MIDI notes recorded earlier than they sound

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Guest

Re: MIDI notes recorded earlier than they sound

Post by Guest » Mon Jan 16, 2012 10:20 pm

NYC Composer wrote:I run into this all the time. AFAIK, it is purely a latency/buffer size issue. When playing virtual instruments, you need the lowest buffer size your computer can handle in any specific project to hear and record notes close to where you actually play them. This has been the case since I started using VSTis in Cubase, back in 1997.
good to know, although I would have thought it would be fairly easy for cubase to compensate the Midi... seems a bit strange that it doesnt!

Guest

Re: MIDI notes recorded earlier than they sound

Post by Guest » Mon Jan 16, 2012 10:26 pm

NYC Composer wrote:I run into this all the time. AFAIK, it is purely a latency/buffer size issue. When playing virtual instruments, you need the lowest buffer size your computer can handle in any specific project to hear and record notes close to where you actually play them. This has been the case since I started using VSTis in Cubase, back in 1997.
...but it works OK in Reason... so that rules out the hardware and the size of the buffer.

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Re: MIDI notes recorded earlier than they sound

Post by fizbin » Tue Jan 17, 2012 1:00 am

A couple clarifying questions though...if you have no UAD plugins present, does Cubase then record on time and play on time, just as your say Reason does? Are UAD plug-ins the only ones that cause this behavior? (as opposed to a high-latency native VST)
Cubase 9.5 / Windows 10 / Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 / 20i18 + OctoPre variously

Guest

Re: MIDI notes recorded earlier than they sound

Post by Guest » Tue Jan 17, 2012 12:16 pm

Even with no UAD plugins running, Cubase does not compensate for the latency of my sound card.
The example I quoted earlier, using Xtigma's test, was done under those conditions.
Empty project, with no plugins of any kind running, buffer size of 256 samples, my MIDI appears 8 ticks earlier in the sequencer than the audio.

Any high latency plugin (UAD or other) will cause the distance between MIDI note and audio to increase...

Fizbin/everyone else... could you try Xtigma's test yourself and report your findings?

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Re: MIDI notes recorded earlier than they sound

Post by fizbin » Tue Jan 17, 2012 3:21 pm

Using the init patch in neon in Cubase 6.05 x64 on a Windows 7 PC, no inserted FX anywhere, the rendered waveform of the MIDI note began rising literally on the first sample possible - aligned perfectly with the MIDI note. I repro'ed this at 64 samples and 2048 samples. No difference.

Inserting Cubase Cloner (latency 5700) as an insert on both the group and the neon output and turning the mix to 0 in both instances, made audio render about 2600 samples early. Removing either instance of cloner removed half that offset in rendered audio. The early audio offset effect here was the same whether the latency on my card was set at 64 samples or 2048 samples.

Interestingly, engaging "Constrain Delay Compensation" and then recording with the high latency plug-ins caused the waveform to render exactly as expected on the first sample aligning with the MIDI note.

Something is messed up with the delay compensation. This has nothing to do with incoming MIDI. I dropped the note in by hand snapped to grid.

EDIT: I now believe the natural behavior of Cloner is to move the dry signal forward in time, so this may be by design.
Last edited by fizbin on Tue Jan 17, 2012 7:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Cubase 9.5 / Windows 10 / Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 / 20i18 + OctoPre variously

Guest

Re: MIDI notes recorded earlier than they sound

Post by Guest » Tue Jan 17, 2012 3:47 pm

fizbin wrote:Using the init patch in neon in Cubase 6.05 x64 on a Windows 7 PC, no inserted FX anywhere, the rendered waveform of the MIDI note began rising literally on the first sample possible - aligned perfectly with the MIDI note. I repro'ed this at 64 samples and 2048 samples. No difference.
wow... just to clarify, you were recording the midi and the audio at the same time yeah? you diddnt place the midi note then record (sorry im 99% sure you diddn't I just wanted to be 100% sure before I start replacing every part of my entire studio to get to the bottom of this problem!)

this is how mine looks

http://www.xtigma.com/cubasetest.jpg

Guest

Re: MIDI notes recorded earlier than they sound

Post by Guest » Tue Jan 17, 2012 5:01 pm

Wow fizbin that's completely bonkers.

If I draw the MIDI note into the sequencer, then hit record so that the VSTi is recorded onto my audio track, then the two events appear in the sequencer at the same time (but we already know that delay compensation works correctly for audio export, otherwise there would already have been a riot!)

It's only when I record via MIDI keyboard that there is a distance between the two notes, in which case it looks exactly like xtigma's screen shot with the MIDI note early. The exact distance changes depending on latency, which makes prediction of a compensating shift very difficult.

So there's a subtle difference between xtigma's test by (a) drawing a note in the sequencer with the pencil and (b) playing it from a keyboard... it's the results from test (b) I'm most interested in :)

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Re: MIDI notes recorded earlier than they sound

Post by Conman » Tue Jan 17, 2012 5:40 pm

I'd now try a quick email to support, pointing to this thread, and see if you get any joy there. I think we're all stumped here at the minute.
Asus P6T deluxe; Core i7 920 2.67gHz; 12gig ram; Win7 Pro SP1; Roland Octa-Capture usb inteface; Cubase 6; and no 3rd party additions couple of hard drives PSU 750watt; NVidia GE Force 9600.
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Re: MIDI notes recorded earlier than they sound

Post by fizbin » Tue Jan 17, 2012 7:08 pm

I think it's possible that the natural behavior of Cloner is to move the dry signal ahead now that I think about it. Might be by design. Then there's a little room for the cloned notes afterwards, making a cluster around where the note actually occurs. Why else would a cloner, which is little more than a modulated delay, have such a high latency reported. Try it and see for yourself.

I'm calling my experiment results tainted.

I'll try again with a differen plug-in. A lookahead compressor (high latency) shouldn't be moving the dry signal.

Jay
Cubase 9.5 / Windows 10 / Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 / 20i18 + OctoPre variously

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Re: MIDI notes recorded earlier than they sound

Post by alexis » Wed Jan 18, 2012 5:28 am

I did this, and got what I think are the same results:

1) If I play a MIDI note on my Motif (USB MIDI connection), record it, and also route it through HSSE >> Group >> Audio, the audio reproducibly begins on the track after the MIDI. I did this 3 times, and got values of 9, 9 and 6 msec.

2) If Instead I just record the MIDI note, then play it back with output to HSSE >> Group >> Audio, at the highest zoom the audio still appears after the MIDI on the track, but less so (less than one tic (msec) later).

The only explanation I can think of is that some small amount of time (roughly 8 msec) is needed after a MIDI note is recorded onto the track before Cubase is ready to route it on to the soft synth. If the MIDI note has already been recorded on the track, and playback is used, Cubase has the brain cells to handle the computation more quickly/almost immediately. I guess that wouldn't be surprising if it were true ... ?
Alexis

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Guest

Re: MIDI notes recorded earlier than they sound

Post by Guest » Wed Jan 18, 2012 12:28 pm

Thanks for trying that out, alexis

So far it seems that cubase does not correctly compensate for latency / plugin delays when recording MIDI.
(Unless someone can take Xtigma's test and prove that their MIDI and audio do in fact line up exactly?)

I have now contacted tech support about this thru the support form

Guest

Re: MIDI notes recorded earlier than they sound

Post by Guest » Fri Jan 20, 2012 12:53 pm

Still waiting for tech support to get in trouch (are they normally this slow?)

In the meantime, could some more users please try Xtigma's repro (on previous page)?
Especially those of you who think your MIDI timing is perfect :)

Guest

Re: MIDI notes recorded earlier than they sound

Post by Guest » Fri Jan 20, 2012 1:04 pm

FunkyDrummer wrote:Still waiting for tech support to get in trouch (are they normally this slow?)

In the meantime, could some more users please try Xtigma's repro (on previous page)?
Especially those of you who think your MIDI timing is perfect :)
i got a reply from tech support... they just suggested i enable system timestamp.. i replied saying that it didn't matter... no response

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Re: MIDI notes recorded earlier than they sound

Post by Conman » Fri Jan 20, 2012 5:33 pm

(Unless someone can take Xtigma's test and prove that their MIDI and audio do in fact line up exactly?)
Mid and audio will NEVER line up exactly. They go through different parts of the system so it will always be random exactly to the nth where they get spit out.
Mind you, I think in this case, if you can easily detect it and it affects your system and your ears then something is awry somewhere. In common practise it should not be easily detectable.
Though, if I remember and can't recall if it's still there (or where) or not you used to be able to change the ppqn midi resolution which might make a difference. I'll have a look around.
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Re: MIDI notes recorded earlier than they sound

Post by Guest » Fri Jan 20, 2012 7:30 pm

Conman wrote:
(Unless someone can take Xtigma's test and prove that their MIDI and audio do in fact line up exactly?)
Mid and audio will NEVER line up exactly. They go through different parts of the system so it will always be random exactly to the nth where they get spit out.
I am not talking about tiny timing differences here. A few milliseconds I could live with, but I am talking about much larger distances - take a look at Xtigma's screenshot. 150ms + is unacceptable.

Anyway MIDI and audio do line up exactly (within usual MIDI timing limits) - on playback and export. Cubase knows its VSTi's latency and compensates for it (otherwise, the audio exported from all our VSTis would be late and the forum would be swamped!)

When recording MIDI, I believe Cubase IS compensating for the latency by moving each MIDI note earlier in time, by a distance equal to the overall system latency. This is why the note appears at the moment in time that it was first hit, and not when the sound came out the speaker.

However, this means that the MIDI note and the audio generated by that note are no longer in alignment - because Cubase moved the MIDI, but not the audio!

So what I need is for Cubase NOT to move the MIDI when recorded. Just leave it where it is. Then it would be lined up with the audio and all would be well - it would sound EXACTLY the same on playback/export as it did when I recorded it - result!

i.e. we need to turn the delay compensation OFF not ON, because "ON" only does half a job !
When I play ahead of time, then I AM the delay compensation :D

Guest

Re: MIDI notes recorded earlier than they sound

Post by Guest » Mon Jan 23, 2012 12:38 pm

Well i still haven't received a reply from the query I sent to SB technical support....
Last edited by Guest on Wed Jan 25, 2012 1:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: MIDI notes recorded earlier than they sound

Post by Conman » Mon Jan 23, 2012 1:42 pm

I am not talking about tiny timing differences here. A few milliseconds I could live with, but I am talking about much larger distances - take a look at Xtigma's screenshot. 150ms + is unacceptable.
Yes, it is unacceptable. It is also uncommon that it is that much after all the corrections that have been done by you.
I would now repeat my support request to Steinberg (plus a teensy little grumble about slow service) and also a support request to your soundcard's site as it looks like something in your rig is so far out that Cubase cannot compensate.

Is there something in common with all you guys that are affected? A circuit board with a common opto-isolation or clock chip maker perhaps?
Asus P6T deluxe; Core i7 920 2.67gHz; 12gig ram; Win7 Pro SP1; Roland Octa-Capture usb inteface; Cubase 6; and no 3rd party additions couple of hard drives PSU 750watt; NVidia GE Force 9600.
"An entrepreneur accepts that the world is the way that it is and goes about changing it rather than waiting for someone to make it easy for them."

Guest

Re: MIDI notes recorded earlier than they sound

Post by Guest » Thu Jan 26, 2012 4:01 pm

SB support contacted me yesterday to say they are investigating this. They think it may be something to do with the UAD cards that seem to be common to users reporting the problem.

In the mean time, could I ask that if you think you have NO midi timing problems, to please take this test (thanks xtigma again for this). Maybe you think you have no problems, but my guess is that actually we ALL have this problem, it's just a matter of degree and most folks don't notice it because of the small buffer sizes they usually use...

1. Set your buffer size to something "noticable", eg 1024 samples
2. Create an empty project, and add the "Groove Agent One" VSTi and associated MIDI track. Load one of the preset kits (you sill need a sound with a fast attack)
3. add a group channel
4. route "Groove Agent" VSTi output to group channel
5. add an audio track
6. set inputs of audio track to be the group channel
7. enable record on the audio track and on Groove Agent MIDI track
8. start recording
9. play a single note. this should record on the MIDI and audio tracks simultaneously
10. stop recording
11. zoom in to see the waveform / midi

Is recorded MIDI note significantly earlier than the recorded audio from the VSTi ?

Thanks :)

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Re: MIDI notes recorded earlier than they sound

Post by Strophoid » Thu Jan 26, 2012 4:06 pm

Remind me again next week and I'll have time. :)
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Re: MIDI notes recorded earlier than they sound

Post by Conman » Thu Jan 26, 2012 4:54 pm

1. Set your buffer size to something "noticable", eg 1024 samples
There's something about that. With the buffer size being so large I'd expect some discrepancy somewhere due to the latency. Although you would expect the drums to be corrected and the audio to arrive late if anything.
Most people do. as you say, record at lower buffer settings and then would maybe mix at a higher level.
Whether that would be noticeable on the drum tracks? Negligible. I'd expect that any effects would be more influenced by the high buffer rate if applied at the mixing stage.
May be a problem but I'm still unsure if we're looking in the right place although drums would seem obvious.
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Re: MIDI notes recorded earlier than they sound

Post by EdCubasero » Mon Jan 30, 2012 5:07 pm

Another user here who bites the dust. Tried 6 Demo and it happens again.

In my side it has nothing to see with VSTis. You just load an empty song record MIDI on a track almost exaclty on the beat (i am a drummer) and when you open the sequence the notes haev been recorded some ticks earlier than they shoudl.

How many of us will it take for Steinberg to fix this major issue on a top notch MIDI sequencer like Cubase? Its just freaking unbelievable.

BTW emailed support and no answer at all. Cool.

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Re: MIDI notes recorded earlier than they sound

Post by JMCecil » Mon Jan 30, 2012 7:39 pm

EdCubasero wrote: (i am a drummer)
then how did you get it exactly on the beat?

:o Sorry, couldn't help myself.
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Re: MIDI notes recorded earlier than they sound

Post by Conman » Mon Jan 30, 2012 9:13 pm

And which other top notch midi sequencers does it work on then?
I'm a really good drummer so I know NONE of us is perfect. :mrgreen:

Every clock (and clock-chip) in the world is slightly out. Even DAb BBC pips are out (late even!?) by half a second to analog radio. The BBC! BAH! I will complain! :mrgreen:
I haven't got an atomic clock in the house because they cost a few million quid which even I don't possess.
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Re: MIDI notes recorded earlier than they sound

Post by Split » Mon Jan 30, 2012 9:16 pm

GPS can give a very good indication of the time :P
??????Split
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Re: MIDI notes recorded earlier than they sound

Post by Conman » Mon Jan 30, 2012 9:22 pm

Split wrote:GPS can give a very good indication of the time :P
So can the sun and a stick. :lol:
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