bizarre latency issue

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groovestick
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Dec 21, 2010 10:08 am

bizarre latency issue

Post by groovestick » Mon Mar 05, 2012 7:52 am

hi

i've recently started experiencing a weird problem in ableton 8.2.1. i was working on a set one night, saved and closed and then the next day when i started working on it i was getting this weird latency issue where everything will be delayed by i'm guessing about 15-20ms despite my overall latency being about 9ms. this project has about 120ish plugins or so and uses on average 50% of my cpu (intel 17 quadcore) when playing through main part of the song. i am doing lots of synth/bass processing in it hence all the plugins. this is an average project for me and i usually run projects like this with no hiccups.

for example. i've got a drum rack with a snare playing via midi clip in it. the snare will be on 2 and 4 but the sound won't be heard till the playback bar is like halfway through the midi clip but what's weird is that the track's meter will trigger in time with the sample and how it should be eg. with no latency. same goes for all other tracks, eg. audio, synths etc. abletons meters show that it's reacting and playing everything in time, and everything plays back in time but just all delayed. when this happened the other day, i saved a copy of the session i was working on, deleted some things and copied them into a new track and the problem was gone which baffles me. i can't think of any plugins that would be causing this. if i have this problem then open a new session though, it disappears. i just opened a session i haven't opened for a few months and now this latency issue is suddenly plaguing it. what the hell?

also, this latency is also present when auditioning samples in the file browser; the sample will play through its waveform but the audio will not be spat out till about 20ms later.

i'm using an NI audio kontrol 1 with up to date drivers going straight into my windows 7 64 bit pc. using 44.1khz sample rate, 128 buffer size, 11.6ms overall latency in ableton. what i also want to know is, why does my AK1 control panel report having 6.8ms overall latency when ableton's is higher?

edit: tried importing a latency-affected session via windows explorer into a latency-free blank session and the latency issue followed with the project which suggests that something inside the project is causing the issue but i can't figure out what it could be. i guess the fact it affects auditioning samples suggests it's not a plugin?

edit 2: if i delete all the tracks of the latency-affected session, the latency issue seems to disappear...

Vios
Posts: 267
Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2012 2:13 am
Location: Denver, CO
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Re: bizarre latency issue

Post by Vios » Mon Mar 05, 2012 7:39 pm

Try this first: increase your buffer size. 128 is pretty small, and you may have some CPU processing peaks that go over 100% and you run out of buffer before your CPU can catch up. Ableton only displays an averaged value.

Also check the audio settings of all of your audio clips. There's a setting where you can set them to load to your RAM or to your hard drive (can't remember where exactly, it's on the screen to the left of the waveform, don't have Live on my work computer).

Also there's a little light right next to your CPU % in the upper right hand corner that lights up when Live fails to load an audio clip in time. Is it lighting up? I get delays/glitches when this starts lighting up.

Also might be worth defragging your hard drive? What's your memory usage like?

Finally if none of these are a fix, save a new copy of your track and go track by track deleting things until the problem disappears, and then you'll know who your "culprit" is.

groovestick
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Dec 21, 2010 10:08 am

Re: bizarre latency issue

Post by groovestick » Mon Mar 05, 2012 11:23 pm

thanks for the reply.

in terms of CPU processing power: ableton seems to overexaggerate cpu usage. for example, in this current project, ableton says i'm using about 50% of my CPU to play through the main part of the tune but my task manager says i'm hovering at around 17%.

for loading audio clips in real time, that doesn't seem to be the issue either. i occasionally get disk overload indicator light flashing when i have millions of audio clips but i never get any audible dropouts. basically, i think the problem is too widespread and weird to be HDD overload. my HDD is also gets a defrag once a week and i have 750gb free from a 1tb overall size so it's not straining or anything. i have 4gb of RAM.

i'll have to re-try the deleting tracks thing again.

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