Crazy High Latency

Here is my setup:

PC Vista
3.00g Pentium 4
2 Gigs Ram
SoundBlaster X-Fi Xtreme Gamer Soundcard
Virtual Drumline 2.5.1
M-Audio Keystation 49e (USB)
Sibelius 3

I purchased a new sound card in an effort to let me use Virtual Drumline with no delay along with my keyboard. I was having some issues with double attacks and buzz/feedback before, but nothing like now. Currently i am using the Multimedia Interface, 44000 Sample Rate, MME Speakers (Creative SB X-Fi), and Latency 120.

I hear you telling people who are using 8 or so latency to increase it to 30-40.  Is there any reason why I should have to use 120 for my latency?
For starters, I would highly recommend you use ";ASIO"; rather than ";Multimedia"; in the interface field (this is essentially the ";driver"; for your soundcard). If you don't see that as an option, your card might not be ASIO compatible, but I think most soundblasters do have this option. You should check with the manufacturer to be sure you can use an ASIO driver in conjunction with your Windows system. Next time you purchase a sound card for this sort of use, I'd recommend you look at something geared more toward pro audio than gaming. M-Audio has some good low-cost options. In general, I'd avoid consumer-oriented gear if you're looking to improve pro audio performance.

Latency at 120 would seem way too high to me. It'll be different for everyone, but the goal is to find something high enough to allow your CPU to keep up, but low enough that you don't get wobbly rhythms and stuttering.

Most likely, the driver (interface) will make the biggest difference, and then fiddling with latency will help. Somewhere in the 40-50ms range would be a good starting point, but try raising or lowering until you find what works best for your system.
Thank you for the response. The ASIO setting requires the same amount of latency, but the direct sound mode will let me use 30Ms. 

Thank you for your help.  I will take back my card and get one from M-Audio.  My goal is to use as little latency as possible in order to route Sibelius' click track through Virtual Drumline so I can record in real time. 

Is there a card you recommend?  I would like to stay in the $100 range.
If you're using a desktop machine, you may want to check out the Audiophile 2496. We've heard good reports from many VDL users. This is a PCI card.

If you're working from a laptop, it seems the lowest cost option is the Transit. Since it's not a card, you'd connect via USB.

Both are available via Tapspace if you're interested. More info at:

Hope this helps!
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