When to use Driver Error Compensation

  • Live Versions: Live 9.2 and later
  • Operating System: All

Background

In Live's audio preferences, the total overall latency is reported by the soundcard or audio interface depending on the audio buffer size and sample rate selected. When recording audio and the recording track's monitor is set to "Off", the recorded audio is offset by the amount displayed in 'Overall Latency' so that it lines up correctly. However certain audio interfaces can report an inaccurate latency, which may result in mis-aligned recorded audio.

Driver Error Compensation allows you to compensate for these inaccurate latencies.

Important: It's only necessary to use Driver Error Compensation if you have an audio interface which requires it. Changing the Driver Error Compensation field is not a solution for latency issues in Live. Check our Latency and Delay Compensation article for tips on what to do if you are experiencing high latency in Live.

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When to use Driver Error Compensation

It's only necessary to use Driver Error Compensation if your audio interface is not reporting its latency correctly. Driver Error compensation is only applied if the recording track's monitor is set to "Off". If monitoring AND recording on a track where the monitor is set to "In" or "Auto", then Driver Error Compensation is not applied.

We've tested various audio interfaces and have the following findings:

  • Audio interfaces using their own native Core Audio or ASIO Drivers

Interfaces running in Native mode report accurate latency values, meaning that there should be no need to adjust Driver Error Compensation.

Note: Certain devices offer both Native modes and Class Compliant modes. We recommend using those devices in Native Mode.

  • Class-compliant audio interfaces

Interfaces running in class compliant mode (which use the built-in driver of the system itself) report latencies inaccurately, therefore Driver Error Compensation should be used.

  • Built-in Soundcards

Mac and PC built-in soundcards do not report latencies accurately. Not only are they inaccurately reported, but the latency value grows as the buffer size increases, therefore Driver Error Compensation should be used.

How to set Driver Error Compensation

Live has a built-in lesson including a specifically calibrated set which allows you to set Driver Error Compensation. For the lesson you will need a cable and an audio interface with at least one physical input and output. This can be found in the help view:

Help > Help View > Show all built-in Lessons > Driver Error Compensation (under the Hardware Setup category).

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  • Note 1: The Driver Error Compensation amount can be positive or negative, depending on the specific offset needed.
  • Note 2: The Driver Error Compensation amount is only correct at the buffer size and sample rate used when testing. If either of these change, then it needs to be calculated again and adjusted.
  • Note 3: If Driver error compensation is set incorrectly, either to an extreme amount or used when it doesn't need to be, it can cause playback issues.

Finding out more about Latency