Can I loop live without signal delay

Hey, I have three synths, plugged into an amp plugged into my scarlett focusrite 8i interface.

I would like to loop live with live but since the amp is for input, not output (won't playback the loops) I'm using headphones for monitoring.


I have set the input buffer size on my interface to 256 which is as low as it seems to allow and the output to 1064 (or something around that number, live is not open as my desk with interface does not have a chair and i neglected to write the number down) which is as low as it will go without crackling terribly.

When I play my synths there is a latency impossible to jam with. No other programs are open.

what can I do? do you need any more information from me to help? can I resell live and by a looper? :P (I love live. i don't think that would happen...)


From The Future 5 years ago | 0 comments

2 answers

  • Mark One
    68 answers
    161 votes received
    2 votes

    From The Future,

    I assume that you are using the amp as a basic mixer because there are not enough inputs on the 8i for your three synths?

    It would be helpful also to know what the specifications of your system (Mac/PC/CPU/RAM etc) are as you should be able to run at a much lower latency without CPU issues unless your system is quite old, another thing to check is available HDD space (especially for mac) and also fragmentation of your drive (especially for PC).

    In terms of live overdubbing you are aiming for a ideal latency of around 2ms but for lower spec systems you may have to tolerate latency up to 10ms. Beyond that it becomes very tricky to play accurately. 

    As suggested above it would be worth confirming that you have all the updated drivers to see if this enables you to reduce your buffer size to something usable. Ensuring that your sample rate and recording bit depth are set to reasonable figures, I'd stick with 44.1kHz, 16bit for now, and that you are not running any CPU heavy plugins, especially 3rd party plugins on the master as these will exacerbate the problem. Having done this you should try again to configure your input and output buffers to the lowest functional settings but try to work in the standard integers 64,128, 256, 512, 1028 for both. Depending on which version of Live you are using you might also want to check the 'Plugin Buffer' size which can be set independently on pre Live 9 versions, I recommend that you set it to 'Same As Audio Buffer'.

    Ok so if this is not getting you any better results then your final option is to use the 'Direct Monitor' feature in your Focusrite control pannel. You will be able to listen to the incoming audio directly while simultaneously sending a signal to live to be recorded. You can also setup so that you hear both the direct input from the synths and the audio from Live. This setup can be a little tricky at first but Focusrite claim a possible 1.4ms latency which would be fantastic for your purposes. You will need to setup the 'Driver Error Compensation' as per the tutorial available inside Live, as this will help to align your recordings properly if you use the direct monitoring approach.

    Sadly the ins and outs of this will be particular to your card and system so I hope you can figure that out from the manuals/documentation provided. If not then you could always cash in the free hour of Ableton Support I offer through my page :)

    If this helps please like my page.




    5 years ago | 1 comment
  • [stm] Ableton staff
    103 answers
    116 votes received
    1 vote

    Hi, how high is the resulting latency? increasing the sample rate may help, as well as updating the Focusrite drivers to their latest versions. Are you using VST plug-ins in the Set?

    5 years ago | 0 comments

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