I'm a novice. I'd like to route an electric guitar and several keyboards through a computer for effects processing, and out via the same speakers.
I've tried using different home sound systems; but they all seem to add some delay. I think that modern sound systems use digital sound processing for equalizing the audio, which introduces latency (between 20 and 200ms). The surround sound system I tested was the worst. Other stereos were around 20-30ms. When I tested with a guitar amp, the latency was less than 1ms.
What are my options? I'm guessing the only problem is really the amp. Which type of amp should I look for? Maybe something that doesn't have an LCD display would be more likely to provide analog amplifying and therefore low latency?
My budget is ideally around 200-300 USD for a 100-300w system (used).
- JBL LSR305 (2x active speaker, thus requiring no amp)
- JBL Control1 (passive, thus requires a low-latency amp)
The problem with active speakers is that you need to control power separately, and need a mixer for volume and equalizing (all three functions are that normally done by the home stereo amp). Also, signal cable can pick up noise, while passive speakers suffer from frequency response changes due to cable capacitance. Ugh...
METHODOLOGY OF MEASURING LATENCY
Using Ableton, I record while playing the metronome over the speakers. This allows me to measure the time latency, i.e. the delay between the time the computer makes a sound, to when it is captured. When I record directly from a headphone connected to the output of my USB soundcard, the measured delay is as mentioned ~0ms. However, when I use various sound systems, the delay goes up. Nothing is changed except connecting the sound system instead of the headphone. The delay is therefore most definitely from the sound system.
TEST 1: Measuring 0-1ms
PC -> USB SOUND OUTPUT -> HEADPHONE -> MIC -> USB SOUND INPUT -> PC
TEST 2: Measuring 20-30ms
PC -> USB SOUND OUTPUT -> HIFI STEREO -> SPEAKER -> MIC -> USB SOUND INPUT -> PC