Jump to content
IGNORED

Getting Windows 10 - to get out of the way!


Steelman

Recommended Posts

I am moving from a macbook (which was well tuned for audio thanks to CA). My new Dell 9550 is running Windows 10 and sounds mediocre (and seems to have a lot of junk that is difficult to remove like Dell Audio, MaxxAudio, Realtek).

 

Goals:

 

1. I would like to optimize audio to my 16/44 USB DAC.

 

2. Minimize latency for MIDI instruments.

 

3. Remove any junk audio enhancers

 

I have read that WASAPI is quite good (for sound and latency) and that ASIO4ALL is no longer needed but have been away from windows too long to know.

 

Any recommendations?

Link to comment

Here are a few to get you started:

 

1. Disable system sounds.

 

2. Disable "Windows updates from more than one place"

 

3. Disable visual effects.

 

4. Turn off power saving for USB devices.

 

5. Set your CPU for high performance.

 

6. If your PC is not connected to a network, disable firewall and security services.

 

7. Uninstall the following: http://www.computeraudiophile.com/f11-software/windows-10-optimization-script-community-effort-25361/

Link to comment
I am moving from a macbook (which was well tuned for audio thanks to CA). My new Dell 9550 is running Windows 10 and sounds mediocre (and seems to have a lot of junk that is difficult to remove like Dell Audio, MaxxAudio, Realtek).

 

Goals:

 

1. I would like to optimize audio to my 16/44 USB DAC.

 

2. Minimize latency for MIDI instruments.

 

3. Remove any junk audio enhancers

 

I have read that WASAPI is quite good (for sound and latency) and that ASIO4ALL is no longer needed but have been away from windows too long to know.

 

Any recommendations?

 

When I purchased my current laptop in late 2014, my prime requirement was for a business-class machine mainly because of the better build quality and the ability to opt out of all the rubbish normally included with lesser quality machines.

 

That said, I chose the Toshiba Tecra W50-A, which now seems to have been phased out. Currently however, I would choose one of the A50 series machines:

Toshiba

 

Number 2 on my list at the time, was for a Dell Precision:

Business Laptop & 2-in-1 PCs​ | Dell UK

 

I chose the Tecra, mainly for it's eSATA III connectivity. If you're still within your return window, I would exchange it for one of the Dell Precision machines.

 

BTW, don't believe everything you read on the internet. I find ASIO output significantly better that WASAPI output.

 

Here are a few to get you started:

 

1. Disable system sounds.

 

2. Disable "Windows updates from more than one place"

 

3. Disable visual effects.

 

4. Turn off power saving for USB devices.

 

5. Set your CPU for high performance.

 

6. If your PC is not connected to a network, disable firewall and security services.

 

7. Uninstall the following: http://www.computeraudiophile.com/f11-software/windows-10-optimization-script-community-effort-25361/

 

Not a good idea to disable most of the listed services.

Link to comment

Thanks Keith and Iain for the very helpful tips!

 

As this is a multi-purpose laptop I am going to avoid the scripts where possible to avoid unintended consequences.

 

The audio connections I have are a simple MIDI-Dac cable (with a converter built into the cable), an old DevilSound NOS dac (with the converter built into the cable) and a small headphone amp.

 

Sound processing is most efficient on ASIO4ALL; I think WASAPI sounds a bit better but has latency issues on my system.

 

This is a very low latency solution and sounds good. As a next step, I may purchase a USB interface which wraps up all the IN_OUT_ASIO functions in a box and a driver - that could presumably decrease latency further although I suspect the audio quality may take a step down...

Link to comment
Thanks Keith and Iain for the very helpful tips!

 

...

 

Sound processing is most efficient on ASIO4ALL; I think WASAPI sounds a bit better but has latency issues on my system.

 

This is a very low latency solution and sounds good. As a next step, I may purchase a USB interface which wraps up all the IN_OUT_ASIO functions in a box and a driver - that could presumably decrease latency further although I suspect the audio quality may take a step down...

 

You may not need that third-party USB interface, as the integrated ASIO Control Panel has all the functionality you require. Have you tried it, yet?

 

HQP_ASIO_CP.jpg

Link to comment

Hi Iain,

 

I did try the ASIO4ALL control panel and it helped.

 

This will give you more information about latency improvements I am trying to explore; I think these are interesting charts and one potential cheap option to ASIO4ALL:

 

Laptop recommendations for Virtual Piano - CFX | Digital Pianos - Synths & Keyboards | Piano World Piano & Digital Piano Forums

 

I am not sure about the latency of my $10 MIDI-USB cable and DevilSound DAC although I guess I could build a cable and run a round trip latency test:

 

MIDI to audio adaptor

CEntrance -> Latency Test Utility

 

Some audio DAC manufacturers even recommend against using their products for live music due to slow processing. For example Chord Mojo

 

Anyways, any thoughts or recommendations are welcomed!

Link to comment

Summary

See below for a quick and dirty latency test of my digital piano via laptop virtual instrument software.

 

Measured latency of 8ms-10ms (+ additional unmeasured latency of es100's internal sound processing of ~10ms?).

 

Graphs show good results with room for improvement. Confirmed by good playability and "simple listening test."

 

More detail

Tested: Kawai es100 digital piano headphone output vs. MIDI out to virtual instrument via Laptop/external DAC. Tested latency looks to be around 8ms to 10ms.

 

Principal issue was additional unknown latency of es100 internal sound processing to headphone out which my test missed. The es100's dedicated sound engine connects well with the player so latency is probably pretty short (10ms?)

 

es100 CFX latency test3.png

 

Notes

- Speculate the initial fuzz from both channels (at .004) is the MIDI signal (?)

 

- But...there was just the slightest amount of cross talk between the channels (and that fuzz is timed almost perfectly on L & R channels

 

- For right channel removed dedicated headphone amp after DAC as it was causing some interference (maybe ground issue). Latency to headphone amp should be very small but I did not test it

 

- Used a 3.5mm Y-jack at the macbook input to connect the Left & Right Channels into one port

 

Test signal path

Left channel only

> Kawai es100 headphone out

> copper cable (terminated with 3.5mm male connector)

> Macbook Pro (Audacity)

 

Right channel only

> Kawai es100 MIDI out

> MIDI to USB cable/converter combo

> Dell laptop

> Garritan CFX software (large sample classical piano 00)

> USB DevilSound DAC

> Copper cable (terminated with 3.5mm male connector)

 

Other test shortfalls

- I wanted to compare listening to es100 speakers vs. MIDI-Garritan via headphones

 

- Ideally test needed to see latency from touching key to sound hitting ear

 

- As noted at top, true latency needs to add amount of time es100 is processing sounds

 

- Other more esoteric issues which I think are immaterial

 

FYI - Used Audacity software for measurements and graphs

Link to comment

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now


×
×
  • Create New...