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Buss Latency and Working With Plugins
Old 1 week ago
  #1
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Buss Latency and Working With Plugins

Hello all. Until I recently, I didn't understand the concept of buss latency (I knew what latency was, but not buss latency). Researching about buss latency helped a lot, but I still have a couple questions about it...

Let me start off by saying that I understand that in theory, it is not the "busses" that add the latency, but the plugins that go on those busses. I also have my plugin latency compensation set to "all". Finally, I found out the trick in LPX about hovering over a plugin and it telling you how much latency it is inducing... That leads me to my main question...

I recently acquired sonarworks reference 4. On their website it has a suggestion for how to work from a buss routed template to avoid switching between headphone and speaker profiles in the plugin. I also am trying to figure out the best way of working from templates during the tracking phase so that as much of the work as possible is already done for me, but I also don't have to worry about latency.

Can anyone explain to me why when I work from a completely empty template, there is little to no latency; however, when I switch to a template that has buss routing pre-configured, the latency is extreme (1-3 seconds) even though there are no latency inducing plugins in the signal path? (or even when I take them all off the project, for the matter [they aren't like that in the attached image, but I did give that a whirl a couple times]). In this scenario, even when I try and record straight onto a track that is routed directly to the St. Out, I still get a lot of latency, even though that track it is not even touching any of the preconfigured buss routing.

I wouldn't even mind having the busses pre-configured, then tracking directly to St. Out and then changing the routing after I'm done tracking that specific part; however, as of right now, I can't avoid latency even when the routing is present but bypassed.

Any help would be greatly appreciated. I've attached images to help show my routing. Thanks so much.

-Alex
Attached Thumbnails
Buss Latency and Working With Plugins-screen-shot-2019-08-09-6.07.35-pm-2-.jpg   Buss Latency and Working With Plugins-screen-shot-2019-08-09-6.08.51-pm-2-.jpg  
Old 1 week ago
  #2
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Can't see what the plugins are that are on all of the channels - screenshot too small to be readable.
Old 1 week ago
  #3
Lives for gear
Build your own template. Play with it. It all takes time to work out.

I can't read it either, but it looks like the template has built in plugs. Just because they are not used or turned off, the structure is there. That structure is creating the lag.

When recording (When lag matters) don't use any plugs. This is where analog hardware is really an advatage. Analog has no lag.

If you want plugs on the tracks you are hearing while recording. Bounce to a new track. Then set up the mix with no plugs to lay down the next track.
Old 1 week ago
  #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by facej View Post
Can't see what the plugins are that are on all of the channels - screenshot too small to be readable.
sorry, I guess the screenshot's got compressed upon upload.

the main plugins i'm using are defaults on all audio channels and they are just to help me set levels - one utility gain plugin for trimming and the MAAT DR Meter to view RMS and Peak monitoring at the same time. The only other thing the channels are hitting is Sonarworks, which Logic claims is not introducing any latency.

I had the following plugins on the mix bus, but turned off:
J37 (waves), Slate Virtual Mix Rack, Oxford Inflator, PSPVintage Warmer 2, Center (Waves), Fab Filter Pro-L2.

-Alex
Old 1 week ago
  #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alexhirlinger View Post
Hello all. Until I recently, I didn't understand the concept of buss latency (I knew what latency was, but not buss latency). Researching about buss latency helped a lot, but I still have a couple questions about it...

Let me start off by saying that I understand that in theory, it is not the "busses" that add the latency, but the plugins that go on those busses. I also have my plugin latency compensation set to "all". Finally, I found out the trick in LPX about hovering over a plugin and it telling you how much latency it is inducing... That leads me to my main question...

I recently acquired sonarworks reference 4. On their website it has a suggestion for how to work from a buss routed template to avoid switching between headphone and speaker profiles in the plugin. I also am trying to figure out the best way of working from templates during the tracking phase so that as much of the work as possible is already done for me, but I also don't have to worry about latency.

Can anyone explain to me why when I work from a completely empty template, there is little to no latency; however, when I switch to a template that has buss routing pre-configured, the latency is extreme (1-3 seconds) even though there are no latency inducing plugins in the signal path? (or even when I take them all off the project, for the matter [they aren't like that in the attached image, but I did give that a whirl a couple times]). In this scenario, even when I try and record straight onto a track that is routed directly to the St. Out, I still get a lot of latency, even though that track it is not even touching any of the preconfigured buss routing.

I wouldn't even mind having the busses pre-configured, then tracking directly to St. Out and then changing the routing after I'm done tracking that specific part; however, as of right now, I can't avoid latency even when the routing is present but bypassed.

Any help would be greatly appreciated. I've attached images to help show my routing. Thanks so much.

-Alex
Have you turned on the automatic delay compensation in the preferences?
Right under that there should be a box for low latency recording.
You can enable the low latency via widget in the arrangement window, towards the top right.
It will be an orangish yelpowish button with what looks like a speedometer. You’ll have to enable it by clicking (maybe left click) on the gray area that surrounds the widgets/next to the widgets and then ticking the box that says low latency in the menu that comes up.









... WIDGET!
Old 1 week ago
  #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alexhirlinger View Post
sorry, I guess the screenshot's got compressed upon upload.

the main plugins i'm using are defaults on all audio channels and they are just to help me set levels - one utility gain plugin for trimming and the MAAT DR Meter to view RMS and Peak monitoring at the same time. The only other thing the channels are hitting is Sonarworks, which Logic claims is not introducing any latency.

I had the following plugins on the mix bus, but turned off:
J37 (waves), Slate Virtual Mix Rack, Oxford Inflator, PSPVintage Warmer 2, Center (Waves), Fab Filter Pro-L2.

-Alex
This is maybe just me, but I think engineers should have separate templates: one for tracking and one for mixing. I certainly do, as I view them as separate services for hire. It takes two minutes at the most to import and organize tracks into a mix template that has all of my plugins and routing ready to go, and then it's mostly editing out unneeded content and mixing from there. If you're someone who tracks and mixes a bit at a time, I'd still say to keep it separate. You can keep the raw tracks in the tracking project, or import tracks from the mixing project in order to monitor while overdubbing.

When tracking, there are zero plugins on my master bus accept occasionally a limiter if a band is really loud and I want to avoid clipping. And Sonarworks: this is something I use on every song, but it's just for mixing, not for tracking. The only metering I use during tracking is on the fader. If I choose to use a compressor I use the meter on that plugin on a couple of test parts to see that it's set up properly. But if I'm tracking direct to Logic I keep as few plugins in the path as possible, and zero special routing for later mixing. This just keeps all the latency and processing down so you can focus on the performance and getting good signal capture. Even after getting into UAD Apollo tracking, I'm still rarely tracking with plugins, although I'm getting more adventurous because when you can nail a full channel strip setup it makes mixing so much faster. But tracking with UAD means I don't worry about latency, or rarely do. Still, because of using certain amp sims or VI keyboards, I track direct into Logic a ton. I've never dealt with the issue you've described.
Old 1 week ago
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sirthought View Post
This is maybe just me, but I think engineers should have separate templates: one for tracking and one for mixing. I certainly do, as I view them as separate services for hire.

When tracking, there are zero plugins on my master bus accept occasionally a limiter if a band is really loud and I want to avoid clipping. And Sonarworks: this is something I use on every song, but it's just for mixing, not for tracking.
Sorry, I should have specified... I do use two different templates for tracking/mixing. The issue that I am describing is on my tracking template. I enjoy using the MAAT while tracking bc it essentially allows me to meter RMS and PEAK at the same time which I find very useful. However, there are no plugins on my chain besides this, a gain plugin (which I find does virtually nothing), and Sonarworks.

My mentality in using sonarworks to track is that I want to get the sound right at the source, so I want to be monitoring through it... Am I flawed in that mentality? (Asking here, not being sarcastic.)

Also, what Limiter do you use while tracking? Every limiter that I can find introduces latency and is one of the main culprits for the issue that I am having. I'd be very interested in a zero-latency limiter (if that exists).
Old 1 week ago
  #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tnevz View Post
Have you turned on the automatic delay compensation in the preferences?
Right under that there should be a box for low latency recording.
You can enable the low latency via widget in the arrangement window, towards the top right.
It will be an orangish yelpowish button with what looks like a speedometer. You’ll have to enable it by clicking (maybe left click) on the gray area that surrounds the widgets/next to the widgets and then ticking the box that says low latency in the menu that comes up.
I'm assuming you mean "Plugin-Delay Compensation" correct? I have enabled this enabled in the preferences, and it is set to "all."

I have tried working with Low Latency Mode, but I have put myself in some sticky situations with it in the past. The biggest problem that I have with it is that it disables all the sends, so headphone mixes are shot. Also, it disables a lot of guitar amp sims, etc., which end up messing up the overall balance that I have going up until that point.

I'm not opposed to using it, and I have been forced to use it in the past to get down what I need, but I would love to know a way of getting around these issues without using Low Latency Mode, so that I can know "what's going on under the hood."
Old 1 week ago
  #9
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low latency mode will turn off the plugins with the most latency afaik.
I believe it does turn off plugins on sends and/or sends busses all together which should be fine for tracking.
I’m guessing the Sonarworks is the main culprit here but..
if your recording a band and they need separate headphone mixes you don’t want any plugins on there or at least very very minimal.
Gain eq compresssion. Maybe a low latency reverb on the channel for the moment.
All stock plugins! Or waves, fab filter..
Main thing is that it’s low latency AND a super reputable dev.
Looked like you had a JST plug-in on there.
Get rid of that. Try getting rid of that MAAT plugin too. It may only be a meter but those things can use up gpu, if you have a wimpy gpu then it starts eating up cpu, which could cause latency.
Few years ago logic had just this problem. To where it was practically unusable because the plugins graphics were using excessive amounts of gpu and cpu.
Definitely no sonar works while tracking and I wouldn’t use a limiter tracking either.

If you’re only recording yourself, a headphone or stereo out from an interface works fine with out any sends. I do this all the time with all kinds of plugins and busses, click low latency and it turns off any latency indicing plugins and routing.
But it sounds like you need separate headphone mixes for multiple people. Correct?
In this case you want a very minimalistic template for tracking.
Old 1 week ago
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alexhirlinger View Post
My mentality in using sonarworks to track is that I want to get the sound right at the source, so I want to be monitoring through it... Am I flawed in that mentality? (Asking here, not being sarcastic.)

Also, what Limiter do you use while tracking? Every limiter that I can find introduces latency and is one of the main culprits for the issue that I am having. I'd be very interested in a zero-latency limiter (if that exists).
Sorry if I presumed you were using one.

My understanding is that Sonarworks does increase latency, which is a reason not to track with it. I guess if you wanted to audition sounds to get it how you like it, that might help, but then turn it off during the performance. People have worked for years without it, so I don't think it's going to make or break you. Still about mic selection and placement and good performance.

I've tried a few different limiters, but not sure I've tested latency with all of them, as it usually doesn't come up when you're tracking a band live, which what I prefer to do. Often it's just the stock limiter in Logic Pro X. I've tried the freebie brickwall LoudMax and iZotope Ozone Vintage Limiter. I also own the mastering suite called Elevate, but only used that on the mix bus during mixing. That one can be a CPU hog.
Old 1 week ago
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tnevz View Post
I believe it does turn off plugins on sends and/or sends busses all together which should be fine for tracking.
I’m guessing the Sonarworks is the main culprit here but..

Main thing is that it’s low latency AND a super reputable dev.
Looked like you had a JST plug-in on there.

Get rid of that. Try getting rid of that MAAT plugin too. It may only be a meter but those things can use up gpu, if you have a wimpy gpu then it starts eating up cpu, which could cause latency.

Few years ago logic had just this problem. To where it was practically unusable because the plugins graphics were using excessive amounts of gpu and cpu.
Definitely no sonar works while tracking and I wouldn’t use a limiter tracking either.

If you’re only recording yourself, a headphone or stereo out from an interface works fine with out any sends. I do this all the time with all kinds of plugins and busses, click low latency and it turns off any latency indicing plugins and routing.
But it sounds like you need separate headphone mixes for multiple people. Correct?
In this case you want a very minimalistic template for tracking.
I have experienced Low Latency Mode turning off sends. Granted its been a while since I used it, so there is a chance Logic has released an update that gets rid of this feature... I would hope so, since its the plugins on those sends that are creating the latency and not the plugin's themselves.

Sonarworks is supposedly not adding any latency according to Logic... when I hover over it, it claims that it isn't adding any latency.

I'll try and get rid of all plugin's essentially and see if that works, however, the template that I have set up, I've specifically made sure to not use any plugin's with latency, so we SHOULD have been fine in the first place. But the whole GPU thing is a good point. My GPU should be able to handle it but who knows.
Old 1 week ago
  #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sirthought View Post
Sorry if I presumed you were using one.

My understanding is that Sonarworks does increase latency, which is a reason not to track with it. I guess if you wanted to audition sounds to get it how you like it, that might help, but then turn it off during the performance. People have worked for years without it, so I don't think it's going to make or break you. Still about mic selection and placement and good performance.

I've tried a few different limiters, but not sure I've tested latency with all of them, as it usually doesn't come up when you're tracking a band live, which what I prefer to do. Often it's just the stock limiter in Logic Pro X. I've tried the freebie brickwall LoudMax and iZotope Ozone Vintage Limiter. I also own the mastering suite called Elevate, but only used that on the mix bus during mixing. That one can be a CPU hog.
Sonarworks Systemwide has inherent latency; however, their plugin/DAW version is supposed to be non latent. Ultimately you're right though. It's not a make or break thing, although it would be nice to have for low end content, because it's doing a lot of shaping on my system down there.

I'll try logic's stock limiter and see if it is non latent. Thanks for the advice.
Old 5 days ago
  #13
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Sonarworks used to have 3 different modes that effected the latency differently when I used it as a plug-in on the Stereo bus.

There was a mixing mode that was high latency high accuracy, a tracking mode that was low latency low accuracy, and a mixed mode somewhere between those two.

I'm only speaking past tense about it since I don't use it anymore.

You asked if you should use Sonarworks when tracking.

I am not using it anymore for tracking or mixing.

I believe the reason is that I think the character of a headphone actually has a significant value.

The point of Sonarworks is to attempt to remove the character of the headphones in order to create a standardized sound between different headphones and speakers.

But the character of a headphone, if you know it, might create different exciting emphasis on different tones that you might be wanting to respond to in real time.

I'm slowly getting the attitude about headphones that I have about mics when it comes to tracking. The character of different ones might be useful for different situations.

Even with mixing, I tend to feel the same way. What I do want when mixing on headphones is cross-feed though so I don't unknowingly build-up too many frequencies of a certain type.

The only place I think Sonarworks is a huge benefit is mastering, where the purpose should be translation across different speakers and headphones.

Just my current thought on the subject.
Old 3 days ago
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheoryNotes View Post
Sonarworks used to have 3 different modes that effected the latency differently when I used it as a plug-in on the Stereo bus.

There was a mixing mode that was high latency high accuracy, a tracking mode that was low latency low accuracy, and a mixed mode somewhere between those two.

The only place I think Sonarworks is a huge benefit is mastering, where the purpose should be translation across different speakers and headphones.

Just my current thought on the subject.
Thanks for the input! As it stands now (I don't know how it has been in the past), there are still three modes; however, there is a completely zero-latency mode, which is ideal for tracking. So theoretically this shouldn't be adding any latency at all.

That is a completely respectable opinion. I've found that there has been a steep learning curve for me - it took me a while before I learned Sonarworks and my mixes started to improve... But it seems like once I got the hang of it, it helped tremendously. Mainly with getting my mixes to translate. My opinion may change in the future though and I might abandon it... Who knows.
Old 3 days ago
  #15
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I'v'e done a lot more research on this matter, and am in the middle of actually working through a course on latency. I did the latency loop test scenario and determined additional latency that was being added into my system in addition to the roundtrip latency that logic is reporting. Extremely handy.

I understand more about the issue that I was having earlier. First off, when PDC is in "all" mode, any latent plugins must be completely removed - not just by passed, because the signal will still be delayed by the latency that even a bypassed plugin is introducing. The reason that my live input signal was so delayed was because PDC was in "all" mode. This was causing the system to delay my live input just like the rest of the tracks, so everything was in time with itself.

The other scenario, "Audio and Software Tracks" allows live input to be monitored without being delayed by any plugin induced latency that is occurring at any point in the project... Obviously it will still be delayed by any latency added within its chain/routing to the output. This, theoretically, makes it ideal for tracking. The problem is that it doesn't certain aspects of the project are no longer being played in time, and when you have a project that is fairly developed throughout the tracking/mixing process, there are all sorts of timing/phase issues that are introduced.

So "all" seems to be the only logical and working solution, because I can't foresee a scenario where I would ever want playback to be out of sync at any point throughout the tracking or mixing process, correct? (I'm kind of asking that as a question though, because I feel like I might be wrong...) If this is the case, working with Low Latency Mode is the only option beside bouncing down a mix and going to a new project.

The thing that I still don't understand is that when I have Low Latency Mode engaged, it is still disabling all sends, even if a send is going straight to a headphone mix output that has no plugins on the chain. As I understand it, in theory, this bus shouldn't be adding any latency because its simply an aux without any plugin's on it (the plugin's add the latency not the buss)... So why would this send be getting disabled? Regardless, when I then enable "Low Latent Safe" mode on the send, the signal that is then being sent to that aux is extremely delayed. Again, this doesn't make sense because the buss shouldn't be adding latency. Whats odd is if I set the output of the track that I am recording to, to that same exact headphone output that I was previously bussing to, it is in time. The ONLY difference in the two circumstances is the routing to get to that output (in one circumstance, the track is assigned directly to the headphone output and in the other circumstance, the track is sent to the stereo output and then has a send going to a buss which is is then sent directly to that same headphone output) Again, there are no plugin's added in either scenario, but the buss routing is extremely delayed and the direct output has no latency at all. This issue is fixed when I put PDC back into "audio and software tracks" mode, but then my track sounds like trash bc of the timing/phase issues.

Are there any workable solutions out there? Latency is still kind of making my head spin. I still can't seem to figure out the best way of doing headphone mixes with Low Latency Mode, which I often have to use. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

I have added images to show the two different circumstances.
Attached Thumbnails
Buss Latency and Working With Plugins-lot-latency.jpg   Buss Latency and Working With Plugins-no-latency-all.jpg  
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