MIDI latency as my project grew but even when all tracks muted?

My MIDI input was great for awhile working on a project but as I added more and more tracks the input latency is very delayed. What I am confused about is even if I mute every track with no effects on the master channel the delay is still there. Any ideas?

Muting is just muting the audio coming out of that channel, it’s still active and the plugins are active in the chain behind that mute.

i.e. if you unmute a channel after a note has played you will still hear the tail afterwards.

The only way to reduce latency in your project is to actually disable plugins (Not bypass them), and there is a built in function (Constrain Delay Compensation or ‘CDC’) that can do this automatically for you.

People will use it when recording a new instrument track at low latency (for example):

Just to note: Your project will only be as latent as the maximum chain. This is because everything is processed in parallel where possible. Once you start adding in routing into busses it’s more complicated.

So, basic terms, if you had 100 tracks that were 1ms latency each the total latency of that project would be 1ms (not 100ms).

A different example would be if you had 100 tracks and 99x were 1ms latency each, and 1x was 20ms, then your overall project latency would be 20ms.

So, It’s most likely that one or two plugins will be causing you the additional latency, if you enable the latency view on the mixer channels you can find out which channel/track is the culprit.

To investigate this, and to view the latency of each channel do the following:

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Thank you so much! Greatly appreciated.

This cubase option might help you.

I’m not sure if it effects the latency, but if you mute a track the processing on it should then be disabled (I think, it depends where in the signal chain it’s muting from, although if a VST instrument is bypassed or even better “turned off” if possible, this should for sure disable any downstream processing), so if you just want to loose some playback latency by muting individual tracks, this MAY do something (I haven’t tried, but it’s the first thing I could think of that may help).

There’s also a “Treat muted tracks (or possibly muted audio) as deleted” option somewhere (I can’t find it in CB12 atm tho, but I’m sure I’ve seen it in this version somewhere). That in conjunction with my first suggestion also may have some effect for non vst instrument tracks and overall playback latency. Both are shots in the dark from a latency perspective though. They both do for sure help with preserving processing power however, but that doesn’t sound like an issue here.

In saying that, I’m assuming you’ve lowered your asio buffer length/asio guard latency etc. to as optimal a setting as possible?

Freezing tracks is another very viable solution.

That just suspends the VST plugin to lessen CPU usage, it won’t remove it from the chain in regards to latency as it would cause too many glitches as the audio engine has to re-align itself.

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Ah I thought that could of been the case for the same reason you give. Ta for clearing that up for me tho. Freezing tracks would still lower latency though right?

Depends how you freeze them, and if they’re going through busses. really. Nothings simple in this world is it!? :slight_smile:

If you freeze the track AND it’s inserts that should reduce latency on those channels, but you can also freeze only instruments and inserts remain live - so in that instance you will still retain latency on the project. And I think that may be the default option too.

It only takes one plugin to make the entire project overly latent though, so freezing tracks may not achieve any latency improvements if you have a bus which is the heaviest hitter.

And, Unlike what you’d expect, the most latent plugins aren’t due to the CPU power they require, but very often it’s because they need a “lookahead” time to do their work, items like mastering limiters or compressors for example. One plugin like that can put 20-50ms on a project.

Linear phase EQs are the same, as they need additional time in the audio chain to get the phase correct. I’ve been caught out with these in the past when making low cuts (LC vs LLC - easy mistake to make).

These plugins need to fetch a certain amount of audio before the work can be carried out, and the only way this can happen is if they get the audio ahead of other tracks - thus causing latency. The basic concept is quite simple, but it quickly becomes complicated the more factors you throw in.

That’s why the CDC function is the easiest method if you’re just wanting to record something into a latent project. It will just disable any plugin over a certain millisecond threshold at the click of a button, and back again when turned off.