Is there no playback latency compensation in VST Live?

So, I read in another post, that there’s no latency compensation in VST Live - is this true?
If so, might I ask why - and whether this is coming or is left out intentional?

I understand that latency compensation in an app like VST Live can not be perfect, like e.g. Cubase, where latency compensation is sample perfect down to the most complex routings, incl. sends (if I understand correctly, in Cubase all streams are delayed to match the highest latency stream). I would, however, like to hear the developers thoughts on this.

In my understanding: this is VSTLive, an application play live. The most important thing is what goes IN should leave to PA as soon as possible.

It has advanced MIDI playback capabilities meanwhile using stems instead can free up massive CPU resources.

At using MIDI instruments LIVE, dly compensation is oximoron.

1 Like

As I understand, playback latency compensation needn’t affect live playing (latency compensation for live playing is inherently impossible, without possession of a literal time machine). And yes, VSTis should respond as fast as possible. If a VSTi has a latency of, say, 10.7 ms, the app should apply a negative delay of the same amount during playback to tracks entering this stream. Any latency from plugins inserted in the particular routing is - again - added as a negative delay. The same principle holds for wave files.

This would be the equivalent of nudging said tracks to play earlier, but in accordance with the latency inherent in the VSTi/routing. Live playing - i.e. external input - is unaffected. This is my understanding of playback latency compensation.

Added clarification to initial post.

Edit 2: @fkalmus
Re-reading my reply, I see that I may have come off a bit cocky - that wasn’t my intention - sorry. I have since changed the wording.

1 Like

Hi @Congaz , no probl.

Yes, that is the point. And although I have a powerful Music setup, mixing finally with 1024samples and can grill my lunch on the computer …. Obvious its better to mixdown and pull the wave in VSTL instead of ……… :sweat_smile:

Do you see what I mean?

No need to pull a factor of risks with a complicated algorythm IMHO

1 Like

I see what you mean, but I don’t agree.

I want to keep backing tracks as midi if possible (percussion/synth whatever), for having the option to do edits in VL. I agree that complex, latency heavy processing might as well be downmixed before entering VL. However, if I downmixed all tracks to wave files, I wouldn’t really need the sequencer capabilities of VL - and I might as well use some of the other VST host apps available, that provides basic playback functionality.

For me, the key point of VL, is that it contains a sequencer, which allows me to keep as much as possible in the midi domain, to allow for simple edits/experiments without constantly having to do downmixes in Cubase.

I see your point too. Meanwhile say…. Ok…. PlgDlyComp is implemented……. I purchased very expensive plugins and instrument a so far and despite of dly comp, sometimes need to re-adjust further -latencies at specific tracks to make the mix right on-time……….

As far as Cubase goes, I’m very confident in its latency compensation (not to say, that hiccups doesn’t occur). Midi playback with VSTis are not always sample perfect in timing though, which I reckon is mostly due to the internal workings of the particular VSTi.

In my experience, sample libraries used in VSTis are not necessarily edited with sample perfect accuracy. What I mean, is that a hit from a snare at velocity 100, might not be in sample accurate timing with a hit (a different sample) at velocity 110. Sometimes the editing of the samples is very sloppy indeed. Across VSTis, this sometimes require manually nudging of the midi track, not to sound late.

Anyway, that is not the sort of thing I wish to adress in VL. I would however, expect basic playback latency compensation of a VSTis - but I may have the wrong assumption here, in as much as a VSTi host must first and foremost be fast in responding to external midi.

I totally agree with you @Congaz. What’s the point in supporting VST instruments and having editing features if we can’t put in sync various MIDI instruments? I don’t mean automatic delay compensation, but at least a way to have a positive/negative offset cursor in the track inspector, as there is in Cubase.

To us, full MIDI users, it becomes a high level priority request.

No doubt both can be handy in the future, but I think we must agree plg delay compensation is rather a DAW feature.

1 Like

…but isn’t VST Live attempting to bridge the gap between DAW and VST host? To my knowledge, there’s no VST host app that has an actual sequencer, except for VL.

Only to a certain extend.

Its main focus is not on beeing a fully fledged DAW, even though it has a lot of feqatures of one (and beyond, such as flexloops). But it is mainly designed to be a backing track player with a few basic editing features. You can do sophisticated editing in Cubase and import to VST Live.

Nevertheless, a track delay feature is planned.

As for delay compensation, this not only defies the idea of a live app, but also takes considerable amount of programming time better spent elsewhere we think.


Right you are, said track delay could automatically compensate for track channel inserts. But as you also said, this is not delay compensation when using that term strictly. We’ll check to add “playback track compensation”.


I may not have been entirely on point with the terminology, but yes, its “playback track compensation” that is my issue.

Thanks for your answer - looking forward to see what you’ll come up with.

Dear @musicullum , this is exactly the answer I was expecting in my first post :smiley:

I prefer the term “playback track compensation” better than “track delay” as the latter is suggesting that the track could only be delayed, and not be played ahead to compensate the latency of its VSTi.

Thank you so much, I can’t wait to see this feature coming!

Meanwhile, I will go with Halion Factory electric bass sounds, for NI Kontakt Scarbee basses play too late.

I should have crossgraded to Absolute during the deals, to add Halion Electric Bass to my collection. I guess I would not have this sync problem then.

see Track delay to sync all VSTi - #6 by musicullum

1 Like