248 ratings
Reducing Audio Lag
By TheCount
This is a list of tweaks and tips that help you minimize your audio lag and get the most out of Rocksmith for PC.
About the guide
I was looking forward to this game for years, all overhyped about it and then, when my significant other finally got it for me - it was unplayable. Felt so horrible about that.

So after a few days of spelunking trough various forums and Ubisoft support I managed to set everything up to work flawlessly, and happiness ensued!

Main reason I wrote this is because I wanted to spare people from lag induced depression and help everyone enjoy this game to the fullest. :)
If you use a HDMI cable for video, be sure your speakers are hooked up directly to your PC, i.e. that audio is not going through the speakers of your monitor or TV as this produces even extra audio lag.

If you use a PCI or PCI-e soundcard (Sound Blaster, XONAR, ...), or a USB headset you will get about a quarter of a second of audio lag - try using the inbuilt audio on your motherboard with normal (analog) headphones or speakers.
Most people succesfully solve their lag issues that way (also, major .INI tweaks just won't work on SB and XONAR).
Windows configuration
Read Steam\steamapps\common\Rocksmith\RocksmithConfiguration.pdf to learn how to set up your RealTone cable and soundcard properly.

In short, your primary audio output and Rocksmith cable have both to be set up to "16 bit, 48000 Hz (DVD Quality)" setting.

.INI tweaks
Open C:\Program Files\Steam\steamapps\common\Rocksmith\Rocksmith.ini and try with these settings:

If there's audio crackling when you start the game, increase MaxOutputBufferSize by multiples of 8 or 32 (288, 320,...). If there's no crackling you might want to decrease that number even more (most high end PCs can handle 152), but with these settings audio lag is virtually unnoticable (about equal to audio lag my XOOM effect pedal makes).

It's worth noting that MaxOutputBufferSize setting of 0 isn't what it looks like - it actually defaults to 1024 which produces noticable audio lag.

While you're tweaking MaxOutputBufferSize values, if there's crackling on the loading screen you can just kill the game with Alt-F4 and try again with a higher setting.

Good luck!

Update 6/2013:
After upgrading to Windows 8, I had to increase MaxOutputBufferSize from 152 to 176 i.e. if you plan to upgrade to W8, expect some slightly worse performance in Rocksmith.
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Mistress Mal Mar 10 @ 2:38pm 
Thank you sooooo so much for these fixes. I'm finally and, more importantly, finally learning the instruments I've always wanted to!
Hair (Tazuna) Feb 3 @ 7:29pm 
@Dòlggan, It might not be included in the game, but the community is there. http://forums.smithyanvil.com/viewtopic.php?id=1267
(I observed a few 2014 songs on there as well as the options for 2014 in the modding tool.)
Dòlggan Nov 24, 2013 @ 7:50am 
@TheCount, you're right. But as long as the 2014 version doesn't allow custom songs, I will keep RS1 installed.
TheCount  [author] Nov 23, 2013 @ 8:49am 
I should delete the whole guide and put 'uninstall and buy Rocksmith 2014 instead' - they fixed so much stuff :)
rjec Nov 7, 2013 @ 4:33pm 
how do the people on xbox and ps put up with the lag!!
rjec Nov 6, 2013 @ 1:02pm 
Worked like a charm Nice job!!!!!
Dòlggan Oct 19, 2013 @ 10:31am 
You sir, are a gentleman and a scholar!
Riff Oct 12, 2013 @ 1:07pm 
The Gaming Bookworm Oct 12, 2013 @ 12:37am 
jmcmilan325 you can try to rightclick on the game in your library then chose properties then local files and last verify integration. It will check your game for bugs and download a small fix if needed. good luck
Picasso [4 Рейх] Oct 11, 2013 @ 11:18pm