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  #1  
Old 09-21-2020, 10:05 PM
Brawders Brawders is offline
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Default Audio delay with interface

So I wasn’t sure if this should be put in hardware or software, so I’ll try here first. I am having a pretty noticeable audio delay when recording. Here’s all of my setup.
  • 2008 Mac Pro with 20 GB memory, 2x 3.2 processors, and a patched version of Mojave thanks to DosDude.
  • Most current ProTools version
  • Focusrite Scarlett 8i8 thanks to teacher discount.
  • A regular SATA drive holding all of my ProTools files.
  • ATI Radeon HD 770 (I am in the process of upgrading this because it’s not compatible, but I still have visuals and can see the screen)

My problem is that my audio has like a 1 second delay when I plug into the Focusrite to record. I’ve tried to increase the buffer size but it doesn’t help much and playback stops and is interrupted. I thought 20 GB of ram and the 2 processors would be enough, is there something else that could be causing the delay?

I literally only use this computer for recording and light internet browsing.
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  #2  
Old 09-21-2020, 10:35 PM
Darryl Ramm Darryl Ramm is offline
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Default Re: Audio delay with interface

This does not make sense. Starting with what exact problem are you trying to solve? Latency or playback stopping? And what stopped? What exact error did you get?

Latency is caused by the IO buffer size. Smaller buffer, lower latency. What is the IO buffer size? Knowing that and the sample rate you can divide them and work out the resultant expected latency. ... which is?

Anything else is other things you are doing. A high time delay plugin and/or some weird routing you are doing in Pro Tools... especially if you use an aux track that results in a 1024 or 2048 sample fixed delay (the split playback buffer) lots of past discussion on DUC about this. Start with the most trivial one track session.

A decent Mac should be able to get down to 64 sample IO buffer at sane sample rates with not much going on in a session.

It's really unexpected that an instability will cause audible latency... If your systems is unstable and you are getting say AAE CPU Errors then solve that first, there are lots of things you should be doing before posting here, start at "help us help you" up the top of each DUC web page make sure your system is optimized and do basic troubleshooting. All errors... start by trashing prefs, CPU errors... always start by suspecting plugins, *all* plugins that are installed even if you are not using them. There are thousands of other posts on DUC about troubleshooting this stuff.

What exactly are you recording and how/what exactly are you monitoring where you hear this latency?

"A regular SATA drive" tells us nothing useful. What drive make/model/spec?

When did this work OK? And what did you change that caused instability or latency issues?

Last edited by Darryl Ramm; 09-21-2020 at 11:01 PM.
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  #3  
Old 09-22-2020, 05:16 PM
Brawders Brawders is offline
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Default Re: Audio delay with interface

I apologize, let me try to give more detail. I am trying to get rid of the latency. I have my rig up with a new file with only 1 track that my guitar is plugged into, no plug-ins, and I’m getting about a 1/2 second delay from when I hit my string and hear it through the speakers.

My H/W buffer size is 1024 samples. Cache size normal.

When I work with a bigger project the delay is more noticeable. It was normal when I was using my old computer Mac Pro 1.1 and recording into ProTools 7. When I upgraded to my current Mac is when I noticed the delay. Like I said, I can hear the delay so my recordings I do now are all off a second or two.

What other info do you need?
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  #4  
Old 09-22-2020, 05:38 PM
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Ben Jenssen Ben Jenssen is offline
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Default Re: Audio delay with interface

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brawders View Post
My H/W buffer size is 1024 samples.
That's appx 1/44th of a second in 44.1kHz format. Not half a second, but quite noticable. Twenty-something milliseconds.

High buffer = big latency.


Disk cache is a different thing entirely. Has to do with disk performance.
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Life-long audio enthusiast and small studio owner, now retired.
Mac mini, quad core i3, 3.6 GHz (Late 2018), 16 GB RAM
128 GB internal (2500/650 Mbs r/w)
1 TB external (425/425 Mbs r/w).
Focusrite 2i2 3rd gen, Dynaudio BM6's, Command 8, a couple of mics.
Pro Tools 2020.9.1, Mac OS 10.15.7.
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  #5  
Old 09-22-2020, 06:04 PM
Brawders Brawders is offline
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Default Re: Audio delay with interface

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben Jenssen View Post
That's appx 1/44th of a second in 44.1kHz format. Not half a second, but quite noticable. Twenty-something milliseconds.

High buffer = big latency.


Disk cache is a different thing entirely. Has to do with disk performance.
If I try lowering the lower the buffer then it’s less noticeable. But would more memory improve it at all? What can I do to fix it so there’s 0, or close enough, latency?
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  #6  
Old 09-22-2020, 06:12 PM
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Ben Jenssen Ben Jenssen is offline
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Default Re: Audio delay with interface

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brawders View Post
If I try lowering the lower the buffer then it’s less noticeable. But would more memory improve it at all? What can I do to fix it so there’s 0, or close enough, latency?
No, more memory will not make a difference.
__________________
Life-long audio enthusiast and small studio owner, now retired.
Mac mini, quad core i3, 3.6 GHz (Late 2018), 16 GB RAM
128 GB internal (2500/650 Mbs r/w)
1 TB external (425/425 Mbs r/w).
Focusrite 2i2 3rd gen, Dynaudio BM6's, Command 8, a couple of mics.
Pro Tools 2020.9.1, Mac OS 10.15.7.

Last edited by Ben Jenssen; 09-22-2020 at 06:20 PM. Reason: Misunderstanding
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  #7  
Old 09-22-2020, 06:44 PM
Brawders Brawders is offline
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Default Re: Audio delay with interface

All righty. I’ll try this again because I don’t know if I’m not giving enough information.

I installed a Mojave 10.14 patch on a Mac Pro 3.1. I’ve installed nothing else on this computer. It’s got 20gb memory and 2x 3.2 quad core processors. I installed ProTools 2020 the newest version, along with their plug-ins that come with it. I added in a vocal doubler, and a Ozone 9 free version. I have the playback running through my Scarlett 18i8 into a USB 2.0 input. Playback is great, no problems there.

The problem is when I try to record new guitar onto my old sessions, there’s a noticeable delay in when I strum and I hear it. Even if I open a brand new session with one channel I still get it. Sample rate was set to 1024, I tried each option and I can get down to 64, but there’s still a slight delay. Enough that is noticeable. If I try to play my session at these lower sample rates then a few times I heard a loud pitch, or several loud pitches in a row. And a few times I got the “ran out of CPU power”.

Yes I went to the “help us help you” and tried to configure it like it recommends Macs for Mojave. But like I said, I’ve done literally nothing besides some simple web browsing and Pro Tools installation after I installed the OS.

I would pretty please like help in resolving why my computer is running out of CPU power and giving me a delay. What other info can I provide, or things I can try?

Thank you in advance.
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  #8  
Old 09-22-2020, 07:51 PM
Darryl Ramm Darryl Ramm is offline
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Default Re: Audio delay with interface

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brawders View Post
All righty. I’ll try this again because I don’t know if I’m not giving enough information.

I installed a Mojave 10.14 patch on a Mac Pro 3.1. I’ve installed nothing else on this computer. It’s got 20gb memory and 2x 3.2 quad core processors. I installed ProTools 2020 the newest version, along with their plug-ins that come with it. I added in a vocal doubler, and a Ozone 9 free version. I have the playback running through my Scarlett 18i8 into a USB 2.0 input. Playback is great, no problems there.

The problem is when I try to record new guitar onto my old sessions, there’s a noticeable delay in when I strum and I hear it. Even if I open a brand new session with one channel I still get it. Sample rate was set to 1024, I tried each option and I can get down to 64, but there’s still a slight delay. Enough that is noticeable. If I try to play my session at these lower sample rates then a few times I heard a loud pitch, or several loud pitches in a row. And a few times I got the “ran out of CPU power”.

Yes I went to the “help us help you” and tried to configure it like it recommends Macs for Mojave. But like I said, I’ve done literally nothing besides some simple web browsing and Pro Tools installation after I installed the OS.

I would pretty please like help in resolving why my computer is running out of CPU power and giving me a delay. What other info can I provide, or things I can try?

Thank you in advance.
That's unfortunately a lot of not useful into. We especially don't care about CPU or memory specs. Ben just pointed out that memory is irrelevant. Carefully read what Ben and I are writing. Your understanding is fundamentally wrong here and you keep coming back to the same wrong, irrelevant stuff.... Your computer does *not* cause a delay because it's running out of power or out of memory or anything else. If you computer runs out of any of those you will get a AAE error and Pro Tools will crash, or worse. You do not need help fixing a computer, I suspect you more need help understanding what you are doing and how to work with Pro Tools to achieve low monitoring latency. So focus on what you need to learn/work out/measure and make progress.

You were using Pro Tools 7 before was that 7 LE or 7 HD? If 7 LE what buffer size did you usually track at? If 7 HD then unless you were tracking through native plugins there is no comparison between how the latency work on those systems.

What exactly are you doing... like you are tracking an electric guitar into a DI input on the interface and you are monitoring through Pro Tools though an amp sim plugin? What amp sim plugin exactly? Any other plugins used *anywhere* in the session? What exact ones, plugin brand/name etc.? You are monitoring directly from headphones or speakers connected to the same interface? No other controllers or signal routing of stuff involved?

The latency is always affected by sample rate and IO buffer size. So what sample rate are you running at? It's not 1024 as you said... that was your buffer size.

What latency do you expect? latency = (# samples IO buffer) / (sample rate)

What actual latency are you getting? I suspect you are guessing what all these latencies are. You have a digital audio workstation in front of you that is able to very accurately measure any delays e.g. with another microphone recording the input and monitoring signal simultaneously. Use that to measure exactly what is going on, starting with a single mono track session. And if you are not sure what sample rate you are working at, just create a new session at 44.1 kHz.

The only normal delay is caused by the IO Buffer. And you have it set at the crazy large size of 1024 sample while trying to track. Why are you doing that? Most folks would have that buffer way lower. With simple sessions you should be able to run at IO buffer sizes of 64 or 128 samples and a significant reduction in latency... if you cannot then you need to troubleshoot that.

And when you decrease the buffer size to a low value (a low value that you can run at before you start getting AAE CPU errors) what latency do you expect from the IO buffer size contribution?... there is a small fixed conversion time latency in your interface as well that depends on sample rate. Will be a few-handful of ms, on input and output). And most guitar players tolerate the total latency = 2 x converter latency + a small IO buffer latency just fine.... A latencies of few to 10s ms is no different than having your amp cab across on stage from you (1ms ~ 1ft of sound travel).

If you are having problems... make sure you are not both monitoring through Pro Tools and using hardware monitoring in the interface... you may hear a very noticeable echo then.

A bigger project is unlikely to affect the latency except unless you have high-latency plugins, or some routing that is adding delay.

Last edited by Darryl Ramm; 09-22-2020 at 08:41 PM.
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  #9  
Old 09-22-2020, 07:59 PM
Darryl Ramm Darryl Ramm is offline
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Default Re: Audio delay with interface

You also hopefully are paying attention to proper setup. You mention Ozone 9, that's not officially supported on Pro Tools 2020 or on Catalina AFAIK. Maybe you meant 9.1 You have to pay attention to all the plugins you install. And when giving info here give detailed info.
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  #10  
Old 09-22-2020, 08:26 PM
PMF Media PMF Media is offline
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Default Re: Audio delay with interface

OK, so please forgive me if I'm wrong but it looks like you're no PT expert, what you are describing is normal behaviour for ANY Digital Audio Workstation, latency - the round trip delay between input (your guitar into you interface) and what you're hearing coming back out of the computer (your guitar and any other instruments you're playing along with) is just a fact of digital life, the primary job of the interface (the Scarlet) is to convert the analog audio (you guitar) into digital audio (binary 0's and 1's) and the reverse on the way out to your speakers, this takes time and this is the delay you're referring to when you play guitar and hear it coming out of PT, the simplest way to eliminate this all together is to NOT monitor through PT (mute the guitar track while recording) or to lower the internal buffer to 64 samples - this is low, but still instantiates a small delay - this is why a lot of guys still monitor through analog mixers, analog equals zero latency and no delay.

I'm not familiar with the Scarlet interface but most manufacturers include some form of controll/monitoring software with their hardware to eliminate recording latency to "near zero" or they include a pot/knob that allows you to mix between the direct sound (your guitar) and the sound coming out of the computer, check that also.

Your best bet may be to find someone more knowledgable in the hardware setup of DAWs in general, this will save a lot of heartache.

Good luck.
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