ZERO LATENCY PLUGINS????

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
anto
Posts: 58
Joined: Thu Jan 05, 2006 4:49 pm

ZERO LATENCY PLUGINS????

Post by anto » Fri Aug 26, 2011 9:04 am

a lot of productors (also Ableton) decalare zero latency on many of it's plugins.
do you play real instruments into Live?
do this try:
- choose 1 zero latency plugin (i.e. Ableton limiter, or waves 550eq, or what you want)
- put the plugins in your real instrument channel, add this plugin 30-40 times (so, i.e., you have guitar in yout channel with 40ableton limiters)
- play a note
results:
you'll experiment an about a second latency 8O

there are no real zero latency plugins.

when you play a real instrument this can be an huge problem: also a minimum, almost non percepible latency tends to put a wall between you and your instruments.

Ableton doesn't have a tool to measure the effective plugin latency in a set up.
So when I use a plugin I have to do the mentioned test.
It could be very useful to have a tool to measure easly the effective plugin latency.

I hate latecy :twisted:
Macbook Pro i7, NI Komplete

twisted-space
Posts: 1250
Joined: Fri Aug 31, 2007 5:50 pm
Location: UK Midlands

Re: ZERO LATENCY PLUGINS????

Post by twisted-space » Fri Aug 26, 2011 10:34 am

1 Why would you want 40 limiters (or 40 anything for that matter) on a channel?
2 Sound travels ~1 ft per ms in air, so 6 ms latency is like standing 6 foot away from your amp while playing the guitar, would you feel that put a wall between you and your instrument?
3 Abletons limiter has a minimum 1.5 ms latency for the look ahead, so 40 instances will give at least 60 ms + whatever your soundcards roundtrip latency is, where does it say it's zero latency?
Last edited by twisted-space on Fri Aug 26, 2011 10:56 am, edited 2 times in total.

fishmonkey
Posts: 4093
Joined: Wed Oct 24, 2007 4:50 am

Re: ZERO LATENCY PLUGINS????

Post by fishmonkey » Fri Aug 26, 2011 10:38 am

even if a plugin has zero internal latency, there is some overhead involved in hosting it, and certainly some significant overhead if you want your DAW to string dozens of instances together.

besides that there is also the latency induced by your operating system and audio interface (DA conversion, etc.)

for sure large latencies can be a problem, however latency naturally occurs with acoustic and analogue electronic instruments too. playing in situations with varying latency has always been a part of music making.

ciw
Posts: 689
Joined: Thu Dec 29, 2005 5:36 pm
Location: Cardiff, UK

Re: ZERO LATENCY PLUGINS????

Post by ciw » Fri Aug 26, 2011 11:10 am

This is interesting, I don't have L8 so don't know about limiter but I imagine it's not zero latency though (none of the best limiters are).

I wonder what happens if you try reverb, eq8 or ping pong delay. They should be zero latency. Plus your soundcard roundtrip of course.

anto
Posts: 58
Joined: Thu Jan 05, 2006 4:49 pm

Re: ZERO LATENCY PLUGINS???? THE SOLUTION: VIRTUAL FEELING

Post by anto » Fri Aug 26, 2011 11:21 am

@twisted space: :lol: I don't want to use 40 limiters! obiouvsly this was an experiment to verify the latency :!:
generally, if you use complex rigs is easy to surpass 20ms, which is the limit of percepible latency.

@fishmonkey, no, I don't feel 6ms of latency, maybe it's a psichoacoustical question, but, if you have about 10-15 ms of digital latency, and you add it to acoustical (phisical distance) latency, you can feel a loose of feeling when you play. It's a sorto of "gray-zone" between preception and sensation.



definitively in my playing experience latency is the worst aspect of playing a guitar into a computer.

now with my rig (saffire pro40, macbook pro I7) I start from 128 samples (44.1khz) and 10.3ms
if plugins would effectively zero latency it would be ok, but every plugins adds some little latency to my starting 10.3ms.....

this is the reason why latency is still a big problem if you want to use real instrument with real feelings

I think a lot of digital player have evolved into a VIRTUAL FEELING: they developed a psicoacustical perception oriented to don't recognize latency!!!! a sort of NEUROPHISIOLOGICAL LATENCY PLUGINS COMPENSATION :)
do you ever experienced some guy who play and say "no latency!" while if you do a lick with his rig you experiment latency? ok this is NEUROPHISIOLOGICAL LATENCY PLUGINS COMPENSATION :)

in conclusion, for now:
I'll spend some extra bucks for a RME, but in my opinion a tool to test the plugins latency could be useful
Macbook Pro i7, NI Komplete

Klinikal
Posts: 210
Joined: Tue Jan 10, 2006 4:38 pm
Location: Planet Earth

Re: ZERO LATENCY PLUGINS????

Post by Klinikal » Fri Aug 26, 2011 11:36 am

Limiter is the last thing You should use in Your experiment.
Try with AutoFilter or EQ8 or any other but not Limiter.

anto
Posts: 58
Joined: Thu Jan 05, 2006 4:49 pm

Re: ZERO LATENCY PLUGINS????

Post by anto » Fri Aug 26, 2011 11:49 am

Klinikal wrote:Limiter is the last thing You should use in Your experiment.
Try with AutoFilter or EQ8 or any other but not Limiter.
Ableton declare limiter as zero latecy, but also with other plugins the thing is the same (ie Waves550 eq)

anyway, the concept:

(productor declared) zero latency plugins are not (effective) zero latency plugins
Macbook Pro i7, NI Komplete

crumhorn
Posts: 2503
Joined: Fri Sep 26, 2008 6:04 pm

Re: ZERO LATENCY PLUGINS????

Post by crumhorn » Fri Aug 26, 2011 12:42 pm

twisted-space wrote:...
Abletons limiter has a minimum 1.5 ms latency for the look ahead, ....

This is the reason - limiter can not be zero latency, whatever it says in the manual.
"The banjo is the perfect instrument for the antisocial."

(Allow me to plug my guitar scale visualiser thingy - www.fretlearner.com)

anto
Posts: 58
Joined: Thu Jan 05, 2006 4:49 pm

Re: ZERO LATENCY PLUGINS????

Post by anto » Fri Aug 26, 2011 12:55 pm

crumhorn wrote:
twisted-space wrote:...
Abletons limiter has a minimum 1.5 ms latency for the look ahead, ....

This is the reason - limiter can not be zero latency, whatever it says in the manual.
yes, I dida mistake, I've just foud the Ableton's specification about latency:

------
the AAS instruments introduce the latency of the set CPU buffer size.

Compressor and Limiter introduce the latency of the set look-ahead. Gate has 1.5ms. Erosion has 5ms.
Reverb introduces 8 samples of latency. The other Ableton plugins have just a few samples of latency.
-----

so my previous conclusion are partially wrong,
but I've found false the declaration of a lot of productors. i.e. Sonalksis declare zero latency, but the sonalksis maxlimit put latency into the chain

moreover I've tested now Ableton eq8, yes, you can put a lot of eqs in the chain and there's no latency (I've experimented with 100eqs: no latency added to my chain)

now take 550 eq from Waves (declared zero lateny by the productor: http://www.wavesupport.net/content.aspx?id=2213) and to the same test: latency added to the chain


so I hve to change my previous conclusion to this one:

a lot of (productor declared) zero latency plugins are not (effective) zero latency plugins
Macbook Pro i7, NI Komplete

crumhorn
Posts: 2503
Joined: Fri Sep 26, 2008 6:04 pm

Re: ZERO LATENCY PLUGINS????

Post by crumhorn » Fri Aug 26, 2011 1:16 pm

It's because of the way that VST plugins work (and for all I know AU and RTAS, ...)

The host passes a buffer full of samples to the plugin which processes the whole buffer and then gives the resulting output buffer back to the host. How many samples are in the buffer depends on the host. In Live you can set it in the CPU preferences - the minimum is 32 samples.

My guess is that when producers claim zero latency they are referring to the additional latency caused by the plugin itself - not the buffering done by the host.
"The banjo is the perfect instrument for the antisocial."

(Allow me to plug my guitar scale visualiser thingy - www.fretlearner.com)

twisted-space
Posts: 1250
Joined: Fri Aug 31, 2007 5:50 pm
Location: UK Midlands

Re: ZERO LATENCY PLUGINS????

Post by twisted-space » Fri Aug 26, 2011 1:52 pm

anto wrote:
I've found false the declaration of a lot of productors. i.e. Sonalksis declare zero latency, but the sonalksis maxlimit put latency into the chain
According to the Maxlimit manual, it has 512 samples audio throughput delay.

anto wrote:moreover I've tested now Ableton eq8, yes, you can put a lot of eqs in the chain and there's no latency (I've experimented with 100eqs: no latency added to my chain)

now take 550 eq from Waves (declared zero lateny by the productor: http://www.wavesupport.net/content.aspx?id=2213) and to the same test: latency added to the chain
I suspect that's due to Live's plugin buffer. If this is set to "as audio buffer", then the plugin will always have to wait, in your case, 128 samples before it can process any audio. You can reduce this at the expense of more cpu load, see preferences, cpu, plugin buffer size.




anto wrote:so I hve to change my previous conclusion to this one:

a lot of (productor declared) zero latency plugins are not (effective) zero latency plugins
I think you should make sure you really understand what's happening before you come to any conclusion.

9V
Posts: 1053
Joined: Wed Oct 13, 2004 8:15 pm
Location: utopia

Re: ZERO LATENCY PLUGINS????

Post by 9V » Fri Aug 26, 2011 1:59 pm

zero latency does not exist. Not even real instruments have zero latency. Hardware synths have 7ms latency. :roll:

anto
Posts: 58
Joined: Thu Jan 05, 2006 4:49 pm

Re: ZERO LATENCY PLUGINS????

Post by anto » Fri Aug 26, 2011 2:54 pm

twisted-space wrote:
anto wrote:
I've found false the declaration of a lot of productors. i.e. Sonalksis declare zero latency, but the sonalksis maxlimit put latency into the chain
According to the Maxlimit manual, it has 512 samples audio throughput delay.



ok, if the manual of Maxlimit ways 521 samples, it seems real, but I've read from Sonslksis:
"All Sonalksis plug-ins that use our State-Space Analog technology are inherently ?zero- latency? processing devices. The plug-ins work just like the true analogue circuits that they model - all processing is instantaneous, so there is no latency (delay) introduced in the audio signal".
I mean this when I realize some wrong information about zero latency
Macbook Pro i7, NI Komplete

anto
Posts: 58
Joined: Thu Jan 05, 2006 4:49 pm

Re: ZERO LATENCY PLUGINS????

Post by anto » Fri Aug 26, 2011 3:00 pm

[quote="twisted-space"][quote="anto"]

I suspect that's due to Live's plugin buffer. If this is set to "as audio buffer", then the plugin will always have to wait, in your case, 128 samples before it can process any audio. You can reduce this at the expense of more cpu load, see preferences, cpu, plugin buffer size.



yes, but some plugins declared zero latency add latency, some other don' do this (i.e. waves550 add latency, Ableton eq8 doesn't add latency)
Macbook Pro i7, NI Komplete

anto
Posts: 58
Joined: Thu Jan 05, 2006 4:49 pm

Re: ZERO LATENCY PLUGINS????

Post by anto » Fri Aug 26, 2011 3:01 pm

twisted-space wrote:
anto wrote:


I think you should make sure you really understand what's happening before you come to any conclusion.


I wrote this post to test my conclusions
Macbook Pro i7, NI Komplete

Post Reply