Best way to explain what I'm seeing/hearing is with a video:

I have a simple drum part sequenced in Logic Pro X (10.5.1). When I play the song starting from before the midi region, the notes are in time with the metronome. When I start playback right at the region, I hear the first notes ever so slightly later than the metronome. This also occurs when the metronome is off; it's just even more noticeable with the metronome on.

I've checked that the first notes are right at the start (6 1 1 1) of the region. I've just now (after making that screen recording) tried copying the same pattern later in the region, and by the second bar, the metronome and the notes are back in sync. It's really as if those notes on the downbeat are delayed during playback for some reason.

What is going on?

1 Answer 1


I think the best place to start is to look at your Buffer settings and Plug-In Latency settings. You can find the Buffer settings in Preferences>Devices and the Plug-In Latency settings in Preferences>General.

I'm not sure that either of these will actually resolve your issue but it's a good place to start. What you're describing sounds like the system is starting playback immediately but isn't processing things quickly enough to playback when they're supposed to. This sounds more like a buffering issue to me because the system eventually catches back up to play things at the correct time, implying that the system had the time to buffer those sounds before they came around.

If you're not having success there, here are some additional things that may help people more knowledgable than myself diagnose and resolve your issue. Does this happen with all VSTs (software instruments and plugins) or just this one? Does the track in question have a lot of effects on it? Does it have the same issue when the effects are all turned off? If multiple tracks are playing at once, do they all have this type of latency? Is the latency the exact same amount for every track, or does it vary by track? If it varies, what are the differences between tracks, including which VSTs are being used and how many on each track? Does this just happen with VSTs or does it also happen with audio?

You also need to consider the processing power of your computer. If it's old or on the low end of memory, it may have more to do with your computer than your settings.

If you aren't able to find your answer here, I'd suggest trying the Logic Pro Forum. And for the sake of SE, if you find an answer somewhere else, you should post it as an answer here to allow others in the future to be able to reference it here.

  • Thanks for all the notes on things to check into. I'll respond now with the easy ones and come back to the more involved ones later. 1. This is the only track in the project. 2. It has no effects. 3. It's not an issue with audio tracks, even in projects with many tracks and a handful of effects per track. 4. My computer is a 2016 Macbook Pro, so in my estimation it should be able to handle the processing for this small project without a problem. Commented Oct 30, 2020 at 2:45
  • Q for you: what should I be looking for in the Buffer and Plugin Latency settings? I've never touched them, so I'm not sure what I'd be looking at or what effect I should expect it to have, or how to modify it to improve things.. Commented Oct 30, 2020 at 2:50
  • Okay I take it back: the one track may have had one or two effects. Commented Oct 30, 2020 at 2:51
  • @BrettHiggins Sorry, haven't been on recently. Buffering basically gets things ready to be played, doing all of the processing prior to playing. Processing everything all at once will cause hiccups from processing too slowly, just variation in CPU performance from moment to moment. Increasing the buffer means that the CPU is processing things for a longer time, which means less desyncing but it also means you can have increased latency while doing a live performance. Plugin latency works to align all sounds by compensating for the roudtrip latency of the plugins being used, including VSTs. Commented Jan 1, 2021 at 5:28
  • All that said, I don't really know too much about this stuff and wouldn't really be able to give specific advice. I know enough to get by but basically always have to look up how to do things and learn what they are each time something comes up. Commented Jan 1, 2021 at 5:30

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.