There seems to have been a surprising plot twist in my battle with ASIO drivers. It turns out that the ASIO drivers for the Echo products are VASTLY INFERIOR IN EVERY WAY IMAGINABLE to the WDM drivers. Nobody seems to like to talk about this fact much because the Mia manual doesn't mention it, Cubase doesn't offer up that information, and the net is all about the ASIO. With the ASIO drivers I could get the latency down low-ish, but there would be nasty erratic behavior. Last night while reading an old Sound on Sound article on latency, I found this suspicious closing remark:
In my follow-up to this feature I'm hoping to include some more feedback from manufacturers, and I'll also be looking more closely at the situation for musicians using Windows XP, since many are now moving across with the promise of lower latencies using WDM-format drivers inside Sonar and the release of the Windows 2000/XP-only Cubase SX.
What? Hello? WDM drivers? Lower latencies? Everyone everywhere forever has told me that ASIO drivers are what I should be insanely pursuing. I've actually been sitting around being pissed off that the WDM drivers work perfect but that the ASIO drivers are crappy and bad when those are the ones that I want because I have been told ASIO is utterly superior to everything. The Mia manual even specifically says you should use ASIO in Cubase and Reason.
But no. That is a lie. I switch to WDM and I can crank the buffers way down to 128 samples. 2ms latency. Everything is fantastic except that I feel kind of retarded.
So I'm going to give the Mia some more time, it seems. If it keeps making me feel dumb, I may return it just to keep what's left of my self esteem.