This is not true. I can software monitor a signal without any plugins, with a really high buffer and there will be a delay in the signal (obviously). However, if I leave the buffer really high and engage low latency mode the delay disappears. [...] Try it yourself and see.
I actually already have tried it (but not after the 8.02 update).
Here's what the manual says about Low Latency Mode:
The Low Latency mode allows you to limit the maximum delay time caused by plug-ins. Plug-ins will be bypassed to ensure that the maximum delay that can occur across the entire signal flow (of the current track) remains under the chosen value. The Low Latency mode is extremely useful when you need to play a software instrument (or to monitor through an audio channel) when plug-ins with high latencies are already in use—at any point in the signal flow for the selected track/channel.
Note: The sound may change in Low Latency mode. Depending on the plug-ins in use, the changes can be anything from subtle to dramatic. If plug-ins being used do not exceed the total latency limit, there will be no audible difference.
If you suggest that something has changed regarding LLM that hasn't been documented, and that the manual is wrong, nobody would be more happy about this than me, but if software monitoring actually is used, and software monitoring - unlike direct monitoring - is using the buffers, how would it be possible to bypass the buffers?
if I leave the buffer really high...
These buffers causes a latency that can be calculated by taking the buffer size and divide it by the sample rate - times two, because there are at least two buffers in use when you record audio. In other words, if you use a 512 buffer, the latency from the buffers alone will be 23 milliseconds @ 44.1 khz. A 1024 buffer will mean at least 46 ms of latency.