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  #1  
Old 09-05-2005, 10:06 AM
stevejones stevejones is offline
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Default low latency tracking with reverb

Hi All

I would really appreciate some help with what must be a simple problem - I am using a Digi002 / Mac G5

I want to have reverb on my vocals when tracking but the low latency thing seems to kill that option?

I have an external reverb unit which runs OK as an insert on playback but again doesn't seem to work on tracking

Any and all info appreciated as it's driving me mad
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  #2  
Old 09-06-2005, 10:04 AM
jgehring jgehring is offline
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Default Re: low latency tracking with reverb

Why don't you just turn off low-latency monitoring? If the h/w buffer is set to 256 or less you shouldn't have a problem.
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  #3  
Old 09-06-2005, 10:33 AM
dfeiszli dfeiszli is offline
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Default Re: low latency tracking with reverb

I do this all the time -- one thing people don't usually think of that often is that you can have many different audio tracks, aux tracks, or a combination of both, all sharing the same input.

You can use this to get reverb and low-latency monitoring like this:

Create your audio track -- obviously, no sends or plugs on it or they'll be disabled.

Then, create an aux track with the same input -- this will be the send to your verb. Assign the output to the bus(es) your verb is on, so low-latency mode will be disabled on this track, effectively giving you some extra predelay (but not much, depends on your buffer size,) to the verb.

Voila...!

You can also use a (more complicated) setup like this to give your performers a low-latency monitoring mix (setup with aux tracks and no plugs) while you're monitoring through a different set of outputs with plugs, sends, and no low-latency (just assign all your outputs on the tracks to a bus, and you'll have low-latency mode disabled -- then you can do whatever you want with plugs and sends....etc.) I use this all the time to set up even a few different monitor mixes using low-latency mode, while I'm tweaking sounds, soloing tracks, and recording a rough mix of the take, all without any disruption to the performers.

EDIT: Oh - just saw you wanted to use an external reverb unit. In that case, you can't use an insert, but you can do basically what I said above; create your audio track, create an aux track with the same input, and set the output of the aux to feed your reverb box. Then you'll need another aux to monitor the verb (which is a better idea than using verb as an insert 99.9% of the time anyway.)
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  #4  
Old 09-06-2005, 01:07 PM
yavuzj yavuzj is offline
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Default Re: low latency tracking with reverb

Quote:
so low-latency mode will be disabled on this track, effectively giving you some extra predelay (but not much, depends on your buffer size,) to the verb.
To eliminate this problem, I have a Lexicon MX200 external Reverb unit which shounds really good.
I have my Powerbook buffer @ 128K and Lexicon is connected thru SPDIFs. I don't see any noticable delay. Since reverb is external I have a lot of horse power left for EQs and Comps. I have a seperate headphone mix running as well. I think it works great this way. If my 1Ghz TiBook cvan do this so can any recent computer.
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  #5  
Old 09-06-2005, 01:41 PM
dfeiszli dfeiszli is offline
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Default Re: low latency tracking with reverb

Quote:
Quote:
so low-latency mode will be disabled on this track, effectively giving you some extra predelay (but not much, depends on your buffer size,) to the verb.
To eliminate this problem, I have a Lexicon MX200 external Reverb unit which shounds really good.
I have my Powerbook buffer @ 128K and Lexicon is connected thru SPDIFs. I don't see any noticable delay. Since reverb is external I have a lot of horse power left for EQs and Comps. I have a seperate headphone mix running as well. I think it works great this way. If my 1Ghz TiBook cvan do this so can any recent computer.
Well, actually, that's giving you all the same issues with latency to the reverb, it's just also giving you the latency to the direct track!

I agree that for many instances low-latency monitoring isn't really necessary and a 128 sample buffer size won't be noticeable. But, low-latency monitoring can make a big difference with singers (since they're hearing a combination of the mic'd sound and the sound conducting through their bones, which has 0 delay -- if a mic is close to their mouth, there can be a big difference between the low-latency delay and adding a few more milleseconds of delay to that by using even a 128 buffer size.)

I'm a bass player myself, and I also prefer recording using low-latency monitoring for DI bass -- it feels more natural, like playing through an amp; even the small delay added with a 128 buffer setting is just slightly annoying to me, especially when I A/B with low-latency mode.

PS -- the amount of added predelay to the reverb in the example I used above is around 3ms, which is undetectable as reverb predelay for all practical purposes.
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  #6  
Old 09-06-2005, 02:00 PM
yavuzj yavuzj is offline
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Default Re: low latency tracking with reverb

Quote:
I agree that for many instances low-latency monitoring isn't really necessary and a 128 sample buffer size won't be noticeable. But, low-latency monitoring can make a big difference with singers (since they're hearing a combination of the mic'd sound and the sound conducting through their bones, which has 0 delay
True but even the most critical percussion players can hardly be troubled with 128K buffer.
I have recorded many up tempo jazz songs (over 300bpm) with really good drummers and they did not complain. Older keyboards had 12ms or more delay.
I agree that this is rather subjective and just a matter of preference but I just think that you sacrifice a lot with low latency monitoring. I need my busses, external units headphone mixes, EQs Comps for recording. I like it a lot when I can setup a good mood for recording but record flat dry signal. That requires lots of busses, efx, external efx etc...
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  #7  
Old 09-06-2005, 02:14 PM
dfeiszli dfeiszli is offline
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Default Re: low latency tracking with reverb

Quote:
Quote:
I agree that for many instances low-latency monitoring isn't really necessary and a 128 sample buffer size won't be noticeable. But, low-latency monitoring can make a big difference with singers (since they're hearing a combination of the mic'd sound and the sound conducting through their bones, which has 0 delay
True but even the most critical percussion players can hardly be troubled with 128K buffer.
I have recorded many up tempo jazz songs (over 300bpm) with really good drummers and they did not complain. Older keyboards had 12ms or more delay.
I agree that this is rather subjective and just a matter of preference but I just think that you sacrifice a lot with low latency monitoring. I need my busses, external units headphone mixes, EQs Comps for recording. I like it a lot when I can setup a good mood for recording but record flat dry signal. That requires lots of busses, efx, external efx etc...
And there's a good reason for this -- their ears are fairly far from the instruments they are playing, compared with a singer. If a percussionist hits a snare drum, the drum is usually 3 feet or so from their ears, which corresponds to an acoustic delay of around 3ms. If you put a close mic on a snare drum, it'll probably sound MORE natural to the percussionist with a 3ms delay than without one, so that's all the more reason to skip low-latency mode for them.

It's a different situation with a singer, though, who is used to hearing his or her voice with pretty close to zero delay. Even the acoustic delay time coming from the distance from their mouth to the microphone can be greater than they're used to, and this can cause problems when adding the delay of hardware buffers. Of course, not every singer even notices this, but some do, and it can be an issue.

Older keyboards with 12ms delay -- well, that's probably one more reason not to use older keyboards...!
Seriously, it's all about what the player is used to in cases like that. Still, though -- if a player is used to 12ms delay, he or she might notice an extra 3-6 ms on top of that.

As to your point about low-latency mode requiring lots of extra processing, buses, of course that's true. I wish PTLE did that automatically, the way TDM and HD systems do (I believe.) Instead, we have to set it up ourselves and use up extra buses and such. However, in my experience it's only really an issue for singers and occasional other situations, so it doesn't usually tie up too much extra resources for me.
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  #8  
Old 09-06-2005, 02:26 PM
yavuzj yavuzj is offline
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Default Re: low latency tracking with reverb

Being a jazz musician, I usually record live to 16 tracks.
We have to play off of each other.
Seperate headphone mix is a must.
External EFX processors are also important.
Compressor plugs (even though not permanant) help decent levels.
Especially when you record low to avoid digital clipping.
So, I need my regular monitorin with low buffer.
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  #9  
Old 09-06-2005, 02:44 PM
dfeiszli dfeiszli is offline
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Default Re: low latency tracking with reverb

I guess I'm not sure why you couldn't do this with low-latency monitoring as well, if you wanted to. I just recorded a jazz quintet at my place last week; 11 inputs to 13 tracks (6 mics drums, bass mic and DI, Fender Rhodes, trumpet, sax, rough mix) 3 separate headphone mixes with low-latency monitoring (each setup with its own set of aux tracks,) and I was monitoring on mix number 4, tweaking sounds with my outboard and plugs, and running a rough mix from my main tracks including the plugins I was using.

Of course, I guess this assumes that you can get the processing you need for a good headphone mix outside the computer. If you need to add EQ and compression in the computer for the headphone mix, then of course you can't use low-latency mode. But, you can at least use your verb in the computer with low-latency mode if you want....:)

If you don't need low-latency monitoring, don't use it, but it can be very useful in the right situation, and setting things up this way doesn't really take too much extra processing power. At least, it's never pushed me over the edge. I was running probably 11 Oxford EQs and compressors plus a couple assorted other plugs for my rough mix and to start shaping the future final mix, then all my auxes for the headphone mixes, and no problems of any kind. I do use a separate computer for reverb as if it were a hardware unit; it's an upgraded older G4 running PTLE with a DIGI 001, using Altiverb.
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  #10  
Old 09-06-2005, 04:08 PM
yavuzj yavuzj is offline
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Default Re: low latency tracking with reverb

Quote:
Of course, I guess this assumes that you can get the processing you need for a good headphone mix outside the computer. If you need to add EQ and compression in the computer for the headphone mix, then of course you can't use low-latency mode.
Yes, that is exactly it. It helps me to use plugs and external reverb on a bus as well as EQs and Comps on each channel for the right listening environment. Most importantly, I do not hear a difference with 128K buffer and Low Latency Monitoring. May be just a little. I recorded with Kevin Burke (One of the most critical vocalists) who plays with Wynton Marsalis Jazz Orchestra at Lincoln Center, he did not complain either. He actually commented on how good his vocals and headphone mix sounded. He said he usually had to just deal with the situation and he did not expect much in live recording situations. I take that as a good sign. So, I am happy with the way I setup my Powerbook and 002R.
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