compression and EQ on the zero-latency tracks, that's different. There are ways to put plug-ins on the previously existing tracks but it's harder to do it on the live track.
MOTU's zero-latency is a separate, digital "monitor mixer" in the interface, controlled by a separate app on the computer. So there's no comps or EQ on input channels if they are monitored by the zero-latency mixer.
Thu, 04/17/2008 - 14:09#5
Go all analog!!
...otherwise it's just an attempt to approach zero. Sorry, couldn't resist.
Get as fast a CPU as possible, adjust the buffer settings (CPU hog vrs low latency), and compensate as best you can. Some apps have tricks to get latency down. Check out the functions that some apps have to calculate the latency and semi-auto-compensate on pre-recorded tracks by auto-slipping audio around during overdubs.
Thu, 04/17/2008 - 18:37#7
True. Actual zero-latency with those plugs might never happen. But with that processor, I bet you could get latency down to a minimal and unimposing amount. Especially if there aren't lots of tracks. If you're in trouble, you could always do a temporary bounce/freeze to some tracks to ease the processor load.
Thu, 04/17/2008 - 21:14#9
Ah, then you're in good shape. I think the latency should be pretty tiny.
Sun, 04/27/2008 - 09:57#11
I just found out about MOTU's new CueMix FX software low/zero latency monitoring app, which has compression and EQ and comes with the MOTU 828mk3. The 828mk3 has onboard DSP which allows the software to do effects.
I doesn't seem that any of their more recent, smaller, portable units work with CueMix FX though.