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kapaguitar

Unexpected latency (Sound goes out of sync)

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Hello guys!

 

So "recently", while using Helix's usb audio with Ableton, sometimes the sound of my processed guitar get's out of sync, out of nowhere.... like the buffer size has increased (only in the Helix)

Sometimes it has a sudden digital noise before it, and in other times it just gets out of sync without any noticeable sound fx.

 

I wasn't sure if this was a Helix issue or an Ableton Issue, until it started happening with Logic as well.... I've tried different USB cables (although both of them are from Native instruments)...

 

Any ideas?

 

Thanks

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It's probably one of two things.  You have your DAW configured so you're listening to the recorded signal rather than the source which would be the Helix.  Or you have your monitors connected to the PC rather than to the Helix so you're getting some latency whenever the operating system gets busy and can't get the signal processed in real time.  I can pretty much guarantee it's not on the Helix side or the USB connection.

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1 minute ago, DunedinDragon said:

It's probably one of two things.  You have your DAW configured so you're listening to the recorded signal rather than the source which would be the Helix.  Or you have your monitors connected to the PC rather than to the Helix so you're getting some latency whenever the operating system gets busy and can't get the signal processed in real time.  I can pretty much guarantee it's not on the Helix side or the USB connection.

 

Ok, There's some information missing:

 

I've been using the Helix usb audio with Ableton in a live setting for the past 5 months, and it worked perfectly until about a month ago. 

Nothing has changed on my setup, i'm using the same ableton session with the same config (unless some bug caused it to change something by itself)

 

The guitar signal goes in to the Helix, which processes it, and sends it in to Ableton.

Ableton is running with a buffer size of 64.

The sound output is done through a RME FIREFACE UCX.

 

This setup has been working stable (in terms of audio, MIDI is whole different story) for about 4 months, and recently started having these issues...

 

Whenever this happens, the guitar signal stays out of sync "forever" (latency) and the only fix is to reboot the Helix... 

 

 

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2 hours ago, kapaguitar said:

 

Ok, There's some information missing:

 

I've been using the Helix usb audio with Ableton in a live setting for the past 5 months, and it worked perfectly until about a month ago. 

Nothing has changed on my setup, i'm using the same ableton session with the same config (unless some bug caused it to change something by itself)

 

The guitar signal goes in to the Helix, which processes it, and sends it in to Ableton.

Ableton is running with a buffer size of 64.

The sound output is done through a RME FIREFACE UCX.

 

This setup has been working stable (in terms of audio, MIDI is whole different story) for about 4 months, and recently started having these issues...

 

Whenever this happens, the guitar signal stays out of sync "forever" (latency) and the only fix is to reboot the Helix... 

 

 

 

Okay...just to clarify.

You're going direct from the Helix USB output into the computer's USB input?  In other words the Fireface UCX is NOT involved in the input signal capture?

When you say out of sync, are you talking about out of sync with the track capture (i.e. what is recorded on the track is out of sync with the rest of the tracks) or out of sync with the monitoring playback coming through the Fireface UCX?

 

My instincts tell me there's some form of throughput processing issue, most likely in the computer's operating system.  One test you can do is to monitor the Helix output with open air headphones plugged into the Helix while recording to see if the latency is on the Helix end or the computer end.  My guess is the computer simply because (depending on your answers to the above) you would have two different device drivers processing the input and the output and because there's realy not much that can get in the way on the Helix side of I/O, but you do have a fair amount of complexity going on in the thread stack of the computer.  By rebooting the Helix you would be releasing the Helix device driver on the computer side and causing it to reload.

 

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To further clarify what I think DD is getting at, you're using Helix as your soundcard. In Ableton Preferences you're using ASIO Helix as your Audio Device, Sample Rate matches Helix (48k default), your Inputs and Master Out are set  to Helix, and your speakers are connected to the RME, which is getting it's audio from Helix 1/4"/XLR outs?

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Sounds like he is using a Mac.  Which means in Ableton/Logic you can define different hardware devices for Input and Output you are not limited to one ASIO driver like in Windows.

 

I always get some latency when I do that.  Its better to just use one device (ie the Helix in this case)

 

 

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2 minutes ago, otnooishphoo said:

Sounds like he is using a Mac.  Which means in Ableton/Logic you can define different hardware devices for Input and Output you are not limited to one ASIO driver like in Windows.

 

I always get some latency when I do that.  Its better to just use one device (ie the Helix in this case)

 

 

 

Unless your ableton set is also playing back tracks on other outputs of the RME to a different source (like the PA or something?)

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Hey guys, Thanks for your replies!

 

I am sorry that it has taken me a while to get back to this thread, but i've had a lot going on, and for some reason I missed the e-mail notifications.

 

Ok, here we go:

 

On 1/19/2019 at 1:40 PM, DunedinDragon said:

ou're going direct from the Helix USB output into the computer's USB input?

Yes.

 

On 1/19/2019 at 1:40 PM, DunedinDragon said:

In other words the Fireface UCX is NOT involved in the input signal capture?

No, not on the guitar part. I use them as an aggregate input, guitar comes from HELIX usb and vocals come from Fireface UCX

 

On 1/19/2019 at 1:40 PM, DunedinDragon said:

When you say out of sync, are you talking about out of sync with the track capture (i.e. what is recorded on the track is out of sync with the rest of the tracks) or out of sync with the monitoring playback coming through the Fireface UCX?

What I Mean is that there is a time gap from the moment I play a note on the guitar till the moment I hear it played back.

 

On 1/19/2019 at 1:40 PM, DunedinDragon said:

One test you can do is to monitor the Helix output with open air headphones plugged into the Helix while recording to see if the latency is on the Helix end or the computer end.

That is a good idea, but if I do that, I will be listening to the sound that's being contained within the helix. Isn't it possible that, in case it is a Helix USB problem, only the usb audio out would be affected by it? Just a thought... also, because it is not a permanent issue, I'll have to wait until it happens to perform that test.


 

 

On 1/19/2019 at 5:26 PM, rd2rk said:

To further clarify what I think DD is getting at, you're using Helix as your soundcard. In Ableton Preferences you're using ASIO Helix as your Audio Device, Sample Rate matches Helix (48k default), your Inputs and Master Out are set  to Helix, and your speakers are connected to the RME, which is getting it's audio from Helix 1/4"/XLR outs?

 

The Helix is only outputting through USB on to the computer. the only audio coming out is from the RME. I'm using it on a mac, so I have an aggregate device for input ( so I can have inputs from the Helix and RME) and output through RME Fireface.

 

On 1/19/2019 at 9:40 PM, otnooishphoo said:

Unless your ableton set is also playing back tracks on other outputs of the RME to a different source (like the PA or something?)

Correct. I'm using ableton to loop the Helix input and to playback some beats.

 

This setup worked fine for a while and then something changed... I'm formatting my Mac today hoping that it is a system issue...

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4 hours ago, kapaguitar said:

Hey guys, Thanks for your replies!

 

 

What I Mean is that there is a time gap from the moment I play a note on the guitar till the moment I hear it played back.

 

That is a good idea, but if I do that, I will be listening to the sound that's being contained within the helix. Isn't it possible that, in case it is a Helix USB problem, only the usb audio out would be affected by it? Just a thought... also, because it is not a permanent issue, I'll have to wait until it happens to perform that test.

 

In effect what you're talking about is latency.  I suppose it's not impossible for the Helix USB to have some weird electronic problem with the USB interface, but it's WAY less likely than the problem being where all the additional computational cycles and device/memory management systems are being applied.  I've never heard of latency being specifically caused by the USB port on the Helix, but I seen hundreds, if not thousands of problems associated with latency on the connected computer for tons of various reasons.  Some associated with the DAW, but many associated with operating system overhead.  From the Helix side it's not really doing much more than it does with any other output, just handing it off to hardware to send it.

 

Given how you describe it as something that comes up after a period of time, my first impression would be either a memory management log jam or a device priority issue.

 

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I think I know what you're experiencing. I had a similar problem playing into Logic Pro X on my 2015 MBP when I first got my HX Stomp back in November.  I was playing right along in perfect sync, then all of the sudden the audio is delayed about 500 ms.  It's like you're using a delay effect with the source audio turned off.

 

I didn't do enough testing to specifically trace the problem to the root cause; but here are the things I did to stop the problem:

 

1) Plug the unit into its own USB port on the Mac. Don't plug it into a shared USB hub. The manual actually states this, but I tried to use a hub anyway, 'cause... you can't stop me, I'm controversial. ;-)

 

2) Install Line 6's driver for MacOS. I didn't want to do this either since it should be able to just use the core audio driver; but audio frequency is not selectable on the core driver.

 

3) As others have said, make sure the audio frequency on the device and the app are set the same.

 

Which of these actions fixed my issues? Don't know, but it's been rock solid ever since.

 

I hope this helps.

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Thanks for the input guys! 

I’ve just formatted my MBP but haven’t test it enough to say that it’s gone for sure. 

When playing live I always plug helix directly to the computer( no hub) .

 

I also thought it could be the USB cable so I’m using different ones.

 

I shall install the OS X driver as well.

 

I’ll let you know how it goes in a few weeks. 

 

Thsnkd again guys 

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When you aggregate OSX sets the worst RTL of aggregated devices. OSX Core driver (downloaded) has huge latency. 

 

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