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Logic 9 Low-latency Monitoring/ Ex PT user needs help

Discussion in 'Logic 9' started by Joe, Jan 17, 2010.

  1. Joe

    Joe New Member

    Sorry everyone if this is a dumb question, but I'm knew to Logic. Ex-PT user and I'm having trouble understanding "low-latency monitoring." When I turn low latency monitoring on, I still seem to have latency. I'm really confused because when I would turn it on in PT, it would go into direct monitoring mode. Could someone please explain to me how to get the most of this feature? Is this mode just useful for when there are plug ins on the channel?

    Thanks so much,

  3. Eli

    Eli Senior member

    It is technically supposed to bypass any latency inducing plug ins in the signal path.

    What audio interface are you using? And what is your buffer set at? Depending on your hardware, there may be more effective ways using direct monitoring from your interface and putting plugins on aux tracks, or using pre fader sends on your record tracks fro reverb, etc
  4. Joe

    Joe New Member

    Hey Eli,

    Thanks so much for your reply! I've watched your "Logic Explained Video." You do a great job.

    My interface is an RME Fireface 400. It does have a mixer in it, but I was trying to figure out a way that I could turn "direct monitoring" on or off with out having to go outside of Logic. I figured that "I" within the channel strip should toggle between what I'm hearing come into the CPU and hearing what is directly coming into the interface. I could do that in both PT and Cubase. Is there a work around for that or do I have a setting wrong?

    Thanks again so much for your help!

  5. Peter Ostry

    Peter Ostry Administrator Staff Member

    I think you are used to ProTools hardware but with software monitoring in Logic your signal goes through the interface into your Mac, then through software (Logic) and back out through the interface. There will always be a lot of latency.

    As Eli said, the Low Latency mode bypasses plugins. You can set the amount of latency you can live with. If you aren't happy with any latency you should consider to split your signals before the interface or at least route them out by the interface software before they enter the computer. Interface manufacturers call this "direct monitoring" although it isn't. Direct is hardware before the interface. Signal splitters for example.
  6. Peter Ostry

    Peter Ostry Administrator Staff Member

    TotalMix works perfectly for direct monitoring. But you don't turn something on or off, you just route the signal to your monitoring output. The mixer system is not self-explanatory but quite simple:

    Imagine yourself sitting in the bottom row. You are the output. Then turn everything up you want to hear at this position. In the screenshot below I am "sitting" on output 3-4 and want to hear three inputs (upper row) and the Logic playback (middle row):


    I have the inputs at center to hear them equally on both stereo sides on the monitoring output. And this setting does only apply for output 3-4, other outputs can have completely different routings. At least volume and pan can be different. Additionally you can store 8 of your own presets.

    If you work this way, you want to turn off software monitoring in Logic. You don't need it any more. If you want to get areverb or delay or something else for monitoring, do this via an Aux channel on Logic. Auxes play without software monitoring.

    The resulting latency is the latency of the interface only and it is quite short with the FW400. Just one A/D and one D/A conversion.

    You can cable your output directly to a headphone amplifier or use a mixing desk to smoothen the sound and make the musicians happy.
  7. Eli

    Eli Senior member

    Peter has explained exactly what to do with (his usual) stunning clarity!!! Seriously, nice job of explaining it! I have to admit the Totalmix mixer is my secret achilles heel. I can never seem to fully wrap my head around it whenever I am at client's studios working with their RME hardware. Thanks Peter, you've helped make the Totalmix signal flow easier to understand.

    So, yeah back to Joe - don't be afraid of using direct monitoring. It's a great way of working (I use it my MOTU hardware.) The little I button in the Arrange Window has nothing to do with direct monitoring. All it does is leave your mic active even when you are in playback mode (ie: not record enabled).

    The one thing I would add to Peter's instructions is that it's, strictly speaking, not necessary to turn off software monitoring. You could just make sure to pull down your fader all the way to the bottom when it is record enabled (so the signal getting routed to your outputs isn't doubled by being sent twice - once through the direct monitoring, and once from logic). I have my template set up this way automatically, so the faders snap down to zero whenever they are record enabled. And you can then use reverb by way of a pre fader send to an aux with a reverb plug in on it.

    I personally prefer this way, but it's not better or worse; just a user preference. And if you want to use something like amp designer when you are tracking; then you can set up an aux with the input set to your physical input, and call up an amp designer there. You'll monitor with it, but it won't get printed.
  8. Ginger

    Ginger Member

    Or leave it on, if you want to use the sends on the channel strips to send to reverbs etc (pre-fader). Logic has independent monitor level settings for record enabled channel strips, so you can set the monitor level to zero during record, and it will jump back to the normal setting during playback.

    I believe that you belong to a large group of Logic users if you have problems with Total Mix! IMHO the best solution would be if all the features of Total Mix (and similar software) would be implemented in Logic (and other CoreAudio DAWs).
  9. Joe

    Joe New Member

    Wow! Thanks so much everyone for all of your amazing replies! I can definitely get some stuff done now. I'll make a Template in Logic and a preset on the Total Mix that executes this amazing advice. FREAKIN SWEET!!!
  10. Peter Ostry

    Peter Ostry Administrator Staff Member

    It's easy when you take the "sitting in the bottom row" picture. TotalMix works like a funnel. The two upper rows are all sources, no destinations. First row are the inputs, middle row are the computer. Bottom row is you and what you hear. That's all to think about. Sit down on an output and turn up the sources you want to hear.

    But keep in mind to leave the "Submix" checkbox always on!
    If you disengage the Submix view, you will get lost. This checkbox enables the view of the bottom row where the channels of interest are clear while others are dimmed:

    There is only one other important technique in TotalMix, that is called Loopback and explained in the manual. It allows you to route any sound from an output back to any software. I use it to send the main outs of Logic to Spectre on another screen, for analyzing purposes. Some people use it even to mix in TotalMix (Logic–>TotalMix–>Logic).

    But this is far away from the interface. I would rather want Logic in TotalMix :)
  11. zerobeat

    zerobeat Senior member

    Wow, Peter. RME surely owes you bigtime for this. TotalMix went from being a pit of scorpions and razor blades to the envy of other audio interface companies.... at least in functionality.

    But the user interface still sucks toxic blood barnacles off tumerous manatee carcasses.

    This just might be the best example in years of "bad GUI and bad manual hides great features".
  12. Orren Merton

    Orren Merton Logic Samurai / Administrator Staff Member

    For those of us who used Cubase VST in the 90s, those faders on the TotalMix GUI are pretty familiar (they use the Cubase faders-Steinberg gets credit for them). Of course there's far more to the UI than the shape of the faders, but I think that the GUI is a lot more familiar if you have a Cubase background.

    BTW-speaking of low latency monitoring, I wish that Logic had one feature that GarageBand has: the ability to turn software monitoring on/off per track, not just Globally. I use direct monitoring in all cases except playing through guitar sims; I wish I could just turn software monitoring on for those individual tracks and not others.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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