How to Fix Recording latency in Ableton Live?

Published: Sat 04 December 2021
Updated: Thu 20 January 2022 by Ludo In Music

How to reduce recording latency in Ableton Live? Latency is the time it takes for a signal, audio or MIDI, to be sent from one point to another. Read this quick guide if you want to minimize your Audio or MIDI recording latency.

You may have already reduced your buffer size in 'Preferences - Audio', but you still notice some latency on your recorded clips. You have the best sound card, with the lowest latency, so you don't understand... The audio does not start right on the beat and you have to cut your clips... 🙄

Did you know that your problem is related to the Monitor track option?

If you set Monitor to IN or Auto and record arm the track, then you'll get more latency on that track.

Reduce Ableton audio latency with Monitor set to Off

The solution is to set Monitor to Off, and record arm the track:

Ableton Live recording latency problem

As you see in this screenshot above, when monitor is set to Off, the latency is greatly reduced on track 3.

But how to listen to the track then?

That's simple, while recording, if you need to listen to your track and lower the latency:

  1. Duplicate your Audio/MIDI track
  2. Set the 1st track Monitor to In
  3. Set the 2nd track Monitor to Off
  4. Arm both tracks.

What about MIDI latency in Ableton?

In the case of Ableton Live, this is the time it takes for the MIDI signal to be sent from Ableton Live to the controller or synth and for the synth to start producing a sound.

This MIDI latency can be taken into account by Ableton if you use the device named 'External Instrument':

  • Simply set the latency value in the 'hardware latency' box, usually a few ms.
  • And record with Monitor set to Off, as explained above.

Ableton Live MIDI latency

You can also modify a track latency, using a negative number at the bottom of track, after enabling "show track delays".

If you have more Live recording tips, feel free to discuss them below 😉

LD. --

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