Dream Big with Focusrite - Win a dream recording weekend at Air Studios. Click here to enter

How to set up a Liquid Mix session in Pro Tools LE

Liquid mix is a DSP powered plug-in. All processing is done on the Liquid Mix itself rather than your computer thereby freeing up CPU resources for more tracks or effects. This means that the audio being processed by Liquid Mix DSP is sent out of your DAW (through a process buffer) to the Liquid Mix DSP, and then back (through another buffer) to your DAW.



A buffer delays an audio signal for a number of samples (or milliseconds).



Therefore adding a Liquid Mix plug in will delay the audio signal by a number of samples.



The majority of modern DAW software applications include Automatic Delay Compensation which means that the delay introduced by the Liquid Mix is compensated for (i.e. all audio not sent to the Liquid Mix is delayed the same amount to be in time) but this feature is not available in Pro Tools LE.



It is very simple to set up your Pro Tools session so that all delay introduced by the Liquid mix is compensated for.


Step 1. Click on the Liquid icon on the top left of your Liquid Mix and an information box will appear on screen.





You can see that the Liquid Mix has a current latency (delay) of 2056 samples.


Step 2. All the audio tracks that are not using the Liquid mix need to be delayed by the same amount as the Liquid Mix incurs to bring the timing back in line. So add the time adjuster plug in and input the latency figure seen in the Liquid Mix information box.







Here the delay is set to 2056 samples, which is the same figure displayed in the Liquid Mix info box.


Step 3. Hold 'alt' and drag the time adjuster plug-in to all tracks that are not using the Liquid mix.







An alternative way to set this up is to use two separate buses: one for audio tracks with Liquid Mix plug-ins inserted, and another bus with a single time adjuster plug-in for all the tracks without Liquid Mix inserted.







Now you should find that all your tracks are perfectly in time.




Notes.


The size of the processing buffer used for the Liquid Mix is related to the audio buffer size that is set in the playback engine settings in Pro Tools., If the audio buffer size is changed in the playback engine settings in Pro Tools, then click on the Liquid Mix icon and check the new LM latency. Adjust the time adjuster plug-in accordingly.


If multiple Liquid Mixes are added on different tracks then no additional delay plug-ins need to be added.
The only time that additional delay plug-ins need to be added is if either: multiple Liquid Mix plug-ins are on the same track, or if a LM plug-in is added to an audio channel and it's bus channel. Therefore if Liquid Mixes are added in series, then the equivalent Time Adjuster plug-ins should be added in series too.