Lag problems with USB midi controller into Cubase

topic posted Tue, October 2, 2007 - 11:32 AM by  bifurcation
Hey all,

Another problem, whew!

I use a novation ReMOTE 25 LE USB midi keyboard controller, primarily with Cubase SX 3.

All well and good, but i get a pretty significant lag between hitting a note and hearing the sound from the VST plug in it's connected too (in Cubase). Makes it impossible to play anything live.

Bleh, Any suggestions?

My setup:
Box: Dell Dimension 8300 - 2.6 Gighz
Video Card: Nvidia GeForce FX 5200
Monitor: SyncMaster 941bw
Audio Card: SoundBlaster Live!
External Audio Device: Tascam US-122
posted by:
  • I was told PC's running XP have latency probs and the only fix is to run a soft-synth. I would love to learn otherwise. Seems like a huge glitch for XP to implement. I went back to a Win98SE desktop for multi-tracking. All of my present machines are Dell. My probs were using a Uno USB midi-sport
    • I had the same problem running Ableton, especially with Reason slaved in rewire mode. I was getting some ridiculous lag between keystrikes and when the note would play, the same was also true for midi tracks routed to VST's

      For a solution I found ASIO4ALL, it dramatically improved things. Its basically just a big added buffer, but it works.

      It should work the same for you since all your stuff supports ASIO.

      Would anybody happen to know enough to give a good answer on why on a high end machine with a decent but not quite pro soundcard would have this problem. Even with the 3rd part app I've still got 14ms. What would I upgrade to fix this, or is this just endemic to softsynths?

      • Usually anything under about 20 ms should yield no audible delay even upon careful listening during playback... why are you concerned about improving it further?

        I know that the best I can do with an Echo Layla and a 3.2 gHz P4 is around 12 ms, so I think you're doing pretty well at 14 ms.

        If you are having problems with stutter or keystrike delays you might want to go through the install/setup checklist that Digidesign publishes for setting up a new machine prior to installing ProTools. It all applies equally to setting up a machine for Cubase... basically making sure the machine is configured for "background tasks" (believe it or not), and a few other tips which ensure that the CPU prioritizes the host controller and I/O on the bus.

        Oh, and yes, ASIO drivers are ideal. And you don't give up much using the generic ASIO4ALL over a purpose-built driver, iirc. So use it if at all possible. And get rid of Win98. Even if it's just to use Win2k, as that will allow you to use the wmd or asio drivers rather than the old whatever-they-were drivers that will put your latency through the roof. In my experience, the ONLY reason I upgraded from Win2k to XP (just as Vista was released ! ) was in order to use Cubase 3. And it runs fine, no real complaints. Aside from having to learn the idiosyncracies of yet ANOTHER os... gah.

        As far as I'm aware, there is no reason that one should not be able to get under 20 ms latency with a 1.5gHz or better PC using ASIO drivers. Anyone else have more insight ? Is the I/O of most soundcards really an issue here?
  • my brother uses cubase with a small edirol midi controller and has the same problem. he has a shitty computer, and we thought the problem was the shitty processor (1.8 gb pentium 4) but now that you mention this it's definitely cubase's latency adjustment
  • I am experiancing lag with my midi controller in FL studio. Any suggestions? Sorry for the hijack.
    • Same answer.
      First, are we talking Mac or PC? And what are you using for a soundcard? If you are using the motherboard audio chipset (PC), you may not be able to adjust latency parameters.
      Second check your drivers: ASIO preferable to WDM if PC, not sure about how Core is set up.
      Third, check the buffer size vs. latency settings. Try to get the latency down to 20 ms or less. Turn off other tasks (esp network and other bus-level routines) if the CPU load is high.

      That's it.
      • yeah I was going to suggest buffer size adjustment and also I noticed you have a sound blaster sound card and I'm wondering if that could be the problem. if it's consumer level then it probably is the problem...on the other hand if it's pro rated then it probably isn't the might see if the interface software from your sound blaster has a latency adjustment. Since I'm on a mac I wasn't aware of any flaws with multi tracking in windows xp but that also could be a factor in your predicament, xp has a lot of built in crapola that makes doing a lot of things difficult. I did see a post from someone about 6 months back that was having the same issue and it ended up being the sound blaster sound card that was the issue. good luck
  • This machine has Windows 2000 Pro, Asus P5, AMD 1.2Ghz half a gig of RAM, CL Soundblaster, MIDI to USB dongle. 3 year old machine lags like mad. Time for a upgrade. Considering Asus M2N-E, AMD AM2 2.6 1mb L2, 2 gigs of RAM, XP Pro and a firebox.
    • spend your money on a great outboard multichannel soundcard instead. Lot more bang for the buck.

      Your machine sounds more than fast enough to run multiple VSTs and do time stretching, etc.

      If W2k will run your software, rejoice and don't be tempted to upgrade to XP or Vista. I would have been SO much happier with W2k, but Cubase 3 wouldn't run without XP. Doh.
      • Win 2k pro is nice for lots of things. However, newer software does not support it! Also, my old processor cannot handle SSE instructions. So, even a dual boot wouldn't be very beneficial! Until I upgrade I am stuck with FL studio 4 and Acid 4.0.
        The upgrades I mentioned previously could be had for merely 200-300 dollars.
        Thinking about getting a nice outboard audio interface after the core machine upgrades.
        Considering; Presonus firebox or the Roland FA. Staying away from M-audio/digi-design/pro-tools and proprietary crap. I cannot rationalize spend money on a RME, considering I have only been recording for about 4 years now.
        Can you suggest any other audio interfaces in that price range with similar functionality?
        • Hey Randy, all Fruity Loops upgrades are free for the life of the program.

          I just found this out, miraculously and upgraded from 5.0 to 7.0

          If you bought it, you should be able to get a free upgrade.

          And, man, FLStudio 7.0 is sooooooooo much more happening than 4.0 that it's almost a different program.
          It supports VSTs and VSTis now..................really great midi implementation..............great slicing and granular synthesis features,
          incredible randomization algorithms and other sound VSTi instruments and effects..............great routing.........
          I can't say enough about it. My last three commercial releases used it almost exclusively (though I used a few stand alone apps
          for sound design and ACID for loop stretching.

          If you never bought it in the first place, it's the most potent $150 purchase you'll ever make in digital software.
          (and all upgrades are free for life)
      • I've been told that with Win XP that 2 gigs of RAM is mandatory if you are running much of anything in audio (especially
        with real time processing).

        I upgraded this year to 2 gigs of RAM and the difference in the speed of everything was amazing.

        Also, on a Windows machine, go to RUN and type in MsConfig
        then go to the start up listing and see how many processes are running automatically at start up.

        Turn off everything that is not essential to your system.

        Then hit control/alt/delete and a dialogue box will come up and show you how many programs are running currently.
        You'd be shocked (and dismayed) to find out how many of your computer's resources are being sucked up.

        additionally, a lot of spyware, malware, etc. installs programs that 'mine' your computer continually. These can really slow your computer down.

        download and run diagnostics for these two freeware programs SpyBot Search and Destroy and AdAware
        They'll reach in and root out any thing in their that maliciously got in to slow your computer down.

        Also, if possible, disconnect from the internet while you do your audio sessions and then turn your Virus protection software off.
        This also really drains your computer because everytime you do anything, the Virus software has to check it first which slows things down.

        I just read that a brand new form of Virus protection has been invented that only costs $100.

        It is a USB card that has a small microprocessor on it and the anti-Virus FIREWALL and software that comes with it.
        The card itself protects your computer without using up any of your processors resources.

        Also, migrate away from Dell computers when you get a chance. They build them for things other than music and they are full of
        proprietary software. My last Dell computer was a nightmare and very hard to do custom work on. I finally saved the dough and
        custom built a machine that is way, way faster (and cheaper the current Dells out there).

        Good luck.

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