Latency Compensation and Graphical Elements of Plugins

When you have a high-latency plugin on your master bus, then the latency compensation built in Cubase (similarly in other DAWS) means that the other plugins placed higher in the stream (for instance, on a drum track) are processing the audio slightly before it is actually heard on your output. That’s okay, however, it has one unfavorable consequence: the graphical elements (sonograms, dynamic equalizer slopes) of a plugin placed on the individual drum track show events slightly before they are actually heard. In other words, the plugin GUI is out-of-sync with the resulting audio.

I thought that VST3 plugin format would provide plugin developers with means to cope with this problem, but I can’t find a VST3 plugin that would not exhibit this GUI vs. audio sync issue. Nevertheless, I suppose it should be quite easily solvable:

  1. DAW should provide each plugin with info about the down-stream latency (sum of the latency of all plugins following in the chain).
  2. A plugin could use this down-stream latency to delay its own GUI by the given amount.

Is it something already available in VST3 but plugin developers are ignoring it? Or, is it just a marginal problem that nobody cares about? I’m quite surprised it is still pertaining in all DAWs and all plugin formats in 2023. Or, is there a DAW and plugin format where this issue doesn’t exist?

Thank you for your inputs!

As far as I know, there is nothing in the VST3 spec regarding that, and yes, I guess it is considered a marginal problem that noone cares about :wink:

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Thank you, that’s what I was afraid of :wink: