Reducing Latency, Clicks and Pops While Recording

How to use this guide

In this guide, we will show you some optimization tips for you to get the most out of your computer when recording, as well as avoid latency, clicks and pops.

  • System Optimization
  • Update Audio Drivers
  • Adjust the Buffer Size and Sample Rate
  • Use Direct Monitoring (if applicable)


If your system doesn’t meet at least the minimum system requirement of the audio software you're intending to use (
system requirement for BIAS FX 2), the amount of latency may greatly increase as this directly ties in with your buffer size and sample rate.

Assuming your computer meets your DAW or audio software’s system requirements, then the latency should have nothing to do with what recording software or interface hardware you use, but more dependent on how things are configured. 

Here’re some common methods to configure your system for audio recording (lower latency without clicks and pops).

 

Update Audio Drivers

Out-of-date drivers can also contribute to recording latency, so check your audio or MIDI interface manufacturer’s website to see if they released new audio drivers recently.

In BIAS FX 2, please make sure to select ASIO as Audio Driver Type: ASIO (do NOT use DirectSound or Windows Audio as it'll result in huge latency).

 

Adjust the Buffer Size and Sample Rate

The higher the buffer size, the more stable a system will be; the lower the buffer size, the better the performance of your audio softwares will be, but system stability will suffer. 

We recommend 44.1kHz sample rate + 256 samples buffer size as a general starting point, and you can tweak from there if your system allows. This should provide optimal performance while not delaying the signal long enough to be detectable by the human ear. 

In BIAS FX 2, the latency will be shown alongside the current sample rate and buffer size setting so it’s easy to judge if the current setting fits your need. 

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Here are a few more tips when working with the buffer size in a DAW:

  • Low Buffer

      • Set the buffer size to a lower amount to reduce the amount of latency for more accurate monitoring. The downside to lowering the buffer size is that it puts more pressure on your computer’s processors and forces them to work harder. 

      • Use as few plug-ins as possible during the tracking phase so that your computer’s processing power is uninhibited. If you start to choke your processors with other tasks, you will experience clicks and pops or errors which will make recording extremely difficult. 

      • (See also: Solution to Crackling/Popping Noise
      • You can usually raise the buffer size up to 256 samples without being able to detect much latency in the signal. 

  • High Buffer 

      • In the mixing phase, you will be monitoring playback only, so it is safe to raise the buffer size to a higher setting since you are no longer monitoring live signals. This allows you to use more plug-ins before encountering clicks and pops or errors, depending on your computer’s resources and limitations. 

      • You may notice a slight delay when you start playback in your DAW with the buffer turned all the way up, but this is normal and is not a sign that your DAW is choking.

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(Additional resource: How to set the buffer size and sample rate in your DAW)

 

System Optimization

Most computers on the market today aren’t designed for audio production, and many audio softwares require certain amounts of resources from your computer. These resources include hard drive space, RAM, operating system, and CPU. If the resources are being used elsewhere it can affect performance and result in latency when recording.

With that in mind, one simple thing to do is to optimize your computer for recording. We recommend the following links for further details.

 

Use Direct Monitoring (if applicable)

“Direct Monitoring” on RIFF (and on most audio interfaces) is a feature that allows you to hear the direct signal (DI) of the instrument, instead of the sound that’s been routed through the computer. This will result in a sound that has no latency, which can be beneficial for recording (when you need to play in time).

Direct Monitoring isn’t always necessary during recording if you use an audio setting with low enough latency (low buffer size), but can be a good tool when you need it.

 

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