Latency Issues in Ableton

Hi there,

I bought myself the Shure-Mic PG27USB Condenser Mic and want record vocals in Ableton.

The Mic comes with a Headphone output for realtime monitoring but of course I can’t mix any reverb into the vocals. So I tried to listen “tape return” from Ableton but there is a big latency.

I tried to fix this latency with the “track delay” option in Ableton but it doesnt seem to have an effect or the effect isn’t big enough. Also I adjusted in the preferences window the input/output latency. Again it doesn’t get rid of the latency or not good enough.

Is the problem with Ableton, the microphone or with me???

Thank you :slight_smile:


Go into ableton prefs and the audio tab ans check your buffer size.

128 will give you low latency at the cost of higher cpu load…likewise 2048 will give you lots of latency but less cpu load.

I switch between 128 for tracking and 1024 for mixing arranging on cpu hungry projects.

Thank you. I’ve tried something like it

There is an input and output buffer size in the audio tap. is that what you meant? which one of them?

There is a plug-in buffer size in the CPU Tap which shows those amounts (128 and 2048) that you mentioned. I have tried adjusting that and its a bit better but still not right. Would still be quite irritating for the singer to hear that slightly delayed signal of his own singing.

Im using my onboard computer soundcard. Could that be a reason for the latency too?

Thanks again


Most soundcards with mic inputs use some sort of direct monitoring… Where the mic signal is sent straight to the headphone output.

Even with low latency say 5 -15 ms you will still get the chourusy delay sound if you go through the daw mixer.

Does your mic have any mention of a direct monitir output?

What sound card do you have?

yes my mic has an headphone output. That works all fine. I just wanted to mix a bit of reverb in the headphone mix which is not possible - or is it?

My Computer-intern soundcard is Realtek HD Audio. I’ve also got a rme Multiface but need to buy a RME PCI Slot (which is quite expensive) for it. Would that make a difference? How about RAM and CPU?

I’ve got 3.25GB of RAM and intel Core 2 Quad CPU 2.33Hz

At the moment I"m on 26ms sec latency.

The RME is a great card and will defiantly improve things dramatically.

The realtec HD cards are the best of the motherboard cards… still not ideal for music production tho.

Can you send your whole track to the headphone out on the mic? eg. does are you able to select it as an output in your DAW?

Yes i can send my track to the mic monitor mix. That way the SHURE PG27 USB is a pretty cool microphone. You have your realtime recording vocals and you can determine how much of the recorded track you want to put in your headphone mix. Its a very “easy-to-use”-microphone.

I just feel more comfortable with a bit of reverb in my headphone mix WITHOUT delay. But it seems its not possible unless i get my RME fixed… :frowning:

In that case you should be able to monitor direct through the mic and then instead of having the full mic sound ( the delayed signal) comming through the daw you could put a reverb with 100% wet sound on that channel and mix it with the direct signal… The reverb only sound should be ok with a bit of delay on it especiallyif its mixed a bit lower.

ok not sure I’m quite understanding… how exactly do I set it up in ableton?

I use the the full playback track plus the delayed voice, cut out out that delayed voice but just mix the reverb of that voice into the monitor mix to my direct voice signal?

Sorry it sounds complicated but is that what you mean?

Yeah exactly.

You will have the feed direct from your mics zero latency monitor.

Then you will arm a channel which will have your delayed mic signal. On this channel you insert a reverb with full wet signal and adjust level to suit.

When you record on this channel it will stil record the full dry signal regardless of the reverb and channel fader level.

What a great idea!!

I tried and it all works. I put all the channels i want to use on Solo (including the reverb-channel but excluding the delayed voice-channel). That gives me exactly what I wanted. And no, I can hardly hear the delayed reverb.

Thank you so much. That was great help!

Denise :slight_smile:

Nice one!