How do I set up external instruments with delay compensation?

I have a couple of external synths and effects I use alongside Live.

If I'm not mistaken I should be able to set them up as external effect or instrument devices and set up delay compensation to deal with my sound card latency. I see the setting for this but I'm wondering what's the best way of calculating/measuring the latency so that I can set it up correctly?

It would be handy to no longer have to manually change inputs and outputs to add a synth or effect to a channel.


edm 7 years ago | 0 comments

2 answers

  • Tone Deft
    12 answers
    29 votes received
    7 votes

    this isn't in the manual, it should be.  there is a Live lesson for it that comes with Live.

    I put a simple kick drum on a track in Arrange view (because it has a timeline at the bottom of the screen, other views don't, they used to, argh.)

    play that kick out of your sound card and back into an audio input on your sound card.  make sure to turn the track volume down on the input recording track to avoid feedback.  YOU MUST SET ITS TRACK MONITOR TO OFF FOR DELAY COMPENSATION TO BE APPLIED.

    now the recorded track will be delayed and you can use the timeline to see how far off it was from the source material.  adjust the delay compensation accordingly in options-preferences-audio.

    repeat as needed to get the delay down to next to nothing.  FWIW 1ms of audio delay is like standing 1 foot from your monitor, 10 mS is like standing 10 feet away.  a few mS off doesn't matter too much, YMMV.

    honestly, I haven't used the External Instrument plug in, I got used to this with the older versions of Live so I haven't tried new avenues.

    7 years ago | 0 comments
  • Mark One
    68 answers
    161 votes received
    2 votes

    The new External Effect and External Instrument are very simple and the mest thing is you can save different settings for each instrument and effect meaning you can just insert any of your external units easily in any project without having to mess with the Delay Compensation.

    I advise you follow the instructions in Tone Deft's answer for getting the initial setting correct then right click / CMD click in the name bar of the External Instument or External Effect and select save, the preset will appear in the navigation window and you can input a name... i.e. Korg M1 or Alesis Limiter etc... then just drag and drop the preset to wherever you want it. 


    6 years ago | 0 comments

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