Which Ableton devices introduce latency, and how much

  • Live Versions: 9
  • Operating System: All

A number of Ableton native devices introduce a small amount of latency due to the technology used to implement specific features.

Because Live will try to compensate all other tracks, such devices will increase the overall latency resulting from your audio settings.

The actual amount of latency experienced by the user is dependent on the sample rate settings, so for the purposes of this article, we will assume a sampling rate of 44.1 KHz and list latencies in both samples and milliseconds. For more background information about what latency is and how Live handles it, please refer to our Latency and Delay Compensation overview.

How to check if a Device introduces latency

The latency introduced by a device is displayed in the Live Status Bar upon hovering with the cursor over a device title bar in Device View. The device latency is shown both in samples and in milliseconds. If "Delay Compensation" is not active under the Options menu, then it won't be possible to display the latency of a device. 

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Instruments

Collision: due to the built-in limiter, this instrument introduces a latency of 64 samples (ca 1.5 ms).

External Instrument: Once the 'MIDI To' is set, latency is introduced. The latency is the same as that currently displayed in the 'Overall Latency' field in Live's audio preferences.

Dynamics processors

While Live's dynamics processors do not introduce latency per se, they do if the Lookahead feature is enabled. Because Lookahead introduces a negative delay for the side chain signal triggering the gain reduction, Compressor, Gate and Limiter add an amount of latency equal to the amount of Lookahead.

Glue Compressor:  this device does not come with a lookahead feature, but it introduces 32 samples latency (0.73 ms) when in Oversampling mode.

Other Effects

Corpus: due to the built-in limiter, this instrument introduces a latency of 64 samples (ca 1.5 ms).

Dynamic Tube: 4 samples (0.091 ms), in Hi-Quality mode only.

Erosion: 221 samples (5 ms)

EQ Eight: 16 samples (0.36 ms) in Oversampling mode only.

Overdrive: 5 samples (0.113 ms)

Reverb: 8 samples (0.18 ms)

Saturator: 4 samples (0.091 ms) in Hi-Quality mode only.

External Audio Effect: The latency is the same as that currently displayed in the 'Overall Latency' field in Live's audio preferences.