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Cumulative buffer latency in Ableton??

Plug-in hosts and other software applications discussion

Moderator: Moderators (Main)

blackflag
KVRist
 
150 posts since 21 Sep, 2008

Postby blackflag; Fri Mar 28, 2014 2:21 pm Re: Cumulative buffer latency in Ableton??

This has been a known issue with Ableton Live for years, and is my biggest complaint along with no snapping of automation points. Are there really fanboys still trying to defend this terrible design flaw on their forum? Anyone who claims they don't notice it must be deaf, or have never attempted any complex sound design in Ableton using third party plugins. If Bitwig got this right I will probably be switching over!
Last edited by blackflag on Fri Mar 28, 2014 2:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
hibidy
KVRAF
 
41161 posts since 20 Dec, 2005

Postby hibidy; Fri Mar 28, 2014 2:29 pm Re: Cumulative buffer latency in Ableton??

Hey, I agree. I have no clue why they haven't addressed the issue. Undertaking or not, it's a problem.
blackflag
KVRist
 
150 posts since 21 Sep, 2008

Postby blackflag; Fri Mar 28, 2014 2:39 pm Re: Cumulative buffer latency in Ableton??

hibidy wrote:Hey, I agree. I have no clue why they haven't addressed the issue. Undertaking or not, it's a problem.


Ableton really needs to listen to musicians instead of letting a marketing team make the decisions. They probably won't do anything until it starts hurting their sales, and until recently they had no other competition.
User avatar
Ingonator
KVRAF
 
8062 posts since 21 Mar, 2008, from Hannover, Germany

Postby Ingonator; Fri Mar 28, 2014 2:42 pm Re: Cumulative buffer latency in Ableton??

blackflag wrote:This has been a known issue with Ableton Live for years, and is my biggest complaint along with no snapping of automation points. Are there really fanboys still trying to defend this terrible design flaw on their forum? Anyone who claims they don't notice it must be deaf, or have never attempted any complex sound design in Ableton using third party plugins. If Bitwig got this right I will probably be switching over!


If you speak about my own test i just added i never used Live without PDC activated and the peblem i just found only happens with automation used and even then it could happen you don' notice with a "busy" song with multiple tracks going on.
That example i posted at the last page is only really noticed when having a silent part in the song.
As i mentined the problem also more or less gets "lost" with lower buffer sizes.

So it was far from easy to find this the way i posted at the previous page.
The questio is anyway if the example i used there is totally realistic.

For me having found it like just posted doesn't change anythimng in the fact that i plan to continue using Live also in the future. Without this specific test i maybe would still not have noticed that problem...

Opposing to that in the Bitwig demo there were several things that were a lot more obvious than this, including some important features missing that i use in Live.


Ingo
Waldorf Beta Forum Manager
"Atmospheric Transients" for PPG Wave 3.V
"Analog vs Digital" for Blofeld
Win 7 64-bit / Live 9 / Studio One / Reaper / Pro Tools // Blofeld / Pulse 2 /Waldorf + other plugins
blackflag
KVRist
 
150 posts since 21 Sep, 2008

Postby blackflag; Fri Mar 28, 2014 3:06 pm Re: Cumulative buffer latency in Ableton??

Sorry Ingo I wasn't referring to your post, I know everyone on KVR is quite knowledgeable. I was mainly talking about the kids on Ableton forum claiming the problem doesn't exist at all. PDC in Ableton is a topic that always gets me a bit upset, considering the amount of money I've given them.
hibidy
KVRAF
 
41161 posts since 20 Dec, 2005

Postby hibidy; Fri Mar 28, 2014 3:09 pm Re: Cumulative buffer latency in Ableton??

blackflag wrote:
hibidy wrote:Hey, I agree. I have no clue why they haven't addressed the issue. Undertaking or not, it's a problem.


Ableton really needs to listen to musicians instead of letting a marketing team make the decisions. They probably won't do anything until it starts hurting their sales, and until recently they had no other competition.


To be fair, from the moment I tried the 9 beta to now, there have been dozens if not hundreds of feature requests implemented and countless bug fixes. But the PDC issue is a big one.
blackflag
KVRist
 
150 posts since 21 Sep, 2008

Postby blackflag; Fri Mar 28, 2014 3:16 pm Re: Cumulative buffer latency in Ableton??

Yes, the features they add are usually quite innovative or trendy, but they seem to forget the obvious basic stuff. This is what makes me think the people making decisions don't actually use the software.
jancivil
KVRAF
 
9492 posts since 20 Oct, 2007

Postby jancivil; Fri Mar 28, 2014 3:21 pm Re: Cumulative buffer latency in Ableton??

Ableton Live doesn't suit my normal M.O., but I can see a particular use for it for me.
I would absolutely be automating things in detail in FX, and I would totally notice it per se as I have a definite reason and something I'm trying to hear. With the situation as described often enough here, it is a total no-go for me.
User avatar
Tronam
KVRAF
 
1537 posts since 14 Mar, 2002, from Seattle, WA - USA

Postby Tronam; Fri Mar 28, 2014 3:37 pm Re: Cumulative buffer latency in Ableton??

Ingonator wrote:If you speak about my own test i just added i never used Live without PDC activated and the peblem i just found only happens with automation used and even then it could happen you don' notice with a "busy" song with multiple tracks going on.
That example i posted at the last page is only really noticed when having a silent part in the song.
As i mentined the problem also more or less gets "lost" with lower buffer sizes

The main purpose of this thread was not Live's handling of PDC and automation. That has already been beaten to death. It's more about their unusual VST implementation which behaves unlike anything else I've seen, including Bitwig.

Put as simply as possible, let's say I start a new project set up like this:
Image

I then add an instance of Zebra followed by an EQ and compressor plugin. Since PDC is enabled, now my entire project is effectively operating like this:
Image

I can only speak for myself, but that's a very noticeable amount of latency. No other DAW that I'm aware of acts like this unless they're running a UAD interface. This was always one of the big complaints about using DSP cards: each plugin introduced a full buffer of lag.
echosystm
KVRist
 
62 posts since 24 Oct, 2006

Postby echosystm; Fri Mar 28, 2014 5:50 pm Re: Cumulative buffer latency in Ableton??

hibidy wrote:Hey, I agree. I have no clue why they haven't addressed the issue.


Money. People seem to forget that music companies are companies. Staff are accountable to the board and the board are accountable to the shareholders. They can't just go and do something out of altruism. I guarantee you there's at least one guy at Ableton right now who is sitting at his desk thinking "why can't they just f***ing approve me to fix this s**t".

A lot of noobs use Ableton, because they hear of so many famous people using it. Thus, 9/10 Ableton users will never notice this problem, so there is no business case for fixing it. Unfortunately, the people who do know what they are doing suffer because of this.

Over time, there will be enough people complaining about it that even the noobs will stop wanting to use Ableton. At that point, they will fix it (or go out of business). Deadmau5, one of the original Ableton poster boys, made his disdain for the PDC issue quite public when he switched to Cubase. If you want this fixed, start making a big deal about it publicly.

It wouldn't surprise me at all if Ableton were already well into a rewrite. There was over 3 years between Live 8 and Live 9, yet all they have to show for it is a few UI changes, Push and two plugins that weren't even written by them (The Glue and EQ Eight). When Live 9 came out, my first thought was "they're running out of funding for a rewrite and need some bling to increase sales".
User avatar
Ingonator
KVRAF
 
8062 posts since 21 Mar, 2008, from Hannover, Germany

Postby Ingonator; Sat Mar 29, 2014 12:26 am Re: Cumulative buffer latency in Ableton??

Tronam wrote:The main purpose of this thread was not Live's handling of PDC and automation. That has already been beaten to death. It's more about their unusual VST implementation which behaves unlike anything else I've seen, including Bitwig.


Somehow it is as i found that the automation delay gets less with lower buffer size and in my example at 128 it is almost gone.
During many discussions about PDC + automation i had not really noticed that someone mentioned this.

Another point is also that in my test which uses features and FXs i normally use the amount of delay introduces by automation is not as big as shown in other examples shown e.g. at YouTube.

As already mentioned i had never turned off PDC before the tests i had done yesterday and in the past i did not really notice problems. A test where the rest of the tracks were silent was necessary to really detect it in the way i did yesterday (screenshots at at the previous page).
Maybe people with other plugins and aother automations have bigger problems but as mentioned those are plugins and automation i normally use. When slowly fading volume in and out instead of sharp changes like in that test it is less likely to observe that problem.
With using fewer FXs at one track, not using certain FXs that do most latency or not using automation also under those testing conditions it was very hard to find that problem. And in that specific tset it was quite easy to solve it.

At the end i mean that Live is maybe not 100% but the same could be said about other hosts and i really had trouble with the workflow of some other hots, especially when i tested the demo of FL Studio 11.

Currently ofor testing purposes i also had the demo of Cubase 7.5 which actually seems to be quite nice.

Currently besides Live 9.1.1 i also have Reaper 4.6 for certain tasks. At the current state of Bitwig Studio i hardly see that this could replace those two hosts for me. Maybe at version 2 or later but maybe then Live had a major update too.



Ingo
Last edited by Ingonator on Sat Mar 29, 2014 12:43 am, edited 1 time in total.
Waldorf Beta Forum Manager
"Atmospheric Transients" for PPG Wave 3.V
"Analog vs Digital" for Blofeld
Win 7 64-bit / Live 9 / Studio One / Reaper / Pro Tools // Blofeld / Pulse 2 /Waldorf + other plugins
samsam
KVRian
 
1360 posts since 9 Dec, 2008

Postby samsam; Sat Mar 29, 2014 12:40 am Re: Cumulative buffer latency in Ableton??

echosystm wrote:
A lot of noobs use Ableton, because they hear of so many famous people using it. Thus, 9/10 Ableton users will never notice this problem


So the only people who don't notice problems are noobs?

Bullshit
User avatar
Tronam
KVRAF
 
1537 posts since 14 Mar, 2002, from Seattle, WA - USA

Postby Tronam; Sat Mar 29, 2014 12:48 am Re: Cumulative buffer latency in Ableton??

Ingonator wrote:Somehow it is as i found that the automation delay gets less with lower buffer size and in my example at 128 it is almost gone.
During many discussions about PDC + automation i had not really noticed that someone mentioned this.

Another point is also that in my test which uses features and FXs i normally use the amount of delay introduces by automation is not as big as shown in other examples shown e.g. at YouTube.

Ingo

I know Live has sync issues with automation and PDC, but that's not why I started this thread. I'm specifically referring to Live adding additional latency (equal to your sound card buffer) to every single VST instrument or effect that gets loaded. No other VST host that I'm aware of behaves like this.

If I'm running with a 512 (12ms) buffer in Logic, Cubase, Bitwig, Reaper or any other host and load up 10 zero latency effects on a single channel, my project latency will still be 12ms. In Live my project latency would be 120ms. That's the bizarre thing that has me scratching my head in bewilderment.
2020
KVRer
 
18 posts since 18 Dec, 2010

Postby 2020; Sat Mar 29, 2014 1:08 am Re: Cumulative buffer latency in Ableton??

Ingo,

Sure it affects PDC which is not working correctly in various situations in Live (automation being one), but Live does compensate correctly for the cumulative plugin buffer latency (as well as other latencies) in many other situations. Depending on your audio/plugin buffer size and what plugins you use you might even never notice it (noob or not).

You see the effects of PDC problems mainly when producing, but If I want to perform with Live I want my latency to be as short as possible. This means only using zero-latency plugins and preferably turning PDC off thinking that the audio interface roundtrip latency is the total latency (input + processing (including 1 plugin buffer) + output latencies). This is how it works in other DAWS.

The impact Lives cumulative plugin buffer latency has is that the channel with the most AU/VST plugins is suddenly your maximum latency if PDC is on (for a chain of just 4 plugins and audio/plugin buffer of 256 samples this would mean 1024 samples - not really performance friendly). If PDC is off your channels are not in sync anymore (as they would be in e.g. Logic, Reaper or Bitwig studio if you're only using zero-latency plugins).

So you see that while the problems are interconnected they still need to be adressed and fixed separately. A fully working PDC would eliminate the issues you see while producing, but it wouldn't fix the high latency you experience when performing.
tooneba
KVRist
 
360 posts since 6 Nov, 2012

Postby tooneba; Sat Mar 29, 2014 2:21 am Re: Cumulative buffer latency in Ableton??

Tronam wrote:I'm specifically referring to Live adding additional latency (equal to your sound card buffer) to every single VST instrument or effect that gets loaded. No other VST host that I'm aware of behaves like this.

I can confirm this behavior. What's the benefit of this way of VST wrapper implementation? I assume there must be benefit as they decieded to sacrifice latency.
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