What EXACTLY does "adjust for record latency" do?


I’m aware of the description in the online manual: “If this is activated, the plug-in latencies are taken to account during recording”

I’ve also perused a few threads on this, that mention it specifically adjusts for latency due to any plugins on input track.

But here’s why I’m after some clarification…

Been having real trouble recording guitar parts recently - takes that I would have sworn were dead locked into the groove, when listening back, the timing sounds off. Nothing awful, just not locking in to the groove in a satisfying way. Was starting to despair at my timing - figured I just needed more metronome practice - but then I de-activated the “adjust for record latency” box, and the next take, when played back, seemed to lock in to the groove exactly as intended!

What confused me at first was, if did the latency test where you record a click back into cubase (to check if the recorded file lines up with the output one) it makes no difference whether this box is checked or not, or if any plugins were active on the channels used.

Here’s what I’m guessing is going on: with “adjust for record latency” checked, cubase calculates the latency of what I’m hearing thru the amplitube plugin (which must be a couple of ms at least on full quality settings?) and moves the audio slightly to compensate for this. However, I think I’m timing my notes physically - i.e. matching pick hitting string with the click, as opposed to timing the presumably-slightly-delayed-guitar-signal-I’m-hearing-back-thru-the-monitors with the click. So, whatever the latency caused by monitoring thru Amplitube, I’m ignoring this, but cubase isn’t - hence it’s moving my takes slightly off from where I intended. To put it another way - though I’m monitoring thru cubase (and the Amplitube 4 plugin inserted on the channel I’m recording on), I’m playing (timing-wise) as if monitoring directly - however, with this box ticked, cubase is adjusting the audio as if I had compensated in my playing/timing for whatever latency Amplitube 4 has. I’m struggling to describe it any more clearly than this, so hope this makes sense!

Now it can’t be adjusting by very much - I am surprised that it’s enough to ruin the feel of a take, but I currently have no other explanation.

Could anyone confirm I’ve understood properly what the “adjust for record latency” box does? And does it sound plausible that whatever small adjustment it makes is just enough to make the timing sound slightly off in the recorded audio?


(btw, I don’t use direct monitoring as it’s hard to play guitar parts clean and get the tone you want - I need to hear how the virtual amp is responding to picking strength etc. - however I’ve got the asio buffer size as low as possible for recording, system latency about 4ms, hence tolerable.)

Someone else can comment on your subject question as I can’t explain it.

But, I will mention this…

Many users report audio (or midi) not being in time. I sometime perceive it as audio being early. But, when I look at the midi on some of my instrument tracks (usually my drum track), I see that the midi is late. So I use the “Track delay” function to adjust for it. I actually saved a -60ms track delay setting in all my templates that use a drum instrument track (EZD2).

I won’t get into the details but this type of timing concern (between audio and midi) has been questioned a zillion times. As far as I know, no good answer has yet been provided. For me… the track delay works fine for my purposes.

Regards :sunglasses:

“Plonk test” anyone? (dictionary has picture of a rabbit hole next to that entry …)

Thanks for replies, but that’s not really what I’m asking about. I’ve also had midi timing problems, and agree it’s hard to diagnose this as you can;t really test it like you can with audio by recording a transient back into cubase (though I think I’ve read some threads where people record a microphone tapping the midi keyboard key when pressed! Maybe this is the “plonk test”??)

Anyway, what I’m really after is info about specifically the “adjust for record latency button” - what exactly does this do, and why is messing my timing up if checked?

Does anyone know? Does Steinberg know??

I managed to find a thread where I tell someone what it is but got it completely wrong (confusing it with record shift!) :unamused: :blush:

So in an attempt to atone for that disaster I have searched and searched and found very little of any use tbh.
But there was this description from some earlier manual.

Your system has a high Output latency and you’re recording with input monitoring through an effect plug-in, which in itself has an inherent latency.

This means there will be a delay between when you play something and when you actually hear it. In such a situation, you may often instinctively play “ahead of time”, in an attempt to compensate for the perceived delay. However, because Cubase features automatic plug-in compensation, meaning that plug-in delays are compensated for to maintain sync and timing, the audio you record will end up in the wrong position (too early).

I’ve ran into another issue and I was wondering if someone can help. For some odd reason I don’t get any audio out of my tracks when I play back. The only way I get audio is why am my transport cycle is on And another thing I noticed is that doesn’t play in real time when I’m listening with transport psycho activate. I don’t know is my sample rate got screwed up. I checked my VST connections and everything looks like it’s connected properly .

i don’t trust “adjust for record latency” never work in cubase 5 for me.
the only thing work in cubase is direct monitoring.
but no plugins recording possible in direct monitoring.
so the only thing to do is measuring the latency of each plugins you use like this

and putting the plugins in the fist click track.
after adjusting the latency with the track delay of cubase in millisecond (-)
and also disable all auto vst compensation in vst list