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  #1  
Old 03-27-2019, 01:56 PM
rdeeth rdeeth is offline
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Default Audio buffer latency settings

Apologies as I am very new to making music.

I have an Akai Mpk mini 2 and am getting really random latency. I contacted Akai and they said it will be the audio buffer settings in the software that need changing. I really cannot find these settings even though the menu options are limited. The only settings I can find that are remotely close are the Playback Engine which still don’t say anything about audio buffer.

Any help would be appreciated as the latency is so bad I cant start making music.
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  #2  
Old 03-27-2019, 02:06 PM
Darryl Ramm Darryl Ramm is offline
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Default Re: Audio buffer latency settings

Playback Engine > I/O Buffer Size

Smaller IO buffer the lower latency but the more load on the computer... up until the point the DAW cannot run.

Uncheck “ignore errors”, ignoring errors adds more latency as well.

Some plugins add latency.

Different signal routing/bussing can add latency. Start with a trivial session with one track and no bussing and just whatever VI plugin you are using on an instrument track (make sure you are using an Instrument not audio track). Actually start with the Mini Grand standard VI plugin (hope that is included in PT First) and get that working OK first.

And in this case there may be MIDI latency issues as well.

If you still have problems and want help you need to give lots more clear info about what your setup is, what exactly you are seeing, and what you have tried.
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  #3  
Old 03-27-2019, 02:32 PM
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64GTOBOY 64GTOBOY is offline
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Default Re: Audio buffer latency settings

IDK for sure but PT First wont let you change some settings, IIRC it doesnt let you mess with the audio engine settings much. There is a whole list of FAQs in the PT First forum
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  #4  
Old 03-27-2019, 02:42 PM
Darryl Ramm Darryl Ramm is offline
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Default Re: Audio buffer latency settings

Oh God like this? https://support.focusrite.com/hc/en-...ro-Tools-First

Simplified beyond stupidity.

Oh well if it is like that select “record”.
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  #5  
Old 04-06-2019, 12:13 PM
rdeeth rdeeth is offline
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Default Re: Audio buffer latency settings

Hi Darryl, and 64GTOBOY

When I go to Setup > Playback Engine, there is no option called I/O Buffer Size.

Instead I only see the following:
Playback Engine: Windows Audio Device (cannot change)
Input Device: McrphnSndMAXIntgrtdDgHDA
Output Device: SpkrsSndMAXIntgrtdDgtlHDA
Default Output: Speakers 1-2 (greyed out)
Sample Rate: 48 kHz
Optimize Engine for: Record/Playback (record is currently ticked)

This is the box that is pictured on the page ‘How to change buffer size in Pro Tools First’. I read this page before posting but the settings above said nothing about buffer size so I read the link on the same page ‘An Indepth article on this subject can be found HERE’.

I hoped the link would show me where in the software I can make changes to improve the latency but it didn’t. It mentions looking after your PC and I would say the health of my PC is good. I can do gaming on the machine in steam with no issues and when using Pro Tools, only a few other processes are running in the background in windows, not memory, cpu intensive.

The other thing the article says is that on a PC, the buffer settings can be set in the MixControl or the Audio control panel. I had a look around the software but still couldnt find anything to really help. However, there was a link in the article to MixControl so I clicked on it and it took me to a ‘page does not exist link’

The most confusing thing is that I’m trying to use both the keyboard and the software straight out the box and I’m getting latency. To me this points to the laptop being the problem but this is the first app I’ve had issues with and the spec although not brilliant, should be ok.

Is there something I need to change in my windows setup to see the buffer options in the software even? I’m thinking maybe of trying to convince a friend if I can install the software on their laptop and see what happens.

My laptop is an Elitebook 8500 and am using windows 8.1. I realise it is not the latest machine but the latency is terrible and nothing else is running.

To give you an idea, I can press a key and get an immediate response. Then I might press a key and again get another response. Then I might press a key and get no response for 8 seconds or even worse, the response doesn’t come at all. Its so random that I cant use the keyboard for making music.

Any more ideas?
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  #6  
Old 04-06-2019, 12:16 PM
rdeeth rdeeth is offline
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Default Re: Audio buffer latency settings

Just to clarify guys, the settings box I see is the one Daryll showed a picture of
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  #7  
Old 04-06-2019, 12:31 PM
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Southsidemusic Southsidemusic is offline
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Default Re: Audio buffer latency settings

What hard drives are you using? Where do you record to and what drive is that? How much ram is installed? What internal drive speed do you have? Soo much info missing. What interface?
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  #8  
Old 04-06-2019, 01:07 PM
rdeeth rdeeth is offline
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Default Re: Audio buffer latency settings

Hi SouthSide

Before I answer, I’m not trying to be difficult if it appears that way but I’m just a bit unsure of your questions.

‘What harddrives am are using?’ Do you mean which laptop? Ive already said my laptop is an Elitebook 8500 but I didn't say it was HP. If you mean what is the hard drive model, its a 300 GB ATA device and it has 70 GB spare so no issues there. It’s all partitioned as one drive c:

‘Where do you record to and which drive is that?’ I’m not recording yet, I’m just getting latency from even playing the keyboard. However, once I get it working, everything will go to the c: as only drive.

‘How much ram is installed?’ 8 GB

‘What internal drive speed do you have?’ Do you mean processor speed? The processor chip is an intel core 2 Duo T9600 2.80 GHz

‘What interface?’ Do you mean Windows 8.1? I did post that above but that is the only thing I can think you mean as we are in the Pro Tools First forum so that is obvious and I have already mentioned that the keyboard is an AKAI MPK mini. Interface can mean a lot of things. I do appreciate your help.
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  #9  
Old 04-06-2019, 02:32 PM
Darryl Ramm Darryl Ramm is offline
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Default Re: Audio buffer latency settings

What harddrive/internal drive speed: the rotational speed of the hard drive, like 4,800 or 7,200 RPM or even better the exact make/model. This determines how good the drive is for recording audio. ... but not exactly relevant to this latency discussion.

What interface... means what audio interface are you using. Sounds like you do not have a dedicated audio interface and are using what is built into the laptop, and using a USB keyboard to drive a VI (virtual instrument) plugin.

The relevant stuff for latency is you are using the recording IO settings, that gives an IO buffer size of IIRC 128 samples.

What sample rate is your session at? You multiple that sample rate x IO buffer size and that tells you the latency for Pro Tools to (in this case) deliver the audio output after whatever VI you are using. Work that I’ve out for yourself... how many ms is that latency going to be? (In reality it may be more another 1-few ms due to extra buffering Pro Tools First does due to physical conversion latency in the audio hardware in your laptop.).

And since you are sharing this interface hardware with Windows, who knows what is really going on, there may be additional buffering happening. Most folks doing audio work, especially with Pro Tools, will use a dedicated audio interface (and not share it with Windows audio).

If you are super curious, maybe have somebody to help, you can try measuring an overall latency here by playing against a click track generates by a Pro Tools First and recording both that and the audio/VI output back into another track. Having actual measured latency can be a handy clue at times to what is going on, but if all this is new to you, that is likely too much to try.

Then you have some latency in the MIDI input, and some in the VI plugin.... and we have no clue what VI you are using. Did you try this with Mini Grand? Do you have Mini Grand? Unfortunately Pro Tools First is such bad crippleware that Mini Grand (The defacto VI for testing stuff with Pro Tools) is not included in First.

So you can work out you expected IO latency from Pro Tools First. Everything else related to your latency issues will be due to the keyboard and VI and If much larger than the latency predicted by the IO buffer size (above) you will probably need to take that up with Akai.
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  #10  
Old 04-14-2019, 09:05 AM
rdeeth rdeeth is offline
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Default Re: Audio buffer latency settings

I really appreciate your replies Daryl but as you predicted, I dont really understand what you are talking about some of the time but I think the issue is more basic, I’m hardly doing anything with the software yet and yet getting delays all the time.

I bought the akai keyboard, downloaded the pro tools first software, double clicked the shortcut it puts on the desktop. It asked me if I wanted to use a template, so I thought that would be a good way to get started so selected the blues templates which comes which guitar, bass, drums and organ. Clicked on bass, played a few notes on my keyboard and got delays....hadn’t started recording, hadn’t changed any settings. Just messing around on the keyboard and its delay after delay, sometimes I press a key and there is no sound at all.

I installed a programme called Simply Piano. It’s free and just for simple playing so not likely to be as bloaty. The delay was a lot less, but still there. Interesting.

Then I went over to my friends house, installed both Pro Tools First and Simply Piano on his laptop. The results were marginally better than mine but not good enough to work with. His laptop is a dell inspiron 5000 series, 8 gb ram, processor is radeon r5 a10 9600p 720 mhz with windows 10 installed.

I’ve looked at the system requirements for Pro Tools First and they are less than mine and my friends but I know that is always the way of things, but not helpful though if these are the kinds of problems you can get.

I am thinking I must need a much higher spec laptop to run this but I don't want to spend the money only to be disappointed as I don’t need a new laptop for anything else right now. I would send the akai back and try something else but I’ve had it over a month now and the MIDI-OX tests showed that the keyboard was responding straight away.

You are right that I don’t have a dedicated audio interface. This was something I had read about getting but I wanted to make sure I can make music first. I would have thought at least if you play notes on the keyboard, they would respond in real time, I was expecting issues with recording and play back but not just playing notes.

In terms of playing against a click track, there is no point, the delay is too unpredictable, you can’t use the keyboard properly.

I don’t have Mini Grand but I did take a look at it and it looks awesome except there is no trial and I don’t want to buy something only to find out there is still a delay.

In terms of sample rate, I don’t know, but so far I have only been using the samples shipped as part of the Blues template so I can’t imagine they would be problematic.

I do appreciate your help, trying my best….one thing I do think though, the difference between Pro Tools First and the Simply Piano is a lot so maybe I would
Be better off on another DAW
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