My own Receptor latency test

Discussion and Support for Receptor and MuseBox, the Hardware Plug-in players by Muse Research.
Scot Solida
KVRAF
2025 posts since 21 Mar, 2002 from Hutchinson, Kansas

Post Tue Oct 26, 2004 2:26 pm

Just for kicks, I decided to pit Receptor against a few of my hardware synths in a latency shootout. Admittedly, this wasn't a very scientific test, but the results are somewhat telling and maybe even a little surprising.

I used Cubase SX3 on the Mac to set up a rapid 16th note sequence, and then I used that same sequence to trigger Receptor (with a single instance of RGC's Triangle opened) at two different buffer settings, as well as an Oberheim Matrix 6, a Waldorf Microwave XTk and a Korg Prophecy. These were chosen at random from among my collection of hardware. Each was programmed with a "zero-attack" envelope.

I recorded the results back into SX and then took a close look. What I found was this:

Receptor (64 sample buffer setting): 6.2 ms
Receptor (128 sample buffer): 9.2 ms

Oberheim Matrix: 5 ms
Waldorf Microwave: 3.8 ms
Korg Prophecy: 11.2 ms :-o
Nord Modular G2: 2.5 ms

I was quite surprised to see that Receptor was MUCH faster than the Prophecy, even at the higher buffer setting. It was very comparable to the Oberheim at the 64 sample setting. The Microwave smoked them all, but not by huge leaps.

I knew there was some delay when dealing with hardware synths, but I had expected it to be much shorter than the latency produced by a computer-based synth. Guess that'll show me... :lol:

EDIT: Just added the Nord G2 to the list...quite speedy!
Last edited by Scot Solida on Tue Oct 26, 2004 5:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
There are rocketships outside of my window. Really: www.cosmo.org
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Scot Solida
KVRAF
2025 posts since 21 Mar, 2002 from Hutchinson, Kansas

Post Tue Oct 26, 2004 5:26 pm

Yet more unscientific testing...

The surprising results I got with my synths made me wonder how Receptor might stack up against a hardware effects unit in a latency race...I tracked a synth (the Microwave XTk) into SX dry, then with fx from a TC M-300 unit and finally with Receptor. All effects units were inserted into the chain before they ever hit the A/D converters of the MOTU 828mkII that I use for tracking.

The delay times from input to output (after subtracting the Microwave's inherent delay) were:

TC M-300: 0.75 ms :o
Receptor with Predatohm: 6.5 ms
Nord Modular G2 FX: 5.2 ms

Not a bad showing from Receptor, but dang that TC is FAST! I'd like to see how it stacks up against some other effects, but all I have are a couple of TC units...(well, that and analog stuff, and that aint a fair comparison).

EDIT: Just added the Nord G2's fx. I tested it with a compressor patch from the factory disc.
There are rocketships outside of my window. Really: www.cosmo.org
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tconrardy
R.I.P.
3833 posts since 8 Sep, 2003 from Santa Clara, CA, USA

Post Wed Oct 27, 2004 8:02 am

Thanks Scott

Interesting results!
Is this a test anyone can set up? How do you do it.??..but might make a nice article as well :-)

TC

Scot Solida
KVRAF
2025 posts since 21 Mar, 2002 from Hutchinson, Kansas

Post Wed Oct 27, 2004 8:34 am

Sure anyone can do it...as I said, it was decidedly unscientific. For the synthesis test, I simply created a sequencer pattern (I used rapid-fire 16th notes to test the stability of the MIDI timing too, it was fine). I then recorded the resulting audio from Receptor and the other synths onto a track in SX, and then, using an audio editor, I zoomed in close and noted how long it took for that first note to be triggered.

For the effects, I simply ran the same sequence from the Waldorf dry, then through the outboard fx and Receptor in turn. I subtracted the inherent latency of the Waldorf from the resulting delay time, and that told me how much delay each effects device was adding to the sound. I was quite surprised by how much was added by the Nord G2's FX, particularly considering that it was the fastest synth engine of the bunch.

I've been meaning to do this for some time, since I recently noticed that samples made with my Prophecy needed a sizable chunk of silence edited from the beginning. Plus, I have been getting a bit obsessive about delay compensation after noticing how much tighter a track was after manuaully adjusting each track to compensate for my outboard stuff (yeah, I know, SX3 does it already, but I can't second-guess the delay introduced by the actual outbaord hardware's converters...I had to test each for that).

All in all, what this experiment told me was that Receptor can hold its own with my outboard hardware when it comes to timing. It is no better or worse than the average delay time produced by the hardware devices in my studio.

Kinda gives you confidence in the Baby Blue Box, huh?
There are rocketships outside of my window. Really: www.cosmo.org
www.theelectronicgarden.com

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