Hello, I have a Line 6 POD XT live which I record my guitar through into Fruity loops. Either when I'm recording or just playing through my computer I get significant latency. I can combat this by decreasing the buffer size, which lowers quality but severely lowers latency. However, any recording artists out there will know that recording multiple tracks to drum tracks is close to impossible with any latency at all. My question is, do I need a good soundcard, or a computer with good processing speed?
You're recording it through its USB port and monitoring through the computer's headphone output I bet. There is one A/D conversion and some buffering, and a D/A conversion through a different converter between the input and output, so it's no wonder you've got latency issues.
There are two approaches to reducing latency of input monitoring. One is to use a professional interface running at very high sample rates. Since your pedal is the A/D converter that would probably have little or no benefit. Another is to monitor in analog. A small mixer used to combine the output of the computer and the analog output of the pedal might be your best bet. Turn off input monitoring. Then you only have the inherent latency of the POD (which, along with the sound, is why I hate the things).
Thanks for the reply, so would you say a good soundcard would not be the answer to my problem? (I currently do not have one at all - on board sound :frown: )
An audio interface designed for recording might be an improvement, especially if it has an analog input monitoring feature for zero latency. The problem is the Pod operates in the digital domain, so right there you've got a bit of latency even if you're not noticing it. Connecting it via the USB bypasses the D/A converter in the Pod but replaces it with the D/A converter in your computer's onboard sound, which in this case seems to have higher latency than the Pod, probably because the data is going to disk and through buffers.
My suggestion of using a small mixer to monitor the analog output of the Pod and the headphone out of your computer together, but recording the Pod through its USB connector seems a good compromise without spending a lot. Unfortunately, if you want to use a microphone to record anything this setup won't work. A decent 1- or 2-channel audio interface would work for everything, but you'd lose some of the advantages of recording the Pod via its USB connector.
The whole USB versus Firewire debate can be misleading. Having recorded with USB gear as well as Firewire, the USB gear does just as well for most applications. Low latency settings with great responce can be achieved with USB gear with no problem. If your CPU can handle it, keeping things at around 256 to 512 can get you great responce if you're a keyboard player. 256 or less for drumming with a V-Drum kit triggering something Battery, BFD2, Addictive Drums ect.
I have found many folks lose their patience trying to setup their Home Studios when it comes to Latency issues but a little patience and good guidence goes a long way.
I started using a Roland VS2480 when I opened my studio back in 2000 (after being a bedroom studio with 8 track analog for the previous 15 years). I was told I'd never get any business using a 2480 but after 4 years I made enough money to adopt my son. If the service you provide and you skills are good, people will come to you.
I moved to DAWs in 2004 with Cubase and it took me awhile to get used to getting the PC to run everything right. Latency can be a big problem if not setup correctly or if your computer is underpowered so take your time and find someone to guide through it.