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Guitar latency issue Pro Tools 9

Discussion in 'Pro Tools' started by musicman9434, Oct 15, 2013.

  1. musicman9434

    musicman9434 Active Member

    Hey guys,

    Having some technical issues here. It seems that for the longest time my music never sounded right, like it was out of sync. I then discovered plugin delay and found out that I had delay on my drums (I use addictive drums) and guitar (guitar rig4). Since I was using plugins on all my main instruments (guitars,bass,drums), I was focused on the delay being only with the plugins. Everything seemed to be working right with the automatic delay compensation engine, but it still didn't sound right.
    I tried recording the guitar to a recorded click track with guitar rig disabled, so I was eliminating the drums and plugins altogether and there it was. The recorded wave forms were visibly behind what I had played! So it seems I had delays at both ends!
    I tried turning down the buffer to 128 witch got rid of all of the latency I think (is there a way to test for this?) but I also got a bunch of pops and clicks as well.
    What can I do to fix this? Is there a way to see how much input delay there is going into Pro Tools?
  2. pcrecord

    pcrecord Don't you want the best recording like I do ? Well-Known Member

    Latency is the worst nighmare of computer recording. Be sure to have the latests drivers on all peripherals, including HDD controler, video card (yeah that makes a difference) sound card or audio interface. Speaking of interface, which one are you using, some have better latency response than others.
    Have a clean HDD and or make a defrag (defragler is a good one)
    disable antivirus or any other loaded sofware that the DAW don't need
  3. musicman9434

    musicman9434 Active Member

    I am using the Mbox2. Oh and you mean hard disk drive right?
  4. pcrecord

    pcrecord Don't you want the best recording like I do ? Well-Known Member

    Yes I do ! (HDD)

    By the way, make sure you don't have any effect running, on tracks and on buses and try like this.. If it helps reactivate one by one..

    Oh yeah, try Latencymon, it helps identify what's slowing down your audio performance. (it's free, search on google)
  5. musicman9434

    musicman9434 Active Member

    Sweet! I will try that.
  6. musicman9434

    musicman9434 Active Member

    Didn't work. Still seems to be delayed when the audio is coming into then mbox from my guitar. Is there any way for pro tools to show you if there is a delay coming from the inputs? I thought I read about hardware insert delay but this is my guitar/bass. If there is something that can show me/adjust for this?? Then I will know for sure.
  7. pcrecord

    pcrecord Don't you want the best recording like I do ? Well-Known Member

    If you play a click track and you record some tapping on the pickups while following the click, you can see on your track if the bumps are in sync with the click.

    So you say you upgraded all the drivers, you don't have an antivirus online, you have a defragged hard drive ?
    What was on the top of Latencymon list ?
    Are you sure you're not using a usb1 port ? USB 2.0 or 3 is needed.
    Are you using a mac or a PC ?

    Did you speak with Avid about your problem

    Maybe you can try ASIO FOR ALL drivers. It's a free driver that place it self between the interface and the DAW, you can tweak the buffer from there and see if it helps.
  8. mberry593

    mberry593 Active Member

    Ok. Let's see if I can help. You shouldn't be having these problems. I doubt this is a hardware failure situation. I'm going to suggest a few things here. I don't know your level of expertise. If you are an experienced user these items may seem trivial & insulting to you. That is NOT my intent....I'm just trying to help.

    First let's talk about the buffer. This is a playback buffer and does nothing to the record audio. What it probably did was change the delay of the click track so you were playing to a delayed click track. But that is NOT the way this is supposed to work. If you had delay compensation turned on, the delay of your longest plug-in was applied to the click. Don't use delay comp when recording. (btw, the clicks & pops can probably be eliminated by checking the 'ignore errors' box in SETUP/PLAYBACK ENGINE. Just make sure to uncheck it again before you mixdown.)

    Next, I'm wondering if you have Low Latency Monitoring correctly set up. Make sure that you have the delay mix window view selected. You should see the delay drop out on your record track when you arm record. Of course, the plug-ins on that track will go off-line too and you will not see the audio contributed to any master fader or send. If that isn't happening, you probably need to make some changes in your I/O setup. The monitoring path must be the first pair in the I/O section. You might need to study the reference guide to understand this. If it seems confusing, it is. This section of the guide is VERY poorly written.

    Also be very careful with the overwrite check box in I/O setup. you can have everything set up just fine for a long time and open a strange session that trashes your I/O setup. It happens to everyone sooner or later.

    Yes, you might want to check insert delay in SETUP/IO SETUP/ HW INSERT DELAY. Of course it should be 0.00 but I doubt this is your problem.

    I hope you have done all of the Avid optimizations & you do understand that Pro Tools requires 7200 rpm session drives and that the session drive must not be the same as the system drive (and NO, not a separate partition. That won't do!). If you haven't been through all of these basics, let me know and I will look up links for them.

    btw, I don't really want to start a disagreement here, but I do not recommend ever doing a defrag on Pro Tools session disks.....ok for system drives but not session drives.

    Good luck & let us know if you need more help.
  9. pcrecord

    pcrecord Don't you want the best recording like I do ? Well-Known Member

    Oh, yes, I'm sorry I was'nt clear about the defrag, I ment the system disc.
  10. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    this is the first i've heard of this, JW what the reason you guys are saying this is?
  11. musicman9434

    musicman9434 Active Member

    Ok guys I found out what it is. And before I say I want to just tell you all thank you so much for your input, it was all very helpful, but it seems I made a fundamental error. lol. It turns out that my HD is 5400rpm! No wonder it is recording delayed! WHOOPSIE!! So now I need to find a good external for cheap. And by the way my laptop meets all the system requirements besides that. lol Thing is I only have 2 usb ports. No firewire and both are being used. I have a (I'm guessing) larger card slot in the front? Could this be for a SATA card? If so any recommendations on a good sata external?
  12. mberry593

    mberry593 Active Member

    I assume you have some capability to put in an interface card.

    I recommend a Thunderbolt connection.

    If you don’t want that, Firewire for Macs & USB for Windows. WARNING: windows 7 may require some playing with drivers for any Firewire connection!!! Oxford chips are preferred. Here’s what Avid says:

    Pro Tools 10 Hard Drive Requirements

    Note that they have officially qualified 2 drives. Others report good results with Glyph.

    Now….on to the defrag discussion. (Warning: boring obsolete geek history stuff ahead, you may want to stop reading now!)

    Actually that’s a good question and the answer is debatable. It is somewhat a historic thing that has been passed down by idiots like me as an urban legend and may no longer be true. Believe it or not even Avid has officially recommended doing a defrag! Check out page 3 of this link:


    On the other hand, I have heard just too many stories of people having troubles after defrags to be comfortable doing it. For example, read about this poor person’s experiences. He was using xpress but the principles are the same.

    Defragment drives - Avid Community

    Here is the history….

    First please understand that a DAW file is not like an iTunes music file. We are NOT dealing with just audio files here. iTunes files (WAV, AAC, Mp3, ALC, etc.) always benefit from being contiguous on a hard disc. A DAW file has a great deal of other things like automation that must be held in alignment with the audio. All of this is packaged in chunks by the DAW. When you start to edit with a file, nothing really changes. There are just some instructions stored that execute on playback. That’s why multiple layers of ‘UNDO’ are so easy. That’s all fine until you do something that permanently changes things like a consolidate or bouncing a VI to audio. Now you have deliberately fragmented the file. The more you edit, the more it is fragmented and that is the optimum way for it to be. If you put things back into the compacted situation, you will see little, if any, improvement and probably will make things worse. Back in the stone ages when designers had complete control of storage, that just wasn’t a problem. Whatever you sent to storage came back the same way. It was only when people started to let operating systems get between them and the drives that problems came up. With an OS, the programmer doesn’t deal directly with the storage drive. Instead calls are made to the OS to read or write. The DAW has to maintain the relationships so it buffers the stream it gets back from the storage until it can properly reconstruct it. As the file gets more and more fragmented, it just needs a little more buffering to put everything back together. That’s not a big problem because the DAW has plenty of other things for the processor to do while waiting for the read. The programmer has to make a call as to how often to check for an interrupt from the read and how big a memory buffer to use. It is not trivial to optimize this as being really safe can slow things down enough to turn the DAW program into a slug. Now, think about what might happen if the defrag actually put an edited file back into some condition that the data was available much earlier than expected. The choice is either to handle the interrupt by stopping whatever the processor was doing, store everything on a stack, respond to the stream from the drive, and then restore things…..likely a hit in performance. The other option is to hold off on the interrupt and let the disc spin around again. That’s a disastrous loss in performance on older, slower discs if it happens often.

    So, all of this sounds like defragmentation may not help much, but is safe and doesn’t hurt anything. Yeah, that’s sort of true but there is a SMALL downside. Sooner or later there is going to be a problem with a sector. That’s why operating systems have the ability to mark off bad sectors. If it happens before a write, it can force a non-optimum layout as I previously described but if it happens after the write, although we can detect it with a checksum, we can’t always fix the error. When you move stuff around on the disc, you increase your exposure to this possibility. I want to emphasize that this is a SMALL consideration today, but in past times things were not so good.

    So, once upon a time, a long, long time ago….folks started noticing that although defrags worked well in most situations, they rarely did anything good for DAW (not just Pro Tools) sessions. Even before the internet, the talk went around. Then, of course, a couple of people had disasters that were correlated with defrags. These disasters might have happened anyway, but some people really freaked out and spread the word around. So old idiots (like me) who have been hearing this ‘old wives tale’ philosophy about avoiding defrags for years continue to spread the ‘urban myth’ about defrag.

    Here is the reality today if you are using Pro Tools 8 or later and a processor less than 5 years old:

    1. I you are using 7200 rpm drives and you don’t use your session drive for anything but sessions (…really!...), you probably don’t need to defrag & won’t see any improvement by doing it.
    2. That said, there is nothing really dangerous about doing a defrag.
    3. In the future, try not to pay any attention to old farts like me!

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