Input and output latency

Hi all. two questions…

I am using a Presonus firestudio project to record into artist 8.5. The difference between my input latency and output latency (within device manager) are always different by a few ms. i.e input 3ms output 5ms. I read somewhere that this isn’t a problem as when recording we are only really concerning ourselves with input latency… Is this correct?

I can easily track parts with a buffer setting to achieve 2-3ms of input latency. Now does this effectively mean I’m actually hearing is 6ms (round trip in and out) of latency?


Depending on what you actually do, the latency is not an issue at all.
When does latency actually matter?

  • Monitoring through cubase with possible insert FX or VST Instruments.
  • For VST Instruments actually only the output latency is important since midi runs independetly from the Asio driver
  • For Audio inputs monitored through Cubase its input and output latency combined meaning 3+5ms = 8 ms from your instrument till you hear it through the speakers. Also vst fx can produce even more latency. Oh and plus aproximately 3 to 6 more ms covering the distance from the speakers to your ears :mrgreen:.

When does latency actually doesn’t matter?

  • When you use hardware monitoring of your interface instead of Software Monitoring

Doesn’t work for VST Instruments and VST Effects like Amps sims though

Ok cool. I get most of that. So let’s say my overall latency is 8ms like in the example you gave. Even if I were to monitor via my hardware mixer (thus achieving no latency) doesn’t this effectively mean that the audio will still be written/recorded slightly late within cubase? I.e out of time (even if it’s not noticeable)…


No…The interface reports the latency to Cubase and Cubase corrects for it as part of the record process…Same with plugins that add extra latency.

But to be sure you can always run an audio loopback test and if there is any latency not corrected you can enter this as a record shift adjustment. This is rarely needed for audio recording nowadays. Interfaces seem to mostly report the correct latency to Cubase so get corrected perfectly.

It’s here if you want to test for yourself. (Audio loopback test)

Cool. So I can have my buffer set at the highest level then if I’m using direct monitoring?

Yes…if you monitor before the DAW the latency is irrelevant.

Gotcha… I read somewhere before that I may have to select direct monitoring somewhere within cubase for this…? Or does cubase do this by default?


Direct monitor in cubase only works with compatible interfaces. You don’t need to select it. Direct monitoring is still possible just that you control it yourself.

To clearify this. Direct Monitoring is dependend from the driver and not the interface. It needs an Asio2.0 Driver for this an it has to be activated in Cubase. What Direct Monitoring acutally does is giving Cubase the possibility to control the hardware monitoring. Usually you would do this either with a dedicated DSP Mixer Software for your interface or with a simple Balance knob on the interface balancing inputs and Software Return.
With direct monitoring enabled you can turn on hardware monitoring for specific Audio Inputs. This is still hardware monitoring and not suited for vst FX monitoring

OK… well my interface is a Firestudio project which has direct monitoring software (universal control) can I just use this without altering any settings in Cubase?