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Milton Sica

DIFFERENCE BETWEEN IGNORE FX RACK AND INDIVIDUAL OFF BY EFFECT

Question

I use a Keystation 49es keyboard and experience latency when my master effects rack is on.

As below...

image.png.1b26b8638eccda400cc3c9814640b579.png

If I use the menu option "IGNORE FX RACK" I get "zero latency". Press the key and the note comes out immediately.

image.png.4c1c06f043ddc60c7fbe426e3c59c46f.png

But if I deactivate effect by effect, one by one, the same result is not obtained. Latency remains.

My question is about what happens internally in each of the operations, because I think that turning off effects one by one until all are turned off, should be the same as when IGNORE FX RACK.

 

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Turning plug-ins off does not cause the DAW to recalculate plug-in delay compensation.

The DAW recalculates PDC when effects racks are bypassed and when the audio engine is reset.

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1 minute ago, scook said:

Turning plug-ins off does not cause the DAW to recalculate plug-in delay compensation.

The DAW recalculates PDC when effects racks are bypassed and when the audio engine is reset.

Thank you very much for the clarification.

So, to better understand, when I use the option IGNORE FX RACK does this?

"The DAW recalculates PDC when effects racks are bypassed and when the audio engine is reset."

My understanding is that turning effect to effect off the DAW, recognizing that ALL EFFECTS are turned off would execute the same IGNORE FX RACK rule.

Interesting that latency is only reset when IGNORE FX RACK in MASTER. I end up identifying that one of the effects contained there is that it is causing latency. How to identify which effect is actually causing the latency. Turning off an effect and simulating the operation turns the audio engine on and off?

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Here is a bus FX rack context menu in English

zljlAGg.png

The DAW performs PDC recalculation when

  1. Effects racks are bypasses
  2. The audio engine is turned off and on

The DAW does not inspect the state of every plug-in in every FX rack to determine if it should recalculate PDC.

Of the plug-ins listed in this image

image.png

I know the Cakewalk Adaptive Limiter covers PDC in its documentation on page 24

Quote

Lookahead

The Adaptive Limiter uses look-ahead peak detection to reduce the gain just before a peak. Lookahead peak detection can prevent clipping, and lets you preserve transients, while still avoiding ultra-fast attack times that might cause distortion or aliasing.

The Lookahead control lets you specify how far in advance the limiter should start reacting before gain change is actually detected. The Lookahead settings are as follows:

  • Minimum = 1.5 ms at 44.1 kHz sample rate (662 samples)
  • Low = 3 ms at 44.1 kHz sample rate (1323 samples)
  • Medium = 5 ms at 44.1 kHz sample rate (2205 samples)
  • High = 10 ms at 44.1 kHz sample rate (4410 samples)

Note: “Look-ahead” means the limiter analyzes the audio input ahead of time by delaying the output. Lower lookahead/latency settings are most suitable for tracking, and higher settings are typically best for mastering. The actual latency in milliseconds is determined by the project’s sample rate. For example, the “Low” lookahead is 3 ms with a sample rate of 44.1 kHz, 1.5 ms with a sample rate of 88.2 kHz, etc.

The size of the lookahead buffer is used by the DAW to determine the PDC needed for this plug-in.

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7 minutes ago, scook said:

Here is a bus FX rack context menu in English

zljlAGg.png

The DAW performs PDC recalculation when

  1. Effects racks are bypasses
  2. The audio engine is turned off and on

The DAW does not inspect the state of every plug-in in every FX rack to determine if it should recalculate PDC.

Of the plug-ins listed in this image

image.png

I know the Cakewalk Adaptive Limiter covers PDC in its documentation on page 24

 

Thank you one more time.
Your clarification was very important and I was able to isolate the problem that was happening with the Adaptive Limiter.

I followed the steps performed in the IGNORE RACK FX operation and was able to isolate the problem.

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On 2/19/2022 at 4:32 AM, Starship Krupa said:

Dang, with Ozone Elements in my master FX rack, I'd expect to measure latency with a sundial.

I saw that too and totally agree. 

Recording is done in steps. Bed Tracks, Overdubs, Editing, Mixing and THEN mastering. Adding Mastering Effects while you are still in the first 2 and even 3rd stages is not recommended. But of course we often have to return to Overdubbing stage to fix stuff or add a better idea as we progress, So therefore the Global Effects By Pass toggle is your best friend. Not only for Midi delay, but keeping Audio tracks in sync.

Sometimes your song will actually sound better all of a sudden when you do this. ⁉️

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I recommend getting used to recording without any effects, especially resource hogs like iZotope etc.

Effects need to be done in the mixing stage.

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I can almost guarantee you Adaptive Limiter is your culprit. Change it to something else and you'll have a better experience. 

 

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2 hours ago, John Vere said:

I saw that too and totally agree. 

Recording is done in steps. Bed Tracks, Overdubs, Editing, Mixing and THEN mastering. Adding Mastering Effects while you are still in the first 2 and even 3rd stages is not recommended. But of course we often have to return to Overdubbing stage to fix stuff or add a better idea as we progress, So therefore the Global Effects By Pass toggle is your best friend. Not only for Midi delay, but keeping Audio tracks in sync.

Sometimes your song will actually sound better all of a sudden when you do this. ⁉️

Exactly - certain types of effects are designed to only be used during mixing/mastering, because they require a large ASIO Buffer Size, to do their processing.  Lots of times, you can often see this mentioned in a given plugin's product description, where you might see it described for mixing/mastering, and/or sometimes the descriptions will mention the use of "Look-Ahead" processing, which is a big clue that the plugin needs a large buffer size specified.  

If you use such plugins, like a convolution reverb, during recording (tracking), you will almost have trouble getting what you are recording to line up with existing tracks, because of the latency caused by the effect plugin.  

I have mentioned this before, in a few responses to earlier posts, but until someone runs into the issue, it may not have been something one realizes, in the moment.

You pretty much want to keep away from any plugins that require large ASIO Buffer Size settings, when recording, or when coming back to edit/overdub or record new tracks.  If you have thought yourself done with the recording phase, of a given project, and had to go back to either overdub or record additional tracks, and have already inserted and tweaked latency-inducing plugins, you have some choices, on dealing with that successfully:

1) Bypass all effects, by clicking on the FX button, to the right of the Transport Module,  at the top of the window in Track View, just to the right of center, until you finish recording, then click FX again, to toggle the effects processing back on.  By bypassing all effects, you can track with an ASIO Buffer Size down to 128 samples, or lower, depending on your interface , and such.  

2) Click the power button on any effect that requires a large buffer size, to turn that/those effect(s) off while you do the edits or new recording, and power them back on, and enlarge the buffer size again, to return to mixing/mastering.

3) In addition to choosing either of the above options, you can also insert similar effects to the ones you had bypassed or powered off, that give you reasonable likeness to the ones that aren't processing, just using similar effects that do not require a large buffer size.  Then, after completing your edits or new recording, you can remove those temporarily inserted effects, and engage all effects again, or power up the ones you had temporarily powered off, and reset the buffer size to a large value again, to return to mixing/mastering.

Forever, you will switch between a fairly small buffer size, for tracking/recording, and a large buffer size for mixing/mastering.  I record at 128 samples, or lower, when using my better interface, while I mix/master with a buffer size of 2048 samples.  Works like a champ.

Bob Bone

 

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11 hours ago, Robert Bone said:

the FX button, to the right of the Transport Module,  at the top of the window in Track View, just to the right of center

Well, that's where it is if you haven't rearranged your Control Bar modules (or even hidden the Mix Module)!

It's in the Mix Module, so  make sure  your Mix Module is visible in the Control Bar.

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And bypassing all effects is of no use if you need to use, say, a reverb for a vocalist or guitar amp sim for a guitarist.

 

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@Milton Sica as @bdickens said: Its better to get use to recording without effects. I had spend over an hour (right after my last post) looking for a video on Youtube from a well-known Orchestral Composer on how he explains the differences between analogue and digital recording, how difficult it was for him to get used to digital recording during the hard lockdown, but couldn't find it. 

The first part of the video is where he explain how he treated digital the same as analogue with the problems and challenges it introduced with latency. Then he goes on to say, the more he asked questions from friends that use a little bit of both worlds, the more he understood. You don't need to record with effects in the digital world -- you can, but you don't have too. Also, you need to set up things accordingly for this. (I can attach video's) 

The best way in the digital world is to record clean, mix later and do mastering last. 

Edited by Will_Kaydo
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6 hours ago, Kevin Perry said:

And bypassing all effects is of no use if you need to use, say, a reverb for a vocalist or guitar amp sim for a guitarist.

 

Of course you can most certainly use light weight effects while tracking as long as you are aware of your systems capabilities.

When we say to by bypass global effects this is just the ultimate way to take this out of the latency equation. 

People always miss understand latency and what causes it. 
 

Most modern computers are more than capable of good performance but they still need to be optimized. If your computer is busy doing something else you won’t get away with lower buffer settings. Higher buffers equals more RTL. ( Round Trip Latency) 

The design of Audio interfaces has a lot to do with latency performance. You pay more for top performance because a lot more work went into the design and components. And there’s most certainly a difference between ASIO drivers out there. 

But even the cheaper interfaces will give you the option of using direct monitoring which takes system performance out of the equation.  You monitoring directly from the DAW and your input and ASIO keeps that in perfect sync.  So for most users RTL does not matter much. 
The minute you turn on that input echo on an audio track to monitor, is the minute you will notice your systems latency This is only needed when using Guitar Sims. 

That’s because this echoes your input through the entire signal path and back out again. You hear the total RTL of your system. The A/D converter has latency, USB has latency, then your computer working with the driver is where the majority of latency happens and this can be optimized. And this is where adding certain plug ins increases latency. 
 

Then back out via USB and the interface D/A which adds a little bit more. A midi track with input echo on will be subjected to the output latency only. And adding mastering effects will most certainly increase this. 

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21 minutes ago, John Vere said:

Of course you can most certainly use light weight effects while tracking as long as you are aware of your systems capabilities.

When we say to by bypass global effects this is just the ultimate way to take this out of the latency equation. 

People always miss understand latency and what causes it. 
 

Most modern computers are more than capable of good performance but they still need to be optimized. If your computer is busy doing something else you won’t get away with lower buffer settings. Higher buffers equals more RTL. ( Round Trip Latency) 

The design of Audio interfaces has a lot to do with latency performance. You pay more for top performance because a lot more work went into the design and components. And there’s most certainly a difference between ASIO drivers out there. 

But even the cheaper interfaces will give you the option of using direct monitoring which takes system performance out of the equation.  You monitoring directly from the DAW and your input and ASIO keeps that in perfect sync.  So for most users RTL does not matter much. 
The minute you turn on that input echo on an audio track to monitor, is the minute you will notice your systems latency This is only needed when using Guitar Sims. 

That’s because this echoes your input through the entire signal path and back out again. You hear the total RTL of your system. The A/D converter has latency, USB has latency, then your computer working with the driver is where the majority of latency happens and this can be optimized. And this is where adding certain plug ins increases latency. 
 

Then back out via USB and the interface D/A which adds a little bit more. A midi track with input echo on will be subjected to the output latency only. And adding mastering effects will most certainly increase this. 

@Noel Borthwick

Very good your approach and also that of the other friends of the forum that are helping me a lot.

In this line of thinking, it might be the case that the DAW itself increases in detail what it does by monitoring performance in execution and recording.

Detailing better, if possible, the consumption of each plugin on the application and going further to allow the user in this future generated list to turn on/off plugins that are consuming more performance?

image.png.67ec701ef03242b1daee8895c6654081.png

Edited by Milton Sica

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2 hours ago, Milton Sica said:

In this line of thinking, it might be the case that the DAW itself increases in detail what it does by monitoring performance in execution and recording.

Detailing better, if possible, the consumption of each plugin on the application and going further to allow the user in this future generated list to turn on/off plugins that are consuming more performance?

 

If you carefully read what I said you will see that Computer performance is only part of the equation. Most important to this topic is that only certain plug ins use what is called a "Look Ahead" function.  

A brief stab at explaining. In the analog world, a Brick wall limiter reacts to incoming audio which in simple terms is represented by voltage. It's job is to compress any signals over a certain level =  voltage.  Electrons are fast and the processor is also fast and so it's almost 100% effective at it's job. 

But everything digital relies on a much more complicated set of rules.

To design a digital ( Plug in)   Brick wall limiter it will be  hampered by how long it takes to crunch all those millions of numbers. It needs time to think.  I'm not clear on how this exactly works but the simple explanation is this adds more latency than what your system had before you turn this plug in on.  A designer can give the plug in more time to think and those plug is are usually what we call " Look Ahead" this will be documented by the developer.  

Most of our plug ins like the ones found in the Pro Channel are very light on processing so generally are OK if left turned on. As you get more familiar with your "tools" you sort this all out. It's not really up to the DAW, it's up to the user to understand your tools and when to use them. If you read the documentation for your plug in,  look for the words "light load" or "Low CPU usage". 

Your request for information is sort of a good idea, but guess what- that could possibly add even more CPU usage to monitor that info. That info could be right inside the Plug ins GUI or sometimes in that little "read me" file that you probably didn't. Also the developers all have web sites with lots of info. 

Many use lower buffer settings while recording and then shift to a higher buffer for mixing and mastering. They do this so their system is more stable for using heavy duty plug ins that we add during these stages..  Myself I just stay at 256 and never have issues. But then I'm not an advocate of using a ridiculous amount of plug ins.  I always wait until I'm finished recording before I even turn on an EQ. I want my songs to sound good with out effects. If it doesn't, then I re record or use a different instrument or amp setting. Then when I do add effects my song goes from good to excellent. 

Edited by John Vere
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25 minutes ago, John Vere said:

But then I'm not an advocate of using a ridiculous amount of plug ins.  I always wait until I'm finished recording before I even turn on an EQ. I want my songs to sound good with out effects. If it doesn't, then I re record or use a different instrument or amp setting. Then when I do add effects my song goes from good to excellent. 

Bingo.

If it doesn't sound good without effects, it most likely won't sound good with them.

Edited by bdickens

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The Loudmax limiter is a brickwall limiter that uses look-ahead too. It is so tiny, lightweight and powerful its ridiculously crazy how Thomas Mundt pulled this off. 

It can be used on every track, aux or bus it wont introduce any latency. I jad been using it over 9 years and it still my favourite of drums and pretty much anything. Its a free limiter that's available on plugin boutique and in the link below that will take you directly to the developers site. 

It sounds great in the mastering chain as well. 

Adaptive limiter, LP eq and the MB they all hungry cpu plugins. I almost invested in them back in SPLAT when I realized this testing them. A pitty CbB didn't buy the concrete limiter licence too. Now that would've been a great addition to the Pro Channel. It lives up to its name, but yeah. You win some and you lose some. 

https://www.kvraudio.com/product/loudmax-by-thomas-mundt

 

Edited by Will_Kaydo
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A fundme account would be great to get money for the licencing of the Concrete limiter. 😀

Edited by Will_Kaydo
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5 hours ago, John Vere said:

To design a digital ( Plug in)   Brick wall limiter it will be  hampered by how long it takes to crunch all those millions of numbers. It needs time to think.  I'm not clear on how this exactly works but the simple explanation is this adds more latency than what your system had before you turn this plug in on.  A designer can give the plug in more time to think and those plug is are usually what we call " Look Ahead" this will be documented by the developer.  

 

Look ahead is not related to processing cost. Rather it is required to allow the processor to look at historical audio ahead of time. That is what causes the delay because the plugin needs to buffer audio in advance before it can start processing it.

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4 hours ago, Will_Kaydo said:

Adaptive limiter, LP eq and the MB they all hungry cpu plugins. I almost invested in them back in SPLAT when I realized this testing them. A pitty CbB didn't buy the concrete limiter licence too. Now that would've been a great addition to the Pro Channel. It lives up to its name, but yeah. You win some and you lose some. 

We own the licenses to them all. It was intentionally not included in the free set of released plugins when we first released Cbb. It may be released in the future.

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