Advice on Hardware for Low Latency Monitoring


I am a musician who is trying to get a DAW /Hardware solution which can.

Receive up to 12 inputs
Add Studio effects
Mix to 4 outs with very low latency
Record at the same time

I have trialed the following

AMD Dual Core 64 + 4MB RAM (owned), Windows xp64 (trial)+Sonar8 (trial) +Tascam1641 (owned) and achieved latency of <1ms and very stable - so it is possible.

However I do not have the funds to purchase windows or sonar.

A friend recommended looking into a Linux solution.

I have loaded Ubuntu and Ardour successfully and am very interested, however it would appear that Tascam do not fully cooperate and there is no ALSA support for the 1641. ;-(

Does any one know if it is possible to use Ardour in the way i need - if so what sound card is best.

Thanks John

thanks dharley, that sounds encouraging. i will keep my eyes open for a 2nd hand rme card.

Hey I use a Fireface 800 RME Interface which will be supported in the new ffado firewire drivers coming hopefully later this year. It has 10 analog plus 16 digital ins and 8 analog + 16 digital outs. Plenty for anything you throw at it. If firewire is what you want you will need to wait till later this year but it will be fully supported. There are other cards ffado supports check



Hi John,

I have AMD 64 x2 3800 with 2GB ram (I assume you made a typo and have 4GB of ram :wink: )
With my old RME hammerfall card, I record up to 16 ch and play 16ch back to my mixer, without my system even breaking a sweat.
This is at latency of 2.9ms, which is far below the threshold of latency audibility of around 10ms

With a new RME card you might get better performance.

Looks like RME is the way to go.