TOPIC: Not able to get good tube sound

Not able to get good tube sound 4 months 1 week ago #18150

You may not notice that much CPU difference from 44.1k to 88.2k depending on the VST's you use. Many upsample anyway. Of course, avoid any that add latency.

It is possible that the high end will sound more natural at 88.1k due to the A/D filtering being less extreme. If there isn't much more CPU usage running 44.1k tracks at 88.2k, then it's fine as is.
  • GCKelloch
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Not able to get good tube sound 4 months 1 week ago #18151

I tested at 44 and it was worse. To get the same latency of 6ms I had to go down to 32 samples, and it glitched pretty good. When I went to 64 samples it was glitch free, but latency was way up, back to 12ms.
Went back to 88/64, glitches gone, back to 6.3ms. Interestingly, the cpu load was a bit higher at 88 than it was at 44, but at 44 it glitched at a lower cpu value than the highest peaks at 88... and yet 88 didn't glitch. Go figure.

I'm not a computer expert but from what I've read it's true that theoretically the higher sample rate should cause a bigger cpu load. All I know is that in my real world tests 88 is much better for me.

And BTW, I was getting the glitches when inputing midi and playing Vsti's... if I just played S Gear and let the tracks run it was fine, at 44/32 or 88/64. Which I think makes sense since the VSTi's are pretty cpu-intensive. Also, Focusrite does mention that midi input can affect some AMD machines, but mine's an Intel. Regardless, I need to be able to play midi and S gear in the same song so 88/64 and 6.3 ms is good for me.

Anyway, thanks for the help! I'm done fooling around with computers and going to just play!
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Not able to get good tube sound 4 months 1 week ago #18152

Well. Buy a used IMAC for 500$ and an Apogee Element and you get this B)
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Not able to get good tube sound 4 months 1 week ago #18153

The midi glitching was probably just from the VSTi driving the CPU load up as the voices build up. Sounds like you have it set up right at 88.2k. Congrats.
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Not able to get good tube sound 4 months 1 week ago #18156

I know, it sounds crazy to think you can really feel a difference from 12ms to 6,
That doesn't sound crazy ;)
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Not able to get good tube sound 4 months 1 week ago #18159

jbraner wrote:

I know, it sounds crazy to think you can really feel a difference from 12ms to 6,
That doesn't sound crazy ;)

No, it's not crazy at all. Tests have shown that even musicians can't discern between latency variations below 30-50ms, so a 6ms difference (1/167th of a second) would be microscopic, but I, too, would swear that my playing gets funky (not the good kind) with such subtle changes. Not because I'm hyper plugged in to time, but maybe because I already had 25-ish ms of natural latency (due to the distance between the monitors and my ears, among other things) and so the added 10 or so ms put it over the threshold and into the 30+ range.

But 6ms vs. 12 of "total" latency...? I don't think anyone could detect that.
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Not able to get good tube sound 4 months 1 week ago #18160

gearhead001 wrote:

I'm not a computer expert but from what I've read it's true that theoretically the higher sample rate should cause a bigger cpu load. All I know is that in my real world tests 88 is much better for me.

There's twice as much math at 88 vs. 44, but many factors contribute to the CPU's total workload. Some plugins just simply operate better, and even more efficiently, at 88/96. They certainly tend to sound more natural. It could be that 88/96 is their native rate, and so any sample rates LOWER than that actually require added conversion on-the-fly, and therefore added computation, to run that slowly.

Think of Einstein having a conversation with Honey Boo Boo. It would be far more taxing on Albert's brain to translate his thoughts into words she'd understand than if he were speaking to Stephen Hawking.
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Not able to get good tube sound 4 months 1 week ago #18164

I also think that sometimes your 6ms or 12ms isn't really that. Maybe, with PDC, some plugins are adding more latency to what's "reported".
Who knows?

I certainly can "feel" the latency more sometimes, even with the same buffer settings.

That's my theory anyway ;)
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Last edit: 4 months 1 week ago by jbraner.
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Not able to get good tube sound 3 months 4 weeks ago #18196

You all may be interested to know that since the PT in my old Presonus Firebox "popped" last week, I got myself an "open box" Focusrite Scarlett Solo for $70. The output is much lower than the Firebox though, and I couldn't get a substantial clean boost running it through the built in sound card on my MB, so I ordered an Alto ZMX52 mixer for $50 a get 20dB+ of clean boost. I chose it over others in the price range because it had good reviews, claims the best SNR, and has an 18V/500mA PSU (a higher power PSU can equate to better SNR and generally better signal accuracy = smoother sound). It seems entirely transparent and is very quiet (must have some good Op Amps). There is just a very slight hiss at ~1m away when the output is up all the way with my JBL305 monitor inputs on 7, but there is no PSU hum at all. I don't turn up that loud anyway. So far, so good.

Incidentally, it appears that the Scarlett Instrument input is calibrated such that 9 0'clock = 12 0'clock on the Firebox. That leaves sufficient headroom for even my loudest passive pickups, and an easy setting to remember. I now get the same CPU hit and stability in Reaper at 6ms as the Firebox was at 11ms. 6ms is really too low to feel no matter how fast I play, whereas I could sometimes feel a lag at 11ms.
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