Very Bad Ableton Latency

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
Xambassadors
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Very Bad Ableton Latency

Post by Xambassadors » Sun Aug 11, 2013 4:36 pm

Hey guys,

I use ableton both in a live setting and in the studio. I'd consider myself a pretty advanced user of the program, but i have never been able to get around abletons latency. I have a 3 month old macbook pro with 16 gigs of ram and am running ableton 9 32 bit. I adjusted my buffer size using the test tone and found 96 samples to produce no clipping or cracking. I've also adjusted the delay compensation (to -5) so that my overall latency is .83ms.

As soon as i have a track with drums, bass, and a few synths with some of my waves plugins (my cpu meter is running between 15-20%) there is bad latency when trying to play software instruments with my midi controller. The driver type i'm using is core audio, which i think is standard on macs.

My solution for this has been to bounce my stems into logic x when i start to get latency. I can then add many more plugins and software instruments with absolutely no latency. I love ableton, but it's a little ridiculous that this is happening with so few tracks. I'd understand if i were using huge orchestral (east west, hollywood strings) sample libraries with a full orchestration. But i'm talking about very basic demo ideas creating too much latency to record simple midi ideas over.

Any help resolving this would be GREATLY appreciated as i love ableton and can't get anywhere else to the same workflow with any other DAW.

Thanks,
Adam

Tone Deft
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Re: Very Bad Ableton Latency

Post by Tone Deft » Sun Aug 11, 2013 4:57 pm

Xambassadors wrote:I'd consider myself a pretty advanced user of the program
seriously? this is basic stuff.
"Obsession is a great substitute for talent." - Steve Martin on learning the banjo

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102455
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Re: Very Bad Ableton Latency

Post by 102455 » Sun Aug 11, 2013 5:08 pm

Hmmm.......all that stuff about having problems with latency, but no mention of which audio interface you're using.

If you're not using one, then there's your problem. Use a pro interface to get pro results. Onboard soundcards are for consumers.

Tone Deft
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Re: Very Bad Ableton Latency

Post by Tone Deft » Sun Aug 11, 2013 5:21 pm

good point, but he's recording midi so there's gotta be some external hardware involved.
"Obsession is a great substitute for talent." - Steve Martin on learning the banjo

Dell Inspiron 15 7000, Live 10.1, Win10 Home, Edirol UA101, APC40, Remote SL, SPD-SX, mic, POD500HDX, JX305, Nova
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Angstrom
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Re: Very Bad Ableton Latency

Post by Angstrom » Sun Aug 11, 2013 5:45 pm

Xambassadors wrote: I've also adjusted the delay compensation (to -5) so that my overall latency is .83ms.

Uh, that's not how that works.

Assuming you mean the "Driver Error Compensation" box, it is for use after testing yur hardware, by using the Driver Error compensation lesson.

Open the Help bar, choose "show all built in lessons". click the item marked "driver error compensation". This section explains how you use that, and provides a set with the details in. Essentially - it's just incase your hardware drivers are a bit shit and the input and output are offset from each other.
So, for example: My drivers and hardware are not shit, so that box for me reads 0.00 ms. Most people's should look the same.

That box is not able to cheat space and time to get less latency by just typing in a number! It is able to manually attempt to remedy driver errors. If you put a number in there which is not related to your test results, and just try to make the numbers look small - you will in fact get worse latency.

I do understand that it is a misleading part of the interface, and I find the lessons about it are not great. many many people get this wrong.

Xambassadors
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Re: Very Bad Ableton Latency

Post by Xambassadors » Sun Aug 11, 2013 6:36 pm

Sorry for saying i was an advanced user...

I'm using an apogee duet 2 audio interface, and my midi controller is plugged in via usb. I guess i'm not technically using a midi interface, is that my problem? It's weird because I can use many more plugins and tracks in logic than ableton so i'm thinking it's a problem with my settings.

Also, with the driver error compensation, i've found that the latency does improve as you move that slider so your overall latency approaches 0. I use drum pads live and use ableton as my sound bank and it definitely makes a big difference.

Any help would be greatly appreciated guys.

Tone Deft
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Re: Very Bad Ableton Latency

Post by Tone Deft » Sun Aug 11, 2013 6:55 pm

just taking the piss over my morning coffee.

this isn't documented very well, we've been pointing this out to Ableton for years. this is the same post I've put up over the years:

viewtopic.php?p=1368087#p1368087

FWIW 1ms of delay in open air is the same amount of delay as having your year 1 foot from the speaker, 10ms is the same as being 10 feet from your speaker. the difference of 9ms (not noticeable) between the two distances. the reported delay that Live gives you (or just about any DAW) is incorrect because there are lots of interconnected dependencies in the software drivers etc and they can't measure themselves accurately, they can only guess. there's a free piece of software out there that can, I forget what I it is, the last time I posted it, I posted the wrong thing. google can answer all that for you.

for me, to play guitar (or synth or drums) through Live 15ms fine. YMMV.
"Obsession is a great substitute for talent." - Steve Martin on learning the banjo

Dell Inspiron 15 7000, Live 10.1, Win10 Home, Edirol UA101, APC40, Remote SL, SPD-SX, mic, POD500HDX, JX305, Nova
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Angstrom
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Re: Very Bad Ableton Latency

Post by Angstrom » Sun Aug 11, 2013 7:19 pm

Tone Deft wrote:just taking the piss over my morning coffee.

this isn't documented very well, we've been pointing this out to Ableton for years. this is the same post I've put up over the years:

viewtopic.php?p=1368087#p1368087

FWIW 1ms of delay in open air is the same amount of delay as having your year 1 foot from the speaker, 10ms is the same as being 10 feet from your speaker.
Dude, these days we are all shifting over to monitoring in water, the latency is a quarter of air. The waterproof speakers are a bit expensive, and my head goes a bit wrinkly after being submerged for a few hours. but for that sweet watery bass coming in at 5,120 m/s, it's worth it.

<do not do this>

Tone Deft
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Re: Very Bad Ableton Latency

Post by Tone Deft » Sun Aug 11, 2013 7:33 pm

no shit??! 8O

OK, the water's running, it's gonna take a few hours to fill the room and the wife is gonna be pissed but it's better to ask for forgiveness than permission when making epic fat beats.


edit -
ugh, I need more caulk and I'm sealed in the room. :x
"Obsession is a great substitute for talent." - Steve Martin on learning the banjo

Dell Inspiron 15 7000, Live 10.1, Win10 Home, Edirol UA101, APC40, Remote SL, SPD-SX, mic, POD500HDX, JX305, Nova
soundcloud.com/tone-deft

Xambassadors
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Re: Very Bad Ableton Latency

Post by Xambassadors » Sun Aug 11, 2013 8:09 pm

Guys this is my first post on this forum. I was hoping people would actually share knowledge instead of joking around about the question?

Tone Deft
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Re: Very Bad Ableton Latency

Post by Tone Deft » Sun Aug 11, 2013 8:17 pm

GODDAMNIT PEOPLE GET YOUR SHIT TOGETHER!!

wait, you're saying that Angstrom was joking... 8O
"Obsession is a great substitute for talent." - Steve Martin on learning the banjo

Dell Inspiron 15 7000, Live 10.1, Win10 Home, Edirol UA101, APC40, Remote SL, SPD-SX, mic, POD500HDX, JX305, Nova
soundcloud.com/tone-deft

102455
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Re: Very Bad Ableton Latency

Post by 102455 » Sun Aug 11, 2013 8:44 pm

I'm no Mac expert but isn't the OS on a Macbook Pro 64 bit?

You said you were running Live 32 bit. Is your Logic also 32 bit?

Angstrom
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Re: Very Bad Ableton Latency

Post by Angstrom » Sun Aug 11, 2013 8:45 pm

Ok, serious answer : you say you have no latency at all in Logic. That isn't possible. There are certain plugins which add latency and no way around it : EG compressors with look-ahead will add the look-ahead value in latncy. Also many of he more complex effects such as IR verbs add latency. If you have "waves plugins" which have any kind of compression on the master, or sequences of these - ou will rack up latency figures in any app. Saying "no latency" means you havent understood what causes latency.

Additional to those issues : The way live handles this is slightly different than other programs when a track is armed and monitored. There's something called "play through optimised latency" which can be dectivated in one of the menus. This will be explained in one of the manual sections. In effect - one way it makes your key presses as fast as that channel can do them, regardless of the latency elsewhere in the set, the other way makes sure your key presses obey the overal latncy incurred by all those plugins dotted around the set

Xambassadors
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Re: Very Bad Ableton Latency

Post by Xambassadors » Sun Aug 11, 2013 11:25 pm

So will changing my monitoring setting in my track from "in" to "auto" or "off" help this problem?

Tone Deft
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Re: Very Bad Ableton Latency

Post by Tone Deft » Sun Aug 11, 2013 11:48 pm

/facepalm

no, it won't. read the manual on Monitor, that's pretty basic.

read the link I posted above.
"Obsession is a great substitute for talent." - Steve Martin on learning the banjo

Dell Inspiron 15 7000, Live 10.1, Win10 Home, Edirol UA101, APC40, Remote SL, SPD-SX, mic, POD500HDX, JX305, Nova
soundcloud.com/tone-deft

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