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I use Adobe Audition to enhance my microphone audio quality in real time:

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I see that in the preferences for the audio hardware in Adobe Audition, I can choose the latency:

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I am assuming this is the latency between the the time the input arrives and the time the output is emitted. How to choose the latency for the audio hardware in Adobe Audition? E.g., why wouldn't one systematically want the lowest latency available (will that decrease the audio quality)? Is there anyway to tell Audition to keep the latency as low as possible?

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latency depends on a number of things, but primarily it is determined by your audio hardware driver buffer size.

As you increase your buffer size, you do a couple of things:

1 reduce overall CPU usage
2 increase latency.

As you reduce your buffer size, you...

1 increase overall CPU load
2 reduce latency.

So there is always a tradeoff between CPU load and latency.

Additionally, any plugins you introduce in the processing chain will have the effect of increasing latency.

If you have a lot of processing going on and you are finding that you are getting CPU load spikes and dropouts, you can increase the buffer size, but this will increase latency.

Low latency isn't the best solution for every requirement, so you need to know what you want to achieve before deciding on how to tune your system.

Looking at your hardware interface page, you are using MME which you want to avoid if at all possible. You should be using ASIO drivers for the lowest latency options.

  • Thanks for the great information. "Any plugins you introduce in the processing chain will have the effect of increasing latency." -> I agree, this is why I am surprised that with MME one can specify the latency regardless of the processing chain. Do you know what difference does it make to set the latency at 50 milliseconds or 100 milliseconds? I understand that setting latency at 50 milliseconds might increase the overall the usage: if it maxes out the CPU, what happens? – Franck Dernoncourt May 5 at 7:34
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    Once the CPU load reaches the maximum level possible, the computer is unable to process the audio buffer within the timeframe required to achieve continuous playback, consequently you experience dropouts. – Mark May 5 at 9:09
  • Thanks, does this mean one has to choose the lowest latency that doesn't cause any dropout? Or is it sometime preferable to choose a higher latency? – Franck Dernoncourt May 7 at 19:48
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    Generally the former. Choose the lowest latency that doesn't cause dropouts during playback. But again, get away from MME drivers and make sure you are using ASIO. – Mark May 8 at 0:12
  • It seems I cannot use ASIO because according to Can you use ASIO input and a different output? "it is not currently possible to use ASIO in a DAW as an input source only without using it as the output on Windows.". Do you have any idea regarding: How can one achieve a decent latency when using Adobe Audition on Microsoft Windows to enhance one's microphone audio quality in real time? Thanks! – Franck Dernoncourt May 9 at 4:15

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