When to use "Reduced Latency when Monitoring"

  • Live Versions: All
  • Operating System: All

A number of devices, plug-ins, and in general all audio effects which use “Lookahead” features (certain Compressors, Noise Gates and Limiters) can add a certain amount of latency. Enabling "Reduced Latency When Monitoring" will allow you to bypass this extra latency for tracks where the Monitor of the track is set to “In” or "Auto".

This setting can be accessed via the “Options” menu in Live and is stored within a Live Set.


Example #1: Monitoring hardware, instruments or vocals

If you are monitoring hardware, instruments or vocals in a track in Live which contains various latency inducing devices, it's recommended to activate this option so that the additional latency is bypassed.

Note: It's recommended to always set the audio buffer size as low as possible in order to reduce the overall latency. See our article: Latency and Delay Compensation overview

Example #2: Triggering external MIDI devices via a MIDI and audio track.

When controlling external MIDI gear without using the External Instrument device, the audio generated by a hardware device might be played back by Live with some delay, depending on the audio buffer size and the amount and type of devices in use.

By using a negative Track Delay for the MIDI track, it's possible to compensate for this delay, but this will only work if the option Reduced Latency when Monitoring is enabled. Because in fact the audio generated by the external synthesiser is being monitored in a different (Audio) Track, using a negative track delay on the MIDI channel automatically delays all other channels including the audio track which is monitoring the signal.

"Reduced Latency when Monitoring" allows this additional latency to be bypassed, and the audio signals will now reflect the changes of the negative Track delay.


Points to note when using 'Reduced Latency when Monitoring'


When "Reduced Latency when Monitoring" is active, clicks can take place when setting the Monitor to "In" or record enabling tracks due to sudden changes in the track's delay compensation. This is particularly obvious with Push, because of the fact that the device auto-arms selected tracks. While performing live, you might want to disable this option to avoid annoying glitches. 


When this option is active, automation recorded on armed tracks is placed at the wrong time relative to recorded audio and MIDI if latency-inducing plug-ins are currently in use. As a result, what is played back sounds different from what is recorded.

Sync issues

When enabled, input monitored tracks will have the lowest possible latency but may be out of sync with some other tracks in your set. When disabled, all tracks will be in sync, but input monitored tracks may have higher latency.