Do Group/FX channels have their own output latency?

I’ve conducted a simple experiment which revealed Group/FX channels to have their own output latency, no matter whether plugins/equalisers/etc applied or not. More interesting, this output latency is exactly the same as the one you can see in the studio setup. That is, if you have output latency 20 ms, the sound from an FX or Group channel will come with 40 ms latency. At least this is what I have experienced. Here is what I did.

I created an empty project, imported a raw guitar signal (directly from pickups, no amp) and duplicated it twice so there were three copies. I added an FX and a Group channel, no plugins/effects applied. One guitar track gets routed to the FX channel, the other one is connected to the Group channel. The last channel is routed directly to the output.

First of all, to ensure latency exists, I mute the FX (or Group) channel or one of the tracks routed to the channels, and invert the phase for the track which is routed directly to the output. If there is no silence during playback, or if at least the sound does not become any quieter, the tracks are not played simultaneously, which means there is latency, and that was the case.

Then I go to the studio setup to check out the output latency, in my case it was around 22 ms. I go to the track which is routed directly to the output and shift the event so it starts 22 ms later than the one in the track routed to the FX or Group channel. And Bingo! There is silence.

I go back to the studio setup and in the control panel I increase the buffer size, now the output latency is 127 ms. Playback, can hear both of the tracks. Then I shift the track routed directly to the output so that is starts 127 ms later than the track routed to FX/Group, silence again.

Here I used my Boss Katana Air. Now I switch to Generic Low Latency ASIO to ensure this is not a hardware issue. Now my output latency is 20 ms. Playback, hear both tracks. Move the directly routed track to the position 20 ms, silence again.

Am I the only one to have such a problem? Do FX/Group channels really have their own output latency no matter which effects are applied or not?

Constraint delay compensation is…?
The DAW should compensate all latency.

Everything should be in sync on the outputs…

Tried both on and off, does not matter

This may cause poor track syncronisation when exporting a mixdown. In my case I hear channel latencies in Cubase, but not in a mixdown. If someone has the same problem, I have a couple of solutions, one less ugly than the other:

  • Select all the tracks routed to a particular Group/FX channel and render them in place. Then choose the newly created audio track and invert the phase for it. Solo the Group/FX track and the new audio track. Playback. Move the audio track rightwards until there is little or no sound. Mute/disable/delete the group track and all its members.

  • Create another Group/FX track and route to it all the tracks which are rooted directly to the output. All the tracks will have the same latency, and what you here from a mixdown or directly from Cubase should be the same.

I’d be glad if someone repeated what I described in the experiment and confirmed the result whether it is the same or not

Cannot reproduce here, neither in 11.0.41 nor 12.

I imported one Bloom vocal event from the Media, right zone. Duplicated the track, then duplicated the duplicate. Added FX track, No effect of course. Added Group Track.

Vocal track 1 → Stereo Out
Vocal track 2 → Pre-fader Send to FX track, fader to -00, send level unity
Vocal track 3 → Output to Group.

Flipped polarity on track 1, muted Vocal track 3 and Group. Silence.
Muted Vocal track 2 and FX track, unmuted track 3 and Group. Silence.

Something else going on?

What is the output latency in studio setup? What if you save the project and then restart Cubase and reopen it?
There is nothing else, that was a brand new project, all the settings in project setup are default. This is so strange

Can you show screenshots?

Studio setup, control panel, project setup, imported file statistics

And here is a video showing the case

Why is guitar 1 always record enabled?
Turn it off…

Record-enabling does not have to do anything with the issue. I just have automatic record-enabling when choosing tracks, switching record enable off does not change anything. I actually can’t even understand why this is what you suggest blaming

No issue here with a proper audio interface.
Can you try with something else than a guitar amp ?

There is no guitar amp, just raw guitar signal from the pickups

Your interface is a guitar amp… Boss Katana?

He’s suggesting turning off record-enabling because asio guard compensates and gives low latency to only the tracks that are record enabled. So could be the root of your problem.

Couldn’t this be a case of a questionable ASIO driver not accurately reporting its latency?
I can’t reproduce on either 12.0.20 or 11.
(RME Interface)

ASIO-Guard is not related to the actual ASIO latency that you set in your drivers.
It does not add nor reduce latency whether record is enabled or not.

If you are using Generic Low Latency ASIO, select the same Katana channels, and are still experiencing the issue, then it is not driver related but hardware related.
Just try with another device.

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Yeah, I missed the part where OP tried with the GLL driver. I’m leaning towards HW now as well.

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