Thursday, January 5, 2012

Rocksmith Update - Audio Delay Agony

Got the Xbox set up and installed Rocksmith on it Christmas Day. I have to say, for all its promise, we are a little disappointed. Not in Rocksmith itself. I still think it's great but the delay between hitting a string and having the tone actually register/play through Rocksmith makes it virtually unplayable on our console/TV system. We have to hit a note at least one full beat ahead of what we're hearing to get "points." Eddie VanHalen might be able to handle that, but I can't.

There are some proposed solutions, one of which we tried to no avail. Apparently using HDMI cables is not a good idea, especially for the audio signals. Using RCA-style AV cables didn't help at all.

Apparently our TV is the problem. Too much audio signal processing. So, the goal is to pump the audio signal straight out of the Xbox console. I understand the physics of why this would eliminate the delay between the guitar and my ear, but I don't see how this will improve or even affect the delay between the guitar and Rocksmith's algorithm.

Many posters on various boards have suggested running the audio signal through the cheapest possible speakers (the theory being that cheap speakers are "dumb" and won't provide ANY signal processing to slow the audio signal down). I haven't tried it yet. But, given what I've observed - that every note played on the guitar also seems to be delayed in showing up on the TV screen - I don't see how this would help. Which then makes it seem like the problem is either in the XBox console or the "special" cable that Ubisoft provides for plugging a guitar into the console.

I have tried adjusting the lag adjustment within Rocksmith from 0 to the maximum adjustment of 300. No help at all. I'm not even sure what that is supposed to do. I'd think sliding it 300 units would do something but it doesn't seem to affect anything.

I stopped by The Guitar Center when we had initially played Rocksmith (and where it seemed to work perfectly), but they had already taken down their set-up. No help there. Despite the fact that our Rocksmith game seems to have a commercial tie-in to The Guitar Center built into the game, the guy I talked to at the local store said he wasn't even sure they were going to carry Rocksmith now that Christmas is over. So, no hope of local support.

The Ubisoft website is not impressive, either, in terms of help or tech support with this product. They have a discussion board with a thread for this very problem, but their boards were down when I went to look for answers.

So, like many Christmas toys that look great in the box, this one is sort of just sitting in the corner largely forgotten by my kids and only in my mind because I paid $80 for the damn thing. Hopefully I'll get it working soon and hopefully that will entice the kids to play with it again.

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