After years of getting by with my Lexicon Lambda, I just received a Motu M4. I’ve been goofing around with it for a couple of days, but I’m wondering if anyone has any suggestions about optimizing my setup to take better advantage of the new interface. The Lambda was functional, but did add latency, making it hard to use SGear and EZ Drummer 2 and keep it in time. Just asking for suggestions on how to take better advantage of a new interface.
Personally I do like the M4 for the 24 bit live recordings. Latency is not that big of an issue with most mid range USB interfaces. Though I dont normally record 24/96 much due to the space constraints. The tracks are too big with 24 bit recordings. If you do decide to record 24 bit all the way, I would recommend a good ssd or a portable hdd.
I record 24/44 and did 24/48before, no issue, didn’t need anything more up.
I’ve seen people complaining about the Lamba drivers or lack of. I think the biggest difference will driver quality and updates.
Good luck and post a sample or two when you get comfortable with it.
I’m not sure there’s a lot you can do to “take advantage of” a new interface. A higher quality interface should be more stable and more usable, but at the end of the day, they are just I/O devices.
I guess just use it and enjoy the confidence that comes with knowing you don’t have to wonder if your gear is causing you issues.
I’m sure you’re right. At first glance, the preamps are a bit cleaner, and the 48v supply for the mics have better drive. The latency has improved too.
The Lambda did a good job until I knocked it off the desk a couple of times and bashed the headphone volume knob in.
Seems like the headroom is better, and I’m happy overall, but the interface doesn’t make me play or sing any better, so it is kind of like replacing a screwdriver.
Is this your usual performance technique? If so, I’m happy to mix your tracks from the safety of my (Australian) living room
Yeah, I hit it while waving my guitar neck trying to be cool with mechanical vibrato instead of using my fingers and questionable talent.
I’ve been home about 10 days since my Dad’s passing. He was always very supportive of my musical aspirations. He loved big band, Dixieland, and New Orleans Jazz. I think that rubbed off on me in how I like to make things swing a little.
Once my heart clears, I’ll be laying some tunes on you.
I told you that guitar neck waving thing was dangerous and futile!
Seriously though, Bob - I’m really sad to hear about your Dad’s passing. I know you said he was ailing fast, so it wasn’t unexpected…but that doesn’t make the pain of loss any less acute. My condolences to you and your loved ones.
Time for some musical healing… and to come out swingin’ in memory of your Dad.
I’m almost able to let him go be himself where he belongs. His mind was sharp almost to the end even though his body could no longer support him.
I take solace in knowing I’ll see or feel him again, without the constraints age placed upon him. We talked about meeting again when we were both 27 and playing golf together. (He thinks he’ll beat me).
In any event, when the sorrow fades, I’ll look back on an unassuming man of great accomplishment and hope to encourage my children the way he encouraged me. He bought me my Les Paul in 71, and I will cherish it even more now as both a tribute to him and a reason to make music in his honor.
They don’t make ‘em like that anymore.
Styles, I recommend we try and find out what the deal is with your latency. Some interfaces require you to set your ASIO drivers to a lower number for recording and increasing buffers while mixing. With others, sometimes 1 size fits all.
Don’t let that scare you if that is indeed the case. I have an old Layla 24/96. Because I use a Midas console and don’t need to monitor through the Layla, I keep my buffers set for 2048 at all times.
However, if I want to play through EZD or any other synth in real time, I MUST drop my buffers down to 128 or 64. Most of the time, 128 works perfectly for me to where I don’t notice any latency at all. The bigger the project with more stuff happening, the more of a chance of latency and the need for a lower buffer setting.
When I use the USB interface of my Midas, I get the same set of options. As long as I’m not running anything where I am performing the VSTi in real time, there are never any latency issues. Are you saying you’re getting latency to where the drums are triggering your midi track late and this didn’t happen with your other interface? If so, there may be something you’re missing within the interface that may need to be adjusted or maybe even your daw. You may even need to set the clock on your interface to match your daw. I have a video of this somewhere. I’ve done it with all my interfaces. However, this doesn’t affect midi.
If I’m late with my VSTi stuff, I usually need to adjust my midi playback buffers in sonar. It’s rare but I’ve had to do it at times. What DAW are you using?
Optimizing: I’ve always used a 3 disc system. A drive for OS, programs and plugins, D drive for streaming audio to my DAW, and E drive for my samples. I do have a computer that has SSD drives, but I honestly don’t see a need other than a faster boot time. I’ve used 7200 rpm drives my entire life without any issues or dropouts.
24/48 is perfect for your recordings. You will not notice much difference if you went to 24/96 unless you were recording an orchestra or something with organic instrumentation. For rock with distorted guitar and more of an electric sounding genre, it’s honestly not worth the extra space it takes up. I’ve tried it countless times to try to hear a difference. Even testing blindly I couldn’t tell.
PC optimization: though you may not have had issues before, software is updated and sometimes can take more system power and tax an interface differently. I’ve always been in the camp of configuring your PC for audio over anything else. Meaning, if you have 70+ running processes before you open your DAW, you may want to close as many as you can. My PC’s all start at no more than 45 running processes or less before I open my DAW.
If you want tweaks for your system, visit www.blackviper.com and choose your OS. Just about every builder and power user I know uses tweaks like his. Best of luck!
Oh man, so deeply sorry to hear about the passing of your father. Losing parents sucks so bad. Lost both of mine and have never been the same. Being an only child, they were the only people that have never hurt me in life. So sorry Bob. Good thoughts and prayers of healing your way.
Thanks, Danny, he was a good man. I’m coming to grips with it. Down the line I’ll realize I helped him with his wishes to die in his home. It was tough to watch him fade away, but the time we got to spend together was pricelewas.
On the interface, (Motu M4), I did adjust to 128 samples and it works great. Honestly, with 256 samples, it read a high latency, but I didn’t notice it as much as on the Lexicon. The pres are noticeably better, believe it or not, and I’m enjoying using it.
I have a little DSL-15C set up under a desk with a mic on it, which keeps me from spinning the wheel of presets in SGear, so I’m getting more done.
It still boils down to if you want it to sound better, you have to play it better.
My OS is Windows 10. It has been very stable. I’ll check out the site you recommended to see if there are some tweaks I should try.
Thanks, as always, for your input.
I feel you on the father thing. I think that was the most demoralizing thing for me was to watch both of my parents fade a little at a time. Being an only child, man it was the hardest thing for me to handle. My mom was my best friend all through life because dad worked like mad. We had a family business that my dad didn’t work in at the time. When he left his other job and worked with us, then we really got tight.
When mom passed, dad and I became best friends. We got so close, it was awesome. He wound up with prostate cancer (it didn’t kill him thankfully) and as sad as it was, some of the best talks and times we had happened while driving him to his treatments every day. An hour worth of talking and then breakfast at a new diner every day. You remember times like those.
Then all the stuff comes back to you from when you were young. In a sense Bob, as much as it tore my heart out to see them pass, there was (God forgive me) a sense of relief and peace. Only because I watched them both suffer so bad. I didn’t want them in that shape and they’re not suffering anymore. I feel blessed to have held both of their hands until they passed. Bitter sweet man. If you ever need to talk or vent, message me.
Glad the interface is working out for you. Be careful if you do some of these tweaks on vipers site. Do one thing at a time and test so you know what you messed with if it doesn’t work right. Certain things simply don’t need to run automatically on a Windows box. 10 handles things really well, but you still want to kill any running processes that don’t need to be there that just take up system resources. A few examples…
Audio interface driver control panels: they usually don’t have to auto run. You edit them inside your DAW unless your particular interface recommends adjusting within the interface software/control panel. I don’t use the panel from my UAD Apollo, the Layla, my Midas or my Fractal Audio devices. None of their control panels need to auto run.
NVIDIA drivers and auto updates: nothing NVIDIA ever needs to run. Driver helper, control panel and their latest software hub thing do not need to auto run. If you use your PC for gaming, then you may want to let their software run for driver updates due to gaming. But for audio, video cards aren’t as important. You’ll actually get more performance using 256 colors.
Music apps like iTunes, reverb nation, soundcloud etc NEVER need to auto start. Printer software, any little gadgets that run, all count towards your system resources use, which can and will affect your DAW if there are enough things running. I’ve lived by this since windows 98 SE. To this day I have every PC I’ve ever built still alive and well today other than 1 that was trashed in a lightning storm. All have tweaks from vipers site as well as my own personal experiments. It’s amazing how awesome you can make a system work for you when you kill stuff that doesn’t need to run. Viper explains it all and why you may or may not need the service running. Just be careful if you go there and start messing around.