Latency
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Thread: Latency

  1. #1


    Join Date: Oct 2008
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    Latency

    Some of you may remember a previous thread I made about how crazy the latency was on my computer. That was partially the result of my work computer suddenly becoming unable to connect to the internet the day before a big deadline, and no matter what I did, I couldn't fix it, so I ran to a computer shop and spent less than 5 minutes selecting a computer. I really regretted that, but that's what happens when you make decisions under tons of pressure. The computer had ridiculous latency whenever I recorded, so I eventually just shifted everything I recorded back.

    So over a year has passed since then and I was really getting frustrated with my computer, so I bought a new one, which has already made work way smoother and easier.

    Although Reaper loads almost instantaneously now and everything goes super smoothly, there is still a noticeable latency whenever the record monitoring is on. Sure, it's way way way less than what was on my old computer (and was one big reason I always had record monitoring off).

    So I'm wondering if latency is just something that even super high-spec production computers have to deal with or what. My new computer is an Intel i7 10th generation processor with 32GB of RAM, Windows 10 Pro 64-bit with the 64-bit version of Reaper and every plug-in that's in it. I have a 1TB NVMe SSD and just high specs across the board. Now, sure, it's not the highest specs available, but I'm really surprised by the latency.

    Is there some trick to getting it down or should I just leave record monitoring off like I did on my previous computers? (Why is it even on by default when it has noticeable latency with most recent computers?)

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  3. #2


    Join Date: Oct 2008
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    I only get noticeable latency if I have a bunch of different cpu intensive effects (e.g. heavy delay) on the monitored track with a 6 year old PC. There’s most likely something going on with drivers or other settings.

    What interface are you using? Have you got the newest drivers for that, have you got updated Asio drivers? At least Focusrite stuff requires that you manually update the drivers from their site or it won’t work right.

  4. #3


    Join Date: Sep 2008
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    Yeah, I'm fairly sure that's just down to your buffer size in your ASIO driver. Your rig is more powerful than mine, and I can quite happily track with record monitoring on, while running a lot of CPU intensive plugs. Lower your buffer size to under 128 or under if you haven't already.

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  6. #4


    Join Date: Oct 2008
    Location: Tokyo
    ME: Ibanez RGIXL7-ABL
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    Quote Originally Posted by Markus View Post
    I only get noticeable latency if I have a bunch of different cpu intensive effects (e.g. heavy delay) on the monitored track with a 6 year old PC. There’s most likely something going on with drivers or other settings.

    What interface are you using? Have you got the newest drivers for that, have you got updated Asio drivers? At least Focusrite stuff requires that you manually update the drivers from their site or it won’t work right.
    I'm using a Focusrite Scarlett Solo 2nd generation, and I installed the newest drivers for it off their website yesterday.

    It's definitely possible that the plug-ins where I'm experiencing this latency may be CPU intensive (it's actually multiple effects). Normally I just use my AX8 for everything, but since I have some plug-ins that have amp + cab + effect sims, I thought it could be nice to use them when I don't want to pull out the AX8, but it's still quite a bit of latency.

    Quote Originally Posted by Blankplank View Post
    Yeah, I'm fairly sure that's just down to your buffer size in your ASIO driver. Your rig is more powerful than mine, and I can quite happily track with record monitoring on, while running a lot of CPU intensive plugs. Lower your buffer size to under 128 or under if you haven't already.
    The default is at 8 x 1024. I reduced it to 4 x 512 and then to 2 x 256, but that was the lowest I lowered it, thinking that latency at that low was pretty crazy, considering my specs. For reference, the latency is 46 ms at 4 x 512 and the latency is 11 ms at 2 x 256 (though I remember last night at even at 2 x 256, the sound of the guitar without the effects and the sound of the guitar with the effects were far enough part that it sounded like a delay effect -- and the effects/sims I was using didn't include a delay effect).

    EDIT: I should add, though, that in a 7 minute long project with 10 tracks of recorded audio, if I use the above plug-in for a pre-recorded clean channel, it adds all the effects and sims perfectly fine with zero issues or slow downs whatsoever. It's mainly a problem when I'm trying to play or record through the audio interface with the record monitoring on.

  7. #5


    Join Date: Sep 2008
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    Mac guy, so I never have recording latency anyway, but....

    This is why a more robust interface is nice. I never bother with record monitoring on. My interface routes reaper and my guitar tone (KPA/Axe, whatever) separately to my monitors so I don't need to use record monitoring. I don't think you really need to spend a pile to get that capability, I did it with my ancient old MOTU 828Mk2 as well. (Which I bought specifically because I didn't want to deal with ASIO and all the other myriad nonsense that comes with recording on Windows.)

  8. #6


    Join Date: Oct 2008
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    Quote Originally Posted by Svend View Post
    Mac guy, so I never have recording latency anyway, but....

    This is why a more robust interface is nice. I never bother with record monitoring on. My interface routes reaper and my guitar tone (KPA/Axe, whatever) separately to my monitors so I don't need to use record monitoring. I don't think you really need to spend a pile to get that capability, I did it with my ancient old MOTU 828Mk2 as well. (Which I bought specifically because I didn't want to deal with ASIO and all the other myriad nonsense that comes with recording on Windows.)
    Yeah, with record monitoring off, this is by far the fastest computer that I've ever owned. But I mainly thought since I got a new computer with such nice specs, it should be nice to use record monitoring if I want. On my old PC, my interface basically just played the audio from my AX8 and from Reaper (drums, bass, guitars, vocals, etc.) at the same time while I'm recording, so turning record monitoring off was never itself an issue, but that computer only had 4GB of RAM, so the recorded signal would be a noticeable amount off from where it should be and I'd just drag it back. (And that's not to infer that my new computer doesn't do that, but it's more that I thought I shouldn't "have" to do that)

    At the moment with my new computer, there's no real issues and record monitoring is just something that I think would be nice if there was zero latency, but I don't really need to do it, so I have no real need to buy a nicer audio interface, but I just thought it was odd that I'd be getting any latency with such nice specs.

    To be honest, the only real benefit of being able to use record monitoring would be that I could use software effects while I'm playing instead of either just recording the raw signal direct or recording from my AX8. But to be honest, my AX8 sounds WAY WAY WAY better than any software plug-ins.

  9. #7


    Join Date: Oct 2009
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    I've fought latency over the years and I'm pretty happy with my current system, so I can give you some tips. most of them you probably know but anyway:

    1) I say it everywhere. What's the point of having thousands of dollars on gear and a massive computer bottlenecked into a 150$ ASIO interface. The ideal solution would be to get at least an RME Babyface Pro, but I've heard the Zoom UAC-2 interfaces have crazy low latencies as well. They are cheaper if you're in a budget.

    2) Follow allong "audio tune" guides for DAW computers. There are plenty of them online and will teach you how to set driver priority to background resources, unlock parked CPU cores, disable certain settings on your BIOS, etc. Here you have a couple of them:
    DAW and SSD optimization | Cakewalk Forums
    https://www.steinberg.net/forums/vie...?f=198&t=74839

    3) Use Latency Monitor (usually mentioned in the guides) to find the most conflicting drivers. Chances are, it will be Nvidia driver. It is the most conflicting process in real time audio that exists. You can get away with it if you have a good interface like an RME, but if you don't it's a damn chore. Get an AMD card. I was instantly able to go down to 16 sample buffer on my Audient ID22. With the Nvidia's I couldn't go below 128.

    4) Measure RTL (round trip latency). Figures that reaper gives you are the reported values from the interface, but far from accurate and can be twice as high if not more sometimes.

    5) Motherboards DO have latency as well. And not only if using their onboard chips. Most hardware review websites omit those testings but there's still a few that do it like Anandtech. It doesn't hurt to check their charts and look for a motherboard with low latency. It doesn't necessarly have to be expensive!
    Last edited by Emperoff; 07-31-2020 at 03:32 PM.

  10. #8


    Join Date: Oct 2008
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    One thing I noticed with reaper is that sometimes the latency goes nuts. What I do is restart Repaer after adjusting latency settings. Also you are at 256 buffer size? I think I was running at like 128 last time I recorded and I am on a 2012 Mac Pro. Its bee a few years since I recorded anything tho

    Another trick is to freeze tracks you are not currently recording. This will render the track, then turn of the effect while preserving the settings. This will free up a lot of CPU space.

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