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Thread: What is good latency vs. bad latency?

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    What is good latency vs. bad latency?

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    What is good latency vs. bad latency?

    What should I aim for when configuring sonar and setting latency?

    What are the trade offs when latency increases or decreases?

    Thanks
    These ARE the good old days!

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    It all really depends on how you intend to use your software. If you plan to use SONAR's Input Monitoring capability, which lets you monitor the track you're recording from within SONAR (this also allows you to use plugin effects and hear them as well - most of them anyway), then you will need a very low latency. Generally a latency of 10ms or higher will be enough of a delay that it can screw up your timing/groove and be very difficult to work with. Get it as low as you can in that situation. However, when you start to do things to reduce your latency like using fewer buffers, you could start pushing the envelope on what your soundcard can handle. In that case, you may experience popping/clicks and occasional dropouts. So, it's a balancing act.

    If you don't intend to use Input Monitoring, say if you're monitoring from your mixer instead or maybe using a zero-latency direct monitoring option of your soundcard, then latency shouldn't really be of concern. In this case, you won't be able to hear any plugin effects to be put on the track while you're recording - you can only hear them on playback.

    HTH,
    -Jeff

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    Quote Originally Posted by Newbie-Doo
    What is good latency vs. bad latency?

    What should I aim for when configuring sonar and setting latency?

    What are the trade offs when latency increases or decreases?

    Thanks
    First of all, I don't think there is any "good latency". It's a matter of how much of it you can live with. As Jeff said, depending on how you use your computer, it might not be an issue even if it is high. For instance, if all you do is record live instruments, don't use soft-synths and never do any overdubbing, it won't matter how much latency your system has. As soon as you try to overdub something or you're attempting to play a soft-synth from a controller keyboard, then high latency will drive you crazy!

    The trade-off is usually stability of the audio engine. Depending on your system, low latency settings can cause pops and clicks and dropouts or the audio engine can just crash altogether. Not good.

    You want to set your settings as low as possible where you still get reliable performance. This will probably take some experimentation with buffers. Normally you would load a project that's maybe a little more demanding than you might usually do, then keep lowering the latency until the system begins crashing then raise it back up until the crashes go away (kind of a simplified explanation). Make sure your drivers are the most current ones for your soundcard and allow SONAR to profile your soundcard as its default settings will often be the best for your setup.

    Not an in-depth analysis, but that's what the manual is for!

    Ted

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