Need help with REALLY bad latency on new computer + other weird issues (USB audio XL+)

Discussion in 'Axe-Fx II Discussion' started by The Raven, Aug 12, 2017.

  1. #1 The Raven, Aug 12, 2017
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2017
    The Raven

    The Raven
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    Hello everyone,

    I'm hesitant to post this here, and if this is the wrong section to put this, i don't mind if it gets moved, but I really need some help. My brother surprised me with a new computer today (a big gaming PC, running Windows 10) and I've been working on getting things set up. The problem is, I'm used to using my Axe Fx with a Mac (which was literally just plug and play with no issue for me), so setup on the PC is completely new to me.

    On to the problems at hand: I get incredibly bad latency (over 10 ms) with my Axe Fx's USB audio and this computer. I currently use the Axe fx as my input device when in DAWs or Cab Lab and use my Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 as the output device (my studio monitors are connected to it). Axe Fx is plugged into the PC directly via USB and the Scarlett is connected via USB as well. Because the computer is brand new I installed all the drivers (Scarlett, ASIO, Fractal drivers from the website) today so i dont think its an issue of outdated drivers but maybe I just have a setting set incorrectly somewhere in the PC.

    Here's what I've tried so far:
    1. Redownloading/reinstalling the FAS USB Drivers: changed nothing and after reinstallation finished i got a message giving me an error code telling me installation failed and that i'd have to restart the computer and try again. Upon closer inspection I noticed all the driver folders were right where they were before i uninstalled them the first time and the computer detected the Axe fx without issue, so I'm not sure why I got that error. I got these drivers from the FAS website so I'm sure they are up to date (unless I'm stupid and missed something, which is possible).

    2. Restarting the PC/the axe fx 1000 times/ changing the usb: no change but noticed something odd. Every now and again restarting the axe fx caused the computer to be unable to find it. I'd hear the noise PC's make when a usb device is connected, but the computer would not show the Axe fx in its list of devices unless I rebooted everything.

    3. Changed playback source: neither cab lab or Daws are free form the latency

    4. Changed settings in both FAS USB Audio control pannel and ASIO control panel: I found this solution when looking for a fix online, but it didn't help me. The FAS usb panel was defaulted to "Safe" with a high buffer and ASIO defaulted to a sample rate of 480 (which somehow is not a selectable option despite it being the default) I played with this in attempts to resolve the issue but this didn't do it. Either the sound would distort
    dramatically when lowering these settings, sound would completely cut off (would still play audio from the computer just not the Axe fx), or nothing would happen and the latency would get no better or worse.

    5. Tried to decrease sample rate in Cab Lab 3 Advanced tab: in cab lab the default was 480 (10ms). If i even decreased to 448 the distortion was awful and there was no latency improvement.

    6. Plugged the Axe fx OUT into the Scarlett's front inputs: 0 Latency (as to be expected) So I'm confidant the problem is not with the Scarlett and how its set up but something to do with the Axe Fx (including my inability to set it up properly in this OS).

    7. Checked the USB settings in the Axe fx IO: Currently set to Return level 0.00; Buffer size 1024. I didn't want to change these because I have no idea what doing so would do. I just noticed that some old posts about Firmware 18 suggested checking these parameters so i figured I'd give them a look.

    Any help would be appreciated and if I've failed to mention something important and obvious, let me know. I've used Windows computers before but only for school and work-related tasks, so this is an entirely new world for me. As such, I'm probably missing something incredibly obvious that the PC veterans on here will laugh at me for, but I'd rather not just blindly click things and hope for the best. The Audio interface works flawlessly as i said before. There's just something not functioning quite right with the Axe's USB side for some reason.

    Thanks in advance to anyone who can help. I'm way out of my element and its incredibly stressful.
     
  2. DeCay

    DeCay
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    Hi!
    That's where the problem is. Set USB buffer to at least 256, the latency will be gone.
    Cheers!
     
  3. The Raven

    The Raven
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    Thank you for the suggestion. Unfortunately, it didn't effect the latency at all, which doesn't make much sense to me.

    I just plugged the Axe Fx back into my Mac and switched back to 1024 just to see what happened and had 0 latency. Not sure what the heck is going on with this computer.
     
  4. Spindrift762

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    Have you opened and played with Scarlett mix control? (I think that's the name) it allows you to set its latency. Not sure if it will solve it but may. I'm currently running a similar setup but sold my 2i4 for a 6i6, the advantage being the S/PDIF. I then have a digital out from the axe and a useable input on the Scarlett. I haven't experienced any latency issues.
     
  5. chris

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    i've never had success with any digital/usb project when i sent the input of one device to the output of a different one. the computer needs to convert the signal several times from Digital to Analog and back, and that is the latency.

    it's best to monitor using analog signals, and using the Axe-Fx physical outputs is the quickest you can get. or go analog out of the Axe to your interface just for hardware monitoring.
     
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  6. lqdsnddist

    lqdsnddist
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    No such thing as zero latency, as the sheer audio conversion time alone adds about 5-6ms to the 'round trip' time of usb audio. Even the Axe-Fx has a little latency, around about 1-2ms, which is darn low. People simply can't detect latencies this small, despite what some with 'golden ears' may argue on the internet.

    While obtaining my doctorate I worked a bit in the psychoacoustics lab, measuring things like the minimum detectable gap, pitch differences etc. There are certain limits of the human auditory system that pretty much seem constant, at least with regards to the sample groups we looked at.
     
  7. #7 The Raven, Aug 13, 2017
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2017
    The Raven

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    Downloaded this only to find out Mix Control only works with 6i6 and up. the 2i4 and 2i2 can only use the front panel to make adjustments. Thank you for the suggestion though.

    I understand what you are saying. Its just a little strange that the latency is this bad when i literally plug into my 2012 Macbook pro (which has unremarkable components in comparison to the PC) and can play this same configuration without any perceptible latency. is it possible that the Mac is just better at handling the conversion process than the PC even though, to my understanding, the PC is significantly heavier duty in terms of processing power?
    Also, seeing as I've never done this before I'll ask: In your experience of monitoring through the analogue inputs, is the timing of the recorded, usb audio still "off" in comparison. For example, if I record via usb, but monitor via the Scarlett's front inputs, is the track going to be 10ms behind what i play like it is when attempting to monitor? I know this is a majorly noob question, but I've literally only ever recorded and monitored via USB on the Mac and never had an issue (besides the Mac overheating if i run Logic for more than a few hours at a time).

    Yeah I know there won't ever truly be zero latency due to the way the conversion process works. Sorry about that. I mean zero 'perceivable' latency when using the old Mac computer. If anything the Mac is probably functioning within the "normal" range for the Axe fx whereas my current latency problems with PC seem to be 10ms of latency or more which is quite perceivable. I appreciate your insight, however.
     

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