How to avoid latency when recording vocals or live instruments?

Hi there, I've browsed for some time regarding this topic but still I want to ask this question again.


Our songs seem to be quite complex and allthough I've got quite a good system we're still having enormous troubles recording vocals and live instruments (e.g. guitars, bass, external synths etc.).


I run with a rme multiface II and have latency times of

Input: 6,5ms

Output: 7,2ms

in Ableton Live

(6GB Ram; 2,8GHz Quadcore and Win7 64bit)

I'm running the most recent asio hammerfall dsp drivers and I know I could bounce the whole track and record external lines there to reinsert them in the project for further tweaking and adjusting but isn't there a simpler way?

I tried using track delay but was astonished that I needed around 300ms to make it sound on track and then on playback the recorded lines started to drag pretty soon...

Am I missing something?

Thanks in advance!


GTonal 3 years ago | 0 comments

2 answers

  • Warrior Bob
    60 answers
    108 votes received
    0 votes

    Any latency at all can be a giant pain, and you're always going to have some when working with computers. 

    Your computer is plenty powerful, and you seem to have figured out how to get a decently low latency (13.7 roundtrip) with a buffer that apparently isn't causing dropouts, so you've gotten the major technical tweaking out of the way. 

    Personally, I like to monitor live instruments before they ever reach the recording converters. You can do this with hardware zero-latency monitoring if your interface has this, or you can rig it up with a mixing board, so long as you don't mind that being in your signal chain. 

    Check the Live manual for "Driver Error Compensation." Some interfaces have additional latency built in on top of what's reported through ASIO, and Live can try to automatically adjust for that by moving your recordings back in time a bit. The manual describes an exercise that can be used to figure out how much this latency is so that you can compensate.

    3 years ago | 0 comments
  • GTonal
    1 answer
    0 votes received
    0 votes


    Monitoring before it enters is okay but doesn't work when you need to hear the actual song, especially for vocals.

    It works fine when I bounce the whole track and open a new project where I insert the sample and record the vocals there, no latency as there's only around 1% cpu usage.

    Let's see what the driver error compensation changes... ;)

    Thanks again for the reply!

    3 years ago | 2 comments

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