Zero latency monitoring of microphone?

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
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Beats r us
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Joined: Sun Dec 02, 2007 4:44 am

Zero latency monitoring of microphone?

Post by Beats r us » Thu Apr 15, 2021 1:15 pm

I have a microphone connected to my computer via a UMC204HD USB interface.

Is it possible to listen to my voice in real time with reverb applied with ableton?

I have tried and there is latency, I have tried to reduce the buffer settings but I can only get them down to about 25ms before the audio starts to glitch out, but I have a very powerful computer.

I thought this was possible?? Thanks!

fishmonkey
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Joined: Wed Oct 24, 2007 4:50 am

Re: Zero latency monitoring of microphone?

Post by fishmonkey » Sat Apr 17, 2021 5:44 am

it's not possible to achieve zero latency monitoring through your computer. if you can't get the latency to a workable level monitoring the mic + reverb through Live, then one workaround is to direct monitor the mic signal using your audio interface, and to monitor the reverb coming back from Live. then you can tweak the monitoring of the reverb to taste.
badbrainz wrote: I'm a drummer, so I'm already at an intellectual disadvantage here

Beats r us
Posts: 22
Joined: Sun Dec 02, 2007 4:44 am

Re: Zero latency monitoring of microphone?

Post by Beats r us » Sat Apr 17, 2021 9:31 am

This kinda astounds me though. Im pretty sure I remember zero latency monitoring years ago when I was messing around with Logic Pro.

I mean, what about those FX pedals? They can do it, and the computer is significantly more powerful . Seems strange.

fishmonkey
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Re: Zero latency monitoring of microphone?

Post by fishmonkey » Sat Apr 17, 2021 2:04 pm

Beats r us wrote:
Sat Apr 17, 2021 9:31 am
This kinda astounds me though. Im pretty sure I remember zero latency monitoring years ago when I was messing around with Logic Pro.

I mean, what about those FX pedals? They can do it, and the computer is significantly more powerful . Seems strange.
with DAW recording, "zero latency monitoring" is more or less synonymous with "direct monitoring" via your audio interface, where the direct monitored audio isn't taking a round trip through your computer and DAW and therefore isn't incurring any added latency.

your computer is a lot more powerful than an FX pedal but there is a lot more signal processing going on:

mic input -> AD conversion (convert analogue to digital) by your audio interface -> send digital audio to your computer and Live in buffered samples -> process audio and reverb -> send digital audio back to your audio interface (again in buffered samples) -> DA conversion (convert digital back to analogue) -> speakers/headphones

each conversion, transfer and processing stage adds some more latency.

you can minimise latency when monitoring through the software in few main ways:

- use a decent audio interface with good low latency drivers
- minimise buffer size
- raise sampling frequency
- avoid FX plugins which introduce extra processing latency
- make sure your Live set doesn't have other tracks that have a lot of latency which could cause your monitored mic track to be delay compensated

there are also some other settings in Live that you can try to reduce monitoring latency:

https://help.ableton.com/hc/en-us/artic ... ce-latency
https://help.ableton.com/hc/en-us/artic ... toring-FAQ
badbrainz wrote: I'm a drummer, so I'm already at an intellectual disadvantage here

jlgrimes
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Location: Atlanta, Ga

Re: Zero latency monitoring of microphone?

Post by jlgrimes » Sat Apr 17, 2021 5:22 pm

Beats r us wrote:
Thu Apr 15, 2021 1:15 pm
I have a microphone connected to my computer via a UMC204HD USB interface.

Is it possible to listen to my voice in real time with reverb applied with ableton?

I have tried and there is latency, I have tried to reduce the buffer settings but I can only get them down to about 25ms before the audio starts to glitch out, but I have a very powerful computer.

I thought this was possible?? Thanks!

Are you using the ASIO or Core Audio drivers? You pretty much can't achieve low latency without using one of those drivers.

If so reduce your buffer size to like 64 or 128.

64 might give you pops and clicks. If it doesn't try using the reverb with that.

Also check your round-trip latency. If it is under 10ms, you shouldn't notice any latency.

You might have to settle on 128 but if you have good drivers, this might not be an issue.

Also consider that many studios spend high dollars on interfaces often for low latency.

Thunderbolt is usually a good option but some USB interfaces can work pretty good as well or just as good if you go with a brand like RME but lower end USB devices like Scarletts can be OK. Just have to do your research.

Behringer might be good but I haven't tried it so can't comment.

Also note that every driver is a bit different as some allow you to go to 32 or 16 buffer sizes if needed but I honestly haven't had to try those and the lower you go, the higher your CPU use goes.

Beats r us
Posts: 22
Joined: Sun Dec 02, 2007 4:44 am

Re: Zero latency monitoring of microphone?

Post by Beats r us » Fri Apr 23, 2021 7:29 am

jlgrimes wrote:
Sat Apr 17, 2021 5:22 pm
Beats r us wrote:
Thu Apr 15, 2021 1:15 pm
I have a microphone connected to my computer via a UMC204HD USB interface.

Is it possible to listen to my voice in real time with reverb applied with ableton?

I have tried and there is latency, I have tried to reduce the buffer settings but I can only get them down to about 25ms before the audio starts to glitch out, but I have a very powerful computer.

I thought this was possible?? Thanks!

Are you using the ASIO or Core Audio drivers? You pretty much can't achieve low latency without using one of those drivers.

If so reduce your buffer size to like 64 or 128.

64 might give you pops and clicks. If it doesn't try using the reverb with that.

Also check your round-trip latency. If it is under 10ms, you shouldn't notice any latency.

You might have to settle on 128 but if you have good drivers, this might not be an issue.

Also consider that many studios spend high dollars on interfaces often for low latency.

Thunderbolt is usually a good option but some USB interfaces can work pretty good as well or just as good if you go with a brand like RME but lower end USB devices like Scarletts can be OK. Just have to do your research.

Behringer might be good but I haven't tried it so can't comment.

Also note that every driver is a bit different as some allow you to go to 32 or 16 buffer sizes if needed but I honestly haven't had to try those and the lower you go, the higher your CPU use goes.
Im on windows so im using the 'DX' drivers.

In my setting there is an option for 'driver error compensation' which I think is meant to reduce overall latency, but I just did a recording of my voice to try and sync it to some percussion and I played it back and its still delayed.

Da hand
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Location: Montreal, Canada

Re: Zero latency monitoring of microphone?

Post by Da hand » Fri Apr 23, 2021 11:16 am

Beats r us wrote:
Fri Apr 23, 2021 7:29 am
jlgrimes wrote:
Sat Apr 17, 2021 5:22 pm
Are you using the ASIO or Core Audio drivers? You pretty much can't achieve low latency without using one of those drivers.
Im on windows so im using the 'DX' drivers.
ASIO drivers are for Windows. The ASIO drivers that come with your audio interface (they have to be downloaded and installed) are THE drivers that will communicate directly with the audio interface and by-pass the many layers of Windows in between the card and Live. DX drivers reside in Windows and so will by nature have a lot more latency built in.

Beats r us
Posts: 22
Joined: Sun Dec 02, 2007 4:44 am

Re: Zero latency monitoring of microphone?

Post by Beats r us » Fri Apr 23, 2021 11:58 am

Thanks! Im running ASIO now and its better. I noticed that if I run the windows system audio through the soundcard then it kills my ASIO feed thru Ableton, and vice versa if I reconnect ableton thru ASIO then my windows system sound including spotify then dies.

Any work around for this?

Da hand
Posts: 1744
Joined: Sat Jan 18, 2003 8:38 pm
Location: Montreal, Canada

Re: Zero latency monitoring of microphone?

Post by Da hand » Fri Apr 23, 2021 12:38 pm

Depending on the ASIO driver written for your card, it may be possible. Some offer non-exclusive mode for example. It is best to see with the manufacturer or their forums / manual for more details on this.

But there are things to bear in mind. What is it that you really want? As you can't have it all without compromises.

It's like having a car setup for racing mode and then for everyday life mode for taking your kids to school and groceries, the two setups are going to differ quite a lot, lol.

So ASIO offers you the racing mode meant for professional audio work, and for a good ASIO driver that means tweaking and stripping everything as much as possible to give you the best direct performance between your card and your DAW.

As soon as you start introducing other elements into the equation, the performance will go down. So if you want to run Spotify you can try to run it with ASIO (and incur performance penalties for adding new Windows/Software layers to the equation) or run the card with other drivers which will have the Windows layer built in (ASIO 4 ALL for example), but be also less performant from the outset and never as performant in "racing mode".

Edit: You can, of course, install various drivers and then switch between them to run Live on the one needed for a given situation ;)

aikah
Posts: 6
Joined: Wed Oct 07, 2009 4:51 pm

Re: Zero latency monitoring of microphone?

Post by aikah » Sat Apr 24, 2021 10:32 pm

Beats r us wrote:
Fri Apr 23, 2021 11:58 am
Thanks! Im running ASIO now and its better. I noticed that if I run the windows system audio through the soundcard then it kills my ASIO feed thru Ableton, and vice versa if I reconnect ableton thru ASIO then my windows system sound including spotify then dies.

Any work around for this?
It's because Asio4ALL will make a single program take exclusive control of your sound card. That's why you can't play sound in both Ableton Live and Spotify at the same time. If you want better Asio drivers, either buy Cubase which comes with generic audio drivers with a non exclusive mode, or buy a soundcard that comes with its own audio drivers for windows, AKA not Behringer. With ASIO4ALL you can't have it both ways.

fishmonkey
Posts: 4246
Joined: Wed Oct 24, 2007 4:50 am

Re: Zero latency monitoring of microphone?

Post by fishmonkey » Sat Apr 24, 2021 11:44 pm

aikah wrote:
Sat Apr 24, 2021 10:32 pm
Beats r us wrote:
Fri Apr 23, 2021 11:58 am
Thanks! Im running ASIO now and its better. I noticed that if I run the windows system audio through the soundcard then it kills my ASIO feed thru Ableton, and vice versa if I reconnect ableton thru ASIO then my windows system sound including spotify then dies.

Any work around for this?
It's because Asio4ALL will make a single program take exclusive control of your sound card. That's why you can't play sound in both Ableton Live and Spotify at the same time. If you want better Asio drivers, either buy Cubase which comes with generic audio drivers with a non exclusive mode, or buy a soundcard that comes with its own audio drivers for windows, AKA not Behringer. With ASIO4ALL you can't have it both ways.
sorry, that is misleading information.

firstly ASIO4ALL is not the same as using a proper ASIO driver — ASIO4ALL is a driver wrapper that makes it possible for your audio interface to masquerade as an ASIO device. it's rarely advisable to use ASIO4ALL if your audio interface has its own manufacturer ASIO driver.

also, you can disable exclusive mode for ASIO drivers:

https://help.ableton.com/hc/en-us/artic ... on-Windows

https://help.ableton.com/hc/en-us/artic ... interfaces
badbrainz wrote: I'm a drummer, so I'm already at an intellectual disadvantage here

aikah
Posts: 6
Joined: Wed Oct 07, 2009 4:51 pm

Re: Zero latency monitoring of microphone?

Post by aikah » Sun Apr 25, 2021 12:51 am

fishmonkey wrote:
Sat Apr 24, 2021 11:44 pm
aikah wrote:
Sat Apr 24, 2021 10:32 pm
Beats r us wrote:
Fri Apr 23, 2021 11:58 am
Thanks! Im running ASIO now and its better. I noticed that if I run the windows system audio through the soundcard then it kills my ASIO feed thru Ableton, and vice versa if I reconnect ableton thru ASIO then my windows system sound including spotify then dies.

Any work around for this?
It's because Asio4ALL will make a single program take exclusive control of your sound card. That's why you can't play sound in both Ableton Live and Spotify at the same time. If you want better Asio drivers, either buy Cubase which comes with generic audio drivers with a non exclusive mode, or buy a soundcard that comes with its own audio drivers for windows, AKA not Behringer. With ASIO4ALL you can't have it both ways.
sorry, that is misleading information.

firstly ASIO4ALL is not the same as using a proper ASIO driver — ASIO4ALL is a driver wrapper that makes it possible for your audio interface to masquerade as an ASIO device. it's rarely advisable to use ASIO4ALL if your audio interface has its own manufacturer ASIO driver.

also, you can disable exclusive mode for ASIO drivers:

https://help.ableton.com/hc/en-us/artic ... on-Windows

https://help.ableton.com/hc/en-us/artic ... interfaces
I can guarantee that what I said is 100% accurate and what you suggest will not work with that Behringer soundcard while using Asio4ALL. Period. But you'll be on the hook to help the OP in that fools errand when he attempts to do what you are suggesting and he finds out it doesn't work.

fishmonkey
Posts: 4246
Joined: Wed Oct 24, 2007 4:50 am

Re: Zero latency monitoring of microphone?

Post by fishmonkey » Sun Apr 25, 2021 1:13 am

aikah wrote:
Sun Apr 25, 2021 12:51 am
fishmonkey wrote:
Sat Apr 24, 2021 11:44 pm
aikah wrote:
Sat Apr 24, 2021 10:32 pm


It's because Asio4ALL will make a single program take exclusive control of your sound card. That's why you can't play sound in both Ableton Live and Spotify at the same time. If you want better Asio drivers, either buy Cubase which comes with generic audio drivers with a non exclusive mode, or buy a soundcard that comes with its own audio drivers for windows, AKA not Behringer. With ASIO4ALL you can't have it both ways.
sorry, that is misleading information.

firstly ASIO4ALL is not the same as using a proper ASIO driver — ASIO4ALL is a driver wrapper that makes it possible for your audio interface to masquerade as an ASIO device. it's rarely advisable to use ASIO4ALL if your audio interface has its own manufacturer ASIO driver.

also, you can disable exclusive mode for ASIO drivers:

https://help.ableton.com/hc/en-us/artic ... on-Windows

https://help.ableton.com/hc/en-us/artic ... interfaces
I can guarantee that what I said is 100% accurate and what you suggest will not work with that Behringer soundcard while using Asio4ALL. Period. But you'll be on the hook to help the OP in that fools errand when he attempts to do what you are suggesting and he finds out it doesn't work.
you might well be right that the Behringer ASIO driver is crap, it wouldn't surprise me. and it's also true that not all ASIO drivers work reliably in non-exclusive mode.

but your continued references to ASIO4ALL perpetuate the confusion regarding the relationship between ASIO and ASIO4ALL...
badbrainz wrote: I'm a drummer, so I'm already at an intellectual disadvantage here

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