Midi timing suggestion on recorded VST instruments.

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Re: Midi timing suggestion on recorded VST instruments.

Postby Joel Eriksson » Wed Mar 21, 2012 9:32 pm

chase wrote:It seems to me that the only thing left uncertain by that video is the precise time by which the MIDI notes have to be moved. Perhaps it's more complicated than simply the time it takes from when the key is pressed to when the corresponding sound emerges. But the video does seem to me to demonstrate the need to move the MIDI notes to the right to get them properly aligned with either the click or previously recorded tracks.


Yes, Experts, please come forth and tell us the formula.

And to make it even more complicated the distance varies a few ms from each note, but all notes and data has in common it's always early. Even when recording with low latency. I get back to what we discussed before... Could it work like the midi data actually was "translated"... to be put at the actual sound start / start of reacting on cc?

Someone might say... Well keep the latency extremely low, and you'll hardly notice. I don't like that argument. because..
For the first, we often raise the latency a bit when having large projects, to let the system breath.
For the second, Yeah! we could do with 23 bit audio instead of 24 because no one would ever notice.
For the third, the workflow and the overall musical feeling would be improved.
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Re: Midi timing suggestion on recorded VST instruments.

Postby Joel Eriksson » Wed Mar 21, 2012 9:33 pm

chase wrote:How about this? ...

Suppose someone did another test, where - using the same PC, etc - they recorded in time with the click, but while listening to a sound unaffected by latency - eg using a keyboard instrument that outputs its own sounds.


Then it would work fine! You got that!
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Re: Midi timing suggestion on recorded VST instruments.

Postby Joel Eriksson » Wed Mar 21, 2012 9:39 pm

Conman wrote:From seeing the OPs video and answering the part above highlighted. No. What the video shows is midi timing completely out of whack. Nothing to do with what played when. Looks like something is just putting the midi miles out and that just is not happening to many users.


:D
The ironic thing about this statement is that, you say the notes are completely out of whack! I agree about that.
But something didn't just put them out of whack! I played them out of whack to make the sound come right!
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Re: Midi timing suggestion on recorded VST instruments.

Postby Como Baila » Wed Mar 21, 2012 9:53 pm

Joel Eriksson wrote:And to make it even more complicated the distance varies a few ms from each note, but all notes and data has in common it's always early. Even when recording with low latency. I get back to what we discussed before... Could it work like the midi data actually was "translated"... to be put at the actual sound start / start of reacting on cc?


Yes, asked and answered. It could work, but it would create other potential issues when the instrument used to record the original track was changed or the total PDC of the project was changed later.

1. Midi timing problem one: the notes are always recorded early to what some people think they should be, but to others properly when the effect of audio latency and PDC are taken into account.

2. Midi timing problem two: recorded midi notes show variability of relative placement on the grid, independent of all appearing early. A true problem, difficult to trouble shoot between midi keyboard behavior, midi connection behavior through USB or an Audio Interface with standard midi cable connections and the sequencer behavior. The only way to tell would be to use the identical first two components (Yes, Dorothy, there is variability even between identical units produced by the same manufacturer.), recorded into different DAWs and then compare the recorded data.

3. If you confuse the two issues, you will never sort things out.

BTW, has anyone ... which I have not ... taken the time to see if this outcome of early recorded midi data is different in any other DAW?

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Re: Midi timing suggestion on recorded VST instruments.

Postby Joel Eriksson » Wed Mar 21, 2012 10:49 pm

Joel Eriksson wrote wrote:Could it work like the midi data actually was "translated"... to be put at the actual sound start / start of reacting on cc?


Como Baila wrote:Yes, asked and answered. It could work, but it would create other potential issues when the instrument used to record the original track was changed or the total PDC of the project was changed later.


Asked and answered... Fair enough, but the potential issues that you're naming, aren't they out of the blue, really? Cubase handles so that all midi notes play back at the note start, no matter how many plugins or what kind of instrument. It's the delay compensation, which works really well.
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Re: Midi timing suggestion on recorded VST instruments.

Postby Conman » Wed Mar 21, 2012 11:26 pm

Joel Eriksson wrote:
Conman wrote:From seeing the OPs video and answering the part above highlighted. No. What the video shows is midi timing completely out of whack. Nothing to do with what played when. Looks like something is just putting the midi miles out and that just is not happening to many users.


:D
The ironic thing about this statement is that, you say the notes are completely out of whack! I agree about that.
But something didn't just put them out of whack! I played them out of whack to make the sound come right!



Believe me. that should not happen. If you play them out of whack they should stay out of whack if unquantised as you say.
What's going on here? What's the point of this post?

Everyone's assumptions here can be out of the blue as we look for solutions.
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Re: Midi timing suggestion on recorded VST instruments.

Postby Como Baila » Wed Mar 21, 2012 11:44 pm

Joel Eriksson wrote:Asked and answered... Fair enough, but the potential issues that you're naming, aren't they out of the blue, really? Cubase handles so that all midi notes play back at the note start, no matter how many plugins or what kind of instrument. It's the delay compensation, which works really well.


PDC is not a 'fixed' entity or value. It is determined in real time by Cubase measuring the longest delay among the audio chains presented to the master bus. Which ever chain is longest will determine the PDC at that moment in time.

What makes audio chains longer or shorter is the accumulated additional latency introduced by any plugin.

Which ever chain is longest will be the PDC value and all other measured chains will be adjusted accordingly based upon their individual total latency.

So, if you add to any chain another plugin which makes that chain now longer and the longest, the PDC will change ... and how your midi data will playback in the project due to the change in PDC will also change.

You may be right, that this could be 'set and forget' on the first recording adjustment, but I'm not certain how subsequent changes in PDC will affect playback.

I'd still love to hear from someone knowledgeable about this issue in other DAWS: whether this 'notes recorded early' behavior occurs, and if it does not, whether the DAW has some built in compensation to adjust the position of the recorded midi data in a track. As far as I can see, the note must always arrive before the instrument sounds. Based upon my understanding of how Cubase works, the note goes through the track midi output to trigger the instrument. I must imagine the passage results in the midi data being recorded as it passes from the track midi input to the output ... before it reaches the responding instrument.

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Re: Midi timing suggestion on recorded VST instruments.

Postby BFred » Thu Mar 22, 2012 12:57 am

Hi,

I'm new to Cubase, I come from Logic.

I never had to edit the midi data when recording with latency in Logic. Neither in Pro Tools. We tend to adjust our playing to what we ear so I'm not sure if I was playing earlier or not. But I know that I never had to nudge the data to the right to ear it in sync with the other tracks.

Is this a new behavior in Cubase 6.5? Should this be considered as a bug?

I usually work with dense orchestral arrangement with multiples VSTi so I need to be able to record with latency.
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Re: Midi timing suggestion on recorded VST instruments.

Postby Como Baila » Thu Mar 22, 2012 1:20 am

BFred wrote:Hi,

I never had to edit the midi data when recording with latency in Logic. Neither in Pro Tools. We tend to adjust our playing to what we ear so I'm not sure if I was playing earlier or not. But I know that I never had to nudge the data to the right to ear it in sync with the other tracks.


Did you ever have occasion to visually inspect the recorded midi in those other DAWs to see how the data lined up on the grid?

Or, did it just sound right and you never bothered?

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Re: Midi timing suggestion on recorded VST instruments.

Postby BFred » Thu Mar 22, 2012 1:28 am

Did you ever have occasion to visually inspect the recorded midi in those other DAWs to see how the data lined up on the grid?

Or, did it just sound right and you never bothered?


Like you said, it just sound right and I never bothered.
I never had to think about it, playback was the same as what I heard when recording. So I really think I was adjusting my playing to be on time.
That's the problem I have now: What I ear on playback is different of what I ear while performing recording.
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Re: Midi timing suggestion on recorded VST instruments.

Postby Como Baila » Thu Mar 22, 2012 1:39 am

BFred wrote:
Like you said, it just sound right and I never bothered.
I never had to think about it, playback was the same as what I heard when recording. So I really think I was adjusting my playing to be on time.
That's the problem I have now: What I ear on playback is different of what I ear while performing recording.


Then we're on to something and I may have a great banquet of crow to eat. :o

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Re: Midi timing suggestion on recorded VST instruments.

Postby BFred » Thu Mar 22, 2012 2:31 am

I just made a quick test.

I record a quick piano track with a click and 1024 buffer size using Kontakt in Vienna Ensemble. Trying to sound in time with the click.

I found that Logic and Cubase is not responding the same...

In Logic, midi notes are aligned on the grid and playing in time with the click.
In Cubase, notes are to much at left on the grid and playing too early.

Two DAW, different behavior. There's definitely something wrong here.
(I will try it without using Vienna Ensemble soon.)
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Re: Midi timing suggestion on recorded VST instruments.

Postby Como Baila » Thu Mar 22, 2012 2:40 am

BFred wrote:I just made a quick test.

I record a quick piano track with a click and 1024 buffer size using Kontakt in Vienna Ensemble. Trying to sound in time with the click.

I found that Logic and Cubase is not responding the same...

In Logic, midi notes are aligned on the grid and playing in time with the click.
In Cubase, notes are to much at left on the grid and playing too early.

Two DAW, different behavior. There's definitely something wrong here.
(I will try it without using Vienna Ensemble soon.)


Do I have to eat the feathers, too, or can I pluck first?

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Re: Midi timing suggestion on recorded VST instruments.

Postby mrjixies » Thu Mar 22, 2012 7:11 am

It might be an idea to download demo's of other DAW's and see if they have the same problem or not. Than it would be easy to tell if its a midi or software problem.
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Re: Midi timing suggestion on recorded VST instruments.

Postby EdCubasero » Thu Mar 22, 2012 10:17 am

guys, the human factor trying to compensate etc has already been dismissed. There was a user some posts ago saying he recorded form a synnc external arpeggiator and the notes were recorded early too. I can see why you say that, and this in fact happens to some degree but with higher latencies the offset is just too much to be us compensating "naturally" (like in the video).

In my computer, Ableton Live records MIDI correctly. Its a Cubase problem. We just shouldnt be afraid to admit that.
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Re: Midi timing suggestion on recorded VST instruments.

Postby chase » Thu Mar 22, 2012 1:22 pm

mrjixies wrote:It might be an idea to download demo's of other DAW's and see if they have the same problem or not. Than it would be easy to tell if its a midi or software problem.

And "it might be an idea to" read the thread before posting. ;)

For instance, look at the post just two above yours.
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Re: Midi timing suggestion on recorded VST instruments.

Postby chase » Thu Mar 22, 2012 1:28 pm

EdCubasero wrote:guys, the human factor trying to compensate etc has already been dismissed. There was a user some posts ago saying he recorded form a synnc external arpeggiator and the notes were recorded early too.

No!

He said the arpeggiator wasn't synced to Cubase. I presume he adjusted the timing by ear to match the click - otherwise the whole exercise would be pointless because the notes could have come anywhere between adjacent beats.

Assuming he did match the timing by ear, that exercise tends to support the OP's idea of the early placement being due to user compensation, rather than argue against it. So, no, the idea that the early placement of MIDI notes is due to user compensation for latency has not "already been dismissed". (That arpeggiator-based test either supports the idea or contributes nothing.)

EdCubasero wrote:In my computer, Ableton Live records MIDI correctly. Its a Cubase problem. We just shouldnt be afraid to admit that.

Who's afraid? :P The OP's position, supported by some others posting in this thread, is that there is a problem in Cubase - in that it doesn't have an option to adjust the placement of MIDI notes to compensate for performers playing early to compensate for the latency.


Now, here's a little breach of etiquette, quoting myself:

chase wrote:Suppose someone did another test, where - using the same PC, etc - they recorded in time with the click, but while listening to a sound unaffected by latency - eg using a keyboard instrument that outputs its own sounds.

And, further, suppose it were found - consistently, over several recordings - that (a) when recording using a zero-latency instrumental sound, the MIDI was recorded properly on the beat, but (b) when recording using an instrument with latency, the MIDI was logged too early.

It seems to me that that would provide quite strong evidence that the reason for the MIDI being recorded early was that the performer was anticipating the beat in order to make the sound come in time with the beat.

(While doing the recording using a zero-latency sound, the VSTi ought to be still operational in Cubase, so as to eliminate its presence/absence as part of the cause of any observed effect.)

Anyone see anything wrong with that idea, in principle, as a way of investigating?
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Re: Midi timing suggestion on recorded VST instruments.

Postby Joel Eriksson » Thu Mar 22, 2012 1:43 pm

I think that's very good Chase!
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Re: Midi timing suggestion on recorded VST instruments.

Postby EdCubasero » Thu Mar 22, 2012 1:56 pm

Sure, lets go for this then.

I kinda made something similar. I loaded a VSTi and lowered the volume all the way down so i didnt have any audio feedback from it but left the click from cubase playing. So i hit record and it was me against the click, the only thing besides the click you could hear in the booth was the sound of my fingers against the pads (AKAI controoler). No suprise: notes were recorded earlier than they should.
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Re: Midi timing suggestion on recorded VST instruments.

Postby chase » Thu Mar 22, 2012 2:08 pm

^
Ooh. Interesting.

But, may I suggest, not as strong a test as one where you actually do hear a zero-latency instrument playing? - I say that because (conceivably?) you might have been lured, by previous experience, into the habit of playing a little early against the click. If you did actually hear a zero-latency instrument sounding, I imagine there'd be more pressure to press the keys right on the click(?).
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Re: Midi timing suggestion on recorded VST instruments.

Postby EdCubasero » Thu Mar 22, 2012 2:11 pm

In this case the latency was the time between i hit the pads and i heard it. If you want we can start talking about the speed of sound but..my ears were quite close to my fingers, as usual, so...cant get smaller than that, really :)
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Re: Midi timing suggestion on recorded VST instruments.

Postby Joel Eriksson » Thu Mar 22, 2012 2:13 pm

About EdCubasero's test... Sorry, but it seems like your midi is not working correctly.
When I do the same thing, notes are striving to be on the beats... and both on the left and right side of the beats. They are both little late and little early since we're no machines.

If you have this problem for real you might wanna check system timestamp and stuff. Also you could try and move the file ignoreportfilter ( in the folder midiportenabler in the cubase folder) and place it directly into the cubase folder instead. Then when you open up cubase some more options of available midi inputs will show up with the name "emulated" beside of them, try all of these and try setting system timestamp on and off to see if you get rid of it.
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Re: Midi timing suggestion on recorded VST instruments.

Postby Joel Eriksson » Thu Mar 22, 2012 2:19 pm

oh, now you said the latency was between the sound of the key hits meeting your ear?
What are you talking about really?
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Re: Midi timing suggestion on recorded VST instruments.

Postby mrjixies » Thu Mar 22, 2012 2:41 pm

chase wrote:
mrjixies wrote:It might be an idea to download demo's of other DAW's and see if they have the same problem or not. Than it would be easy to tell if its a midi or software problem.

And "it might be an idea to" read the thread before posting. ;)

For instance, look at the post just two above yours.


I did because I have the same problem. However how more people test this with different systems, the more we have a case with steinberg... smarty pants :)
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Re: Midi timing suggestion on recorded VST instruments.

Postby chase » Thu Mar 22, 2012 3:11 pm

EdCubasero wrote:In this case the latency was the time between i hit the pads and i heard it. If you want we can start talking about the speed of sound but..my ears were quite close to my fingers, as usual, so...cant get smaller than that, really :)

IMHO, there's a subtle but possibly important difference between achieving the timing by hearing the sound your fingers make and hearing a sound coming from the monitors. I might be wrong, there, but - since recording without actually listening to any (zero-latency) sound from the monitors is qualitatively rather different from recording whilst hearing a (latency-affected) sound from the speakers - I'd suggest that the "with-latency" recording and the "finger-noise-only" recording might be too different for making comparisons(?). As I said, I might be wrong, but to eliminate any doubt, I think comparisons ought to be based on recordings that both involve listening to a sound from the monitors (one with latency, the other without).
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