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bgewin

Midi record timing offset

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I'm noticing that my midi notes are recorded about 25 ms after I play them on my controller. 

Under Edit==>Prefereces==>Audio==>Sync and Caching there's a "record latency adjustment" I can change. I've calibrated this for audio and I've got it down to the sample. It doesn't seem to effect my midi note placement. 

Is there such a setting for Midi? Please tell me that there is, and that the midi latency adjustment is separate from the audio adjustment! 

Thanks for your help and for all the enhancements and bug fixes. 

Billy

 

 

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See Timing Offset (msec) under Preferences > Audio>  Sync and Caching. it's indented under the Full Chase Lock option which makes it look like it's somehow dependent on that option but it's not,

This setting is primarily intended to let you advance the playback of existing MIDI driving external hardware synths to make up for the MIDI transmission and audio  latency that would otherwise cause them to sound late vs. recorded audio and soft synth tracks. But because it works by effectively shifting the M:B:T against the audio clock (including the audio metronome), it can also compensate for MIDI latency on recording.

The only problem is that the offset needed to correct for late recording (i.e. shifting the M:B:T grid later vs. the audio clock so the MIDI lands earlier in the grid) is the opposite of what is needed to compensate for latency on playback (shifting the M:B:T grid earlier so MIDI output is sent before audio). This isn't a problem if you don't use hardware synths because soft synths are handled like recorded audio, and aren't affected. Only I/O from/to hardware MIDI ports is affected.

All that said, if your MIDI is being laid down 25ms late, you've got some systemic or procedural issue that needs to be addressed. One-way MIDI transmission delays are typically on the order of 2-3ms, and should not really be an issue so long as your audio latency is also low .

I have seen a number of reports over the years of MIDI being lad down late (or sometimes early, which is really strange) on some hardware setup. Unfortunately, I've seldom seen this get resolved without changing some hardware. 

You can try experimenting with the Timing Offset, but values of more than a few milliseconds can start to have weird effects when starting/stopping playback and recording, 

It might be worth sharing you hardware setup, audio interface and driver settings, and letting us know what instruments you're using and how you're monitoring in case there's an obvious issue (like maybe using the MIDI metronome to get  a click from an onboard soundcard synth).

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It is recommended you bypass all effects while recording both midi and audio to avoid the extra latency that effect plug ins can add to your system 

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3 minutes ago, John Vere said:

It is recommended you bypass all effects while recording both midi and audio to avoid the extra latency that effect plug ins can add to your system 

This could be an issue if the OP is playing a direct-monitored hardware synth, but in any circumstance where the audio passes through or originates from the box, 25ms of Plugin Delay Compensation would make performing pretty uncomfortable. So I doubt that's a factor in this case.

Also, just so the OP understands, not all plugins add latency. only those with internal 'lookahead' buffers to 'see what's coming' in order to do their processing (e.g. transient shapers, convolution reverbs, any linear phase FX), some compressors/limiters). Plugins that do this are generally classified as 'mastering' plugins that are not intended to be used in the 'tracking' phase of a project.  Also, Cakewalk allows overriding delay compensation on input-monitored tracks so you can still record external sources without feeling the extra latency in some cases. But,  as John says, it's best to avoid tracking with plugins that need PDC. 

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Thanks for the Clarification @David Baay  I'm going  nuts trying to remember your old forum handle. But the avatar is sort of like recognizing and old friend but forgetting their name. Was it like Brundlfly??

Anyhow, I guess because I'm not dead sure which plug ins are the ones that cause trouble  for years  I've  just toggled the global effects bypass when tracking. Just a old ,but I feel, good habit.  

I've never in my million years of midi had to do much else other than that and I generally never experience midi delay.

I can think that a sluggish audio system -- read- on board audio ,  could also cause issues with latency.

It does depend on the controller and I believe the ones that come with a proper midi driver seem to perform better. I have only one controller that uses Generic Midi drivers, Akai synth Station 25 and it is the only one where notes played seem always late on the grid. I'm no hot shot keyboard player but my timing is much better than that. If I use my Roland keyboard tracks are generally spot on  but still badly played.   

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18 hours ago, John Vere said:

Was it like Brundlfly?

Indeed it was Brundlefly. Not sure why the new forum defaulted to my real name, but I decided to just leave it. I figured my avatar would be recognized by the old-timers. ;^)

All your points are well taken with one exception: System performance should not alter latency. Latency should always just be fixed based on config settings, plugin delays and hardware/firmware interface buffers, and if the limit of CPU performance is reached, the audio engine will drop out.

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Thanks for chiming in folks.

On input, I'm playing a Yamaha P-515 digital piano connected via USB, and I typically just use its speakers to monitor the keyboard part I'm playing on the way in, so I think we can agree that there's no monitoring latency problem as far as the keyboard. I'm using a Presonus StudioLive 32R digital mixer as my sound interface (and mixer). 

I appreciate the suggestion regarding "Timing Offset (msec) under Preferences > Audio>  Sync and Caching", but as you say, that simply advances playback and leaves my midi notes behind the grid, which is a mess for editing. 

So why can't there be a setting like there is for analog recording (Edit==>Prefereces==>Audio==>Sync and Caching  ==> Record latency adjustment) that simply shifts midi notes on their way into the project by a user-specified offset? The need was obviously recognized with audio recording; why is it such a leap to work out an offset for recording midi?

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I think because it could constantly vary. At the beginning of projects I often don't notice it but I know it will build up.

I did suggest a switch to automatically defeat FX and PDC during record (so I don't forget) but it wasn't accepted.

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