311 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:
[Audio] EnableMicrophone=0 LatencyBuffer=1 ExclusiveMode=1 ForceWDM=0 ForceDirectXSink=0 DumpAudioLog=0 MaxOutputBufferSize=256

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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Laniakea Nov 5, 2016 @ 1:49pm 
@oalvena ; you said it all. MAC. AH AH AH
oalvena Apr 1, 2015 @ 5:55am 
I would like to use my Fender Bass Speaker and I did Bye a Midi cable.. my problem is getting my Mac computer to reconize it ?? any Mac People out there ?? HELP me be LOUD ! :)
PsuedoLaime Feb 8, 2015 @ 4:02am 
Waldteufel: I experience the same issue, but the only sollution i found is to put the cable into annother usb socket.
Waldteufel Jan 30, 2015 @ 10:13am 
My cable is no longer being recognized by the game. It keeps saying "a cable has been disconnected......" Can anyone help me, please? Thanks
budapest Jan 14, 2015 @ 12:24pm 
this guide was so good that i came all over my instrument and computer, so now its ruined. But thanks anyway :approve::approve::approve: +++++
BlueSpike Jan 4, 2015 @ 1:30pm 
Pardon me if I say something stupid, because I don't know a lot of programming, but why did they create a value that causes audio lag?
BlueSpike Jan 4, 2015 @ 1:01pm 
Worked fine! Today I learned that I should read things before I take actions. I didn't read that an USB headset causes lag so I got worried. Fixed that now.
Maloriana Ravenwood Mar 10, 2014 @ 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!
Tazuna Feb 3, 2014 @ 7:29pm 
@Dòlggan, It might not be included in the game, but the community is there.
(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.