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The Effects of Latency on Live Sound Monitoring

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A subjective listening test was conducted to determine how objectionable various amounts of latency are for performers in live monitoring scenarios. Several popular instruments were used and the results of tests with wedge monitors are compared to those with in-ear monitors. It is shown that the audibility of latency is dependent on both the type of instrument and monitoring environment. This experiment shows that the acceptable amount of latency can range from 42ms to possibly less than 1.4ms under certain conditions. The differences in latency perception for each instrument are discussed. It is also shown that more latency is generally acceptable for wedge monitoring setups than for in-ear monitors.

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