Two BIG Problems with Plug-In Delay Compensation in Ableton

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alexaaz
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Two BIG Problems with Plug-In Delay Compensation in Ableton

Post by alexaaz » Tue Apr 12, 2011 8:52 am

Hi,

When you add a plugin to a track, you would expect that when you disable it by pressing the device activator button in the top left that it would be the equivalent of just removing the plugin. Unfortunately, that is not the case! I have a UAD-2 and when using a Moog Filter on a track there is the same terrible latency whether the track is active or disabled. Only when deleted does the latency go away.

To test: Set your buffer size to 1024 samples (to make it obvious). Load up any synth. Play a note. The latency will be bad, but like you'd expect for 1024. Then add 5 moog filters. Now the latency is horrendous (maybe even half a second!). Now disable it. Still just as horrendous. Now delete it - back to normal again. This makes no sense. If I disable a plugin in Live, it should be totally removed from the (virtual) signal path - it should not affect anything at all.

On top of that, Live is actually storing the Midi recorded for the track a whole 32nd note behind where I'm actually playing it, whereas when the Moog is either active or removed it's 1/64th note. I should note that this is at 256 samples where I started my testing, so it would only be more exaggerated at 1024 samples.

We all know that Live records Midi as you "hear it" rather than "play it" when a midi track is set to be monitored, but there are two big problems going on here:

- The latency of a plugin remains even when it is disabled
- Live is offsetting the midi by an even greater amount than normal when a plugin is disabled, meaning the timing of a recorded performance is actually worse than if you play through the plugin.

Now, I'm not sure how to test this with native plugins, or if it's as much as a problem there, but for a new UAD-2 owner like myself, I'm very disappointed. I thought that if I needed to play anything that has any UAD plugs on it, I'll just disable the plugin in Live or put it in an Audio Rack and disable it if I'm using more than one UAD plug-in. But I can't!

I hope this can be resolved promptly. Has no one else noticed this, because it seems like a big deal? Or am I going mad here?

All the best,

Alex

LeifonMars
Posts: 1104
Joined: Fri Jan 12, 2007 11:48 am

Re: Two BIG Problems with Plug-In Delay Compensation in Ableton

Post by LeifonMars » Tue Apr 12, 2011 9:12 am

alexaaz wrote:Hi,

When you add a plugin to a track, you would expect that when you disable it by pressing the device activator button in the top left that it would be the equivalent of just removing the plugin. Unfortunately, that is not the case! I have a UAD-2 and when using a Moog Filter on a track there is the same terrible latency whether the track is active or disabled. Only when deleted does the latency go away.

To test: Set your buffer size to 1024 samples (to make it obvious). Load up any synth. Play a note. The latency will be bad, but like you'd expect for 1024. Then add 5 moog filters. Now the latency is horrendous (maybe even half a second!). Now disable it. Still just as horrendous. Now delete it - back to normal again. This makes no sense. If I disable a plugin in Live, it should be totally removed from the (virtual) signal path - it should not affect anything at all.

On top of that, Live is actually storing the Midi recorded for the track a whole 32nd note behind where I'm actually playing it, whereas when the Moog is either active or removed it's 1/64th note. I should note that this is at 256 samples where I started my testing, so it would only be more exaggerated at 1024 samples.

We all know that Live records Midi as you "hear it" rather than "play it" when a midi track is set to be monitored, but there are two big problems going on here:

- The latency of a plugin remains even when it is disabled
- Live is offsetting the midi by an even greater amount than normal when a plugin is disabled, meaning the timing of a recorded performance is actually worse than if you play through the plugin.

Now, I'm not sure how to test this with native plugins, or if it's as much as a problem there, but for a new UAD-2 owner like myself, I'm very disappointed. I thought that if I needed to play anything that has any UAD plugs on it, I'll just disable the plugin in Live or put it in an Audio Rack and disable it if I'm using more than one UAD plug-in. But I can't!

I hope this can be resolved promptly. Has no one else noticed this, because it seems like a big deal? Or am I going mad here?

All the best,

Alex
No, nobody has ever noticed that before. Never.
MBP OSX 10.6.8, Live 8.4, MFII, Evolver, Monomachine, Octatrack, APC40, Launchpad

jtdj
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Re: Two BIG Problems with Plug-In Delay Compensation in Ableton

Post by jtdj » Tue Apr 12, 2011 9:21 am

And Reason records out of sync when rewired if you have a couple of decent plugs on other channels... this is a joke quite frankly, Ableton REALLY needs to get this sorted.

alexaaz
Posts: 115
Joined: Thu Feb 19, 2009 1:19 am

Re: Two BIG Problems with Plug-In Delay Compensation in Ableton

Post by alexaaz » Tue Apr 12, 2011 9:36 am

Hi,

I did a better search after your response and see that I haven't uncovered anything new. But still, I'm shocked… this is a sequencer that dares to call itself version EIGHT and they haven't got something as simple as disabling a plugin removing it from the signal flow sorted.

This reminds me of Apple's iPhone antenna issues except MUCH worse… and at least Apple offered free cases to users before they came out and admitted it all. I'm seriously considering going the Logic and Maschine route, but that's a signficant investment of time and effort and for all I know Live 9 is about to come out next week and fix all of this. I mean, the only reason it could be SO long since a release of Live is if they are fixing all this...

It may not be a good short-term commercial decision, but really, the Abes should come out and give us a timetable for Live 9's release so that we can make decisions on how best to proceed.

Is any of this even in the manual?

Thanks

spektralisk
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Re: Two BIG Problems with Plug-In Delay Compensation in Ableton

Post by spektralisk » Tue Apr 12, 2011 10:31 am

alexaaz wrote:Hi,

...and for all I know Live 9 is about to come out next week and fix all of this...

Thanks
How do you know that? :)

filterstein
Posts: 170
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Re: Two BIG Problems with Plug-In Delay Compensation in Ableton

Post by filterstein » Tue Apr 12, 2011 6:50 pm

are you sure this is not something which is specific for the uad?
Uad has it's own ways to handle buffers.

DangerousDave
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Re: Two BIG Problems with Plug-In Delay Compensation in Ableton

Post by DangerousDave » Tue Apr 12, 2011 7:21 pm

^^ Ya i was under the impression that native fx get completely removed from the signal chain when disabled, but i may be wrong and cant test it at school...
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spookydirt
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Re: Two BIG Problems with Plug-In Delay Compensation in Ableton

Post by spookydirt » Wed Apr 13, 2011 6:51 pm

DangerousDave wrote:^^ Ya i was under the impression that native fx get completely removed from the signal chain when disabled, but i may be wrong and cant test it at school...
i thought it was that the Ableton Fx were completely disabled, but not vst. or am i thinking of CPU usage?
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ctignor
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Re: Two BIG Problems with Plug-In Delay Compensation in Ableton

Post by ctignor » Fri Feb 03, 2017 4:03 am

This audio latency is still occurring for me using AU plugins in Ableton 9.
I note that the audio latency only occurs on the track I have the plugins on.

Any fixes / workarounds?

thanks.

Stromkraft
Posts: 7033
Joined: Wed Jun 25, 2014 11:34 am

Re: Two BIG Problems with Plug-In Delay Compensation in Ableton

Post by Stromkraft » Fri Feb 03, 2017 12:47 pm

ctignor wrote:This audio latency is still occurring for me using AU plugins in Ableton 9.
I note that the audio latency only occurs on the track I have the plugins on.

Any fixes / workarounds?

thanks.
Remove the plug-ins you're not using. Activate Reduced Latency When Monitoring. Live with the latency or get a (much) faster machine and an audio interface with optimal drivers and connection.

I don't get the OP here. Should Live recalculate PDC on activation of the device? Really? That would cause glitches.
Make some music!

snakedogman
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Re: Two BIG Problems with Plug-In Delay Compensation in Ableton

Post by snakedogman » Fri Feb 03, 2017 1:17 pm

Exactly, in the end Live is still supposed to be usable in a live setting too, where you might, for creative reasons, be switching effects on and off all the time. Surely you would not want this to have the effect of changing the PDC every time.
You could have an argument about whether Ableton should work to give Live a "studio mode", seeing how it has outgrown it's live-performance roots to become a go-to studio tool for so many people too (many of which will never play live), where some features might work differently, more geared towards studio use.

ctignor
Posts: 2
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Re: Two BIG Problems with Plug-In Delay Compensation in Ableton

Post by ctignor » Fri Feb 03, 2017 3:20 pm

Stromkraft wrote:
ctignor wrote:This audio latency is still occurring for me using AU plugins in Ableton 9.
I note that the audio latency only occurs on the track I have the plugins on.

Any fixes / workarounds?

thanks.
Remove the plug-ins you're not using. Activate Reduced Latency When Monitoring. Live with the latency or get a (much) faster machine and an audio interface with optimal drivers and connection.

I don't get the OP here. Should Live recalculate PDC on activation of the device? Really? That would cause glitches.
Thanks for this reply. I'll look for the Reduced Latency When Monitoring setting.

When the pluing is enabled, I can see expecting the latency.
But when used in a live (not playback) mode, does Live really need to calculate new delay corrections for other tracks to align things together when plugins or turned on / off? I assume it's just processing samples as quickly as it can -- including whatever it sends to / receives from third party plugins - and thus no need to recalculate anything when the plugin is toggled on or off and ideally, the latency would just disappear when plugin is disabled.

Of course, I'm likely missing something in how the system works.

Stromkraft
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Joined: Wed Jun 25, 2014 11:34 am

Re: Two BIG Problems with Plug-In Delay Compensation in Ableton

Post by Stromkraft » Fri Feb 03, 2017 8:12 pm

ctignor wrote:
Stromkraft wrote:
ctignor wrote:This audio latency is still occurring for me using AU plugins in Ableton 9.
I note that the audio latency only occurs on the track I have the plugins on.

Any fixes / workarounds?

thanks.
Remove the plug-ins you're not using. Activate Reduced Latency When Monitoring. Live with the latency or get a (much) faster machine and an audio interface with optimal drivers and connection.

I don't get the OP here. Should Live recalculate PDC on activation of the device? Really? That would cause glitches.
Thanks for this reply. I'll look for the Reduced Latency When Monitoring setting.

When the pluing is enabled, I can see expecting the latency.
But when used in a live (not playback) mode, does Live really need to calculate new delay corrections for other tracks to align things together when plugins or turned on / off? I assume it's just processing samples as quickly as it can -- including whatever it sends to / receives from third party plugins - and thus no need to recalculate anything when the plugin is toggled on or off and ideally, the latency would just disappear when plugin is disabled.

Of course, I'm likely missing something in how the system works.
As I said if you got audio running trough the track, and then reactivate the device, PDC needs to be recalculated and applied, if it's not fixed as it is now. That's most likely a very costly operation and quite hard to make without glitches. What if you do that on 100 tracks at once? Personally, I'd rather use the CPU power for other things.

I think you're underestimating the task.
Make some music!

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