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Dealing with plug-in latency

From: Pro Tools Projects: Pitch Correction with Antares Auto-Tune Evo

Video: Dealing with plug-in latency

Like most plug-ins that do real-time analysis, in fact all pitch correction plug-ins, induce some sort of latency on the track they are processing. Because Auto-Tune needs to read in the input pitch and then resynthesize an output pitch, just your regular hardware buffer size latency is not going to account for that time. So, what these plug-ins do is they actually hold the track back a little bit so they have enough time to process the output. Now, how I know this is if I didn't read the manual I could go in and Command+click or Ctrl+click on the track's volume indicator here and it shows me how many samples of delay the plug-ins on the track are causing.

Dealing with plug-in latency

Like most plug-ins that do real-time analysis, in fact all pitch correction plug-ins, induce some sort of latency on the track they are processing. Because Auto-Tune needs to read in the input pitch and then resynthesize an output pitch, just your regular hardware buffer size latency is not going to account for that time. So, what these plug-ins do is they actually hold the track back a little bit so they have enough time to process the output. Now, how I know this is if I didn't read the manual I could go in and Command+click or Ctrl+click on the track's volume indicator here and it shows me how many samples of delay the plug-ins on the track are causing.

If I disable that, I get 0. If I make that active again, 1380. Auto-Tune EVO always gives me 1380 samples of delay. So, how do I deal with this? Well if I have Pro Tools HD, I can just turn on Delay Compensation. Pro Tools LE and mPower do not have plug-in Delay Compensation. So what I need to do is compensate for this within the Edit window by shifting the track back by the amount of the delay so that as it rolls through the Auto-Tune plug-in, it comes out in time.

This is really easy. All you got to do is go to Edit > Shift and whatever you have selected, just select your whole track, shift it earlier by 1380 Samples, just like that. Now, as it processes through the plug- in and accumulates the delay because it's earlier it's going to follow in time. Now, you wouldn't believe how many people do not do this. I hear songs on the radio where the vocal is audibly lagging behind the rest of the track and not in a really slick laid-back way. In the way of, wow, that Auto-Tune effect didn't get compensated for.

So, you definitely want to take care of this. Now, once you've shifted that track, you want to go ahead and make a comment in the Comments View and say shifted -1380 for Auto-Tune and the reason that you want to do this is because if somebody opens this on a Pro Tools HD system and they enabled Delay Compensation, you'll have double compensated for that delay by shifting as well as applying the Automated Delay Compensation in the Mixer. So, generally what I like to do is once I have compensated for this delay, I'll make a note but then I'll print it to a new track so, that I don't have to worry about any of that delay.

I'll go in and bus out the output of this track into a new track and record the tune results through, so I am not worried about that Offset any more.

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