Live input processing


I’m just wondering if anyone out there has been successfull in reducing the latency of the live input processing enough to be usable and add a reverb for monitoring whilst recording. If you have please share your settings.



Depends on several things.
I can achieve good latency on my soundblaster soundcard, provided that I am using the ASIO driver (set at 21.33 mS) and not running multiple effects on the other tracks.
For example, latency is near real-time when running 4 tracks with 1 instance of the JCM9000 amp simulator. Lead guitar work is no problem.
However, with 19 tracks, 3 compressors, 1 Parametric Eq, 1NTrack Echo and 1 NTrack Reverb, lead guitar is very difficult, but vocals are possible.

Latency is primarily a function of the soundcard hardware (firmware), plus the soundcard driver.

My pc is a P3 960Mhz, WinXP, 512M RAM


What Beefy said.

What’s your specs ?

(Soundcard, PC speed, RAM etc)


Thanks Steve,

I’ve recently been upgrading bits and pieces of my system (I was still using ntrack v2.3 a couple of weeks ago) and I’m looking for a way to monitor with a reverb, In the past I’ve fed the output from my dsp value into the line in of the Sound Blaster live and monitored with the SB Live while tracking using it’s built in reveb, it’s been an OK sort of a solution but the SB Live’s a bit lacking sonicly, even when used just for monitoring during tracking, especially with my vocals. Ideally I guess I should be using a mixer with an FX loop before my power amp, but before I go shopping I’d like to consider all my options.


Delta 1010lt
SB Live Value
Windows XP Home
Asus A7n8X MOBO
256 MB ram
AMD 2200

Hi !

My gut feeling is that your PC needs a little more RAM.

The Delta1010LT (btw great card, I’ve got one too) comes with a ASIO and WDM driver.

You might get the latency down low enough with either of those for live input processing/monitoring but for it to work happily I think you should look at increasing your RAM to at least 512.
Esp with XP on it.





I think you should look at increasing your RAM to at least 512.
Esp with XP on it.

I agree, I would like more RAM also, but my mobo is at it’s limit.
I’m quite happy with the sblive!, it seems to work fine for me. My ears are not very good anyway :D


One thing I’ve found with my interface is that under ntrack 3.3, I just can’t seem to use all 12 analog inputs (haven’t got anythng to use the 2xspdif yet) without getting some sort of dropouts here and there under the ASIO drivers - I just can’t make the buffers big enough, or have enough of them. Under WDM though, I can crank the size right up, so I plan on giving that a crack sometime. Once the main tracking is over, I swap back to the lower buffer sizes under ASIO so I can use real time effects on one or two tracks at a time.

FWIW, my system is very similar:
XP2000+ @ 2400+
1gig ram,
A7N8X regular rev1.06

Using ASIO you should be able to get low enough latency without fussing with n-Track buffering controls at all. You may want to adjust the ASIO latency control (different on each ASIO driver, so you’re on your own there). For the SB, you need to use the correct drivers (ask someone if you don’t already know about that).

Using WDM, you have to try different n-Track buffering settings, but it is definitely possible. Try “low” or “very low” and see if it works without getting dropouts.

Using MME, I don’t think it’s possible.

Something to keep in mind: I’ve heard folks fussing about 10msec latency as being intolerable and the need to get to 3msec holy grail (about the best most computers could do just a year or two ago … not sure today). Very few people care much whether the monitor speakers are 3 feet away or 10 feet away, but it’s about the same difference in latency!

Of course, the terms add up, so it’s good to keep each one under control. But I find that anything under 10 msec should be fine for anyone other than a very fussy and extremely talented percussionist. (I’m including piano as a percussion instrument, here.)

Many MIDI synths & electronic pianos have 5 to 10 msec latency built-in, and few keyboard players notice it.

If you’re still running Win98 SE and if you’ve killed all the memory-sucking apps & features, you should probably be OK with 256M – maybe using n-Track V3 but not V4. Of course, you’d make sure to be running nothing else meanhwile.

Running W2K or XP, maybe. I was able to, using W2K on a 750 MHz P3 with 256M, but that was over 2 years ago. That would have been using n-Track V3.1, I imagine.

I guess we don’t need to tell you it’s time to start saving up for a new MOBO! :cool:


Have you tried the kX drivers for your Soundblaster?

They provide an extremely powerful effects setup that you can apply prior to recording. The drivers take a little study and tweaking to understand, but once you get the hang of them, they’ll let you do all kinds of cool stuff.

I was about ready to toss my Soundblaster Live! 5.1/LIve Drive until I installed the kX package. It made me realize just how lame the Creative drivers and support really are. They work for Audigy cards, too.

Download them (FREE!) here:

I hope this helps!

Thanks for all the replies!

I’d been playing around with the buffering settings in ntrack with WDM drivers, I hadn’t thought to adjust the settings from my sound card’s control panel and use ASIO, after doing that I was able to reduce the latency to a point that I couldn’t hear any delay, thanks for your advise learjeff! A bit more ram would be nice, it’s on the “to do” list along with a bigger hard drive, new monitor…

I’ve downloaded the KX drivers to have a play with.


Hi, As you’ve got the Delta 1010 with lots of ins and outs you could just patch in a cheap external reverb and pick up the “wet only” output using the Delta monitor mixer. I’ve got an alesis nanoverb for this purpose.


I’m a big believer in learning how NOT to need the reverb when recording. I think it’s a crutch and it also glosses over intonation problems. It’s really worth a serious try.

On the other hand, when you’re recording others, if the singer wants reverb, you don’t say “no”!

This is one of the things I LOVE about the EMU stuff. The DSP chip onboard and the PatchMix routing/mixing software make it super easy to track dry and monitor with DSP effects with no latency and no plugin drain on your PC’s CPU. I have the 1820M and I think it’s the shiznit! :)