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Logic X Low Latency Mode: why is it turned off by default?

Discussion in 'Logic Pro X' started by peterlemer, May 22, 2016.

  1. peterlemer

    peterlemer Senior member

    The menu: Record/Low Latency Mode requires me to activate it if I want to record in synch ( -ish) with extant material.

    When discussed recently, various methods were tried to make this mode ON by default, but failed.

    So I am in the habit of turning it on every time I launch Logic.

    Can anyone tell me what is gained by leaving it OFF, and why apple (or you?) think it's the better of the two states?

  3. Pete Thomas

    Pete Thomas Administrator Staff Member

    I would think this is a bug.

    Prefernces should be saved when Logic is quit.
  4. Peter Ostry

    Peter Ostry Administrator Staff Member

    Latency Mode just shuts those plugins off, which report more latency than you allow in the preferences. I wouldn't want that on. I don't want it at all ;-)
  5. peterlemer

    peterlemer Senior member

    Are they saved when you try it, Pete? Is it an actual Preference, and if so, where can I find it?

  6. Pete Thomas

    Pete Thomas Administrator Staff Member

    Like Mr. Ostry, I never use it. I just did a test after seeing your post and it is a preference under preferences > Audio > general.

    NO, it didn't save.

    As a preference it should save irrespective of you project and, as you say, it doesn't.

    So in my book, that is a bug.
  7. peterlemer

    peterlemer Senior member

    By 'Latency Mode', do you mean 'Low Latency Mode' unchecked?

  8. peterlemer

    peterlemer Senior member

    aha! ISTR we covered this already. In which case, apologies.
    If you never use it, how do you cope with the latency when recording?
    ( we probably covered this earlier, too, but perhaps now my brain is in better shape)

  9. CSeye

    CSeye Senior member

    I don't use low latency mode, but as an experiment, I noticed that if it's activated when I close the project but don't quit Logic, then it's still active if I open the project again. If I quit Logic, then start up and open the project, it's not activated.

    This is probably already understood, but the button in the transport and item in the Preferences are linked. Check or uncheck the preference, and the button will respond accordingly. Toggle the button on/off and the preference will respond accordingly.

    Attached Files:

  10. Peter Ostry

    Peter Ostry Administrator Staff Member

    I don't, I use always direct monitoring, either after the preamp or via the interface. This way it does not matter when the playback comes out. You just play along and Logic writes to the correct position (real time minus plugin latency).
  11. peterlemer

    peterlemer Senior member

    Ah - direct monitoring is a trick I have never learnt. Can you guide?

    I think I can figure out how to do that with vocals but how do I record piano plugin along with existing material?

  12. Jay Asher

    Jay Asher Senior member

    I simply don't add my latency inducing plug-ins, like UAD, until i am ready for my final mixing. So I don't need it on.
  13. peterlemer

    peterlemer Senior member

    Hi Jay. Good point, thanks. I like overdubbing MIDI with the most up to date sound I can get - mixing sort of goes on from quite an early stage for me. But thanks to this conversation, I'll be experimenting with turning off unnecessary plugins - just to get better at the game

  14. Jay Asher

    Jay Asher Senior member

    Try composing with Logic equivalents and then swap them out. There are differences but they are not so vast that they should disrupt your composing IMHO.
  15. peterlemer

    peterlemer Senior member

    Thanks Jay - good strategy - will play

  16. Pete Thomas

    Pete Thomas Administrator Staff Member

    I don't get any significant latency when recording as I don't activate any latency inducing plugins when recording (I ditched UAD years ago)
  17. peterlemer

    peterlemer Senior member

    Hi Pete, I'll check my plugins next session
    Pete Thomas likes this.
  18. Peter Ostry

    Peter Ostry Administrator Staff Member

    The two basic methods of direct monitoring:

    The second method (through the interface) can also be used without external preamps. Interfaces with DSP allow you to adjust the monitor signal tonally but will introduce a little latency. Most people don't care, but you are a phantastic player and I can imagine that you don't like to hear a different feeling than you had during the recording session.

    Regarding the monitor mix – I don't like monitor controllers, for recording I prefer a mixer because it makes it easy to dial in a nice monitor sound for signal and playback. Mixers with reverb and compression are comfortable, maybe you have some hardware for effects. Alternatively you can take a reverb from the DAW: the latency becomes part of the predelay, which you need anyway.

    Bad idea, you pass a couple of latency stages: A/D conversion + Computer + Logic/Plugins + D/A conversion + (without phones) distance from speaker to ear.

    I have an old "Kurzweil MicroPiano" box and a small amp at the keyboard and select a sound similar to what I want. Such modules and amps are pretty cheap these days and give you practically zero latency. Additional benefit: your MIDI keyboard is playable without the computer.


    There is just one situation where direct monitoring can be a problem: Playing along a delay or other rhythmical effects. In this cases you may be forced to make your DAW as fast as possible and use it for monitoring.

    Another (better) way would be to use a good hardware delay and record it on a second track. While you modify notes or change the arrangement, you can run the dry track via Aux and I/O plugin through the same hardware, finally record the hardware to it's own track.
  19. bayswater

    bayswater Senior member

    Regarding your second diagram: I don't know of any DAW that outputs audio directly to speakers, bypassing the audio interface. I would think the more common routing would have a two way link between Interface and DAW, and a link from the Interface to the Speakers, possible through an Amp. With that setup, many interfaces (e.g. most MOTU) have some variation of direct monitoring by which the input signal feeds both to the DAW, and directly through to the interface outputs to the monitors, allowing you to listen to the signal being recorded with latency of maybe a millisecond (what you'd experience when playing a guitar with the sound holes about a foot from your ears). Many of those interfaces will have basic effects built into a DSP chip (e.g. EQ, Compression, Limiting, and Reverb), again introducing latency at unnoticeable levels, for those who have to hear something like a reverb while recording.

    The only situation this does not cover is playing a VI. My understanding is that Logic's low latency mode does not cover this anyway. All you can do it reduce the buffer, or as mentioned, use an external instrument.
  20. peterlemer

    peterlemer Senior member

    peter ostry: wonderful explanation and diagrams - will study in situ and apply as appropriate.
    One quibble - I love my Synthogy Ivory Italian piano and although I have a very good outboard digital piano ( Kawai MP9500) the Ivory is just too good - it really helps my imagination. I can tolerate a smidgin of latency, after all there is latency with an acoustic piano - it takes time for the energy of finger to get translated to energy of free-flying hammer :)
  21. CSeye

    CSeye Senior member

    Mr. Ostry,
    Excellent graphic! Your detailed visuals here and in the current thread on the Environment are highly informative.
    Thank you.

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