Overbridge latency in Ableton Live

Last time I tried Overbridge, I was getting about 30ms latency reported for the Overbridge plugin in Ableton, and of course, I was running with a low buffer size. Are you really getting 2-3ms? Is there any special trick for getting such a low latency?

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I was referring to the compensated latency (ie tracking, monitoring), not the driver latency.

Friendly question: What latency does Ableton report in your OB plugin?

Around 30 usually, just like you.
Every time I’m happy with the results, Jimmy (OB dev) is like “We can go lower” :diddly: … So, constantly improving.


Thanks for confirming that, Simon. Saved me some time trying it out again.

That 30ms is indeed added to the latency of your live set. For some, that is not a big deal. For others, it is a huge deal. For myself, 30ms is too much, and it becomes annoyingly noticeable when performing and recording. I hope y’all eventually get the latency down to something like 5-10ms. What would be really cool is if the OB plugin had a mode for clock and recall only, with what I assume would be a lower latency. In that case, users could be on the hook for routing their audio through analog inputs.

Even if the OB plugin were to be used for clock and recall only, that would still be enormously useful for tons of users. Having a sample accurate MIDI clock to send to other gear is a huge thing on its own.


Even if the OB plugin were to be used for clock and recall only, that would still be enormously useful for tons of users. Having a sample accurate MIDI clock to send to other gear is a huge thing on its own.

It’s almost like buyers of Elektron machines would get a free Innerclock or USAMO with the price of admission. Elektron users would get sample accurate MIDI clocks and save hundreds of dollars. I bet the marketing department would love that. :3lektron: :sunglasses:


Have you turned off the MIDI in Ableton preferences? Clock AND Transport should go through the plugin. A common error is that the plugin is set to only send clock and that transport is sent on the USB MIDI causing an offset.


But, that would not change anything about the Overbridge plugin latency, right? It is that latency that is the main issue. Such a latency causes your entire live set to have that latency, as per Ableton’s latency FAQ.

Not really sure exactly what you want to do?

Overbridge compensates for latency when you are synchronising the Ableton sequencer with the Elektron units sequencer. That is where you should have around 1-2ms as opposed to MIDI that is around 10-20ms from a DAW.
If you have more than 5ms you have most likely configured it wrong on have not understood the concept of Overbridge. For example by still sending MIDI or taking audio from the analog outs or selected the unit as a sound card in your DAW and not having the audio from the plugin.
Sure there can be other things that causes a conflict in your system but then you have other issues like units not showing up in the control panel, no audio, audio dropouts or no control.

The audio interface latency is different than the above and is an issue only when you are inputing notes in realtime/live. In that case use the analog outputs to do a direct monitoring. It is usually always needed when recording song or drums as latency in the monitored audio can disturb the performer.

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I second @jbone1313 wish.

OB does a great job (in my setup) at syncing my A4. It’s tight and on on-grid most of times when things go well.

However, the A4 does not output tempo/sync from MIDI out/thru when sync is driven by OB, therefore synching other gear (a MD in my case) is problematic - as synching the MD the standard Ableton MIDI way and the A4 with OB leaves you with unacceptable delays (again, in my setup with a mid-end interface, small buffers and a Macbook Pro). So I personally resort to USAMO for driving the sync and that works well (on a good day, with a bit of luck :slight_smile:).

IF an OB-enabled machine did output/convert the tempo/sync signals received from OB to the MIDI port(s), voila, we would have the most amazing synching machine without the need for Innerclock, USAMO & friends. A killer feature, IMO


First, thanks for taking the time to respond.

Not really sure exactly what you want to do?

I simply want to play other software instruments without the 30ms of added latency that Overbridge introduces. Sure, that latency is “compensated.” But what about musicians who play instruments? They are going to feel that latency. Like Simon and I said, Overbridge reports about 30ms of latency to Ableton. That affects the entire set. 30ms latency on one device, means every time you play and monitor a software instrument in Ableton, you are feeling that latency. IIRC, most people start noticing latency around 9ms-12ms. 30ms is way too high.

Without Overbridge, on my system, running a 128 sample buffer, my overall latency is about 8ms. At 64 samples, it is about 5ms. Overbridge completely jacks that up.

Sure, if all you are doing is sequencing Elektron gear and not actually playing software instruments, then you would not care about this.

I have seen a lot of people complain about this latency, so I do not think it is just me. I think most musicians would not really be able to deal with a 30ms latency.


I also would not mind the option of using my Elektrons as a stable, sample accurate MIDI clock as I described above. Again, that would save a lot of users a ton of cash and would be great marketing for Elektron.


Sure, this is the downside of using Overbridge and it is not something that will go away. You need to know when to enable the latency compensation in Ableton and when not to depending on what you want to do. You can not do both at the same time.

Real-time record of other instrument in the live set: Turn off the latency compensation or do direct monitoring.
Synchronised sequencers and audio processing: Turn on the latency compensation.

Regarding MIDI out from the unit when using Overbridge that is something that we have talked about but it will in that case also need a mode where only one way of the latency is compensated for. For example if the audio from the other instrument is not going back into the Elektron box but into an audio interface instead.


Sure, that would be close to perfection. On the other hand I guess many users would just be happy with a consistent sample-accurate MIDI clock that can be daisy-chained across different gear. It will of course never be perfect and there are many places where latencies will sneak in - but that’s the type of issue we’re already dealing with external (and expensive) HW clocks, esoteric setups and kabbalah-style numerology to dial-in delays both in MIDI and audio… :wink: ). OB could already be “good enough” for the job of the Innerclocks etc.


Turn off the latency compensation

That’s a big ask in 2016. I would guess that almost no one using software instruments does that or would want to do that. Overbridge is supposed to be like an “analog plugin” and should operate with a similar latency (in theory).

Also, turning off latency compensation means your timing is off in other places.

Direct monitoring

There is no such thing as direct monitoring software instruments.

Basically, if I use u-he Diva (to take one example) with Overbridge, I have to suffer through an added 30ms latency. Ouch. That’s a deal breaker for myself and many others.


The latency will always be there as long as the compensation is turned on since the control and audio needs to leave the computer and come back again. 15ms each way. I agree it would be nice if it was improved but even if it was as low as 5ms each way it would still add 10ms.

Don’t get stuck by asking for the impossible, find a way around it instead like disable the OB plugin when realtime playing the Diva , record the the OB tracks e.t.c.


Find a way around it

For myself and many others, it has sadly been “don’t use OB.” :frowning:

It would be super cool if there was a version of OB (or an option to check) that just gave us low latency clocks, total recall, and sample management for RYTM. And maybe software automation. We could just run the outputs into our sound cards.

I bet the vast majority of Elektron users would prefer this to what we have today. Heck, many would even pay extra!

Thanks again for taking the time to hear our concerns. Hugs. :slight_smile:


That is something that has been discussed and would be really useful, but how low that latency can get we can not say yet, or if it is possible at all.


@Olle if I am using the A4 and AR only as sound modules, Ableton is doing all of the sequencing, do I have to enable delay compensation.

Thank you

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Yes it would be really useful to have control only mode with reduced latency. I run my elektrons through my mixer and outboard gear into good converters. Love overbridge for the automation, total recall and sample management tho.
I’m sure I’m not the only one who works this way…