Audio Latency Problems in Mac Pro

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by Quantum3, Jan 1, 2012.

  1. Quantum3 macrumors newbie

    Oct 26, 2010
    Hi guys,

    I'm wondering if there is a way to solve the latency problems with the Mac Pro. Since I'm using a lot of tracks and effects, the latency gets affected by that.

    I used to have a windows machine few years ago, so I solved that by buying SoundBlaster Audigy, quite old but worked pretty well for few months (when I did more complex music compositions). When I got the latency problem again, I bought a more powerful PC (with the "new" CPU Extreme Edition of 3,40 GHz and hyper-threading) and the problem was solved for many years.

    So, I bought a Mac Pro early 2008, with 8 cores (2 quad cores) and 8 GB of RAM, etc... in year 2009 or 2010, cannot remember, and couldn't achieve the same latency than using the very old PC.

    So, I know it's not about CPU's because I have 8 so far, nor RAM because there is a lot, same with disk space, which leads me to think it's a sound card problem, since I just have the onboard one (which seems to be half duplex ¿?). Of course, I used ASIO 2.0 with the old PC, which improved the performance a lot (somehow a latency of 3-5 ms with tons of tracks: wavs, synths, effects and such). So... I cannot achieve nothing descent under a latency of 30-50 ms on the Mac.

    Any idea?

    Thanks in advance, and have a good New Year, if you believe that time-space is true :p

    Ø3 :)
  2. jmacnash macrumors newbie

    Aug 11, 2011
    Nashville, TN
    Latency is going to have much more to do with your audio interface and the drivers that it has.

    Something from Apogee, RME or Presonus is going to address that pretty quickly...
  3. zimv20 macrumors 601


    Jul 18, 2002
    just so i understand... by latency, do you mean you've got a busy mix going, and you're trying to do overdubs by singing or playing guitar or something?
  4. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    The easy fix is to "bounce" the tracks WAV files. I think Logic uses the term "freeze". Basically thi s renders the MIDI to audio ones so that it does not have to do it in real time as you play it back.

    The other think this could be is just that you have the buffer size set to high. Make that as small as you can untill you hear artifacts that go back a little larger.

    You can also reduce the sample rate and then cut the buffer in half
  5. Quantum3 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 26, 2010
    Well.. hard to accept, but anyway... It's a drivers problem since the sound card doesn't support ASIO. Any external audio card that support ASIO that work with Mac and Bootcamp?


    Ø3 :)
  6. spoonie1972 macrumors 6502a

    Aug 17, 2012
    a 2008 mac pro should have pretty low-latency out of the box using "core audio" - with the built-in unbalanced i/o. they're not the quietest i/o's but they do work.

    as far as latency - do you mean input-process-output (like recording a vocal or guitar), or play midi-controller keyboard (internal sound generated-output)?

    If it's an external source (vocal) - get your buffer size down as low as it will go w/o crackling (128 might work).

    if its all internal sounds, latency should not be an issue at all - it's all in the setup.

    if you're dealing with external input, you really want something with its own monitoring setup for "zero latency monitoring". you typically will not get fx to listen to upon input (software monitoring OFF) - but you also wont get flanging or delays in your headphones.


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