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Which Logic plug-ins introduce latency and why?


grumblepig
Go to solution Solved by des99,

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I was working on a fairly new song yesterday. I think the track count was only 6 or 7. Hardly any plug-ins used etc, yet I was getting a big glump of latency when adding a couple guitar parts. Same with a MIDI piano track. Whereas the guitars were recorded loud in the room, with the piano track, I could hear/feel the latency in real time, so to speak.  Turns out it was a noise gate I had on one track causing the latency. I use the Logic noise gate quite often, but haven't noticed it adding latency before. Why this time? And what other Logic plugs add latency? I think someone here once mentioned the multiband compressor, but maybe there are others? 

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The Adaptive Limiter is probably the worst offender, but anything with look-ahead will feature latency, and some DSP processes also require it. If you hover the mouse over the plugin insert slot (with help tags enabled), Logic will show you the latency any given plugin is reporting.

Edited by des99
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2 hours ago, des99 said:

The Adaptive Limiter is probably the worst offender, but anything with look-ahead will feature latency, and some DSP processes also require it. If you hover the mouse over the plugin insert slot (with help tags enabled), Logic will show you the latency any given plugin is reporting.

Curious! Does the latency only happen if "look ahead" is in use? I'm eternally naive about tech things and tend to just sort of nudge and bump things around, ending up with a "sound." I've used the noise gate many times but haven't noticed latency issues like this. It was blatant and surprised me considering how new the songs was and how low the track count/use of plugs was...

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Look ahead is one such feature that requires access to audio material before the current playhead position, but as I mentioned, there are DSP processes that require a chunk of audio to work on for technical reasons, or sometimes for performance/efficiency reasons. That's why different plugins have zero latency, or a small amount of latency, or a high latency requirement, according to the nature of their processing.

Note that some latency can be compensated for without delaying the audio signal - on an audio track, if a plugin requires 8ms of latency, then audio track can simple be readout 8ms *earlier* than the current time position, so the audio signal isn't delayed as such. But latency is complex, and signal routings throughout the mixer with different plugins can get very complex, as Logic *has* to delay some signals it can't compensate for, and therefore it has to also delay everything else for everything to line up.

It's easy to answer your gate questions yourself - put Logic's gate on an audio track, set lookahead to 0ms, hover the mouse over the plugin insert slot, and you'll see zero latency reported. Add some lookahead, and now check the latency reported. In this way, you can verify the behaviour and answer these questions directly, without needing to write it up on the forum..! ;)

Also note - latency has nothing directly to do with the amount of tracks you are using. It's all about the *choice* of plugins you use, and where you put them in the signal path. You can have one track with half a second of latency, just as you can have 100+ tracks with zero latency.

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