You are here

Monitoring Latency Question for MOTU Owners (Audio Interface)

For everything after the recording stage: hardware/software and how you use it.

Monitoring Latency Question for MOTU Owners (Audio Interface)

Postby BassFacer67 » Mon Apr 06, 2020 8:59 pm

HI everyone,

I am considering buying an Apollo M4 audio interface as a low latency/cost effective option to use with Logic Pro X. I use Mac Mini, Mojave, 16GB RAM, i7 processor, 6 cores, 512GB.

I'd like to be able to sing into the mic and hear my guitar and vocals in my headphones at the same time as I am singing and strumming. The primary reason for this is so I can hear myself with reverb applied to the vocals in logic. I hear that this can be done with an Apollo Twin X due to it's low latency, but it's $500 more.

Can this also be accomplished with the Motu?

Thanks,
Z
BassFacer67
Poster
Posts: 24
Joined: Thu Dec 18, 2014 1:00 am

Re: Monitoring Latency Question for MOTU Owners (Audio Interface)

Postby Arpangel » Tue Apr 07, 2020 7:28 am

You can monitor with effect plug-in's on most interfaces, and some DAW's allow you to place effects on the inputs too, are you recording guitar and vocals at the same time? There will always be some latency, albeit small, if you want complete latency free recording, I’d use a small mixer with a good quality hardware reverb, that way you can monitor off the mixer before going into the computer, with zero latency, that’s why a lot of people still like to work this way.
The Apollo has effects placed before the input to the DAW if I understand correctly, so they don’t have to make the round trip through the computer, but it’s up to you, I’d personally go for the mixer and effects option.
User avatar
Arpangel
Frequent Poster (Level2)
Posts: 3787
Joined: Sat Jul 12, 2003 12:00 am
https://anthonyflynn.bandcamp.com/album/toy-town

Re: Monitoring Latency Question for MOTU Owners (Audio Interface)

Postby CS70 » Tue Apr 07, 2020 6:46 pm

BassFacer67 wrote:I'd like to be able to sing into the mic and hear my guitar and vocals in my headphones at the same time as I am singing and strumming. The primary reason for this is so I can hear myself with reverb applied to the vocals in logic. I hear that this can be done with an Apollo Twin X due to it's low latency, but it's $500 more.

Couple things: for "regular" interfaces, the overall round-trip latency is partly due to the interface (and its drivers), and partly due to the host computer. So you may have the best interface in the world but if your computer has a inconsistent of slow throughput it won't help.

Second, the standard method do avoid latency is to avoid the computer, and use direct monitoring (i.e. the circuitry in the interface that takes the signal from the inputs and present it immediately on the outputs, including the headphones).

That doesn't work if you want to run effects on the computer of course. Reverb however is an exception. What you need to do is to enable both direct monitoring and DAW monitoring, set up a reverb aux and send the main recording tracks to it pre-fader, and then lower the fader of the main tracks entirely (so the DAW "monitoring" will be limited only to the reverb). The aux fader will give you more or less amount of reverb.

You will still have latency on the DAW, but since it's a reverb, it will simply act as a fixed predelay, so it will be fine.

That said, the trick above is slightly cumbersome as in order to listen to the result you obviously have to turn up the main faders again, and then down again for another take etc.

Third, you may find interfaces with comfort reverb and even other effects which don't break the bang. I resurrected my old Steinberg UR28M last week, to use it in conjunction with a laptop for streaming, and discovered that the onboard DSP offers excellent reverb! Fun I never used when I was using it as main interface.

Fourth, your absolute best option imho (for comfort reverb only) is to find an old reverb box and put it between the headphone out and the headphones. There's plenty of very good stuff around (Lexicons, TC Electronics, Alesis, you name it) which goes for chips and is way easier to use than anything else.

I myself I have a Picoverb permanently wired that way and works a treat for almost no money.
User avatar
CS70
Jedi Poster
Posts: 5282
Joined: Mon Nov 26, 2012 1:00 am
Location: Oslo, Norway
Silver Spoon - Check out our latest video and the FB page

Re: Monitoring Latency Question for MOTU Owners (Audio Interface)

Postby BassFacer67 » Tue Apr 07, 2020 10:30 pm

CS70 wrote:
BassFacer67 wrote:I'd like to be able to sing into the mic and hear my guitar and vocals in my headphones at the same time as I am singing and strumming. The primary reason for this is so I can hear myself with reverb applied to the vocals in logic. I hear that this can be done with an Apollo Twin X due to it's low latency, but it's $500 more.

Couple things: for "regular" interfaces, the overall round-trip latency is partly due to the interface (and its drivers), and partly due to the host computer. So you may have the best interface in the world but if your computer has a inconsistent of slow throughput it won't help.

Second, the standard method do avoid latency is to avoid the computer, and use direct monitoring (i.e. the circuitry in the interface that takes the signal from the inputs and present it immediately on the outputs, including the headphones).

That doesn't work if you want to run effects on the computer of course. Reverb however is an exception. What you need to do is to enable both direct monitoring and DAW monitoring, set up a reverb aux and send the main recording tracks to it pre-fader, and then lower the fader of the main tracks entirely (so the DAW "monitoring" will be limited only to the reverb). The aux fader will give you more or less amount of reverb.

You will still have latency on the DAW, but since it's a reverb, it will simply act as a fixed predelay, so it will be fine.

That said, the trick above is slightly cumbersome as in order to listen to the result you obviously have to turn up the main faders again, and then down again for another take etc.

Third, you may find interfaces with comfort reverb and even other effects which don't break the bang. I resurrected my old Steinberg UR28M last week, to use it in conjunction with a laptop for streaming, and discovered that the onboard DSP offers excellent reverb! Fun I never used when I was using it as main interface.

Fourth, your absolute best option imho (for comfort reverb only) is to find an old reverb box and put it between the headphone out and the headphones. There's plenty of very good stuff around (Lexicons, TC Electronics, Alesis, you name it) which goes for chips and is way easier to use than anything else.

I myself I have a Picoverb permanently wired that way and works a treat for almost no money.

Extremely helpful. I look forward to trying this out when I get either the Apollo or the Motu. Though the motu is on backorder. Wondering if I get the apollo if I'm going to regret it. Will have to do more research. Thanks.
BassFacer67
Poster
Posts: 24
Joined: Thu Dec 18, 2014 1:00 am

Re: Monitoring Latency Question for MOTU Owners (Audio Interface)

Postby Arpangel » Thu Apr 09, 2020 6:52 am

CS70 wrote:Fourth, your absolute best option imho (for comfort reverb only) is to find an old reverb box and put it between the headphone out and the headphones. There's plenty of very good stuff around (Lexicons, TC Electronics, Alesis, you name it) which goes for chips and is way easier to use than anything else.

I myself I have a Picoverb permanently wired that way and works a treat for almost no money.

That’s why hardware is still used for a lot of main recording rigs!
User avatar
Arpangel
Frequent Poster (Level2)
Posts: 3787
Joined: Sat Jul 12, 2003 12:00 am
https://anthonyflynn.bandcamp.com/album/toy-town