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Mixing Hybrid / Delay compensation / PT 2018
Old 2 days ago
Gear Nut

Mixing Hybrid / Delay compensation / PT 2018

Hi Guys,
I always have issues with using hardware w/Pro Tools.

At the moment my setup is: MacPro + ProTools 2018 + RME UFX + LAVRY AD/DA.
I run the mix ITB other then my master which goes in to a mastering eq/compressor + I send a few signals using a send that goes to another aux with ProTools HW inserts to my analog compressors ect...Then printed to a audio track.

At the moment I'm at a point where I'm just printing my analog processing
and dealing with it that way, But I would love to not have to do that / Find a new way to work in this hybrid world.

Every-time I tried going the simple H/W insert on the actual track
I got latency/delay issues mostly because of my Master buss processing (Limiters ect)

Any advice?
Old 2 days ago
Lives for gear
Originally Posted by noam_rightway View Post
I got latency/delay issues mostly because of my Master buss processing (Limiters ect)
Hi Noam,

what exactly do you mean by those issues with H/W inserts?
Can you describe a bit, what you're experiencing?

Old 2 days ago
Gear Nut

Well my main issue is that when I use a limiter/maximiser plug in on the master it creates a big latency with my hardware inserts...
Old 1 day ago
Lives for gear
Hmm.. Maybe I still don't fully understand.

If you use such H/W insert at some track or bus, then it logically introduces some latency, which is pretty much given for particular working buffer, sample rate and used interface.
This particular round-trip delay happens no matter what. Regardless you're using insert or separate source and recording track, as it's property of physical loopback via interface/converter.

If you use insert I/O, then PT will automatically compensate for that, like with any other insert plugin. You can easily see that value, if you enable corresponding dly. compensation row at mix window.
That value is obtained from audio driver, but there is option at I/O setup to further tweak from that manually, which is often handy, if you use another converter (its actual latency is unknown to the driver) connected to main audio interface.

If you use separate tracks, then it gets slightly more complicated with regards to latency compensation of the roundtrip delay. Depending on project setup and used plugins it can behave little bit differently during monitoring (through record track, when automatic low latency mode defeats latency compensation at those track, unless you explicitly force it for always enabled) or during subsequent playback of recorded audio.
Compensation is always applied to recorded audio regions, so its positions are shifted by reported latency of used I/Os.

So in essence there isn't real difference between use of insert I/O or separate tracks, neither can save you from latency imposed by the interface.

Plugins with own significant latency like master bus limiters are typically always after those inserts or I/Os. So I don't see much relation to the issue, if you have those enabled and monitoring through it, its latency always takes place regardless you use external I/Os or not.
Although of course, individual latencies sums, so in case of several sequential I/O roundtrips in project and such limiter at end can be felt as too much for some use cases.
However again, you can clearly see current latency of each plugin or I/O at mixer and so you can for example bypass those latent plugins, when doing some task, which requires lower latency.

Old 1 day ago
Gear Nut

Thanks Michal! Appreciate the run down.

I know all of this,
I just didn't yet find a good way to use outboard for my workflow so I was wondering how other people tackle this subject in general...
Old 12 hours ago
Lives for gear
RiF's Avatar
Non-DSP-based audio solutions always induce some latency due to the roundtrips and the way audio interfaces work (buffers).

Besides what you do, I am using HW only where latency doesn't matter (mixing) or I am running the audio through HW before it enters the digital world (recording through compressors, eqs etc) and print it „to tape“.

I even stay away from delay-inducing plugins while recording/overdubbing for the exact same reason.
In PT you can get away if the delay occurs outside the current audio path while overdubbing by using Low Latency Monitoring and the correct routing, though.
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