What is Buffer Size and why is it important?

April 29, 2016

Buffer Size

When recording audio into your computer, your sound card needs some time to process the incoming information. The amount of time allotted for processing is called the Buffer Size. Often times a smaller Buffer Size is desirable, however, not one that is too small. Here's why:

If you have a very large Buffer Size, you will notice a lag between when you speak in to the Mic, and when the sound of your voice comes out of your speakers. While this can be very annoying, a large Buffer Size also makes recording audio less demanding on your computer.

If you have a very small Buffer Size, you will notice little to no lag at all between speaking into the Mic and the audio coming out of the speakers. This makes recording and hearing your own singing much easier, however this can also place more strain on your computer, as it has very little time to process the audio.

You can fix this by increasing your Buffer Size to something slightly larger. After some experimentation, you will find the right balance. 

Additionally, in most cases where you are not recording any audio (such as while mixing), you will want to set the audio buffer to the highest possible setting, to ensure the best performance of your CPU.

Most DAWs and other hosts will have an audio hardware setup of some kind where you can locate the buffer size. Please see your DAW documentation for more information on setting up audio hardware with your specific software.

You can adjust the buffer size for our stand-alone applications from the following locations:

RX: Buffer Size is located on the Audio tab of the Preferences window. The Preferences can be found under the Edit menu on a Windows machine and under the "iZotope RX" menu on a Mac.

Ozone: Please click on the Edit > Audio Devices menu.

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