[chuck-users] chuck for live performance - latency

Kassen signal.automatique at gmail.com
Wed May 19 18:28:10 EDT 2010


All seems good apart from one issue which I had a feeling would crop up,
> latency. The lowest I can set the buffer size to with it still working is
> 64. I have a Saffire LE sound card which should be pretty good but the
> latency in Chuck is too great for it to be useful in a live context.
Yes, the plain Windows sounddrivers are terrible

> So I have a few more questions:
>    - Should I be using Linux? Is the latency better in Linux then in
>    Windows? If so what flavour of Linux would people recommend.
Alsa/Jack latency should be better than the plain Windows one, yes. Sadly
the Linux version of the mini isn't without issues as the keyboard shortcuts
tend to stop working, likely due to some issue with something in the Gnome
toolkit getting updated/changed. Whether you should run Linux would depend
primarily on your own preferences. Compiling ChucK is quite easy under Linux
if you are comfortable with getting libraries and so on. Right now I'd
suggest Pure:dyne which is based on Ubuntu but with tweaks specific for
playing around with media/arty stuff

>    - Should I be trying to build chuck for ASIO, I have seen some builds
>    for this in the forums, but not for the latest version.
We could really use a new build for ASIO, yes. This should be fairly easy
for the people who did that before and figured out some of the possible
pitfalls. Perhaps there is a brave volunteer? I'd very much appreciate that

>    - Are there any other tips or tricks for reducing the latency?
I think you already touched the main ones. Asio (or Jack with a rt kernel on
Linux) matters a *lot*, a good soundcard matters, lower buffer settings
matter. It also pays to consider that with lower latencies the system will
have less leeway to deal with sudden spikes in cpu usage so disabling any
and all non-needed processes will help prevent those. Some people go as far
as setting up a separate computer (or user) without internet access for that
purpose (as firewalls and the like will conflict with those needs). There
are good sites online specialising in tips, especially XP is well covered.

You can go very far in this, I'd personally try how far you can get with
relatively simple tweaks and see whether you still have issues after those
before you hose a whole OS in the name of gaining a few cycles.

I still feel ChucK should upgrade to a new version of our audio library and
start supporting Asio in the default distribution as it matters so much and
the features are there in the newer version of rtaudio. The rtaudio library
is even maintained by a list-member so all of the resources (except for
time...) are there already.

Thanks again for all your help.
No problem; this'll be a nice project.

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