Guitar Lag!?!

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by TStat, Jan 17, 2004.

  1. TStat macrumors newbie

    Jan 12, 2004
    OK, GB running on a iMac 800 Mhz. Everything is cool except for big time guitar lag. I am inputting with a Direct Mix USB 3 input device. I tried the preferences for Optimize For Better Performance- but neither of these fixes the lag problem. It is like a second or so behind. Why is this? What do I need to do to fix it? I really cant play along with GB this way!!
    Anyone have any suggestions?
  2. kuyu macrumors 6502a


    Sep 16, 2003
    it's probably your usb hub that's causing the lag. try hooking the guitar straight into the mac, and see if that helps.

    Guitar lag is generally caused by some kind of resistance in the transfer process. The pre-amp on or a straight line in guitar signal should alleviate this issue.
  3. tjwett macrumors 68000


    May 6, 2002
    Brooklyn, NYC
    USB is not ideal for audio, but it should be capable of delivering a single track with zero latency. check the buffer settings. also, is there any options for software monitoring? unless you can get yourself a low latency USB interface i suggest you monitor externally instead of through the software. is any of this even possible with GB? i've used the emagic emi 2|6 in the past and was able to get 2 in/6 out with no latency in Logic.
  4. Engagebot macrumors regular

    Dec 10, 2003
    LSU - Baton Rouge
    guitar signal is not line-level, its instrument level. you're not going to get the same sound straight in as you will through that USB audio interface.

    since when have you ever seen a guitar player plug his guitar straight into the mixer?
  5. Ratboy macrumors member

    Feb 2, 2002
    I have the same issue using the M-Ausio MobileUSB pre-amp, and the only solution I could find was to use my Mac's headphone jack and not the pre-amp's.
  6. moosegoose macrumors newbie

    Jul 25, 2002

    I've got exactly the same problem with a brand new (and recommended by Apple) Edirol UA-20. I even posted a query here, getting no replies, which was probably due to using the word 'latency' instead of 'lag'.

    Input lag makes this £145 device pointless.

    My assumption is that I am doing something wrong.

    I'm still waiting a reply from Edirol.
  7. BrentlyMon macrumors newbie

    Jan 21, 2004
    I haven't found a way to monitor my guitar signal through the computer using either the Mac's built-in ins/outs or a USB input/output device, but I have found a workable solution. I use a preamp box that I plug into, then from that I use one of the preamp's outputs to go into the USB input device, and another of the preamp's outputs to feed my mixer, amp, and finally the speakers. I choose >monitor off when I record into GarageBand and just use the preamp's signal through the mixer so that I can hear what I'm playing. There are some really great preamps out there, like the Pod, and some by Zoom that sound especially good. And anyways, GarageBand's amp simulations are less than stellar. The point is to split the signal, so that you can feed both the computer and the mixer.
  8. johngstudio macrumors newbie

    Jan 22, 2004
    I know that USB recording creates the ever so smallest lag between what you are playing and when you hear it. I use an M-box and notice this. The M-box, Tascam US-122 and others offer zero-latency monitoring, meaning you can listen to your guitar direct rather than listen to the USB digitally-processed signal that makes its way back to the headphones about a millisecond later. Sometimes even this small lag is frustrating when recording.

    While zero-latency montoring allows you to listen to your guitar in real time, the sound is dry and unprocessed since your listening to the signal before it reaches the bulit in effects in Garageband. My solution is to plug into my PodXT (a guitar effects processor and amp modeling unit) before going into the Mbox, then into the Mac. By using effects before it reaches Garageband, it enables me to monitor my effects-processed guitar sound in real time.

    Here's my question. Is the guitar track actually RECORDED a millisecond later, or does it record at the exact timing (as in what you hear in your direct signal)?
  9. Gladlythebear macrumors newbie

    Jan 22, 2004
    From what I understand, when you hear a lag, you're hearing the return from the computer, not real-time recording. In other words, it was recorded as you played it -- you just heard it later.


    PS - Have you experimented with Garageband insofar as recording multiple audio tracks in the same song? All this talk of loops makes me nervous about being a non-loop "original" kind of a guy.
  10. johngstudio macrumors newbie

    Jan 22, 2004
    Thanks for the reply. I've only played with the loops minimally. So far I've used it in recording multiple tracks with great success. I've added some drum loops to original recordings too. I've also played around with my midi controller keyboard and recorded multiple tracks testing out the tons of amazing intruments samples. I'm hooked on Garageband.
  11. DangerLaef macrumors newbie

    Mar 1, 2004
    I had a similar problem when connected to a network at work, but not at home with no etherner connection.

    Are you connected to the net?

    Have you tried unplugging the e-net cable?
  12. Cheese macrumors 6502


    Dec 26, 2002
    In the refrigerated section at your grocer
    The late great Frank Zappa, would often record with his guitar plugged directly into the mixer, or through a pignose, or through nearly any unusual contratption to get "the sound" of the moment. Be flex-able and don't stop trying new things. As for the latency, I would not recommend trying to make an analog guitar signal digital during the initial recording phase. You may actually record something from a mic, or line input that can't be accurately reproduced by a usb connection. IMHO...
  13. Snarf! macrumors member


    Mar 10, 2004
    BG, Norway
    Get a firewire driven audio interface like the m-audio 410. They have lower latencies.
    Also, doesn`t the imac have a audio in jack? Plugging your guitar through here would mean less latency. but i don`t know how strong the signal would be.

    Since the first time i posted this, I´ve been playing ith GB. If your settings are on "G3" in system preffs, I get alot of lag even with m-audio410. But when set to "G4", there is no lag. Did you try this?

    Good luck.

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