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What is Latency?

Latency is delay. The time between when you push your foot on the brake pedal of your car and the actual brake pads press into the wheel discs is known as your vehicle braking system latency. Hopefully, for your sake, it stays short!

Latency is just as much an issue in audio hardware and software. When you press play on your CD player, there is always a delay before the music starts. This may not matter for someone at home, but a DJ must be able to precisely control when they start a song. Even a delay of one tenth of a second is too long for many applications!

It's not just playing and stopping a song that matters either. Altering the volume level, the pitch, adjusting controls on graphic equalizers, etc, all need to be responsive in order to be practical and useable. Unfortunately that can be a big problem for software running on Windows, which was never designed with realtime applications in mind. This is another area where OtsAV breaks away from the pack!

OtsAV features our unique low-latency audio pipeline. This means that anything you can adjust or control will be heard in the audio output virtually immediately! In fact, for the sake of accuracy let's put a number on it: The latency in OtsAV's audio pipeline is in the order of 20 milliseconds, or 0.02 of a second! In other words, there is no human-perceptible delay between when you alter something, and you hear the change in audio out of your speakers!

Compare this to any other MP3 player or DJ mixing program. Try adjusting their graphic equalizer and then wait a couple of seconds for the change in audio! Go on... try it now! Latency makes it much harder to adjust something with precision. Imagine trying to steer your car if the steering system had two seconds of latency in it!

The only things other programs can do with low-latency are starting, stopping, and adjusting volume or pitch. This is because Microsoft DirectSound, which all these programs rely on, allows the programmer to adjust these things at the operating system level. Everything else will involve a delay, and usually a fairly long one!

When you adjust a setting on your television set or radio, you expect to see or hear the result immediately. PC-based software should be no different, and with OtsAV it's not!

All OtsAV functions, the dynamics processor, the graphic equalizer, the pitch-preserving tempo control, etc, all operate via our unique low-latency audio pipeline! This is good news for pro DJs. Audio software that has noticeable latency quite simply cannot compete within the professional market place.

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