Direct Monitoring with reverb with 2048 sample hardware buffer size

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
Post Reply
oodonit
Posts: 1
Joined: Sun Apr 14, 2019 5:35 pm

Direct Monitoring with reverb with 2048 sample hardware buffer size

Post by oodonit » Sun Apr 14, 2019 5:48 pm

Hi I am looking for suggestions to my dilemma.

TLDR: how to get reverb in the headphones while direct monitoring while the computer hardware buffer is at the highest 2048 samples (causing huge latency but amazing stability)

I have a sweet direct monitoring setup where my talent can hear themselves in the headphones with zero latency (I have an SPL MTC which is a monitor controller with a "more me" function and my mic pre has a duplicated second output (Great River ME-1NV) which I can plug into the musician input (more me) on the SPL MTC thus giving me zero latency monitoring.

My issue is that I want to add reverb to the signal WHILE keeping the hardware buffer at 2048 samples. Now I have seen many videos explaining how to do this with lower buffer settings. i.e. setting up a second track with 100% wet reverb, but you still need to bring the buffer down to something reasonable like 512 or 256 to make sure the reverb doesn't have a huge predelay. There has to be another way!!

The only other idea I can think of is to get standalone reverb software and use that in conjunction with Ableton while recording. Any ideas?

fishmonkey
Posts: 4088
Joined: Wed Oct 24, 2007 4:50 am

Re: Direct Monitoring with reverb with 2048 sample hardware buffer size

Post by fishmonkey » Sun Apr 14, 2019 11:34 pm

i would be thinking "hardware reverb unit"...
badbrainz wrote: I'm a drummer, so I'm already at an intellectual disadvantage here

TLW
Posts: 227
Joined: Thu Aug 23, 2018 2:37 am

Re: Direct Monitoring with reverb with 2048 sample hardware buffer size

Post by TLW » Mon Apr 15, 2019 12:31 am

fishmonkey wrote:
Sun Apr 14, 2019 11:34 pm
i would be thinking "hardware reverb unit"...
So would I. I don’t know if the MTC has the necessary inputs and outputs to patch a hardware reverb into the vocal foldback chain, but if not feeding the MTC monitor/headphone out into a hardware reverb and setting the voice/reverb balance in the reverb unit might well work. Or putting a mixer between the MTC and monitors/phones and using the mixer’s aux channels to connect a reverb unit. A cheap hardware reverb ought to be adequate.

But only after trying reducing the latency, there’s a point when increasing latency doesn’t make anything more stable it just unnecessarily increases latency. Sometimes setting latency too high can even result in less stability.

I think trying to use a software reverb as ‘stand alone’ (presumably in a VST/AU host of some kind) might cause all kinds of issues, even if the audio drivers even allow two applications access at the same time and with different buffer settings.
Live 10.1 Suite, M4L, 2014/15 MacBook Pro 15.3” Retina i7, OS Mojave 10.14.5. RME UFX, assorted synths, guitars and stuff.

oratowsky
Posts: 104
Joined: Wed Apr 11, 2007 12:09 am
Location: los angeles

Re: Direct Monitoring with reverb with 2048 sample hardware buffer size

Post by oratowsky » Tue Apr 16, 2019 3:55 am

hi, there's a lot of audio interfaces that have onboard DSP that allow you to do the scenario you describe.

however in my humble opinion (my apologies if you've already settled on this workflow for your situation for reasons i haven't thought of) this never made sense to me because I want the singer to hear themselves through my full vocal chain.

the way it seems to me if you need that large of a buffer to track without dropouts it might be easier to to track vocals on a separate session with the beat mixed down to a stereo track so you can lower the buffer.

otherwise if you can't track reliably with a lower buffer there might be other issues affecting your performance?

good luck !

TLW
Posts: 227
Joined: Thu Aug 23, 2018 2:37 am

Re: Direct Monitoring with reverb with 2048 sample hardware buffer size

Post by TLW » Tue Apr 16, 2019 9:13 pm

My 2015 2.2GHz i7 macbook and RME UFX reliably monitors 12 inputs @44.1KHz, 24 bit with a 64 sample buffer with several delays, modulation plugins and reverbs running. But I don’t use lots of demanding software synths and avoid latency increasing or resource intensive plugins until I’ve got the tracking done.

Not everyone works like I do, so it’s quite possible that for some people the minimum latency their system will run well at is higher than mine. Also some people have less powerful computers. On the other hand, if a 2048 sample buffer is needed for system stability or to avoid crackling and dropouts, like you I’d be looking for what’s causing the need for a massive buffer.

The trouble with digital audio is that the “user experience” can be very much dependent on factors that vary hugely from setup to setup. The possible number of component combinations in PCs is vast - my last PC from a few years ago was useless for audio work unless I disabled wi-fi networking, and even Apple who know exactly what’s in every computer they make sometimes get things wrong. The recent experience of people with 2018 Macs finding USB audio interfaces unreliable being an example, though RME’s forum indicates Apple now seem to have fixed that problem with the latest OS patch.
Live 10.1 Suite, M4L, 2014/15 MacBook Pro 15.3” Retina i7, OS Mojave 10.14.5. RME UFX, assorted synths, guitars and stuff.

Post Reply