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Thread Low Sample Frequency

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1 Low Sample Frequency
Why do most if not all of the Audio Interfaces including all the Focusrite Scarlett series sample at no higher rate than 96000Hz? I understand the arguments about not needing any more quality than this for recording media but for live VSTI performances where latency is very important, having a higher rate really helps. For example the lowest clean latency I can achieve with the 6i6 is 12ms round trip (mediocre). While my non-pro, built into the motherboard, sound card can sample at 384000 Hz., achieving a clean 2.5ms latency round trip with ASIO4All drivers. I can feel the difference between the two but if low latency is not needed at least I could afford to use safer larger buffers without much latency loss. Don't have that choice with the 6i6.

Its really a shame that give away sound cards perform so much better then these so called pro interfaces. What's the excuse?

[ Post last edited on 05/23/2014 at 14:17:14 ]

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Quote:
Its really a shame that give away sound cards perform so much better then these so called pro interfaces. What's the excuse?

There are plenty of interfaces out there that support 192 kHz sampling rates, but they are typically not in the lower to middle range of the market. For recording, which is the predominant reason most people buy audio interfaces, 24-bit, 44.1 kHz or 24-bit, 48 kHz quality is quite sufficient, and jumping up to rates like 96 or 192 would be sonic overkill and use up a lot more disk space. So my sense is that for manufacturers of interfaces appealing to the "mass market" of home recordists, adding higher-sampling-rate capabilities would only serve to increase their cost of manufacturing without significantly expanding the potential universe of buyers. I think it would be hard to justify that from a business standpoint. (I'd be curious to hear a manufacturer's viewpoint on that.) Since you require higher rates for your live VSTi rig, the answer for you is probably to move up better quality interface that offers what you need.

I must admit to being surprised to hear about your built-in sound card that samples at 384 kHz. I've never seen that before. That said, I'd be willing to wager that the converters and other components most standalone audio interfaces are superior in quality to those typically included on built-in sound cards. I think it's fair to say that there's more to the quality of an interface than just its max sampling rate.

Thanks for posting about this. It's an interesting topic.
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Quote:

There are plenty of interfaces out there that support 192 kHz sampling rates, but they are typically not in the lower to middle range of the market.


First 192kHz is not enough, if tuning for latency performance. Second, why does this have to exist only in the high end market. My point was, if its financially possible to throw in a $2 chip one a motherboard to support 384kHz then it should be possible to have it in a $250 audio interface. I don't believe the bulk of the cost of audio interfaces is in high Hz support. Its probably in the recording stuff (i.e. preamps, etc.) people like me don't need. My complaint is that audio interfaces for pure live play tuned for low latency just don't exist so I am forced to buy devices where most of the cost is wasted on unneeded components and the thing I need, which seems cheap to include, is sub par.

Quote:

For recording, which is the predominant reason most people buy audio interfaces, 24-bit, 44.1 kHz or 24-bit, 48 kHz quality is quite sufficient


Yes that is correct and I ceded this in my original post.

Quote:

Since you require higher rates for your live VSTi rig, the answer for you is probably to move up better quality interface that offers what you need.


Like what? Make and model please.

Quote:

I must admit to being surprised to hear about your built-in sound card that samples at 384 kHz. I've never seen that before. That said, I'd be willing to wager that the converters and other components most standalone audio interfaces are superior in quality to those typically included on built-in sound cards. I think it's fair to say that there's more to the quality of an interface than just its max sampling rate.


Don't be surprised. Its a tiny Realtek High Definition Audio chip that's included in 95% of midrange desktop motherboards today. You'd be hard pressed to find a motherboard with SPDIF out that doesn't have this chip. They throw them away like Chiclets. In fact if it could do multi-client ASIO I would just use it because it works great with ASIO4All. Unfortunately ASIO4All is single client only. But that's just a drive issue.

As far as converters, your right, so just marry the better converters that already come with low to mid range audio interfaces with a Realtek like chip if you have to. I am not expecting the thing to be $2. I just don't want to buy $1000 worth of equipment to use the 1% I need.

This is the $2 Chiclet. Kept the buffer size higher than needed to do fair comparison with Focusrite:
http://perecli.com/download/Hz_Realtek1.png

This is best Focusrite 6i6 could do clean and that's only because I have an 8core 4Ghz machine. Others will get worse latency with the higher buffers needed for this low Hz:
http://perecli.com/download/Hz_Focusrite.png

The $2 Chiclet can actually go lower and still remain clean:
http://perecli.com/download/Hz_Realtek2.png

[ Post last edited on 05/23/2014 at 14:14:23 ]

4
If you need a sampling rate of more than 192 kHz, then I don't have any suggestions. There doesn't seem to be a standalone interface out there, even a really high end one, that goes beyond that. I'd be curious to know what other musicians who use VSTi's live do to combat latency. Perhaps there's another solution out there for you. It sounds like the product that you're looking for doesn't exist, and I guess that's because the demand for it isn't high enough to make it worthwhile to produce. Perhaps you're best off sticking with your built in soundcard. In any case, I wish you the best of luck. If you do find a good solution, either through a product or some other method, please let us know. And, of course, if anyone else out there has any thoughts about this, please respond to this thread. Thanks!