I am hoping to get advice from anyone who has a better handle on these sorts of things. I find I am happiest when using a buffer size of 64. I really don’t want to get into a debate of the practicality of this and the speed of sound and human hearing etc etc… all I know is that when I switch form playing the internal sounds on the CP300 to similar keyboards sounds in GP (Rhodes etc) it just feels sluggish and less inspiring at anything above the 64 samples.
Unfortunately, while playable at 64 samples, I do get enough occasional pops and crackles to make me uncomfortable. So my question is what is the best way to combat this? I have a Windows 10 laptop with i7 and 16GB RAM, but it it is 3-4 years old. And I use an Apogee Groove for audio interface. Would I be better off with a new laptop, or more RAM, etc? Or is a more expensive audio interface going to be more.effective. I know many highly recommend RME, however, Apogee is a solid pro company and they say it is pro ASIO driver. And personally I appreciate the portability and just paying for the two audio outs which is all I use (in the other instance I would paying an awful lot of money for pristine high end mic pres and so on that I have no need for….but if the driver is that significantly better to help with my situation, well….)
Lastly I find the biggest culprit for the crackles seems to be B3X just being in the rack space. After extensive sound check tests with my band the unanimous favorite was B3X over VB3, VB3II and Blue 3 (through Amplitube Leslie). It just had a beefier tone. But the others were not that far behind. Perhaps just settle for one of the others and just eliminate the problem that way.
I just also have to say, I started setting up this laptop just about two months ago and really didn’t notice any crackles until recently… so I am seriously considering now that I have GP set up how I want, to restore back to factory default and starting over. Doing a more thorough job of optimization, not going on internet etc …and I loaded a lot of stuff on there I don’t need (like the vsts for the B3 shoot out…and to be very honest, I participated in the IK Multimedia group buy and got like 24 free plugins but almost all of them were disappointing other than BX3. For instance I found the Wurly had a weird overtone that made it unusable to me, the CP80 out of tune in lower octaves. And nothing really inspiring). So anyway maybe cleaning that all up will help.
I appreciate anyone’s thoughts and insights.
You might want to look at the Arturia modeling collection which is, I understand, currently on sale. There are hammond organs and stage pianos in that collection and their CPU usage is very good. (they have a CS80 as well)
I do indeed have V-Collection 7 and like it a lot. And use many of the synths. But no the organ and Rhodes don’t cut it at all for me against something like B3X or Scarbee. Not to mention the “ preamp drive” in B-3 V2 brings in a distortion that is independent of how many notes you are playing or where you are at with expression pedal. It’s just there at whatever amount dialed in, the same, regardless of how many notes/pedal position. Obviously not how a Hammond behaves or any preamp. And truly bizarre it hasn’t been addressed in the many revisions since it first came out
Hmm … with 64 samples buffer you should hear really no sluggish response.
If you dare you might check in here:
Some research on latency, jitter and buffer size
With a decent interface (RME Baybface Pro in my case) 96 or 128 samples buffer should be absolutely fine. And I’m really picky when it comes to latency and jitter …
I run my Babyface at 96 samples with no CPU problems playing heavy layers of Omnisphere, NI Kontakt and many more.
Thanks for response and I am sorry if I was unclear. At 64 samples I am happy and don’t feel any sluggishness, but above that not so much. I’ll have to check 96 if that is an option for me. But 128 I definitely feel it to be sluggish. I think Apogee Groove is a decent interface. It is inexpensive but it is just a stereo DAC with Apogee designed ASIO driver
Have you tried to measure round tripp latency of the Apogee Groove at different buffers? How does it compare with my measurements?
Sorry, how would I test that?
GP → Window → Measure Device Latency …
Ok it would appear to me that I can’t perform that test because my audio interface does not have any inputs
How much ms latency do you get with 128 Samples buffer size?
I also have a high sensitivity to latency (I’m a drummer and a keyboard player) and I also switch between a hardware organ and vsts. So I know what you mean.
I also used to use B3-X heavily… I still do occasionally but my hardware organ (Hammond XK-5) has all but replaced the B3-X. The B3-X is hands down the best sounding clonewheel VST but it is a resource hog. It has a lot of graphics and parameters. I did find that turning off the Leslie saves a lot of processing… but that is not something that sounds good. I think if you add anything else beyond the B3-X, at a buffer of 64 you are going to have issues.
I wonder if this is a use study for trying a second instance of GP that is dedicated to just the B3-X? I don’t use multiple instances but I guess it’s something I would test out.
Keep the plugin closed too is my recommendation… just opening that plugin’s GUI takes a big dose of RAM.
I had to net out at 128 for my setup. I occasionally revisit and try to tweak this but 128 seemed to be the lowest reliable threshold. The actual measured latency is higher than what GP reports as the latency you’ve set your audio I/O to.
I use the MOTU M4 and it’s decent. Maybe a RME Hammerfall PCIe in an 8x slot of a desktop type machine would give you less latency. I would seriously doubt the RME Babyface USB interface would be appreciably faster than a thunderbolt MOTU M4.
You could also try dropping the Sample rate from 48KHz to 44.1 (CD quality) and see if that helps.
There is a whole optimization guide on here about how to tweak your laptop/NUC to get the best performance out of GP… I’d also spend some hours with that.
What kind of interface are you using?
Mentioned earlier: Apogee Groove - It is a DAC.
I had not heard of this Groove but just spent a few minutes looking it up. As far as I can tell, this product is really intended as a way to listen to music at better fidelity than just the headphone out jack (say).
The default latency is apparent set to “a safe16ms” which would not matter for playing back a song but terrible for real-time interactive.
Yes, it is just a DAC, but fairly high quality and has an Apogee designed ASIO driver. It seems to work very well actually. I am running at 64 samples and am only getting a very occasional crackle with loaded racks that include BX3, a pretty well known resource hog (and Brandon makes a good point above that it may be when I have the BX3 GUI open).
I am not really understanding one thing though…when you say it is just for playing music, isn’t that what I am doing? One of their marketed uses is for using a DAW away from the studio basically…
Whether you’re producing tracks in a hotel room on your laptop, auditioning a mix away from your studio, or any other situation that requires high-quality audio playback, you’ll be well served with the Apogee Groove
That would include playback from plugins in a track too right?. Isn’t that all I’m doing? … getting playback from the plugin in GP? Does the audio interface effect the MIDI coming from my controller to the plugin in GP? I would have thought it was just dealing with “playback” from the plugin. But I’m not too smart on these things
I’m loving BX3, but was getting pops - not necessarily low-latecy clicks, more like audio breakup. Run at either 64 or 96sample latency.
Turns out it was the 1081 eq that was the cause. Went through all my setlist patches, turned the eq off, and no more audio glitches. Try giving that a shot. (I’m on a mac, 10.13, NI Komplete usb interface).
What he means…and from what I read in the promo material…The Groove is for making music you are listening to on your computer sound better. Whether it be through GP, listening to mp3’s, watching YouTube or whatever, it’s for listening to music. So, in order to do this it must process the music signals. This is where the latency happens. Have you tried listening through just the headphone jack of your computer to see if there is any difference?
Ok, still trying to understand. Ultimately the main point of the Groove (and all audio interfaces) is to take digital audio and convert it to analog. And also as you say with high fidelity.
Is it not the case that any audio interface is just taking the digital output from GP and converting it to analog…and generally doing it more efficiently and at a higher fidelity than say the headphone output?
Understandably many people are also using the interface to input audio and maybe MIDI as well, but I have no need for those features of an audio interface and am only addressing the DAC aspect of an audio interface. And I am not understanding why the DAC of say a RME Babyface is different from the Groove. Perhaps it is better, has a better driver (which was my question in the beginning) but not any different in function.
As I noted earlier, the Groove is running GP just fine with heavy cpu hitters like Diva and BX3 at at a buffer size of 64 (but I just recently started getting a very occasional crackle which i traced to BX3) Running through the headphone jack does not get me anywhere close to that.