VIDEO: Dealing with USB Latency

Let’s say you just got your first USB audio interface. You’ve set up your home studio, installed everything, and you’re ready to hit that big red Record button and go to town.

What happens next can be both surprising and frustrating – latency. USB 1.1 isn’t the fastest protocol on the planet, and what can happen is that it takes the computer a little time to process the audio. Translation: you play or sing a note, then you hear it in your headphones several milliseconds later. This is latency.

The cure? Most manufacturers include a mix knob on their USB interfaces. This mix knob allows you to blend the direct signal (of the microphone plugged into the interface) with the playback signal (the tracks you’re playing back in Pro Tools). 

In this video I’ll explain it a bit further and show you how to get around this latency issue.

* There’s a slight hum in the audio during the screencast portion. My apologies. I had to rewire things a little differently to demonstrate what the latency sounds like.

 

Related Articles:

VIDEO: Inserts and Sends in Pro Tools

When you’re getting started with Pro Tools, or any DAW for that matter, the whole idea of inserts and sends can be a bit confusing. If you’re a bit hazy on what these do (and the differences between them), this video should help.

Thanks to Jon, one of my readers, for asking me to cover this!

What are some tricks you’ve come up with with your inserts or sends? Leave a comment for the rest of us!

See also:

VIDEO: Ask Joe #2 – Hard Drive Chipsets, Virtual Instruments, and More

Here’s the second edition of “Ask Joe.” If you’re new to Home Studio Corner, “Ask Joe” is basically a question-and-answer portion of the blog where I address questions submitted by readers via the Ask Joe form. (I tried to post this last night, but YouTube wasn’t playing nicely.)

I mention at the beginning of the video how the previous video was a bit on the long side (10 minutes!)…but this one ended up being 8 minutes. However, I’m only dealing with four questions today.

Video Summary:

  • 0:25 – A good all-around virtual instrument package?
  • 1:44 – Hard drive chipset for Cubase?
  • 3:13 – Good audio interface for a band?
  • 5:57 – Using a Yamaha PSR keyboard as a MIDI controller?

Related Articles:

VIDEO: Productivity Part 2 – Using Session Templates

One of the things I enjoy most about starting a new recording project is setting everything up. If you’ve done much recording, you know what I’m talking about. There’s a certain sense of giddiness that bubbles up when you sit in front of a blank Pro Tools screen.

It’s very god-like. You’re creating something out of nothing. When you open Pro Tools for the first time, it doesn’t open up with a huge song already put together for you. It’s a blank slate. There’s not so much as a single mono audio track created. You must do this yourself. For me, that’s an exciting part of the creative process.

But what happens when it takes you thirty minutes to set up your Pro Tools session for every new song you start recording? While it is certainly fun to build your virtual Pro Tools mixer, is this the best use of your time? Shouldn’t you be…um…what’s the word…recording instead?

I’m as guilty of this as anyone. However, as I mentioned in the first article of this productivity series, it’s important that we view our home studios as professional studios. Time is of the essence. If there’s a basic activity that you’re doing over and over (i.e. setting up a Pro Tools session for recording), wouldn’t it make sense to automate that process? (more…)

VIDEO: Productivity Part 1 – Label Your IO

One of the easiest ways you can save time in your home studio is by labeling your inputs, outputs, and busses in your DAW. This is easy to do and will only take you a few minutes. 

Once you do this, your routing life will be much easier. You won’t have to waste time guessing where a certain track is being routed. Check out this short video on labeling your IO in Pro Tools.

 

How do you set up your IO? Leave a comment!

VIDEO: Scroll Me Sideways!

Today I’ve got a video tip for you Mac users. If all you have is a mouse with a scroll wheel, how do you scroll sideways?

VIDEO: How to Make Your Hard Drive an “Audio Record Volume” in Pro Tools

One of my readers, Guinn, sent in a question last week about how to make his hard drive work with Pro Tools. Pro Tools kept telling him that it wasn’t an “audio record volume.” I remember this was the first tech support issue I had with my first Pro Tools system, and I thought it would be a good topic for a video.

Questions? Leave a comment!

VIDEO: Ask Joe #1

I had a lot of visitors to the site last week, and several folks submitted a question using the “Ask Joe” form. Thanks! I decided to answer these questions via video.

The questions deal with the following: [UPDATE: I realized after the fact that a 10-minute video might be a bit long, especially if you’re searching for the answer to your question. By all means listen to the whole thing, but if you want to know where to find specific topics, see below.]

  • Vocalign – 0:37
  • Good recorder for young band – 1:40
  • EMU 1616M PCI – 2:40
  • Getting good natural reverb out of drum room – 3:30
  • M-Audio Fast Track Ultra 8R, USB vs Firewire – 4:52
  • Good audio interface/microphone for video work – 6:20
  • Low latency monitoring in Pro Tools – 7:22
  • External hard drive for sample libraries – 8:31

If you have questions you’d like for me to address in a future video, head over to the Ask Joe page and fill out the form!