STRATEGIES TO GET THE BEST OUT LIVE : DELAY COMPENSATION

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
petit nuage
Posts: 431
Joined: Wed Aug 16, 2006 12:31 pm

STRATEGIES TO GET THE BEST OUT LIVE : DELAY COMPENSATION

Post by petit nuage » Wed Jan 25, 2012 12:32 pm

hi !


As we known an interesting debate about live sound vs others daws, introduced us, a potential culprit : the delay compensation thing .

When i disable it in menu /options, i find the sound is more tight ,smooth, to resume a lot better but live dont compensate anymore latency caused by plugs ins ..


So i would like to have some strategies given by ABLETON or by you to have a work around for this crucial issue and to work with a good quality of sound with and without delay compensation.



When delay compensation is on :

- must i try to put exactly the same plugs in the tracks and mainly the live's plugs ?

- when i swith with delay and no delay and i see live'sound becoming messy ...

so playing with the track delay compensation track's feature in the bottom of the track can avoid this ?

When is off :

- must i forget third parties plugs or put the same chain or plug on all the tracks and have nothing on the master bus ?

- or just use ableton plugs at high rates like 88 khz because the hi quality mode in some live's plugs introduced latency ?

or must i treat ,record /print in audio the eq,comp etc..in the audio file ,without any plugs on the tracks ?



To get best sound quality :

- Must i record in midi with no delay compensation ,just perfect timing with the metronome , and working with the bounced audio and with live's plugs at high rates ?


- Must i desactivate delay compensation + warping and printing the fxs in audio(avoiding latency) and align sounds in arrangement or play them with follow actions laucnhing mode in session ?


And a lot of others questions...


Please ableton/people, take the time to give us here your good strategies about this ..because to choose between a good sound and plugs in realtime for me its not a normal kind of choice...

BIG THANKS !
Last edited by petit nuage on Wed Jan 25, 2012 2:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

3dot...
Posts: 9996
Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2007 11:10 pm

Re: STRATEGIES TO GET THE BEST OUT LIVE : DELAY COMPENSATION

Post by 3dot... » Wed Jan 25, 2012 12:49 pm

I think each plug introduces a constant delay..
Protools LE users had to manually dial in the compensation value..up until recently..
I'm guessing it's the same deal..

if you turn PDC off..
I guess you do the same..only per track and not per device..
enter the chains delay time to the track delay parameter...(or play with it until it sounds "right")
of course ..Live allows to feed-back.. in this case..there will be problems... fo sho..
Image

petit nuage
Posts: 431
Joined: Wed Aug 16, 2006 12:31 pm

Re: STRATEGIES TO GET THE BEST OUT LIVE : DELAY COMPENSATION

Post by petit nuage » Wed Jan 25, 2012 1:06 pm

thanks 3 dot !

..but its hard to know how this or that plug introduced as latency so thats why i was talking about putting the same fx chain (even some of them disabled) on all tracks to introduced the same delay, but maybe im wrong...

I have tried to align/sync the tracks with the track delay feature but i can reach the same sound quality or maybe it a precise work with m/s and smple to do ,and on all the tracks ...my projects often go 12 tracks and more ... :?


Soo I ask myself a lot on this ..since i ve dicover that the sound of live is really not the same when you disable it ...
so i would like advices by ableton or you people ,who have find strategies on this ...waiting live 9 solve that ...
Last edited by petit nuage on Wed Jan 25, 2012 1:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

pgmjsd
Posts: 70
Joined: Sun Nov 23, 2003 3:46 pm

Re: STRATEGIES TO GET THE BEST OUT LIVE : DELAY COMPENSATION

Post by pgmjsd » Wed Jan 25, 2012 1:16 pm

petit nuage wrote:thanks 3 dot !

I ask myself a lot on this ..since i ve dicover that the sound of live is really not the same when you disable it ...

so i would like advices by ableton or you people ,who have find strategies on this ...waiting live 9 solve that ...

Maybe you're just hearing the tracks being out of phase when you disable it? If so, that's exactly what it's supposed to do.

Maybe you have a VST that doesn't work well with this feature? I've got a few of those. :lol: Some VSTs don't report the right delay time to Live.

The delay compensation is just a digital buffer, and I have not noticed this introducing any sonic changes other than the expected phase differences between tracks. It's not like this is the bad old days with imperfect analog delays and such. I use external instruments and for certain sounds, getting the delay compensation right is critical.
Last edited by pgmjsd on Wed Jan 25, 2012 1:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

3dot...
Posts: 9996
Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2007 11:10 pm

Re: STRATEGIES TO GET THE BEST OUT LIVE : DELAY COMPENSATION

Post by 3dot... » Wed Jan 25, 2012 1:21 pm

cheers man..
yeah.. I'd be interested too in what Ableton advise
14.7 Track Delays
A Track Delay control is available for every track in Live. The control allows delaying or pre-
delaying the output of tracks in milliseconds in order to compensate for human, acoustic,
hardware and other real-world delays.
This section of the interface can be shown or hidden using its respective Mixer Section
selector.

We do not recommend changing track delays on stage, as it could result in undesirable
clicks or pops in the audio signal. Micro-offsets in Session View clips can be achieved using
the nudge buttons in the Clip View, however track delays can be used in the Arrangement
View for such offsets.

Note that delay compensation for plug-ins and Live devices is a separate feature, and is
automatic by default. Unusually high Track Delay settings or reported latencies from plug-
ins may cause noticeable sluggishness in the software. If you are having latency-related
difculties while recording and playing back instruments, you may want to try turning off
device delay compensation, however this is not normally recommended.
You may also nd
that adjusting the individual track delays is useful in these cases. Note that the Track Delay
controls are unavailable when device delay compensation is deactivated.
16.5 Device Delay Compensation
Live automatically compensates for delays caused by Live and plug-in instruments and
effects, including those on the return tracks. These delays can arise from the time taken by
devices to process an input signal and output a result. The compensation algorithm keeps
Live's tracks in sync while minimizing delay between the player's actions and the audible
result.

Note: there are a few situations in which Live cannot compensate for plug-in delay:
• Automation is not delay compensated. As a result, when using automation on tracks
that contain devices that cause delays, the automation may sound early.
• Tempo-synced effects and other devices that get timing information fromLive's internal
clock may sound out of sync if they are placed in a device chain after devices which
cause delay.

Device delay compensation is on by default and does not normally have to be adjusted
in any way. However, Live Sets that were created with Live 4 or earlier will open without
device delay compensation. To manually turn latency compensation on (or off), use the
Delay Compensation option in the Options menu.
Unusually high individual track delays or reported latencies from plug-ins may cause no-
ticeable sluggishness in the software. If you are having latency-related difculties while
recording and playing back instruments, you may want to try turning off device delay com-
pensation, however this is not normally recommended. You may also nd that adjusting the
individual track delays is useful in these cases, but please note that the Track Delay controls
are unavailable when device delay compensation is deactivated.
Note that device delay compensation can, depending on the number of tracks and devices
in use, increase the CPU load
I was wrong...
Image

petit nuage
Posts: 431
Joined: Wed Aug 16, 2006 12:31 pm

Re: STRATEGIES TO GET THE BEST OUT LIVE : DELAY COMPENSATION

Post by petit nuage » Wed Jan 25, 2012 1:34 pm

thanks !

when i make a mix with 4/5 tracks and delay compensation on plus some third parties plugs on tracks and when i disabled it i hear a smoother and tighter sound of by exple may main drum, more defined, more "round" ...but some tracks sound like phasy and out of sync...and i cant use sends...phasy too !

maybe its only because the tracks are not sync and that create space for my drum to breath and give me the illusion of a better drum sound ?

the phasy sound may come with the latency a plug introduce ,but if ableton plugs without hi-q dont introduced latency but are not optimal must i work at high rates + no delay compensation and just ableton plugs in normal mode (not hi-q/ oversampled) to reach a better sound quality ?


Please ABLETON give us ADVICES on this .

edit : @ 3 dot thks for your investigation ...very interesting ...i must to read the manual more often !!! :wink:
Last edited by petit nuage on Wed Jan 25, 2012 1:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

3dot...
Posts: 9996
Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2007 11:10 pm

Re: STRATEGIES TO GET THE BEST OUT LIVE : DELAY COMPENSATION

Post by 3dot... » Wed Jan 25, 2012 1:43 pm

I think the best thing is to adjust track delays only for the stuff that sounds "phasy"..

I dunno...maybe it's all for the best.. it'll make you listen more closely to tracks..
:wink:
Image

petit nuage
Posts: 431
Joined: Wed Aug 16, 2006 12:31 pm

Re: STRATEGIES TO GET THE BEST OUT LIVE : DELAY COMPENSATION

Post by petit nuage » Wed Jan 25, 2012 1:51 pm

héhé !


when i have delay compensation on, the sound can become clashier: because the timing is a bit lost and the differents tracks normally complementaries, begin to step on other tracks toes...and i often find that the sound is messy, fuzzy, blury, and i was thinking that i should struggle with eq to knock the track(s) into the mix ..but i was wrong i think .. i have the impression that is more A TIMING ISSUE .

When its sound "phasy" its because i have disable delay compensation and every plug i put, that introduced latency ,make the track and sounding like this ,and i dont talk about sends that are unusable, then i cant use the track delay thing to readjust timing because the option is gone when i disable delay compensation at the beginning ...so a bit inextricable :roll:

3dot...
Posts: 9996
Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2007 11:10 pm

Re: STRATEGIES TO GET THE BEST OUT LIVE : DELAY COMPENSATION

Post by 3dot... » Wed Jan 25, 2012 2:04 pm

yeah... leave it on.. and adjust delays...
or commit to audio... and move stuff around until it's in phase..
Image

petit nuage
Posts: 431
Joined: Wed Aug 16, 2006 12:31 pm

Re: STRATEGIES TO GET THE BEST OUT LIVE : DELAY COMPENSATION

Post by petit nuage » Wed Jan 25, 2012 2:17 pm

yeah..i will investigate more on the subject to keep the best sound quality and the synchonization

And i must try to find what plugs introduced more latency ...and it is difficult to know how ms/smple a plug or a chain of plug must be compensated just by ear and all this for all the tracks ...


for optimize and to be sure my sound is good, when delay compensation is on, and not to have to deal with track delay feature :must i work exlusively with ableton native fx's plugs ?


thanks for your time and your answers ! :wink:


and some tips and advices by ableton people are welcomed too :wink:
Last edited by petit nuage on Fri Jan 27, 2012 12:18 am, edited 1 time in total.

Machinesworking
Posts: 11118
Joined: Wed Jun 23, 2004 9:30 pm
Location: Seattle

Re: STRATEGIES TO GET THE BEST OUT LIVE : DELAY COMPENSATION

Post by Machinesworking » Wed Jan 25, 2012 9:55 pm

OK I'm thinking 'phasy' is being overused here. You're not going to get phase from an electronic kick drum and a high hat being out of sync, and I can't really think of any good reason why that would be the case. Phase happens when you have a drummer playing a drumset recorded with multiple mics. You get bleed through of the snare etc. on the Kick and high hats on the snare etc. It happens when you have multiple tracks with the same audio file and are treating them with different FX and Delay Compensation isn't working etc. Basically phase issues shouldn't be an issue if you're recording electronic music or using plug ins for acoustic drums like BFD etc.

Anyway if for some reason the sound of your tracks sounds better with compensation off, just record it that way. IMO there is something to having a bit of a human feel to even the most clinical electronic music.

Machinesworking
Posts: 11118
Joined: Wed Jun 23, 2004 9:30 pm
Location: Seattle

Re: STRATEGIES TO GET THE BEST OUT LIVE : DELAY COMPENSATION

Post by Machinesworking » Wed Jan 25, 2012 10:06 pm

To go over this a bit, all delay compensation does is nudge the master track forward in time in time to compensate for published delays from plug ins. Most if not all plug ins these days publish the milliseconds that the device delays audio by. There is no real reason why this should affect the "clearness" of the sound. One explanation is that clinically perfect to the beat music is a relatively new phenomena, all human players and MIDI to hardware even sequenced to machines introduce latency and imperfections in timing, drift etc. The "good" version of this we call feel and groove. So maybe you're reacting instinctually to hearing some more musical and less mechanical timing when compensation is off? We are talking about milliseconds you know, mostly less than 20, so 1/50th of a second.

fx23
Posts: 798
Joined: Wed Jul 08, 2009 3:23 pm

Re: STRATEGIES TO GET THE BEST OUT LIVE : DELAY COMPENSATION

Post by fx23 » Wed Jan 25, 2012 10:27 pm

personnally got tighter results, predicable and constant latency if
i disable adc and swich the vst buffer to a fixed buffer value, and manually offset tracks delay if needed.
then still suffer for the non comp of automs,clocks and mods, but there are strategies to 'limit' that.
first sound silly but avoid latency vst overall. if need high latency vst prefer it at the end of a chain.
avoid altering the chain if you already automated, or automate once chain is ready.
if you use a lot synced/gated/lfo type curves that need strong sync and tighness,
prefer live own devices modulations, or 3Rd party wich have an 'offset' feature
over a real drawn on grid clip automation/modulation, this will allow you to roll manually
the effecr to compensate, wich is impossible otherwise.

3dot...
Posts: 9996
Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2007 11:10 pm

Re: STRATEGIES TO GET THE BEST OUT LIVE : DELAY COMPENSATION

Post by 3dot... » Wed Jan 25, 2012 10:55 pm

fx23 wrote: then still suffer for the non comp of automs,clocks and mods, but there are strategies to 'limit' that.
what exactly do you mean by "tighter results" ?
Image

petit nuage
Posts: 431
Joined: Wed Aug 16, 2006 12:31 pm

Re: STRATEGIES TO GET THE BEST OUT LIVE : DELAY COMPENSATION

Post by petit nuage » Thu Jan 26, 2012 1:56 am

@machinesworking


yeah i know the latency for some vst like molot comp by exple because its developer specified it on his site but is this the case for all ..i dont know ..and i should go and verify it in the manuals.


SO if i have 5 plugs (eq-comp-gate and reverb :some using lookahead-sidechain or are in hi-q mode) i just have to add all these little latencies to report it in the track delay ..no ?

i should search by how many ms/smple the hi-q mode in live's native plugs delay the audio .
i dont know if the sidechain function in live's gate and compressor induced latency ...



for the perfectly on the beat music and the sensation you describe....you must be right... but i have played funk ,afro beat , lot of syncopated musics that i love so much and thats groovy music is a huge reference for me .

the music i produce is often off grid and not quantized or a litte bit just for some elements.
i know that the groove is in these milliseconds , this tight timing/ latency, which makes the groove and swing rock solid and energic.
and if it is delayed just by a millisecond for one or several tracks ,the global groove is not the same anymore , arrangements become blury and clashier .

the work with eq and spatialization, like i was doing in the past, in order to repair that, can even take some frequencies or colors off and can add another problem to the main problem ...a bit like dominos ...


as we talk about little latencies the more often i dont notice but i feel a loss of definition in global sound , more blury and i often naturally report that to frequencies clashs , yes it is ... but that messy/fuzzy sound is the consequence not the cause .


- loss of sync consequence's on the arrangement - if the pieces of the mecanism dont fit well into each other, its architecture become unstable and the mecanism cant create in optimal way , pure energy -clear sound - and emotions .

if im making a false diagnostic and believe to repair it with the wrong tools so i lose my time,energy , struggling with an issue (clash of frequencies) which hiddes and thats the consequence of the real issue : loss of original timing and synchronization and interaction between tracks.


when im talk about tight timing/latency, im thinking (dreaming..) about my hardware sequencers :akai mpc 2kxl and yamaha qy 700.
if the choice of sounds and arrangement are good and the piece of music is complex and sometimes off the grid , this solid ,tight ,reliable timing/latency (VS fluctuating one ..) keep the expressiveness, and the precision of each tracks which gives a global groove, cohesion, definition, harmony and unity like a perfect jigsaw puzzle .


so it swings like a rock and the sound is clear !
and i see that when the choice of sounds ,arrangement and the timing is solid i dont use or a jsut a bit some mixing effects like eq and comp or reverb.


i know i cant compare a complete daw like live with its specific architecture hosted on a computer and a hardware sequencer like mpc configured and created to minimize latency ...


but please ableton solve that for live 8.5/9 !
maybe this neverending debate about live sound quality will be closed.


- IMO a live 8.5 version could be a good bridge before live 9 ...see the reaktor 5.5 and its free improvements ..with the point of view of the hard and long live 8 confusing's experience - :wink:





@fx 23

i will try your advices , its interesting !
but when delay compensation is off , you told :.."manually offsets track delay " how ?
by moving audio files in arrangenment and manually realign them or ? how in session ... nudge function ? or moving/offset start point into the audio/midi clips ?


THANKS !

Post Reply