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Recording With Plugins

Tracking through real analog equipment is always very exciting. You not only get the classic sound from that piece of gear but it also makes the recording more real since you shape the sound from the source.

Nowadays, thanks to modern computers and digital audio processing, anyone can track using emulations of their favorite console, guitar amp, EQ, or compressor and get that classic sound all in the box. The only issue with this is the processing that the computer requires to monitor through these plug-ins with low latency.

The Problem With Latency

As we all know, latency is the total time taken for a signal to travel through a recording system. From the source to the monitor system. Adding processing through plug-ins introduces more elements in the chain which increases the latency. When the buffer size of the DAW is reduced, the latency goes down but the burden for the CPU increases making it very difficult for the computer to run more demanding plug-ins. Finding a balance between processing and latency is usually a game of trying different buffer sizes until it’s comfortable for the artist and the computer can handle it with no drop-outs or any annoying delay effect. 

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