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General question about audio interfaces


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  • General question about audio interfaces

    So, for the past x amount of years, I've used a Korg Oasys PCI as my only audio interface. It's the only one I've ever owned or used.

    I recently bought a Tascam US1800, and while it is nice, I tried using it along with the effects in Reaper while monitoring/playing my synth in real time. Lo and behold, I find the latency is totally unacceptable. I am using ASIO, and I'm using a PC with 2 gig of RAM, and the PC has a 2 Gig CPU. I'm running XP SP3.

    I could use the Oasys PCI all day long as a Mixer/Effects unit with zero latency, no problem (it has onboard DSP). I'm coming to the realization that maybe I can't monitor with my US1800, or other non-DSP interface, while listening to my software's effects for direct monitoring while I'm playing.

    Is this true for all audio interfaces without DSP, or am I missing something?

    I thought that it would be possible to use computer recording setups in real-time while monitoring with effects.

  • #2
    Depends on the settings you have on the interface and the effects you are using.

    Some effects are not particularly efficient and have a lot of delay in processing, so you might need to use less heavy fx during tracking and then switch to better/heavier effects for mixing (you dont really NEED super-beautiful Waves TrueVerb just to lay down a track, etc.)

    The Tascam has been reviewed as a achieving low latencies so unless your settings aren't right, thats probably not your problem.
    Tim O'Brien


    • #3
      Thanks Tim. I was using one input, and one pitch change effect in Reaper. I went into the Tascam US1800's control panel and changed the latency setting to max and then to minimum (I wasn't sure which would lower the latency) but all settings were just too much. It was like trying to play when all you hear is a slapback echo. Not good...

      Are all interfaces like this? I thought ASIO was supposed to solve that issue.


      • #4
        Upper right-hand corner of the screen in Reaper should show you the latency in milliseconds.
        You want to get it between 5-20ms (whatever makes the echos go away)

        What does it say?

        Tim O'Brien


        • #5
          Thanks again, Tim. Yes, that part of the window in Reaper leads to the control panel for the Tascam (after clicking on ASIO configuration). I just checked things out again, and found that it was the pitch change effect that I was using that really made the latency unacceptable. I deleted that effect, and tried others where the latency was okay. Whew! That makes me feel better. Too bad the effects I heard weren't as good as the Korg Oasys PCI effects, IMO. I'm NEVER happy, am I?

          BTW, I also found that I had two other effects active on another channel (oops!). So between those and the pitch change effect I was using (a dual pitch effect, no less!), it was enough to create terrible latency.

          To answer your question, at the shortest latency setting, the indication in Reaper is showing 2.6/12mS.I haven't figured out what "spls" stands for yet. I do think I'm going to splurge for the Reaper license, even though I haven't figured it all out yet. All I've done was record a 30 sec. snippet with 6 tracks. I don't know if there's anything in the price range that would compare to Reaper. Anyone have any other suggestions?

          I also doubt there's another interface with DSP effects in the price range of the Tascam either.... Is there?