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Audio Latency Measurement for Desktop Operating Systems with Onboard Soundcards

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Using commodity computers in conjunction with live music digital audio workstations (DAW) has become increasingly more popular in recent years. The latency of these DAW audio processing chains for some application such as live audio monitoring has always been perceived as a problem when DSP audio effects are needed. With “High Definition Audio” being standardised as the onboard soundcard’s hardware architecture for personal computers, and with advances in audio APIs, the low latency and multi-channel capability has made its way into home studios. This paper will discuss the results of latency measurements of current popular operating systems and hosts applications with different audio APIs and audio processing loads.

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