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Cumulative buffer latency in Ableton??

Plug-in hosts and other software applications discussion

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Tronam
KVRAF
 
1538 posts since 14 Mar, 2002, from Seattle, WA - USA

Postby Tronam; Tue Mar 25, 2014 2:51 pm Cumulative buffer latency in Ableton??

Much has been said about Live's plug-in delay compensation and its various issues with automation, but am I the last person in the room to discover that Ableton essentially treats all native VST/AU plugins like the UAD or other such DSP cards? What I mean by this is that each time a plugin is loaded in series this induces another full buffer's worth of latency on top of whatever latency the plugin may already introduce internally. Maybe this is common knowledge now to most of you, but I'm quite surprised to learn this. For example, if I disable PDC in Logic and chain 10 "zero latency" plugins on a track parallel to a duplicate without them, the tracks will still be in sync with each other. In Live with a sound card buffer size of 512 samples, that same parallel track will have over 5000 samples of latency. How many other DAWs behave this way?
Last edited by Tronam on Tue Mar 25, 2014 5:34 pm, edited 2 times in total.
hibidy
KVRAF
 
41489 posts since 20 Dec, 2005

Postby hibidy; Tue Mar 25, 2014 3:04 pm Re: Cumulative buffer latency in Ableton?

I dunno, but I have had some strange latency issues that are NOT PDC that I'm aware of.
echosystm
KVRist
 
62 posts since 24 Oct, 2006

Postby echosystm; Tue Mar 25, 2014 3:12 pm Re: Cumulative buffer latency in Ableton?

Tronam wrote:How many other DAWs behave this way?


None. This is unique to Disableton.
hibidy
KVRAF
 
41489 posts since 20 Dec, 2005

Postby hibidy; Tue Mar 25, 2014 3:40 pm Re: Cumulative buffer latency in Ableton?

haha!

Disableton.
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Tronam
KVRAF
 
1538 posts since 14 Mar, 2002, from Seattle, WA - USA

Postby Tronam; Tue Mar 25, 2014 4:52 pm Re: Cumulative buffer latency in Ableton?

echosystm wrote:
Tronam wrote:How many other DAWs behave this way?


None. This is unique to Disableton.

I'm quite fond of Live, but if that's true then it has one of the weakest implementations of VST/AU plugin support I've seen. Instruments aren't immune from this either. With PDC enabled even if you were to load just a single 3rd party synth, this would effectively double your entire project's latency. I can understand now why so many die hard Live users tend to stick with the native devices for live jamming and performance composition.
Last edited by Tronam on Tue Mar 25, 2014 8:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
echosystm
KVRist
 
62 posts since 24 Oct, 2006

Postby echosystm; Tue Mar 25, 2014 5:43 pm Re: Cumulative buffer latency in Ableton?

Tronam wrote:I'm quite fond of Live, but if that's true then it has one of the weakest implementations of VST/AU plugin support I've seen. Instruments aren't immune from this either. With PDC enabled even if you were to load just a single 3rd party synth, this would effectively double your entire project's latency.


It's worse than you think dude. Automation and tempo sync have no delay compensation whatsoever. As soon as you insert a VST into your track (even a zero latency VST), you can no longer have filters or fades that take effect precisely on a beat. Similarly, all delays or other tempo synced plugins will be out of time by their own latency plus your audio buffer plus the cumulative latency of any VSTs earlier in the chain. The fail is very epic.

This is probably the single biggest reason why everyone is going so batshit cray cray over Bitwig. All anyone wants is an Ableton clone without these retarded problems.
V0RT3X
KVRAF
 
4329 posts since 3 Jul, 2012

Postby V0RT3X; Tue Mar 25, 2014 5:50 pm Re: Cumulative buffer latency in Ableton??

This is why I'm gonna be making the big switch to Logic-X next. I am still going to keep my live licence though in case they ever decide to fix it before Bitwig surpasses them.
Best Advice I ever got : "Having the best tools and technical knowledge isn't gonna do much for you if you don't understand how to make good music."
cron
KVRAF
 
2155 posts since 27 Dec, 2002, from London

Postby cron; Tue Mar 25, 2014 8:48 pm Re: Cumulative buffer latency in Ableton??

A few weeks ago I made the sound for a mate's video game dev logo that plays when the game starts up. I was trying to quickfire pan three grains of sound that come in rapid succession over a quarter of a second or so. LEFTRIGHTCENTRE!

It should have be a case of drawing in the pan envelope in the relevant place on the timeline, but no. The grains of sound had already passed by the time the mixer felt like following the pan automation. I had to move the automation significantly before the actual grains I wanted to pan. Cue sitting for 5 minutes, working by ear through trial and error, trying to get the automation in precisely the right slice of the middle of nowhere. It was pretty much the final straw for me.

Precise build-up/impact sounds where you cut the sound for a few milliseconds before your introduce your impact, thus enhancing its punch? Simply flooring a parameter at the exact moment your beat kicks in? All these basic techniques of electronic music and more... forget it.

I'd been holding off upgrading to version 9 (9 whole version numbers... wow!) as they won't fix it and pretty much blank anyone who asks about it. Nice!

Got the demo of Reaper here. I can't quite let go just yet, like a spurned lover (we were so right for each other), but I'm sure it'll be fired up soon enough.
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Tronam
KVRAF
 
1538 posts since 14 Mar, 2002, from Seattle, WA - USA

Postby Tronam; Thu Mar 27, 2014 3:28 pm Re: Cumulative buffer latency in Ableton??

V0RT3X wrote:This is why I'm gonna be making the big switch to Logic-X next. I am still going to keep my live licence though in case they ever decide to fix it before Bitwig surpasses them.

It's still early days for Bitwig, but I'm happy to see that it doesn't suffer from this latency buffer problem. This is a significant improvement over Live and for plugins that do introduce latency of their own, displaying it on each track is a nice touch. The only other DAW I've run across that does something like this is Reaper.
samsam
KVRian
 
1362 posts since 9 Dec, 2008

Postby samsam; Thu Mar 27, 2014 4:29 pm Re: Cumulative buffer latency in Ableton??

Tronam wrote:Much has been said about Live's plug-in delay compensation and its various issues with automation, but am I the last person in the room to discover that Ableton essentially treats all native VST/AU plugins like the UAD or other such DSP cards? What I mean by this is that each time a plugin is loaded in series this induces another full buffer's worth of latency on top of whatever latency the plugin may already introduce internally. Maybe this is common knowledge now to most of you, but I'm quite surprised to learn this. For example, if I disable PDC in Logic and chain 10 "zero latency" plugins on a track parallel to a duplicate without them, the tracks will still be in sync with each other. In Live with a sound card buffer size of 512 samples, that same parallel track will have over 5000 samples of latency. How many other DAWs behave this way?


Sounds grim. Have you experienced these 5000 samples of latency yourself when you use Live?

I ask because I've been using Live myself for years and don't notice it at all. Maybe I'm so addled that I just can't notice 5000 samples of latency. What's your experience with Live?
User avatar
Tronam
KVRAF
 
1538 posts since 14 Mar, 2002, from Seattle, WA - USA

Postby Tronam; Thu Mar 27, 2014 4:50 pm Re: Cumulative buffer latency in Ableton??

samsam wrote:Sounds grim. Have you experienced these 5000 samples of latency yourself when you use Live?

I ask because I've been using Live myself for years and don't notice it at all. Maybe I'm so addled that I just can't notice 5000 samples of latency. What's your experience with Live?

How noticeable it is would depend on how small you set your soundcard's audio buffer size and how many cumulative VST plugins you stack on any of your audio/MIDI/return tracks. You wouldn't notice it with Live's native devices because aside from a select few they perform like true "zero latency" plugins. I generally keep my buffer at 512 because ~12ms is usually quick enough for my needs and the drop in CPU usage is significant for my large projects. In a DAW like Logic or Bitwig if I add a VST/AU instrument followed by a VST effect, my latency doesn't change. I still experience 12ms of responsiveness. In Live my latency would be closer to 36ms/1536 samples since each successive VST plugin adds a full buffer of delay to the entire project (with PDC enabled). 36ms of lag is very noticeable to me. I'm just surprised by this because I haven't seen any other VST host behave this way. Maybe it's unique to OSX. Does the Windows version of Live do this as well?
samsam
KVRian
 
1362 posts since 9 Dec, 2008

Postby samsam; Thu Mar 27, 2014 5:03 pm Re: Cumulative buffer latency in Ableton??

Well I use both Logic and Live, tons of AUs and I don't notice anything of the sort in either.

You mention returns - maybe that's why I don't notice it as my workflow is generally to use groups and inserts in Live and in Logic more sends.

I use 512 for finalising, 256 for playback and 128 for MIDI recording.

Anyway as I said for me this is all theoretical rather than practical as it just doesn't happen.
V0RT3X
KVRAF
 
4329 posts since 3 Jul, 2012

Postby V0RT3X; Thu Mar 27, 2014 5:06 pm Re: Cumulative buffer latency in Ableton??

Nvm it was actually about PDC
Best Advice I ever got : "Having the best tools and technical knowledge isn't gonna do much for you if you don't understand how to make good music."
User avatar
Tronam
KVRAF
 
1538 posts since 14 Mar, 2002, from Seattle, WA - USA

Postby Tronam; Thu Mar 27, 2014 5:11 pm Re: Cumulative buffer latency in Ableton??

It applies to all tracks and is easy to demonstrate. To make it more obvious try setting your soundcard buffer to 1024, load up a VSTi, then follow it up with 3 or 4 VST insert plugins. Each one you add multiplies the delay.
vstyler
KVRist
 
49 posts since 10 Oct, 2013, from Florida

Postby vstyler; Thu Mar 27, 2014 5:16 pm Re: Cumulative buffer latency in Ableton??

Why would anyone have their soundcard at 1024? lol

I run mine at 64, several plugins inline on a vocal track.. no problems..

maybe your a little Ms. intolerant? no... perhaps a need to.. compensate? :hihi: :clown:

Just joshing... its been a looong Bitwoooggy kinda day.
Last edited by vstyler on Thu Mar 27, 2014 5:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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