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What is Cubase reporting with "Input" and "Output" Latencies?

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What is Cubase reporting with "Input" and "Output" Latencies?

Postby alexis » Wed Jan 18, 2012 1:57 pm

Cubase reports ("Device Setup") an input latency of 6.531 msec, and an output latency of 6.485 msec.

And both of these are different than my "calculated" latency of 5.8 msec (256 samples, 44.1K).

I'm not sure how to interpret all that data - any help much appreciated!

Thanks -
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Re: What is Cubase reporting with "Input" and "Output" Latencies?

Postby Peter Fernandes » Wed Jan 18, 2012 9:22 pm

If I'm not mistaken, input latency is the time from interface to Cubase, and output latency is the time from Cubase to interface. So add the two together and theoretically you'll have the round-trip latency for monitoring a signal through Cubase (presuming you're not using your interface's hardware monitoring feature).
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Re: What is Cubase reporting with "Input" and "Output" Latencies?

Postby Martin Walker » Thu Jan 19, 2012 7:07 pm

Hi alexis!

Your ‘calculated’ values are for the input and output buffers alone - what Cubase reports is what the audio interface manufacturer declares to it as the total latency including converters (typically 1mS each for A/D and D/A), any DSP code for sample rate conversion and so on.

In practice, some interface manufacturers are more honest than others in their declarations :beamup:


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Re: What is Cubase reporting with "Input" and "Output" Latencies?

Postby Tombot » Thu Jan 19, 2012 7:13 pm

Martin Walker wrote:Your ‘calculated’ values are for the input and output buffers alone - what Cubase reports is what the audio interface manufacturer declares to it as the total latency including converters (typically 1mS each for A/D and D/A), any DSP code for sample rate conversion and so on.

In practice, some interface manufacturers are more honest than others in their declarations :beamup:
Martin

This X 10000

I tested one interface with the RTL Utility to try and dawbench test it (after the company's rep had mentioned that they were incredibly happy with the low latency perfomance of the unit). It declared input and output latency of 1ms each. The actual latency of the unit measured with the utility was over 60ms!

I declined the offer to stock the product and told them they had been rumbled.
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Re: What is Cubase reporting with "Input" and "Output" Latencies?

Postby alexis » Sat Jan 21, 2012 2:59 pm

Interesting that the time to go in is a little different than out, according to what is "declared" by my Delta 66 to Cubase. In the big scheme of things though, I probably don't need to waste any more brain cells on that fraction of a millisecond!

Thank you all!
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Re: What is Cubase reporting with "Input" and "Output" Latencies?

Postby ef37a » Sun Jan 22, 2012 8:08 am

Alexis.

FWIW my 2496 shows exactly the same figures for Cubase Essential 4 with the card set for our default of 256 samples.

Same card, same sample size, Cubase LE6 on a W7/64 pc shows, in, 6.78. out, 6.44.

Running at 256 Son has never reported a problem playing a keyboard and he is a fussy B!

My NI K6 set for 256 gives, in, 8.277. Out, 10.159 but I have not as yet tried a keyboard thru' that unit. Fair figures against a PCI card? (all for 44.1kHz)

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Re: What is Cubase reporting with "Input" and "Output" Latencies?

Postby Lord Of Tea » Sun Jan 22, 2012 12:56 pm

I have found that I get tangible timing errors, particularly when using higher buffer settings.

I don't know if it's the correct way to do it, but what I do is connect the output of my soundcard directly to the input with a short audio cable. Draw a single sample square wave into a cubase audio track and then record it back into another audio track. I can then see any timing difference and work out the sample offset.
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Re: What is Cubase reporting with "Input" and "Output" Latencies?

Postby Martin Walker » Sun Jan 22, 2012 1:29 pm

This exactly what the RTL utility mentioned above does for you, but without all the manual calculations ;)

You can download it free here: www.oblique-audio.com

Many thanks to Vin Curigliano and Andrew Jerrim for all the hard work that went into creating it for us 8-)


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Re: What is Cubase reporting with "Input" and "Output" Latencies?

Postby tex » Sun Jan 22, 2012 7:02 pm

And before you get too tied up in the latency wars just study how long it takes for the sound to get from your amp to your ears in real time onstage.
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Re: What is Cubase reporting with "Input" and "Output" Latencies?

Postby Scope » Sun Jan 22, 2012 9:01 pm

Surely this original Q is a beginners question and should be on that Forum?

So to answer the Q above re live sound from amp to ears :-
Rule of thumb is 1ft per millisecond. ( not exact, but good enough )
Anything over 11m/s sounds delayed
- which is why there are multiple stacks at large venues and side monitors in cinemas
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Re: What is Cubase reporting with "Input" and "Output" Latencies?

Postby TAFKAT » Sun Jan 22, 2012 9:18 pm

tex wrote:And before you get too tied up in the latency wars just study how long it takes for the sound to get from your amp to your ears in real time onstage.

Scope just pipped me but I'll add my 2 cents.

So for those of us on Metric, thats around 3 ms per meter in perfect conditions , and there is good reason why larger touring acts playing on bigger stages use in ear monitoring.

I am amazed how often this "distance from amp on stage" argument comes up in an attempt to dismiss the importance of efficient low latency performance of audio interfaces when in fact it does just the opposite , as that latency over distance is also added to the respective RTL achieved by the DAW/Audio Interface. Of course that will vary depending on whether you are monitoring via studio monitors and the distance you are from them, as well as monitoring via headphones.

Once you add the respective RTL + latency over distance in that environment , it can add up very quickly and the importance of efficient LLP of the interface is even more pronounced.

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Re: What is Cubase reporting with "Input" and "Output" Latencies?

Postby ef37a » Sun Jan 22, 2012 11:05 pm

There is another "problem" if you will, with the "speed of sound" argument.
My son is a good keyboard player but a better guiarist and tells me that he would have no difficulty playing guitar with a speaker 3.048mtrs away (10 of our imperialistic feet V.C!)and presumably no problem with such a setup with keys.

Where latency DOES bug him is when he is adding parts to an existing track because it is hard to keep time when what you hear is delayed ref the track even slightly. Our usb keyboard, a 2496 and Cubase Halion seems to be just about fast enough.

As I type this it occurs that there might be some sort of delay compensation in Cubase (LE6)? If so chap' and verse someone please!

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Re: What is Cubase reporting with "Input" and "Output" Latencies?

Postby TAFKAT » Mon Jan 23, 2012 9:00 pm

ef37a wrote:
As I type this it occurs that there might be some sort of delay compensation in Cubase (LE6)? If so chap' and verse someone please!

Dave.


Hey Dave,

Was that directed at me or Scope / Tex ?

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Re: What is Cubase reporting with "Input" and "Output" Latencies?

Postby ef37a » Mon Jan 23, 2012 9:08 pm

Hi Vin,
At anybody that has any idea that might help resolve the issue. I really don't know if it is possible to do anything anyway.

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Re: What is Cubase reporting with "Input" and "Output" Latencies?

Postby tex » Tue Jan 24, 2012 2:05 am

ef37a wrote:There is another "problem" if you will, with the "speed of sound" argument.
My son is a good keyboard player but a better guiarist and tells me that he would have no difficulty playing guitar with a speaker 3.048mtrs away (10 of our imperialistic feet V.C!)and presumably no problem with such a setup with keys.

Where latency DOES bug him is when he is adding parts to an existing track because it is hard to keep time when what you hear is delayed ref the track even slightly. Our usb keyboard, a 2496 and Cubase Halion seems to be just about fast enough.

As I type this it occurs that there might be some sort of delay compensation in Cubase (LE6)? If so chap' and verse someone please!

Dave.

There is a "Constrain delay" button at top left of the toolbar. Also in the Devices/VST (somewhere near there) depending on version there should be a box where you can enter an offset for the midi, if I'm wrong it will be in the Preferences/midi. You can also set the Priority so midi takes pref but I think that's the default.
I'm a drummer and I can manage at 10ms but I can easily for some years now get down to 5ms (could go less but I don't push it) and that seems way adequate. Physics will probably only allow 2ms max in about ten years without system sound breakup. The latency is more about your soundcard than about Cubase anyway. If your soundcard driver don't allow it then Cubase can't do it. If you have to use an onboard or cheap soundcard then look up ASIO4ALL which is free and may get better latency results than the "proper" soundcard driver.
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Re: What is Cubase reporting with "Input" and "Output" Latencies?

Postby tex » Tue Jan 24, 2012 2:19 am

TAFKAT wrote:
tex wrote:And before you get too tied up in the latency wars just study how long it takes for the sound to get from your amp to your ears in real time onstage.

Scope just pipped me but I'll add my 2 cents.

So for those of us on Metric, thats around 3 ms per meter in perfect conditions , and there is good reason why larger touring acts playing on bigger stages use in ear monitoring.

I am amazed how often this "distance from amp on stage" argument comes up in an attempt to dismiss the importance of efficient low latency performance of audio interfaces when in fact it does just the opposite , as that latency over distance is also added to the respective RTL achieved by the DAW/Audio Interface. Of course that will vary depending on whether you are monitoring via studio monitors and the distance you are from them, as well as monitoring via headphones.

Once you add the respective RTL + latency over distance in that environment , it can add up very quickly and the importance of efficient LLP of the interface is even more pronounced.

V.C

I've done huge stages with conventional monitoring, sometimes when the delay from the back wall, unamplified snare drum, is a half second (Trentham Gardens for one for any that know it). As soon as you get the monitors sorted all returns to normal.
In-ear monitoring is used because it's WIRELESS. Not because it reduces latency.
10ms?! Luxury! Try playing with an orchestra. A real one. The harpist can be 80 feet from the bass section. Ever tried marching 100 feet behind a band on a running track? When they turn at the end and you get closer by 20/30feet you learn to ignore the band until you're all straight again. Great fun.
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Re: What is Cubase reporting with "Input" and "Output" Latencies?

Postby TAFKAT » Tue Jan 24, 2012 4:24 am

tex wrote:In-ear monitoring is used because it's WIRELESS. Not because it reduces latency.


I think your cap key got stuck there , of course, and there would be absolutely no advantage in regards to latencies, would there ?

More power to you if you have found in your working environment that LLP and RTL efficiency of respective audio cards is such a non event.

Peace

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