Time lag in level meter caused by plugins

I noticed a time lag when watching the level meter:
First comes the sound, then after ca 50-100ms comes the peak in the level meter.

Has a correlation with the number of plugins in master chain.
Is this unavoidable or is this correctable?
If its correctable: Who is responsible? Plugin or WL?
I have about 8 (Steinberg,Fabfilter and Izotope) plugins in the master chain.
This adds up to about <100ms time lag.

It’s independent from buffer size.
Could Retina 5k be a reason ?

Plugin inserted where and which level meter? (Master Section or independent meter).

Plugins were inserted in the master section (see att.)

With Level meter I mean the Panorama display in WL (see att.)

I don’t really find a responsible plugin because it is a subtle effect that I only noticed with more than 3 plugins.
I tested this later with a wav file with only some peaks and filmed it with a iphone slow-motion to see the amount of this effect
(up to 100ms time lag; in this range the audio peaks and display peaks begin to appear not more synchronized for real music i.e. drum transients)
Seems to me that every plugin has its own contribution to this effect.
First I guessed that the FF limiter L2 with its possible 32x oversampling is the source for that latency effect but that was wrong.

BTW, the display in the master section is ok and in time.

What WaveLab version exactly?

9.5.25 (build 117) 64bit
On OSX10.10 on iMac5K,4GHzCorei7,16GB RAM

If you see the latency and then try to clean the master section from every plugin (manually or with the master reset function) it will stay the same.
I had to restart WL with no plugin in master section to see the display without any latency.

I use to test the Master Section with up to 2000 ms of plugin latency, and I don’t see any lag. Therefore there must be some other cause. Maybe, seen the number of high cpu plugins in use + 5k display, you reach a cpu bound. Currently, I don’t have another clue.

I do not have the impression that the machine is in heavy CPU load…
Apples activation monitor says: about 3% system load and 8% user load for empty master section and 11% user load for full master section.

Strange that the time lag is continuing when master section is resetted and only vanishing by restarting WL.
Does the resetting of the master section is missing something?

Perhaps in my SloMo film you can see (no audio, just wave form cursor and display) a time lag of about 50-60 ms.
I uploaded it on google drive (15MB too big for forum attachment)
Could send it as PM too…

It’s subtle and surely not a show stopper but in a complex music situation you have problems to see the display connected to the music you hear.
It’s always better to see the peaks tight to the music you hear…:wink:

Yes, I can see the problem on your video. The time lag continuing when master section is resetted makes it even more mysterious to me.
Unfortunately, the Master Section meter is hidden on your video. Do you see the lag on the Master Section level meter too?
And what is the latency setting of your audio hardware (buffer number on File > Preferences > Audio Connections > Options > Buffer Number) + hardware audio block size.

Usually I have a buffer size of 256 samples that are sufficient for most projects.
But I changed this too without any noticeable effect.

I filmed this again (2:46 mp4-video) to see the display in the master section.
There are always lags between audio, cursor position and display but only when they become too big it is annoying (filming gives some lag due to limited frame rates too).
The display in the master section is in good sync to the audio and the cursor position I think.

I looked at the video frame by frame:
The lag between the display in master section and the other display is about 250 ms, referencing the intrinsic WL timer.
If I reset the master section this lag still is about 250 ms !?.
If I restart WL with empty master section the lag becomes about 100ms that is more or less in sync or nearly not noticeable.
The measured values are indicated in the video when they appear.


P.S.: I just installed the 9.5.25 on a MBP and I noticed the same effect (on 5k display it’s perhaps just easier to see)

256 samples is ok. But what about File > Preferences > Audio Connections > Options > Buffer Number ?

Did you verify in the about box that you do run 9.5.25 (or 9.5.20). I ask so, because some lag were corrected in 9.5.20, compared to previous versions.

Buffer number is 16.
In the beginning I tried to set this number to higher values but this didn’t have any effect (what is the function??)

It’s definitely 9.5.25.

When I updated my MBP today I tested this effect before upgrading to 9.5.25 and in my view there was no such clear effect in the former version
(but I can not say what version the former version was, it was an earlier 9.5.x version, sorry)
But even on MBP there was this strange behavior that a reset of the master chain did not let vanish the effect.
When I start WL with full master section and before any activity (i.e. press play) I reset then the master section there is not this lag.
The bigger lag manifests only after the first play action with full master section…