October 19, 2011

Rocksmith Lag Instructions

I received my copy of Rocksmith and guitar today!

Inside, I noticed there was a little flyer about dealing with lag, which I thought was important enough to share. Click through for a larger, more readable version:

Before setting up the game, you should first follow these steps to ensure your HDTV system is optimized for Rocksmith:

  1. Follow the Display Lag Correction instructions found in the in-game manual.
  2. Make sure your console is set to match your TV’s native resolution (1080p, 720p, etc.) and your TV is set to match your console’s native resolution.
  3. If your TV has a PC or Game mode, select it. For more information, check your TV’s manual.
  4. If your TV does not have a PC or Game mode, access your TV’s Options menu, disable image scaling, and turn off all processing effects. (This is effectively what “Game mode” or “PC mode” does.)

We never recommend using HDMI as your primary sound source. If you are experiencing lag and are using HDMI for audio, try switching to Component cables. Alternately, you can use the appropriate Audio Adapter Cable for your console with an external audio source like speakers, headphones, stereo, or home theater system. If HDMI is your primary sound source, we recommend that you do not use your TV’s speakers for sound.

Note that for best results, you need to have discrete audio and video outputs from your console — and the worst results are from a combined input to a single television.

I thought you could also use a Y-splitter on the 1/4″ guitar output — routing one side to a real guitar amplifier, and the other side to the Rocksmith USB adapter and your console. However, it appears you need a true powered / buffered signal splitter device for this to work, and those are not cheap…

Y-splitters are quite ofter a horrible idea for instrument signal, but how about taking the signal from the audio out (fx loop send or similar) of your amp to the XBox? That should provide a signal that’s more than sufficiently powered.

Tommi Forsström
October 19, 2011 at 4:02 pm

This is a bit of a whine, but I’m so annoyed it’s not going to be multi-region.

Can’t get it for my Xbox in Australia, and can’t import it and no idea when it will come out next year, if it will.

It better have Dire Straits on it when it does come.

I agree with Tommi, most amps have an audio out – go from that to the Xbox.

October 19, 2011 at 10:36 pm

I tell you, if it wasn’t sooo satisfying to play the songs, I’d say that I didn’t really like the game. The menus seem slow and cumbersome. The “help” videos that play frequently without being able to skip them are annoying. The lag instructions… ;)

But you know what? I forget all about those things when I hit the full riff on “I Got Mine.” I hope people see this as just the first version of what could be an incredible game series and cut it a little slack!

October 21, 2011 at 6:50 pm

I tried playing with HDMI audio, which is by spec delayed because of the TV delays. The delay has always bugged me in Rock Band, too, but it’s 100x worse for this game, since you really want to hear what you’re playing. Switching to digital audio via S/PDIF didn’t help much. Going to try picking up the $20 adapter, since my Xbox didn’t come with one (I have the 250GB modern Xbox).

Brad Wilson
October 26, 2011 at 9:15 am

Just got this game recently. Lag is soooo bad that it ruins the game experience. I have to calibrate in my head a delay so I hit my strings a third of a second before the note needs to be heard. Very very very annoying. This game could be awesome but the lag is something they need to fix- NOW. I maxed out their lag control but no luck. I used the lag adjustment on my home receiver but there isn’t enough room. I’m using component (video) and digital optical for sound, both into my home receiver. I have a 7.1 surround system and a 9 foot projection screen which makes this game potentially epic but the lag kills the joy. Also, i can learn the songs faster and better by ear than using the game. I’ve been playing for 25 years but this game with the lag and adjustment to the display for the notes makes me feel/sound like an amateur. I wish I could hear my real amp as it is much better than the simulated amps on this thing. I still like it. Just disappointed. YMMV.

November 29, 2011 at 3:16 pm

This is such a disappointment. The lag sucks the fun right out of the game. You figure they would address this issue before release but money is more important than quality i guess. Just about everyone now days has a HDTV and now they say to dumb down your cables back to analog in order to correct the lag. What a joke. Don’t wast your money on this game until they fix this problem.

Robert Roach
December 8, 2011 at 2:16 pm

The lag is an annoyance. Too bad their ‘fix’ is a correction of the video, which does nothing. The audio of the guitar STILL lags, which is what’s bugging everyone. The fix for me is to split the signal at the guitar and run the other line to a guitar amp. Then turn down the guitar volume in the game to 0. Of course, not everyone has a guitar amp, so this is not practical. Works decent enough for me, even though I have the same tone. But there is NO LAG with this setup, my guitar audio comes out my amp at real time, and there is no need to adjust the note timing (video lag correction) at all.

December 22, 2011 at 11:29 am

Just got the game and wouldn’t you know it, my audio-only cable/adapter is the only adapter I can’t find. I can’t plug in HDMI and the RGB video+audio cable at the same time…and I would just use the rgb video+audio cable, but my receiver is below my tv…and it doesn’t reach both at the same time. Gotta give props though. I still feel like the lag is better (with just HDMI video/audio) than guitar hero I and GHII…

XBOX 360 elite

December 26, 2011 at 8:43 pm

I just picked Rocksmith up yesterday and I love it! I read about the lag here first and I happened to still have the old composite cables and just broke off the casing so that I can have both HDMI and Composite cables inserted at the same time. I have virtually no audio lag. I am sending the audio out directly to a pair of Logitech computer speakers that I was already using for the TV so that worked out great… But I do still get video lag that I haven’t been able to get rid of completely. I have turned on game mode on my TV to limit the processing of the picture. If I had component cables I would try those but I don’t. I guess I’ll keep playing with the video lag option.

December 27, 2011 at 1:23 pm

I’m a drummer and an engineer trying to learn guitar. The guitar time lag is caused by the a to d and d to a conversion process. Its the xbox processor speed, not the game software. Best way to beat the lag is to split your signal (I use my tuner out on my effects board) use your own amp/mix and use the game controls to turn guitar volume down to 5 so the delayed guitar isn’t audible, and doesn’t screw up your timing. The song volume can come from tv or console audio. It doesn’t suffer the same time lag issue.

December 31, 2011 at 7:23 pm

I just got this game for Christmas, and when I first played it, there was Lag. I already knew there was going to be some lag with HDMI, and my experience with recording music with a pc.

I have the audio from everything going to surround sound via Optical cable. that plugs into the TV that way everything playing on TV goes through the surround.

I found that by plugging that directly into my xbox I have no lag at all. I know that this can only be done with the newer xbox 360, so if you don’t then you do not have the optical output.

If you do have a newer xbox, the optical works the best.

January 3, 2012 at 4:07 pm

Optical cable does not solve the problemin my case….

January 3, 2012 at 6:56 pm

Todd had the best solution… If only I still had my amp, I’d be good.

January 13, 2012 at 9:31 am

can i get an amp with a secific output type to implement tod’s solution? or do i need an effects board?


January 18, 2012 at 1:19 pm

I just picked it up for my ps3… It would be fun, and is helpful for some songs cuz I’ve always been a power chord/play by ear type of guitarist, but the lag sucks so bad that even when I’m playing the tracks perfectly my score makes it looks like I’m playing like trash.

I have yet to try the HDMI for video, and component cable to stereo for audio method, so maybe it helps but I don’t know if its worth the effort I got my old stereo system out of storage and tried hooking it up but it was dead after 4 years with no use, so I guess I gotta spend more on the stereo now just to find out. I did try amping the guitar, and splitting the connection that way, but the lag is still noticeable on the score even tho it at least sounds on time from the amps end.

I was hoping to know if anyone has confirmed that the half second delay is from the usb amp chord or actually where Ubisoft claims its. I’d really love to get a gaming experience from this game rather than just a learning experience from a guitar instructor who has no sense of timing/ rhythm.

Even that terrible dumpy game “Rise of the Six String” didn’t have bad audio lag issues for me, and it’s hardware was complete trash.

February 17, 2012 at 4:36 am

Me again, I went out and got a cheap stereo system to replace that old one and i can honestly say, running the hdmi to tv for vid, and component or composite to stereo system, (9for the most part) takes a the lag a way, or at least knocks it down to 0.1 where its not noticeable to my ears, or the games score for that matter.

February 20, 2012 at 3:45 am

I read some of these posts a while ago and have since spent some time trying to get around the lag. Even with all the “best practices” there was still some lag. Simple y-splitters left me with no lag, but a really annoying ground hum. I found a buffered splitter with a transformer isolated output designed for Rocksmith. The RS-1 rock splitter lets me turn the guitar down in the game and play through my amp and pedals. I’ve seen people using computer speakers and headphones…. this works, but who wants to unplug from a nice tube amp to play through cheap computer speakers? Best of all my A/V system is back to full fidelity connections that I never have to unplug!

June 14, 2012 at 9:00 pm

Will a powered mixer work?
i was thinking of plugging the guitar into channel one, then the Master out L channel to a guitar amp and the master out R channel to the Xbox.

January 8, 2013 at 5:39 am

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