How much "digital" is enough? Latency,ADDA-Conversion

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by aledeville, Apr 3, 2014.

  1. Hi everyone
    There have been digital pedals for quite some time and there will be more in the future. So far so good.

    But how is the latency thing?

    Let me introduce you to my AD/DA conversion in my signalchain:

    Bass into transmitter of the Stageclix Jack (AD)
    Receiver (DA)
    Input TC-G-System (AD)
    Send into LoopSection of the G-System (DA)
    Input SA OFD (AD)
    Output SA OFD (DA)
    Return after LoopSection (AD)
    Output G-System (DA)

    Four AD/DA conversions. Latency must add up at some point.

    I know, my setup might be a special case. When I'm using the route with the G-System, then the OFD is running. Meaning, when this "channel" is on, those four ADDA conversions do happen. It's not like having four digital pedals but only using one at a time. Then latency is less a problem.

    How are you guys handling this? Ever switched to something else because of the latency? Because of the ADDA conversion?

    Is there any possibility that I could measure how much the signal actually lags behind?
  2. Swift713


    Dec 4, 2006
    Florence, Ma
    If your signal is delayed a couple milliseconds I would imagine you would instinctively adjust your timing.
  3. sillyfabe

    sillyfabe keeping the low-end silly since '06 Supporting Member

    Mar 13, 2009
    San Bernardino,CA
    I have multiple analog and digital pedals and have never noticed any latency or lose of signal strength. YMMV
  4. jbybj

    jbybj Supporting Member

    Jun 11, 2008
    Los Angeles
    Measure with your ears and your fingers. Set up an A/B switcher. play eighth notes and switch between true bypass and your ADDA chain. I'm guessing you will find no perceptible difference.
  5. silky smoove

    silky smoove

    May 19, 2004
    Seattle, WA
    There's a limit to what you can perceive. The time the sound takes to hit your ear from your cabinet is likely longer than the time it takes to pass through your converters.
  6. If you wanted to test for lag, you could split the signal out of your instrument and record it. One channel dry, the other being post rig. It will be easy to measure with any modern recording software if there is a delay.
  7. odineye


    Dec 29, 2011
    Bear DE
    That's how I set up every time I record. Clean DI parallel to my effects, with two always on digital pedals, and a modeling amp. Three AD/DA conversions, with no latency.
  8. lowfreq33


    Jan 27, 2010
    Endorsing Artist: Genz Benz Amplification
    Sound travels at just over 1 foot per millisecond. The latency caused by modern digital devices is usually no more than 2-3 ms. So given your signal path any latency would be about as noticeable as standing about ten feet away from your amp.

    In other words, not noticeable at all.
  9. I'll start measuring...

    I wouldn't say that you don't notice latency... For instance the octave up on the MicroPOG it's just obvious when you play. But yeah, the comparison with the foot distance is good.

    Maybe it just confuses me that it's my dirt signal that - if there is - has the latency. Distorted sounds have by nature less attack and may be perceived as being "slower".
  10. Swift713


    Dec 4, 2006
    Florence, Ma
    The latency you hear from the POG is not from ADDA conversion, it's from processing.
  11. Fernando Costa

    Fernando Costa

    Aug 4, 2013
    There are one very complicated metod to measure that.

    Open a daw and record 2 tracks. Use a passive or analog splitter, send one splitter out with a dry signal to one of the tracks. Another splitter out, with your system, you send to another track. Set the daw ruler for samples or miliseconds, record a little take, then stretch the wave a lot to measure the latency.
  12. Happynoj


    Dec 5, 2006
    I like turtles.
    Unless the latency is enough that you can hear it and it bothers you, why does it matter...?
  13. That's how I'm gonna do it. Thx for the advice with the daw meter. However, it won't be complicated, since I already split my signal (well, after the first AD/DA conversion of the Wireless) and then one goes into a preamp and directly into the interface. The other one goes the "dirty" route with the G-System and the OFD :)

    I give two signals to the FOH, I have a stereo poweramp and two cabs (410/112) live :D
  14. Okay, I did this. It's 9ms. Added to this comes the delay from the wireless, but this affects both, clean and dirty.

    Maybe it's more the missing attack on the distorted signal that gives me the impression of the latency. I mean, 9ms isn't that much.
  15. JohnDavisNYC


    Jan 11, 2008
    Brooklyn, NY
    Endorsing Artist: Aguilar, D'Addario
    9ms is quite noticeable, in terms of feel, I think. when editing stuff, a 10ms slide in PT can really make a phrase feel different. It's too bad that you can't link all these pedals digitally, for less ADDA round trips.

    On a positive note, at least it helps you lay back... :)

  16. Yeah, exactly my thoughts! Digital link would be superb. The TC devices can do this, but I only got one, so... :smug:

    However, added to the 9ms are the 2-3ms from the wireless. So, it's between 11 and 12.
    I'll keep the things the way they are for the next couple of weeks. Because the G-System is just such a good fx engine. For what I paid, I couldn't finde something as nearly as good as this is. It's alredy worth the price just for the loops.