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Chapter 8. Mixing to Picture in Pro Tool... > TDM and RTAS Plug-In Delay Compensat...

TDM and RTAS Plug-In Delay Compensation

The DSP algorithms used in both TDM and RTAS plug-in architectures require a certain amount of time to process. TDM plug-ins have such a low amount of processing time that it is not noticeable in most situations. Except in extreme cases, RTAS plug-ins, by the nature of their design, have any processing delays compensated for by the DAE engine in Pro Tools. The delay caused by DSP processing of any kind is called latency and will affect playback of audio.

In its subtler form, plug-in latency will affect tracks that are related acoustically, such as the different mics used to record one orchestra. If two mics are used to record an orchestra and a TDM plug-in is applied to one of those mics during mixdown, the audio channel processed by the plug-in will be delayed by a small amount, thereby affecting the time relationship between those two microphones. This time relationship, in a recording of this nature, is critical. Even a few samples of latency can cause a dramatic shift in the stereo image generated by those two microphones. This latency should be compensated for in some manner. The simplest way is to apply the same plug-in to the unprocessed channel. This plug-in can have all its parameters set in such fashion that it will not affect that channel in any way besides generating the equivalent latency of the other channel, maintaining a proper phase relationship between the two.


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