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Hi pianogabe - I see we crossed paths on a few posts.

Originally Posted by pianogabe
like Gombessa I play a silent system (Kawai K300 ATX3 in my case) and both the on board sound generator and VST with 32 or 64 audio buffer can have lower latency than the acoustically generated sound. At 128 buffer size it is on average similar. Of course that may be different on different computers/audio hardware/acoustic pianos, but that is what it is in my case.
Interesting - thank you for posting that real-world experience.

Originally Posted by pianogabe
And larger latency variation around a short mean latency may be much more detrimental to your perception of control than small variation around a longer mean latency. Perceptual studies on instrument playing have shown this (albeit not on a piano).

Originally Posted by pianogabe
Hi newerplayer, I posted before I saw you post. As you can see my experience is different with the rest of the latency being effectively fixed. I haven't been able to measure it, but when my computer is under heavy load (windows doing something like download updates) the audio is never affected (no crackles or pops, just continuous sound) indicating audio is still getting sufficiently high priority, but the action -> sound reaching the ear drum is very much so. Somehow there will be very variable and sometimes very long delays in overall latency, but no audio problems.
Indeed the "fixed" components of the chain are not fixed at all but rather "difficult for the user to change". Thanks for clarifying. Who knows where the VI jitter comes from.

Would an acoustic drum have any jitter? I suppose an acoustic piano might have some jitter from the mechanics. Perhaps the acoustic piano's jitter is short and naturally distributed (when compared to that of a piano VI).

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Originally Posted by newer player
I suppose an acoustic piano might have some jitter from the mechanics. Perhaps the acoustic piano's jitter is short and naturally distributed (when compared to that of a piano VI).

Yes I think so, I recall a publication in the Journal of the Acoustical Society of America on acoustic action movement and latency, and there was some variation (latency is mostly a function of key velocity on an acoustic). I can't find that paper at the moment and have to run. I may be that the variation was due to measurement. In any case it looked small and naturally distributed with respect to the overall variation.

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Originally Posted by newer player
I suppose Yamana & Kawai could have plenty of tricks up their sleeves to improve performance . . .

I've noticed that there are a lot of things not done on some Yamaha/Kawai keyboards, which I suspect are in order to maximize compatibility with MIDI.

For instance, they don't trigger a note-on before velocity is calculated, which is a very easy way to simulate the real effect of a damper being lifted before the hammer hits a string.


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Oh wow, so many interesting replies!!! Allow me to batch reply here, as I feel I've gotten what I'm looking for.

1. Latency can be a multi-layered cake if you really dig into it and not all layers are at the user's control.
2. Since I already am using an external audio interface, the best thing to do is to get the lowest buffer size that doesn't cause any crackles and pops and stay there. In my case, that means staying at 64 samples.
3. Unless I maybe upgrade to a more powerful CPU / computer setup, this is the best I can achieve, which is already very good.

As for increasing the CPU voltage from, say, 15 to 28, I'm fearful of burning the hardware inside the machine. Since the laptop is mostly quiet and the only time I hear the fan is if I convert multiple audio files / resample hi-res audio files to CD quality flacs for my portable media player, the laptop may still hold up for years to come.
It's fun hearing all this knowledge you share, things that contribute to this VST experience that I might not know once I set it and leave it be. smile

Thanks everyone!

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Hello,

@David Lai, That seems a very good and wise summary to me.

Messing with your current processor is risky and I'd never advise to do so -- and on a laptop that may not even be possible anyway. Apart from the risks, results would be uncertain and percentage-wise probably insignificant.

If you can currently run everything you need at 64 buffer size, you're already in a sweet spot that others can only dream of and from where improvements would be next to unnoticeable. I'd consider upgrading hardware not worth your investment in such an already favorable case.

Cheers and the happiest playing,

HZ

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Originally Posted by HZPiano
Hello,

@David Lai, That seems a very good and wise summary to me.

Messing with your current processor is risky and I'd never advise to do so -- and on a laptop that may not even be possible anyway. Apart from the risks, results would be uncertain and percentage-wise probably insignificant.

If you can currently run everything you need at 64 buffer size, you're already in a sweet spot that others can only dream of and from where improvements would be next to unnoticeable. I'd consider upgrading hardware not worth your investment in such an already favorable case.

Cheers and the happiest playing,

HZ

Thank you, HZ! Well, I'm glad the money spent 3 years ago when I got this machine and the subsequent upgrades is paying off. What's more, I can always put myself in a concert hall, or in a studio. smile

Your replies are always greatly appreciated!!!

David

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in the end you're really just going by feel, there's a threshold where it just feels wrong. as long as you're under that, it's more or less ok even if improvement is possible. depending on the application, giving realtime priority to the vst may help. you can also try disabling hyperthreading, if it's processing bound this may be worse, if it's not then it may be lower latency.

Last edited by KawaFanboi; 05/14/22 09:29 AM.
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Originally Posted by KawaFanboi
in the end you're really just going by feel, there's a threshold where it just feels wrong. as long as you're under that, it's more or less ok even if improvement is possible.

Personally, I think there is an interesting occurrence. There isn't an acoustic I've played where I think "oh this hammer delay is really noticeable and undesirable." But there isn't a digital I've played where I hadn't thought could always be a more real with a.littlw less latency, even when using headphones and getting that "instant sound arriving at the ears" bonus.

Part of me wonders whether I am (we are) mistakenly using latency as a proxy for something else that is missing in the experience?


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I've always wanted my acoustic to be more like digital, never the other way around.

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