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Focusrite Saffire 6 USB Latency

Discussion in 'Recording In Progress' started by zonedout245, Nov 27, 2010.

  1. zonedout245

    zonedout245 TDPRI Member

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    Hey everyone. I just got a Focusrite Saffire 6 USB for recording and for real-time monitoring using amp modeling software. I like the device, it sounds pretty good, but I feel that it gets too much latency in the processed signal. I'm used to playing out of a real amp and I feel that the latency makes the sound feel "squishy" I guess, like the string clatter doesn't quite match up to the processed sound, if it makes any sense. I have no problem returning the device, but before I do, I wanted to know:

    Is this "squishiness" normal for real-time amp modeling, even with the most powerful equipment?

    Could my issue just be partly because of the USB 1.1 the device has, instead of 2.0 or firewire (but my PC doesn't use firewire)?

    According to the DAW (Ableton), my overall latency was very low, but it still felt rather high for my purposes.

    My Specs:
    HP Pavilion dv5 Notebook PC
    Intel Core 2 Duo T6400 @ 2.00GHz 2.00GHz
    4.00 GB RAM
    64 bit Vista Home Premium (Run with windows classic skin)

    I can also take any suggestion for other interfaces, although It may be a long time before I decide to get another one. Thanks everyone. Angel
     
  2. woodman

    woodman Grand Wazoo @ The Woodshed Gold Supporter

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    In my limited experience, USB1 seems doomed to latency. My first two interfaces were Firewire, and during my beginner years I was puzzled as to what, exactly, latency was and why it was considered a problem.

    Then when I went to Pro Tools — and thus the oppressive tyranny of using their hardware — I found out in a big way. My Mbox (USB1) sounds like a digital delay. Recently I thought I'd record a guitar track with an overdriven Pod Farm plug already activated ... I could clearly hear the clean portion out front, with the overdriven portion coming back like a long echo! Sheesh.

    In PT, you can defeat latency and the squishyness you're talking about by muting the track you're recording on ... maybe it works that way on Ableton too, I dunno.
     
  3. zonedout245

    zonedout245 TDPRI Member

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    Thanks, woodman. I thought the USB 1.1 might have been a problem, but I initially thought it would have been fine for one input at a time. I'll look into only USB 2.0 devices from now on (and consider firewire cards). I got the Saffire because people mentioned that the preamps were good, but I guess for what I need it doesn't perform as well because of the heavy processing. I'll try out the muting trick. Thanks again. Angel
     
  4. Rolling Estonian

    Rolling Estonian Friend of Leo's

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    It's generally recommended that you only have the interface plugged into computer when using it. Also, my Line 6 UX2 has latency settings. Lastly, I have my interface and DAW software open, nothing else. I know its pretty rudimentary, but sometimes I forget to see my nose to spite my face. Good luck.

    M
     
  5. zonedout245

    zonedout245 TDPRI Member

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    Thanks, Rolling Estonian. I did have some things open while using the interface (internet browser and instruction manual). I will try with nothing open as well. Btw, how do you feel the UX2 is in terms of performance? I know it depends on the system, but are you able to get an amp feel at all using it? I was considering it as well.
     
  6. Rolling Estonian

    Rolling Estonian Friend of Leo's

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    I like it. I'm not a pro by any means but it does give you tons of amps and effects. It will also let you do 2 inputs at a time which is nice. I use it mostly late night with headphones as to not disturb anyone. I've had mine for almost 2 years and no complaints. Both the Podfarm software and Ableton have latency adjustments. But I haven't had to tweek them. I can't post the Link, but I wrote a basic review on Amazon.

    M
     
  7. yardleyboy

    yardleyboy Tele-Meister

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    Latency with this interface is almost certainly to do with the way you have set it up.

    If you set it up correctly you will be monitoring the signal direct as it comes into the interface with virtually no latency.
    If you are monitoring the recording as you play but are listening from the channel in the software you will have latency - more if you are using effects on that channel
    The Focusrite interfaces are all pretty excellent
     
  8. peteycaster

    peteycaster Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    With dual core and 4 gig you shouldn't have problems. Check the settings for the saffire to make sure it is set for lowest latency. Also there is something in windows where you can set it so other programs run "in the background". I got his info from the Steinberg site. ie things you can do to improve latency.
     
  9. andimarafioti

    andimarafioti TDPRI Member

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    Just checking, did you played with the bus? to make virtual latency as little as possible.
     
  10. zonedout245

    zonedout245 TDPRI Member

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    A very late reply but I have the interface working fine. I'm not sure what I've done, but it feels better. I guess my biggest problem is my monitoring; I'm using a regular 2.1 speaker system, which is what contributes to the weird squishy scooped sound: too much bass, too much treble. By taking advantage of some virtual filters and cutting out appropriate frequencies before going to the amp sim, my sound is drastically improved, and much more articulate.

    I also typically use it as a virtual pedal board, and output to my amp. This solves the monitoring problem and gives me a more realistic sound. You know that feeling in your chest when playing through an amp? Yeah. I'll try some giant monitors sometime, too.

    I will try to play with the bus. I've read some other things regarding that, and it sounds interesting and not too complicated, although I think it will cost money to do the workaround I've read of.

    Thank you all for your help.
     
  11. kelnet

    kelnet Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I too have a latency question. I've not done anything really serious, but I'm noticing that my audio track (guitar) is slightly delayed compared to the drum track.
    I'm using the Saffire 6 USB with Cakewalk Sonar 8, and listening to the drum track via the computer's 2.1 speakers. Should I, instead, be running the Saffire signal to a pair of monitor speakers and turn off the computer speakers? Will I hear the other tracks back through the Saffire and out to the monitors?
     
  12. Kerry Vance

    Kerry Vance Tele-Meister

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    I am using a Saffire 6 interface and haven't really noticed a problem with latency. I'm using inexpensive software called n-track and am really pleased with the learning curve and how everything is working for me. I'd recommend setting both your inputs and outputs to the Saffire 6 and then first monitor with headphones to see if you have the latency there. If not, I'd try routing you speakers out from the Saffire 6, too. You also have latency controls accessible from the "cpl.exe" file that is included in the Saffire 6 CD. I hope this helps.
     
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