Author Topic: Plugin Latency in Reaper  (Read 896 times)

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Offline tobyjenner

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Plugin Latency in Reaper
« on: May 30, 2019, 07:41:13 pm »
Wonder if anyone could help solve a problem I have with plugin latency using Reaper.
I have just had to recover my PC hard disk and reinstalled the whole system from an image copy. All came back ok but since the rebuild I am getting latency when trying to record a guitar track using amp sims.

Before the rebuild all was ok and any amp sim I used was on point, no delay or latency. I've not made any changes to any setting so am baffled as to why this has suddenly started happening. If I disable/bypass the plugins the DI remains on point with no latency, so that suggests there's nothing wrong with the routing via my AI into the PC.  ???

It is only happening on plugins and those that have been working fine for a number of years!! ::)
For example Its occurs on all my Waves GTR Amps or Racks but also on the LePou sims I downloaded after Close posted the Jake Lizzio tutorial. I have also gone back to a previous version of Reaper, as I had also just loaded the latest version before my PC crash.

Appreciate any guidance pleas. Thanks in anticipation.

Cheers

Toby
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« Last Edit: May 31, 2019, 08:03:29 am by tobyjenner »
Arrived here Mar 2013 Since completed BC, RUST 1 & 2, IM and MTMS Now on Blues Rhythm and Blues Lead
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Offline tobyjenner

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Re: Plugin Latency in Reaper
« Reply #1 on: May 31, 2019, 08:17:13 am »
To clarify further.

I am actually hearing two notes. I hear the note I've played in its DI format, followed by the note through the amp sim plugin. So that sounds like 1e when counting 16th. By pass the sim and I just get the 1.
So if I'm playing a lick for example I'm hearing the e of the 2 note 1e, when I play the 2nd note in the lick, which throws you off completely.

I can't tell 100% if the DI is coming direct from Reaper or I'm hearing it via my AI but the track level monitor seems to react to the picked note immediately.

Also, some of these amp sims can be run standalone - Waves GTR and Waves PRS - and when launched from the desktop they perform as expected ie no delay unlike when they are used in Reaper.

As I said, this has only just started happening after the PC was restored via a system image. Not that that should have caused this, as the system should be a mirror image of how it was before it crashed.

Hope the additional info helps, as I just can't get my head around why this should suddenly start happening.

Cheers

Toby
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Arrived here Mar 2013 Since completed BC, RUST 1 & 2, IM and MTMS Now on Blues Rhythm and Blues Lead
My Soundcloud : https://soundcloud.com/tobyjenner/
Roadcase : https://justinguitarcommunity.com/index.php?topic=39537.msg339454#msg33945

Offline DavidP

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Re: Plugin Latency in Reaper
« Reply #2 on: May 31, 2019, 11:03:28 am »
Toby,

Sorry I can't help ... I'm no expert in this regard.

Have you tried looking at the Kenny Goia videos on the Reaper site; maybe there is something to help deal with latency there.

Good luck on fixing it ...


Offline CT

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Re: Plugin Latency in Reaper
« Reply #3 on: May 31, 2019, 03:39:25 pm »
I never could get past the latency with Reaper or any other DAW on Windows. There was too much twiddling and futzing to even get it close to usable. I switched to Garageband on a Mac and have never looked back -- straight up plug and play. 

Offline tobyjenner

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Re: Plugin Latency in Reaper
« Reply #4 on: June 01, 2019, 12:09:57 am »
@DavidP - I've been trawling all over the place but can't find a similar issue posted anywhere!

Quite bizarre as the problem turned out to be specific to the project I was working on  ???

I created a new project and added 1 track for guitar and then one of the plugins that was lagging behind the DI and all sounded on point. Went back to the original project and still got the 1e effect !! Deleted that and rebuilt the project from its midi inputs, then added additional left, right, lead guitar tracks with the amp sims and stomps I wanted and all is back to normal. Can only assume this track got its knickers in a twist somehow but why is a mystery. So yes some wasted time rebuilding but all is cool again ............just need to re-record all the guitar parts that were 80% completed, Such is life.  :)


I never could get past the latency with Reaper or any other DAW on Windows. There was too much twiddling and futzing to even get it close to usable. I switched to Garageband on a Mac and have never looked back -- straight up plug and play.

Clint, I never had any issues with latency in Reaper before this. Well yes on initial set but one of our old mods and font of amazing knowledge, TB-AV posted a set up guide for Reaper and patching guide for Audio Interfaces years back. Once I had set things up as TB suggested everything was fine. Been using Reaper for around 4 years and never had any perceivable latency issues, until this one time.

Can only assume the routing got corrupted some how but the rebuilt project is now working fine.

Cheers

Toby
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Arrived here Mar 2013 Since completed BC, RUST 1 & 2, IM and MTMS Now on Blues Rhythm and Blues Lead
My Soundcloud : https://soundcloud.com/tobyjenner/
Roadcase : https://justinguitarcommunity.com/index.php?topic=39537.msg339454#msg33945

Offline DavidP

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Re: Plugin Latency in Reaper
« Reply #5 on: June 01, 2019, 08:16:51 am »
@DavidP - I've been trawling all over the place but can't find a similar issue posted anywhere!

TB-AV posted a set up guide for Reaper and patching guide for Audio Interfaces years back. Once I had set things up as TB suggested everything was fine.

Toby,

Glad you got it sorted with not too much fallout.

If you still have it, would love to take a look at TB's guide ...

Offline tobyjenner

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Re: Plugin Latency in Reaper
« Reply #6 on: June 01, 2019, 08:36:57 am »
Toby,

Glad you got it sorted with not too much fallout.

If you still have it, would love to take a look at TB's guide ...

I'll have a mooch around my shortcuts as I'm sure I banked it for future reference, its from a good few years back now and searching the forum for "Reaper" brings up hundreds of items, even some dodgy song someone posted  ;) Can't see the wood from the trees but I'll track it down for you and let you know.

Cheers

Toby
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Arrived here Mar 2013 Since completed BC, RUST 1 & 2, IM and MTMS Now on Blues Rhythm and Blues Lead
My Soundcloud : https://soundcloud.com/tobyjenner/
Roadcase : https://justinguitarcommunity.com/index.php?topic=39537.msg339454#msg33945

Offline tobyjenner

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Re: Plugin Latency in Reaper
« Reply #7 on: June 01, 2019, 08:47:50 am »
David

This is one I was thinking of

https://justinguitarcommunity.com/index.php?topic=37210.msg320319#msg320319

Its a basic set up guide but gets you going. However, as Scoot says in this post there are some great Reaper tutorials on Youtube or on the Reaper site itself https://www.reaper.fm/videos.php

Hope that helps.

Cheers

Toby
 8)
Arrived here Mar 2013 Since completed BC, RUST 1 & 2, IM and MTMS Now on Blues Rhythm and Blues Lead
My Soundcloud : https://soundcloud.com/tobyjenner/
Roadcase : https://justinguitarcommunity.com/index.php?topic=39537.msg339454#msg33945

Offline DavidP

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Re: Plugin Latency in Reaper
« Reply #8 on: June 01, 2019, 05:10:41 pm »
Thanks for all that, Toby.

I've been on Reaper awhile now, so have figured out most of the basics.  Certainly not on top of all the templates and preferences etc so no doubt take longer on certain things than I need to, but I get there. 

I have a small constraint ... I share the PC with my son.  He is an avid gamer plus student, so have limited time and tend to spend most of it on recording and mixing, rather than sorting out optimisations and templates. 

I have learned a lot of Reaper from watching the Kenny videos.  In fact, I'd say the Kenny videos are a real big positive factor for choosing Reaper.

As for latency ... no video sticks out in Kenny's set and the manual doesn't do much other than talking about relationship between block size, CPU and latency. Luckily I haven't bumped into a latency problem on the odd occasion when I have been over-dubbing guitar tracks.  Mostly I record my guitar tracks to a click track, rather than "jamming" over bass, drums, other guitar and instruments.


Offline Peakoverload

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Re: Plugin Latency in Reaper
« Reply #9 on: June 24, 2019, 10:53:20 pm »
I realise the problem has now been solved but for anyone else with a similar problem then the following may help.

The big thing to understand with latency is signal path. Unfortunately this is not just down to where you have your guitar plugged in but also down to busing in your DAW, the type of plugin your are using, DSP on your soundcard/audio interface, services running on your PC/Mac, what type of driver you are using ASIO/MME/WDM. Most of this is pretty straight forward however what is not always obvious, or even documented, is how all of these interact with each other on your PC in you DAW.

Starting with drivers (PC only). Basically you wanna use ASIO drivers as these have the lowest latency. If your soundcard/interface doesn't have ASIO drivers then try downloading ASIO4ALL and see if it supports your card. Failing that use WDM which, whilst not as good as ASIO is far better than MME which is next to useless.

Next you need to understand your soundcard/interface. Does it have a DSP chip(s)? If it's a USB interface costing under £300 then the chances are it doesn't but if it does it will make a big difference to latency. Why? The cause of latency is, to put it very simply, your PC having to process the sound of the note you played and then sending that sound to your speakers. Obviously a fast PC with plenty of RAM definitely helps but that's only half the story. The signal path typically would be something like, Input>Guitar>Audio Interface>USB BUS>Chipset>CPU>DAW>Output>CPU>Chipset>USB BUS>Audio Interface>Speakers. Each stage introduces a slight delay. If your interface/sound card has a DSP chip then some or all of the processing is done by this chip and not by your CPU thus removing a whole chunk of signal path and delay.

If your interface doesn't have a DSP chip then it is even more important to understand the busing in your DAW and also the busing within VST plugins. Each DAW is slightly different both in terms of terminology and how it routes audio internally and this will largely depend on how it's mixer works. Some DAW's Mixers are output only in that the faders/channel strips only actually effect the output. In other words you can hear the effect of a plugin whilst you are recording but the audio file is actually recorded flat and the effect is only rendered when you bounce/export/save as. Other mixers are input & output or can be configured to be both. The important thing to understand here is that every time you send something to an output it has to be processed by the CPU. So when you record your guitar through 1 VST plugin the signal path increases to something like Guitar>Interface>USB Bus>Chipset>CPU>DAW>DAW Mixer Out>VST Plugin>CPU>DAW Mixer In>DAW Mixer Out>CPU>Chipset>USB Bus>Interface>Speakers. This is why arranging your plugins in the most efficient way is so important when it comes to reducing DSP load and therefore latency.

So how should you use plugins in your DAW? Essentially you have two places within the mixer where you can use a plugin. A channel strip or a Bus. A bus be that an Aux Send, a group bus or an output bus are, generally speaking, all outputs which then have to be processed by the CPU and sent back to the DAW to be heard/recorded. Channel strips, depending on whether the mixer is output only or not typically means that the plugin is only processed on the way out after everything else has been done without having to bus it back and forth to the CPU but that is not always the case. In the same way that you would think about how to connect up guitar pedals, for example you wouldn't want to connect a reverb before a gate, you obviously need to do the same thing in your DAW but also think about the DSP load. Using high DSP plugins on a aux bus that then feed to an output bus with another high dsp plugin might not be the best idea and will certainly cause problems on low spec or poorly configured systems. So use plugins intelligently and efficiently.

If you are using a PC then you really need to look very seriously at your services. Whenever I build an Audio PC for the recording studios where I work I always use the Black Viper guides http://www.blackviper.com/service-configurations/black-vipers-windows-10-service-configurations/ . You also need to ensure all devices and drivers, BIOS etc are all up to date and set-up your power management, processor scheduling, set the priority on sound cards and disable certain USB functions. A rough guide to this can be found on the Focusrite website as a starting point. https://support.focusrite.com/hc/en-gb/articles/207355205-Optimising-your-PC-for-Audio-on-Windows-10

It's a pretty massive subject with so many variables which is why it catches people out from time to time but the key is to keep things as simple as you possibly can and keep adding things until it falls over and then ask yourself what did that last thing actually change.

Offline 8livesleft

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Re: Plugin Latency in Reaper
« Reply #10 on: June 25, 2019, 01:06:22 am »
This is why I prefer interfaces with a direct audio output to hear what I'm playing.

My computer isn't exactly the fastest so even with the newest driver, I sometimes still get lag.

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