Deadmau5 Latency Issue tracking vocals

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
stevep314
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Deadmau5 Latency Issue tracking vocals

Post by stevep314 » Sun Dec 25, 2016 2:56 pm

Is this true?

If you monitor through Ableton or even via the direct monitoring (aka zero latency monitoring) of an audio card (if it has the option)
The audio still always lands 'late' on the recorded audio track?

https://youtu.be/souKFhNrhrE

Thanks a milli,
Steve

Update: So it lands late in the track only when monitoring through Ableton. ('In' or 'Auto' setting)
It gets compensated when monitoring is set to 'Off' (If your audiocard is reporting correctly) (You can use the Driver Error Compensation if it's not, as described in the Ableton lesson)

I just tested it myself with a cable going from the output to an input. With the RME FW400.
I was previously unaware that there is in fact hardware latency reporting going on in Ableton.
The waveform seems to line-up perfectly: https://s23.postimg.org/3su0zw2qj/latency.jpg

When it's on 'Auto' or 'In' it will land in the track late by the amount you set your buffer size.
Ableton's reasoning for this: It 'assumes' the player will compensate for the delay as it is being monitored.

I do still wonder why the mau5 has issues then tho.
Maybe because of latency introduced by his D.O.Tech MADI interfaces that don't report to the RME HDSPe fx card he has.
Last edited by stevep314 on Mon Jan 02, 2017 1:13 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Pitch Black
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Re: Deadmau5 Latency Issue tracking vocals

Post by Pitch Black » Sun Dec 25, 2016 6:52 pm

Always? Not true. Didn't watch the video. If you read the manual and operate Live properly, vocals/any external signal records PERFECTLY.
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kenporter
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Re: Deadmau5 Latency Issue tracking vocals

Post by kenporter » Sun Dec 25, 2016 8:16 pm

This is not correct. If you set your track monitoring to off when using direct monitoring from your audio interface and depending if the audio driver reports the latency correctly to Live, your audio recordings will be sample accurate. There is always latency when it comes to recording digitally just from the conversion of analog to digital in the converters alone, but good audio interfaces compensate for this. Even if your interface wouldn't, he uses RME, which it will, you could use the driver compensation tutorial to manually compensate for this.

Anyway, unless there is something wrong once you have a gazillion input channels like he has, Live compensates correctly.

Ken

stevep314
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Re: Deadmau5 Latency Issue tracking vocals

Post by stevep314 » Sun Dec 25, 2016 9:09 pm

Ok, i can accept there might be a weird issue if he has like 196 channels enabled in his input config of the preferences in Ableton.
Strange he would do that while tracking a single vocal though, especially if he experiences an issue with that.

However, the point is:
Even if there is one channel enabled... Ableton doesn't seem to compensate the (negligible) latency like Protools, Cubase or Logic does it?

Pitch Black
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Re: Deadmau5 Latency Issue tracking vocals

Post by Pitch Black » Sun Dec 25, 2016 9:36 pm

The point is: can you use Live for tracking? The answer is an emphatic YES.
Use your audio interface's zero-latency monitoring when recording and everything's peachy.
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kenporter
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Re: Deadmau5 Latency Issue tracking vocals

Post by kenporter » Sun Dec 25, 2016 9:49 pm

Just making sure, I was referring to Deadmau5's comments in the video as not being correct, not Pitch Black's.

Like both Pitch Black and I said, yes Live compensates for the latency just fine. If there is a mistake in the driver of the audio interface you can always do it manually too. Live has a tutorial on how to manually do driver error compensations. If you have a good interface, like RME, UAudio, Apogee etc. you more than likely don't have to worry about this.

Ken

jamief
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Re: Deadmau5 Latency Issue tracking vocals

Post by jamief » Mon Dec 26, 2016 12:12 am

Pitch Black please educate me I'm still struggling with this after all these years. I end up giving up trying to set this up successfully and end up cutting the beginning of my tracked files instead which i have to say is major bummer.

jamief
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Re: Deadmau5 Latency Issue tracking vocals

Post by jamief » Mon Dec 26, 2016 12:25 am

jamief wrote:Pitch Black please educate me I'm still struggling with this after all these years. I end up giving up trying to set this up successfully and end up cutting the beginning of my tracked files instead which i have to say is major bummer.
I'm running Personus StudioLive 32.4.2AI x2 daisy chained together.

fishmonkey
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Re: Deadmau5 Latency Issue tracking vocals

Post by fishmonkey » Mon Dec 26, 2016 1:37 am

jamief wrote:
jamief wrote:Pitch Black please educate me I'm still struggling with this after all these years. I end up giving up trying to set this up successfully and end up cutting the beginning of my tracked files instead which i have to say is major bummer.
I'm running Personus StudioLive 32.4.2AI x2 daisy chained together.
have you done the driver latency compensation thing?

even if you have, there are a couple of other things to be aware of:

- the correct latency compensation figure may vary if you change sample rates or buffer sizes
- the latency compensation might be thrown out of whack by your daisy-chaining, depending on how the Presonus has implemented things (you would need to do some tests to figure this out).
badbrainz wrote: I'm a drummer, so I'm already at an intellectual disadvantage here

Stromkraft
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Re: Deadmau5 Latency Issue tracking vocals

Post by Stromkraft » Mon Dec 26, 2016 1:42 am

I'd venture to say that Joel is correct on this. I don't know exactly what was said though.

I suggest to use "off" for external recordings that can be monitored in the audio interface or acoustically. This might only concern MIDI though, but this is not my experience.

No. I have not made extended testing, but this have come up numerous times with external recording and using monitor "off" fixed it basically all those times.

There is no problem with internal recordings, which I have tested. No difference that I can find, also with External Instrument connected to internal plug-ins.

So with monitor set to "off" you are getting instant monitoring from the instrument itself, say a guitar stack, acoustic drum or your voice or an instrument that plays back at the input of your audio interface/board.

Your timing is on the beat that you are hearing on the head phones, right? So Live records this as you play it, the timing of which is based on the playback. That's the timing reference and you adjust your playing both to that and the sounds from the instrument that you are playing (vocals). With low latency this is recorded more or less on the beat.

But what about with monitor set to "Auto"? Here I think Live assumes your playing is affected by the fact there's latency between the playing of the instrument and hearing it as all the latency it takes for the audio coming out likely means your timing is affected by when you hear it. What your hear of your playing when you have no immediate monitoring is late because of latency in the system. As the rest of the playback is equally late this doesn't mean much if you play with these limitations.

Ableton assumes with monitoring active that you are adjusting your playing to be on the beat. To be able to do that you need to be ahead of the beat. Therefore the recording is latency compensated to sync with the playback and not when you played it. This way what you hear is what will playback.

Again, it might be this only affects live performance MIDI recordings, but I think it would be bad design to not have it work the same with audio tracks. And when you're deep into latency issues and setting monitor to "off" fixes this, then something like this must be happening. There may be more variables though.

Here's what the manual says
"Monitoring can be turned off altogether by choosing the Off option. This is useful when recording acoustic instruments which are monitored “through the air,“ when using an external mixing console for monitoring or when using an audio hardware interface with a “direct monitoring“ option that bypasses the computer so as to avoid latency. Generally, it is preferable to work with an audio interface that allows for negligible latencies (a few milliseconds). If you are recording into Live with monitoring set to “Off,“ you may want to make the Audio Preferences’ Overall Latency adjustment, which is described in the built-in program tutorial on setting up the Audio Preferences. "
14.1 Monitoring (Live 9 manual)

This is clearly not fully supportive of what I just wrote, but it's not contradicting it either.
Make some music!

stevep314
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Re: Deadmau5 Latency Issue tracking vocals

Post by stevep314 » Mon Dec 26, 2016 9:55 am

According to the lesson in Ableton Joel is correct on this.

- When monitoring is 'Off' (aka using direct monitoring from a mixing desk or sound card): Live wants you to measure yourself what the actual input and output latencies in the system are. (with a cable from an output to an input)
And adjust the correct landing of the audio with the Driver Error Compensation setting.

- When monitoring is 'On' (Auto or In): The same latencies still apply and Live assumes the artist will compensate for the latencies by timing everything a little bit earlier while playing.

Now I wonder if the input-output latency change according to your buffer size settings / inputs used / if some tracks are in monitor mode and others are not and or plugins that are running.
Guess I gotta do some testing...and BTW Joel does not 'trust' setting the Driver Error Compensation by manually shifting the audio after the fact.

Thanks,
Steve
Last edited by stevep314 on Mon Dec 26, 2016 10:16 am, edited 2 times in total.

fishmonkey
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Re: Deadmau5 Latency Issue tracking vocals

Post by fishmonkey » Mon Dec 26, 2016 10:05 am

latency usually does change with sample rate and buffer size changes, and maybe also with the number of inputs used. AFAIK overall CPU load shouldn't affect the soundcard's latency.
badbrainz wrote: I'm a drummer, so I'm already at an intellectual disadvantage here

stevep314
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Re: Deadmau5 Latency Issue tracking vocals

Post by stevep314 » Mon Dec 26, 2016 10:10 am

All this is rather unsettling using Ableton for tracking any longer to me...

Pitch Black
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Re: Deadmau5 Latency Issue tracking vocals

Post by Pitch Black » Mon Dec 26, 2016 11:44 am

jamief wrote:Pitch Black please educate me
Hi Jamie! dunno if I can edjamicate you but here's how it works for me...

I'm recording Scotty's vocals on the left-hand track...

Image

His vocal is coming into my audio interface (Fireface800) on it's analog input channel number 1.
Note that monitoring is OFF on Scotty's channel.

Scotty wants some reverb on his vocal for vibe in his cans of course, so the right-hand track also listens to input 1, and sends a bit to Scotty's incoming signal to reverb via Send B.
Note that the monitor FX channel's output is set to Sends Only and it's monitoring set to IN.
[I know there's a tiiiinnnny bit of latency in Scotty's vocals getting to the reverb, but that doesn't mater for tracking, as the reverb isn't being recorded... call it... pre-delay to reverb - no big deal]

The Fireface's analog outputs 9/10 feeds the cans/monitors. I use the zero-latency pass-thru monitoring in the Fireface by using it's software control panel/mixer app "TotalMix" to send some of Scotty's incoming vocal (analog input 1) straight out to monitors and cans. In the pic below, Fireface input 1 is sent to the monitor out channels 9 and 10 on the Fireface.

Image

And that's it. that gets me perfectly in time vocals/instruments every time.
Here's my audio prefs, nothing special, just a moderate buffer setting.

Image

If you use zero-latency monitoring (i.e. pass-thru before A/D conversion) on your audio interface to get your dry monitoring signal, and keep the actual recording track's monitor to OFF, audio should always record perfectly.

...unless this is the issue where an audio interface mis-reports it's latency to the software, which can cause issues, but which AFAIK can be fixed by following the procedure in the manual!!!

Not shouting at you mate! :D just howlin' thru the internet at Mr mau5, frustrated that "fake news" finds its way even to this little corner. :lol:

I also may be a bit drunk.

Ken, can you confirm, sensei?


not the drinking.. I mean the theory, cos its worked in practice for years here.
Last edited by Pitch Black on Mon Dec 26, 2016 12:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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stevep314
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Re: Deadmau5 Latency Issue tracking vocals

Post by stevep314 » Mon Dec 26, 2016 12:25 pm

Sorry Pitch Black but according to the Live's lessons you should set the driver error compensation in a direct monitoring scenario.

You say:
If you use zero-latency monitoring (i.e. pass-thru before A/D conversion) on your audio interface to get your dry monitoring signal, and keep the actual recording track's monitor to OFF, audio should always record perfectly.
This is not true according to Live's lessons and Deadmau5 for that matter.

On top of that the Ableton Live 9 Driver Error Compensation seems to be unreliable.

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