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  • Sound card advice?

    Hi everyone,


    Since i only found kinda old related topics about audio interfaces, i decided to create a new one to get up-to-date infos.

    Sorry if i'm unclear, english is far from being my native language, i'm doing my best.

    I just bought a TD20 (1.0) with TD30 pads and cy. I'd like to use my computer with ezdrummer, battery4 or something (still didn't decide yet) for fun and new sounds, but also for recording. I have no doubt my computer is more than enough for that purpose (power-speaking), but i have absolutely no clue what sound card to use/buy. I have an old Maudio fast track pro i used for years, but it seems it's no longer an option, since the drivers are outdated and i run Windows 10.

    The seller also gave me an old UM ONE Roland USB MIDI interface.

    The main goal here is to get "as-close-as-zero-possible" latency, and this device will only serve that TD20+VST purpose.

    Do you guys have any advice for the kind of external audio interface i need? Like a mid/low budget best seller perfect for that situation?


    Thanks a lot for your time !


  • #2
    it depends on your system (mobo, usb 2 or 3 ..etc) but (for example) Zoom makes good audio interfaces with good specs and price ratio ..
    https://www.zoom-na.com/products/pro...dio-interfaces

    Last edited by Ericdrumz; 03-24-19, 12:10 PM.
    | Diy Roland/Yamaha e-kit | Sonor/Gretsch a-kit | Zildjian/Sabian/Ufip cymbals

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    • #3
      Sharing the amazing work by TAFKAT from Gearslutz: https://www.gearslutz.com/board/showpost.php?p=13368351&postcount=2186

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      • #4
        We need a LOT more info. Do you ONLY need midi I/O? Do you have ANY need for analog/digital I/O? If so, how many channels/preamps?

        If you're just looking for midi I/O connectivity, the Roland UM mk2 is pretty much the standard.

        Also, if you only need midi I/O, I think you're overthinking this. There's no real big concern with midi I/O for simple performance recording. It will be dead on with almost any interface. It might even be harder to find those with concerns.

        More info about your PC would probably shed far more light.
        Alan
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        • #5
          Originally posted by Ericdrumz View Post
          it depends on your system (mobo, usb 2 or 3 ..etc) but (for example) Zoom makes good audio interfaces with good specs and price ratio ..
          https://www.zoom-na.com/products/pro...dio-interfaces
          Very happy with my Zoom UAC-2 Interface, along with the TD11. RME is on a different Level, but not only concerning latency, also concerning the Price.
          Roland TD11 Module, Pearl Forum, Sonor Snare, Drumtec Design Mesh, 2Box and Roland Triggers, Roland Cym., GoEDrum HiHat Ctl with Yamaha PCY135. Triggering AD2 and SSD5.

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          • #6
            Thanks a lot for all your answers !

            Originally posted by Alan VEX View Post
            We need a LOT more info. Do you ONLY need midi I/O? Do you have ANY need for analog/digital I/O? If so, how many channels/preamps?

            If you're just looking for midi I/O connectivity, the Roland UM mk2 is pretty much the standard.

            Also, if you only need midi I/O, I think you're overthinking this. There's no real big concern with midi I/O for simple performance recording. It will be dead on with almost any interface. It might even be harder to find those with concerns.

            More info about your PC would probably shed far more light.
            So far this is what's relevant inside my computer :

            - AMD ryzen 7 1800X (3.6ghz)
            - ASUS PRIME X370-pro motherboard (USB3 ok)
            - SSD Samsung EVO 850 1To
            - And some 3To physical disk for data storage.

            I could use some analog/digital, but that's not the main goal - so i guess 2 or 4 channels would be more than enough. The real goal is being able to play with better sounds than Roland's, with no latency (is ZERO latency even possible?) - and eventually to be able to record some sessions for covers/compositions.

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            • #7
              i forgot ram - Ballistix Sport LT RED DDR4 2 x 8 Go 2666 MHz CAS 16 SR

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              • #8
                Originally posted by holzi2000 View Post

                Very happy with my Zoom UAC-2 Interface, ...
                I second that

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                • #9
                  Computer will be fine. For you, it'll all boil down to optimizing your latency in-box. Many DAWs help with this these days by showing you the results you can expect. It takes the guess work out of figuring it out yourself. If you want to get a ball park, you can download and try Studio One. When you hook up the I/O, it will show you the latency expectations as you change settings. It's handy to have.

                  Zero latency is not a thing. You can get close perceptually, but you will never achieve a "true" zero latency in real time.

                  Again, regarding midi performance recording, latency shouldn't be a huge consideration. I doubt you'll notice any offset. I never do... even with mediocre interfaces. If it becomes that important to you, you can always use an in-DAW click, and correct the midi performance later for a "zero" alignment. Personally, I never worry about it.

                  For now, it sounds like the Roland UM is probably the no-brainer choice to get you started. Once your performance is in the box, there should be no other concern. You can upgrade to a true audio interface later when/if you desire/need more I/O. For recording midi performance, these two can be handled separate anyway.

                  I use a Roland Studio Capture because it can handle as much as I need. For midi, it's spot on. (like anything else) I only begin to notice latency issues (multi-tracking) when I'm trying to run around 12-16 channels simultaneously. This is why I run around 3 passes of 4-6 tracks at a time... but this is for analog recording... not what you're doing.

                  If you just want to get an audio I/O for kicks, then just consider the Zoom above, or look at the Focusrite Scarlett line. (2i2, 2i4) Keep it simple. Those will handle the midi just fine.
                  Alan
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                  -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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                  • #10
                    Alright, so to be clear, there's no real way to flawlessly play VST via my TD20 live and feel no latency at all. Depending on hardware and software factors, i could reduce this a lot, but not getting rid of it. Is that correct?

                    I'm gonna try with the Roland UM and some free VST (powerdrumkit) via Reaper and see how things work for a start.

                    I'll keep you updated, thanks for the well detailed answers !


                    EDIT : just tried it, it's absolutely awful ^^

                    I really thought there were ways to use EZdrummer in live conditions, seems either i'm missing something or it's just not possible with my hardware and knowledge...

                    EDIT 2 : alright, with ASIO4ALL i managed to get almost no latency. I still have troubles with HH positions detection, but i guess it's a mapping issue
                    Last edited by Toniodrums; 03-25-19, 02:47 PM.

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                    • #11
                      Were you using the proper driver for the Roland? Try Steven slate drums 5 SSD5 as this has a free version with a very decent kit. You will have to get into note mapping though with most software although they do have presets which may work for you.
                      Roland TD30 module on TD20 kit SD3 with various kits. Pearl Masters Kit, Yamaha 9000RC original natural wood finish. Cymbals from Zildgian Pasite and Sabian. Loads of percussion bits. Cubase and Wavelab always current versions.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Toniodrums View Post
                        Alright, so to be clear, there's no real way to flawlessly play VST via my TD20 live and feel no latency at all. Depending on hardware and software factors, i could reduce this a lot, but not getting rid of it. Is that correct?

                        I'm gonna try with the Roland UM and some free VST (powerdrumkit) via Reaper and see how things work for a start.

                        I'll keep you updated, thanks for the well detailed answers !


                        EDIT : just tried it, it's absolutely awful ^^

                        I really thought there were ways to use EZdrummer in live conditions, seems either i'm missing something or it's just not possible with my hardware and knowledge...

                        EDIT 2 : alright, with ASIO4ALL i managed to get almost no latency. I still have troubles with HH positions detection, but i guess it's a mapping issue
                        Hi TonioDrums

                        I know you are on a PC and not a MAC but I will just chip in with my 2 cents as I have quite a lot of experience in triggering VSTīs for live performances where latency is an ABSOLUTE killer. Over the years I have tried several USB2 AUDIO interfaces with supplied specific drivers alongside build in Soundcards (ASIO drivers) on different PC platforms ranging from mediocre to absolute powerhouses.. ALL and I mean ALL had perceptible latency in various degree and I have basically given up triggering VSTīs on the PC platform (I have not tried RME offerings though and I understand that some users have acceptable latency with their products).

                        The solution for me was a old MAC (2012) with Thunderbolt interface to a simple Zoom TAC-2 Audio interface. - BAM absolutely ZERO PERCEPTIBLE latency for me and I have used that combination for years now triggering SD3 without any hickup or latency issue at all.

                        BR

                        C



                        TD50KV maxed out with an extra tom, cowbell and a lot of cymbals - triggering Superior Drummer 3 - Zoom Tac-2 Ultra low latency Thunderbolt interface.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Cavok View Post

                          Hi TonioDrums

                          I know you are on a PC and not a MAC but I will just chip in with my 2 cents as I have quite a lot of experience in triggering VSTīs for live performances where latency is an ABSOLUTE killer. Over the years I have tried several USB2 AUDIO interfaces with supplied specific drivers alongside build in Soundcards (ASIO drivers) on different PC platforms ranging from mediocre to absolute powerhouses.. ALL and I mean ALL had perceptible latency in various degree and I have basically given up triggering VSTīs on the PC platform (I have not tried RME offerings though and I understand that some users have acceptable latency with their products).

                          The solution for me was a old MAC (2012) with Thunderbolt interface to a simple Zoom TAC-2 Audio interface. - BAM absolutely ZERO PERCEPTIBLE latency for me and I have used that combination for years now triggering SD3 without any hickup or latency issue at all.

                          BR

                          C


                          Hi Cavok,

                          Thanks for your feedback. To be completely honest, i hate everything that comes from Apple, but hey, if that works, could be a nice option !

                          At the moment i'm a little bit suprised by the results i was able to obtain with reaper + powerdrumkit, i decreased the buffer to the minimum via Asio4all and got a pretty acceptable latency. I'm gonna try with some other VSTs to see if i can get the same result. Powerdrumkit comes with an easy mapping file for reaper, took me 5mn to set up, it's a nice solution for testing purposes.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Cavok View Post

                            Hi TonioDrums

                            I know you are on a PC and not a MAC but I will just chip in with my 2 cents as I have quite a lot of experience in triggering VSTīs for live performances where latency is an ABSOLUTE killer. Over the years I have tried several USB2 AUDIO interfaces with supplied specific drivers alongside build in Soundcards (ASIO drivers) on different PC platforms ranging from mediocre to absolute powerhouses.. ALL and I mean ALL had perceptible latency in various degree and I have basically given up triggering VSTīs on the PC platform (I have not tried RME offerings though and I understand that some users have acceptable latency with their products).

                            The solution for me was a old MAC (2012) with Thunderbolt interface to a simple Zoom TAC-2 Audio interface. - BAM absolutely ZERO PERCEPTIBLE latency for me and I have used that combination for years now triggering SD3 without any hickup or latency issue at all.

                            BR

                            C


                            Cavok, is that the TAC-2 with five-pin MIDI or without? Assuming it's the one without MIDI I/O, what’s your path in and out of the interface and computer? I imagine it might be something like this, though I wonder if I'm overcomplicating it:

                            IN: Module -> Computer (USB)
                            OUT: Computer -> Interface (Thunderbolt)

                            Is that right? If you have the TAC-2r, which has MIDI, do you use that instead, so that in and out happen through the interface?

                            Thanks in advance for any additional info.
                            Last edited by TheStewards; 03-27-19, 09:18 PM.
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                            • #15
                              ASIO4ALL is a makeshift driver. I would not consider it for reliable live triggering.

                              You will need a real interface with some real good drivers written for it.
                              Look at the second post to get an idea of what is fast (good drivers), and what isn't (badly patched drivers).
                              DTX700, A2E Dixon kit, Yamaha cymbals, FSR HH Kit Pix

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