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The first musical instrument I've seen that runs Win7

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  • User profile image
    dentaku

    OpenLabs has always made keyboards that run XP but after all these years they finally have a line of Win7 based machines.

    http://www.openlabs.com/nekoqx6.html

    I'm guessing multitouch has something to do with the switch to Win7 because all their instruments have touchscreens.

     

    I'd love to have a qX6 but the Soundslate is the only product they make that most people who aren't serious musicians can afford. Unfortunately it still runs XP.

     

    I'd love to know what factors made them decide it was time to finally move to Win7. I wish C9 wold interview people from other companies like this who use Microsoft products in creative ways.

  • User profile image
    intelman

    I would love to see an interview with OpenLabs. Their products are amazing.

  • User profile image
    itsnotabug

    it's just progress. new versions of popular daw software are better supported in win7 now that audio interface companies have better drivers. i'd imagine 64-bit plug-in compatability comes into play as well.

     

    muse research has receptor which is based on a linux distro but vst support is hit or miss with that product. with win7, not only do you get vst, but also dx, rtas and really anything else you can run on a pc.

  • User profile image
    dentaku

    itsnotabug said:

    it's just progress. new versions of popular daw software are better supported in win7 now that audio interface companies have better drivers. i'd imagine 64-bit plug-in compatability comes into play as well.

     

    muse research has receptor which is based on a linux distro but vst support is hit or miss with that product. with win7, not only do you get vst, but also dx, rtas and really anything else you can run on a pc.

    I really wish software manufacturers would start using WASAPI too. Not that there's anything wrong with ASIO but with WASAPI support I'm assuming even people with lower end "soundcards" would be able to benefit from low latencies.

     

    So far nobody has been able to tell me if professional audio hardware actually helps with latencies in VSTs (I'm not talking about recording audio but just virtual instruments and effects) OR is it all down to the drivers and the power of your CPU as I've always assumed.

    If this is true it would explain why even cheap onboard audio can sometimes attain great latencies while using ASIO4ALL and would be a good reason for software to start using WASAPI more.

     

     

  • User profile image
    itsnotabug

    dentaku said:
    itsnotabug said:
    *snip*

    I really wish software manufacturers would start using WASAPI too. Not that there's anything wrong with ASIO but with WASAPI support I'm assuming even people with lower end "soundcards" would be able to benefit from low latencies.

     

    So far nobody has been able to tell me if professional audio hardware actually helps with latencies in VSTs (I'm not talking about recording audio but just virtual instruments and effects) OR is it all down to the drivers and the power of your CPU as I've always assumed.

    If this is true it would explain why even cheap onboard audio can sometimes attain great latencies while using ASIO4ALL and would be a good reason for software to start using WASAPI more.

     

     

    the whole point of using asio is to avoid any processing by windows. wasapi = a windows layer, so it'll never be as fast as assembly (asio). i think asio4all is special because it does something like fooling low-end hardware into thinking it's a wdm driver. it talks to the hardware, but still skips all the windows layers and goes straight to the asio compatible application.

     

    latency usually refers to the delay in playing something in the analog world and hearing it through your soundcard. the a/d convertors on the hardware absolutely makes a difference in this, but the driver can also make a difference (see above).

     

    if you're talking about purely synthesizing a signal in a vst, then generally the processor's speed makes the biggest difference (ram moreso if the vst uses samples).

  • User profile image
    dentaku

    itsnotabug said:
    dentaku said:
    *snip*

    the whole point of using asio is to avoid any processing by windows. wasapi = a windows layer, so it'll never be as fast as assembly (asio). i think asio4all is special because it does something like fooling low-end hardware into thinking it's a wdm driver. it talks to the hardware, but still skips all the windows layers and goes straight to the asio compatible application.

     

    latency usually refers to the delay in playing something in the analog world and hearing it through your soundcard. the a/d convertors on the hardware absolutely makes a difference in this, but the driver can also make a difference (see above).

     

    if you're talking about purely synthesizing a signal in a vst, then generally the processor's speed makes the biggest difference (ram moreso if the vst uses samples).

    "if you're talking about purely synthesizing a signal in a vst, then generally the processor's speed makes the biggest difference (ram moreso if the vst uses samples)."

     

    That pretty much what I've always assumed.

    and yes... I guess I use the term latency to mean the time I press a key/button/knob on a midi controller and the lag you get before the VST actually makes a sound which is IS latency but I know most musicians care more about latency when recording analog sources for monitoring and staying in synch with other tracks.

     

    I've tested out WASAPI before (well, actually WAVE-RT) and the performance when using MIDI and VSTs is just as good as ASIO but of course most people don't have access to hardware with ASIO drivers which limits the type of applications people are willing to write for Windows machines considering it's a rather small market.

  • User profile image
    BitFlipper

    dentaku said:
    itsnotabug said:
    *snip*

    "if you're talking about purely synthesizing a signal in a vst, then generally the processor's speed makes the biggest difference (ram moreso if the vst uses samples)."

     

    That pretty much what I've always assumed.

    and yes... I guess I use the term latency to mean the time I press a key/button/knob on a midi controller and the lag you get before the VST actually makes a sound which is IS latency but I know most musicians care more about latency when recording analog sources for monitoring and staying in synch with other tracks.

     

    I've tested out WASAPI before (well, actually WAVE-RT) and the performance when using MIDI and VSTs is just as good as ASIO but of course most people don't have access to hardware with ASIO drivers which limits the type of applications people are willing to write for Windows machines considering it's a rather small market.

    Not to get too technical here, but the latency wrt a DAW is not affected by CPU usage at a specific point in time. You have to basically choose a buffer size that is going to be large enough so that in cases where something does take a lot of CPU cycles, it could still complete the processing before the buffer-size determined timeslice runs out (keeping in mind that smaller buffer sizes results in more overhead).

     

    Basically, once you select a buffer size, your DAW latency is absolutely fixed, and is not affected by CPU usage. Unless you chose a buffer size that was too small, and the overhead of managing the smaller buffers more frequently results in a dropout.

  • User profile image
    dentaku

    BitFlipper said:
    dentaku said:
    *snip*

    Not to get too technical here, but the latency wrt a DAW is not affected by CPU usage at a specific point in time. You have to basically choose a buffer size that is going to be large enough so that in cases where something does take a lot of CPU cycles, it could still complete the processing before the buffer-size determined timeslice runs out (keeping in mind that smaller buffer sizes results in more overhead).

     

    Basically, once you select a buffer size, your DAW latency is absolutely fixed, and is not affected by CPU usage. Unless you chose a buffer size that was too small, and the overhead of managing the smaller buffers more frequently results in a dropout.

    That wasn't too technical at all, this IS Channel 9 Smiley

    You know, it's funny how everyone seems to understand all kinds of 3D graphics terminology because of the importance of games but audio is still considered some kind of "black art".

     

    I've settled on a buffer size of 256 samples and it's worked well for me on this system.

     

    All I know is that Wave-RT performs just as well for me as ASIO and if using it would mean that people with soundcards that don't have ASIO drivers can get better latencies it's about time software makers start using it more. I mean, why are we still relying on Steinberg's technology (again, not that there's anything wrong with it and it has some advantages over Wave-RT) when we could be using something that's already built into the OS if we choose to? OSX users just use Core Audio (I think).

  • User profile image
    JasonOlson

    dentaku said:
    BitFlipper said:
    *snip*

    That wasn't too technical at all, this IS Channel 9 Smiley

    You know, it's funny how everyone seems to understand all kinds of 3D graphics terminology because of the importance of games but audio is still considered some kind of "black art".

     

    I've settled on a buffer size of 256 samples and it's worked well for me on this system.

     

    All I know is that Wave-RT performs just as well for me as ASIO and if using it would mean that people with soundcards that don't have ASIO drivers can get better latencies it's about time software makers start using it more. I mean, why are we still relying on Steinberg's technology (again, not that there's anything wrong with it and it has some advantages over Wave-RT) when we could be using something that's already built into the OS if we choose to? OSX users just use Core Audio (I think).

    Ah, the good ol' Neko. I remember when Prince's keyboardist (I think it was Prince) played this during the Super Bowl. Quite the rig. I can't say I would ever use it though. I don't even look at using the other full-blown "DAW in a keyboard" rigs either because all my DAW work is done via my PC.

  • User profile image
    Larry Osterman

    dentaku said:
    itsnotabug said:
    *snip*

    I really wish software manufacturers would start using WASAPI too. Not that there's anything wrong with ASIO but with WASAPI support I'm assuming even people with lower end "soundcards" would be able to benefit from low latencies.

     

    So far nobody has been able to tell me if professional audio hardware actually helps with latencies in VSTs (I'm not talking about recording audio but just virtual instruments and effects) OR is it all down to the drivers and the power of your CPU as I've always assumed.

    If this is true it would explain why even cheap onboard audio can sometimes attain great latencies while using ASIO4ALL and would be a good reason for software to start using WASAPI more.

     

     

    Software manufacturers ARE using WASAPI.  And when you use WASAPI in exclusive mode you bypass almost all of the Windows stack.  But even using WASAPI, you can't get latencies of less than 1-2ms, which is a problem for some audio apps.

     

    I've been told that with ASIO you can get sub millisecond audio latencies.

     

  • User profile image
    dentaku

    Larry Osterman said:
    dentaku said:
    *snip*

    Software manufacturers ARE using WASAPI.  And when you use WASAPI in exclusive mode you bypass almost all of the Windows stack.  But even using WASAPI, you can't get latencies of less than 1-2ms, which is a problem for some audio apps.

     

    I've been told that with ASIO you can get sub millisecond audio latencies.

     

    It'll take companies like Ableton and Propellerhead (and not just Cakewalk who have a Wave-RT option in their settings) to start using it before people start moving away from ASIO.

     

    Sub millisecond latencies are great for people who actually record and monitor audio with microphones so I don't see people letting go of ASIO for that but we've moved into the world of virtual instruments and many people like myself never record audio so getting 2 or 3 ms latencies is fine.

     

    I know I get kinda over excited about this stuff Smiley

    It's just that Windows users have benefited from all the power of modern video cards and DX10-11 even on the most low end computers in the last few years but audio apps are being held back because almost nobody has hardware with ASIO drivers.

  • User profile image
    dentaku

    JasonOlson said:
    dentaku said:
    *snip*

    Ah, the good ol' Neko. I remember when Prince's keyboardist (I think it was Prince) played this during the Super Bowl. Quite the rig. I can't say I would ever use it though. I don't even look at using the other full-blown "DAW in a keyboard" rigs either because all my DAW work is done via my PC.

    "Ah, the good ol' Neko. I remember when Prince's keyboardist (I think it was Prince) played this during the Super Bowl. Quite the rig. I can't say I would ever use it though. I don't even look at using the other full-blown "DAW in a keyboard" rigs either because all my DAW work is done via my PC. "

     

    Open Labs makes great stuff that's perfect for professionals but I can see how it's hard to justify spending that much unless you're a touring musician.

    It's still good to see them moving into Win7 machines though. I noticed they decided to stick with 32bit Win. I guess when you're a hardware seller you want to make sure you don't run into too many compatibility problems.

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