December 10, 2012

Does Your DAW Have The Jitters?

When it comes to electronic devices that need to communicate with computers or other hardware, latency is still one of the most prevalent concerns.  It applies to many forms of computer usage, not just musicians who are trying to use external devices for a live show.  For example, gaming online with other people is outgrowing individual gaming (after all, who wants to play against a robot?)  Computers are fast enough that one does not need a thousand dollars to run computer games at decent settings – so the problems with gaming are then more focused on how fast one person’s device communicates with another.  In this gaming world, having lower latency and a lower “ping” helps you become a better gamer.

For musicians that create music in a digital workstation like Logic or Ableton, the same problem of latency applies when they begin to control the computer with external midi devices.  A small amount of latency is usually acceptable, and if pushed low enough – it is unnoticeable.  However, when your computer’s processor is asked to handle a larger load of information, the latency is the one of the first thing that must give.

A reader from Synthtopia has run some benchmark test on popular DAWs to see how well they perform in the latency department.