[wdmaudiodev] very low latency audio and a C# UI?

  • From: "Voelkel, Andy" <andy.voelkel@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <wdmaudiodev@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 25 Feb 2009 20:48:46 -0800


I apologize for asking what is a bit off topic, but I am getting
desperate. I have been trying to figure out how to write audio
applications which implement DSP algorithms with very low latency but
which can have a C# UI. I know various ways to satisfy each goal
separately, but not together.

The chief problem is that the only way that I know how to achieve
extremely low latencies is by not having a garbage collector suspend my
high priority audio thread, yet I do not know how add a C# UI to a
program without introducing the potential for gc interruptions. I have
searched the internet in vain for someone who has done this, and I have
pondered all sorts of ugly workarounds, none of which are very
attractive. Most involve having the UI run a separate process from the
audio thread.

There must be an interest within Microsoft to see this sort of thing
work, so as to encourage applications that use as much C# as possible.

Does anyone know where I could dig up the knowledge that would be
necessary to see if this concept is feasible? For all I know, the right
hacks with a mixture of managed and unmanaged C++ might make this idea
possible. But I don't know where to obtain the detailed knowledge
necessary, and I certainly don't want to become an expert at this sort
of programming if it has no hope of paying off in the end.

I write this here in the hope that someone involved in driver
development might have had to consider issues such as this.

I would be grateful for any help,

- Andy Voelkel

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