Lag between MIDI and Soft Synths

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mawr
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2010/08/17 08:49:27 (permalink)

Lag between MIDI and Soft Synths

Hi

I'm using SONAR 7 PE. I am working on a MIDI, and I am having a small issue regarding it. After i open a MIDI, when I create different soft synths for various tracks, I realise that the tracks in some synths (as well as the normal MIDI channels), when played, are slightly slower than the tracks in other soft synths.

For example, I insert a certain track in SFZ+ (Just an example), and another track in SFZ, and play both together, the one in SFZ seem to lag slightly behind SFZ+.

I hope someone understands what I am getting at, and any help will be appreciated, thanks..
#1

20 Replies Related Threads

    MatsonMusicBox
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    Re:Lag between MIDI and Soft Synths 2010/08/17 08:52:10 (permalink)
    You mean while you are playing from a keyboard for example, or when SONAR is playing it back? If the former, welcome to the wonderful world of latency!
    post edited by MatsonMusicBox - 2010/08/17 08:54:00
    #2
    mawr
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    Re:Lag between MIDI and Soft Synths 2010/08/17 10:03:23 (permalink)
    Hello

    Thanks for the reply.

    Sorry I wasn't clear earlier. I am not using any keyboard as a MIDI controller.. I actually put the notes in manually onto SONAR and played back. The MIDI has several tracks, let's say, 8 tracks, but supposing I move 2 tracks onto a Soft Synth VST such as SFZ+ or something, the beats in those 2 tracks seem to be 0.1 seconds faster than the other 6 tracks in the normal MIDI channels (without VST), when I play out the MIDI file.

    I hope this clarifies things, and thanks again!
    #3
    Chappel
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    Re:Lag between MIDI and Soft Synths 2010/08/17 10:10:45 (permalink)
    If you're noting the time difference after moving tracks you might have a snap to grid problem.
    #4
    MatsonMusicBox
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    Re:Lag between MIDI and Soft Synths 2010/08/17 10:58:50 (permalink)
    yeah - are the actual MIDI notes at different locations, or is it just sounding a little later?
    #5
    mawr
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    Re:Lag between MIDI and Soft Synths 2010/08/17 11:26:53 (permalink)
    Hi, thanks for the reply

    I pasted them at the exact same location, at 1:01:000 for all the tracks. But the moment the notes are pasted in some Soft Synths, even at 1:01:000, they start to sound slightly faster than the rest, like 1/4 beat faster.
    #6
    brundlefly
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    Re:Lag between MIDI and Soft Synths 2010/08/17 11:44:02 (permalink)
    Maybe this is another manifestation of having the MIDI "Prepare Using" buffer too low...?  Check the value in Options > Global > MIDI tab. If it's less than 500 milliseconds, try that. If it's at 500, try increasing it in increments of 100 up to maybe 1000, and see if that helps.

    post edited by brundlefly - 2010/08/17 11:50:15
    #7
    mawr
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    Re:Lag between MIDI and Soft Synths 2010/08/17 11:47:30 (permalink)
    I'm not sure if this helps, but the following are the steps I did:

    I have a pre-made MIDI, with 8 tracks inside.

    1) I open SONAR 7
    2) I click File> Open> MIDI
    3) I click Insert> Soft Synths> Cakewalk TTS-1
    4) I cut the events of one track in the MIDI
    5) I paste the events of the track in the MIDI channel in Cakewalk TTS-1, starting at 1:01:000
    6) I play the MIDI and now the track in the cakewalk TTS-1 is slightly faster than all the other tracks.

    One thing I can do is I can paste all the tracks into Cakewalk TTS-1 and then everything will be sync-up again.

    The issue I have though is that I am using different soft synths for different tracks, and apparently some soft synths (like SFZ+, Cakewalk TTS-1) will result in the tracks slightly faster, and other soft synths (like SFZ and LiveSynth Pro) will not make a difference. So if I have some tracks in SFZ+ and some in LiveSynth Pro, for example, then they are not synced up properly too.

    Please advise, thanks.
    #8
    mawr
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    Re:Lag between MIDI and Soft Synths 2010/08/17 11:49:24 (permalink)
    Hi

    I tried the buffer thing, and values ranging from 20 to 1000 does not change anything. Thanks for the advice though!
    #9
    johnnyV
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    Re:Lag between MIDI and Soft Synths 2010/08/17 11:54:22 (permalink)
    Sounds to me like you are using your on board sound cards midi which is a waste of time. Just use the TTS1 all will be fine.

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    #10
    brundlefly
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    Re:Lag between MIDI and Soft Synths 2010/08/17 11:58:11 (permalink)
    What audio interface and driver mode are you using? Are any of the tracks driving an onboard GM synth? Onboard synths have notoriously bad latency, and will tend not to sync up with soft synths. Even if you are using all soft synths, if you're relying on an onboard sound chip with MME drivers, you can encounter issues like this.
    #11
    slartabartfast
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    Re:Lag between MIDI and Soft Synths 2010/08/17 15:23:47 (permalink)
    now the track in the cakewalk TTS-1 is slightly faster than all the other tracks.

    Could you please clarify what you mean by faster. From your descriptions I think you are saying that a whole track is moved in the time line i.e. starts earlier (or later), but it is unclear if it is faster i. e. after x number of beats it is even farther out of time than when it began. Put another way is the bpm of the odd track different? Several explanations have been offered on how a track could be offeset, but it is hard to imagine why it would be accelerated or ****ed relative to other tracks.
    #12
    mawr
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    Re:Lag between MIDI and Soft Synths 2010/08/17 19:05:53 (permalink)
    Hi,

    It's really just slightly faster, kind of like a grace note faster. I would say maybe 1/8 of a beat faster, but it simply spoils the whole playback.

    As for the on board sound card issue, johnnyV and brundlefly are spot on.. I've managed to choose the Soft Synths for all the tracks which seems to resolve the latency for now. Thanks!

    I have one final question, however. Is there anyway to resolve the latency issue if I have no choice but have to use a Soft Synth that relies on an onboard sound chip with MME drivers?
    #13
    rotaholic
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    Re:Lag between MIDI and Soft Synths 2010/08/17 22:04:57 (permalink)

    I have one final question, however. Is there anyway to resolve the latency issue if I have no choice but have to use a Soft Synth that relies on an onboard sound chip with MME drivers?
     
    See if your card has ASIO drivers, if it does not? I would try and install ASIO4ALL, its free. Just google it and install it.
    #14
    slartabartfast
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    Re:Lag between MIDI and Soft Synths 2010/08/17 23:12:27 (permalink)
    It's really just slightly faster, kind of like a grace note faster. I would say maybe 1/8 of a beat faster, but it simply spoils the whole playback.


    I do not know how to say this. Faster means to most English speakers that the rate is increased. Imagine two runners starting at the same time. The faster runner finishes first because his velocity is faster. At any given point in the race he is ahead of the slower runner, and at every point of the race he is more ahead than he was a moment earlier. That is because he is running faster. Now imagine two runners who are running at the same speed. One runner gets a head start. The runner finishes sooner because he starts sooner, but he is not faster. At any given point of the race he is exactly the same distance ahead because he started with a head start but he is not any faster. What is it that you mean by faster?
    #15
    Kalle Rantaaho
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    Re:Lag between MIDI and Soft Synths 2010/08/18 02:35:29 (permalink)
    rotaholic



    I have one final question, however. Is there anyway to resolve the latency issue if I have no choice but have to use a Soft Synth that relies on an onboard sound chip with MME drivers?
     
    See if your card has ASIO drivers, if it does not? I would try and install ASIO4ALL, its free. Just google it and install it.
    First of all, you have not mentioned if you have another soundcard than the onboard sound chip. Do you have one - of what brand?
     
    The delay was most likely due to the integrated GS Wavetable Synth, which is the "notorious one" Brundlefly mentioned, not the integrated soundcard
     
    AFAIK there are no soft synths that require using onboard chip.
    The VSTs use the exact sound card SONAR is using, there is no other option. If you don't have souncard other than the integrated chip then all the sound you hear comes from that, also the ones created by TTS-1.
     
    I was wondering the use of the word "faster" as well. Couldn't figure out whether it meant off-tempo or off-time.

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    #16
    mawr
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    Re:Lag between MIDI and Soft Synths 2010/08/18 08:36:00 (permalink)
    Hi

    I'm so sorry about my English. I'm from Asia and English is not my native language. You are right, the tracks are not faster, but rather some tracks start 1/8th beat earlier than the rest (hence they are not in sync.)

    I only have on board sound card, and do not have any additional soundcard. I will read up about Asio4All to see if it helps my situation. Thanks!
    #17
    Bristol_Jonesey
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    Re:Lag between MIDI and Soft Synths 2010/08/18 08:55:06 (permalink)
    Another thing to try - DON'T have all your MIDI tracks starting aT 01:01:000

    Move them out to 02:01:000 as sometimes Sonar doesn't like things lined up right at the beginning.

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    #18
    mawr
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    Re:Lag between MIDI and Soft Synths 2010/08/18 09:18:56 (permalink)
    Hi all

    I really hate to be a bother, but I switched the audio driver to ASIO, and then switched it back to MME-32 bit, and did no other changes to SONAR.

    But now things have gotten to be worse.. the sound fonts are extremely garbled and extremely soft (in fact I thought there were no sound but when I tuned up to the highest volume possible I could hear a faint garbled sound).
    #19
    mawr
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    Re:Lag between MIDI and Soft Synths 2010/08/18 10:10:38 (permalink)
    It's ok, I've deleted the Aud.ini and everything sounds back to normal again. I'll just make do with what I've got for now. Thanks all for the help...
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    johnnyV
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    Re:Lag between MIDI and Soft Synths 2010/08/18 11:40:33 (permalink)
    don"t USE ASIO4!  For on board sound cards the MME are fine. ASIO is for more advanced cards and ASIO4 all can create problems. 
    That's why I asked if you were using your onboards MIDI. There will be a delay in sound when using both soft synths and the onboard MIDI sounds.
    You mention having to paste the MIDI to the TT1 tracks?
    The easiest way to use the soft synths is to open the MIDI file. Open the TTS-1 and then using the output dialog box found under track properties or the icon on the track,  select the the TTs1 as the output for each track. You might have to change the instrument patches. There's no need to use onboard MIDI sounds now you have Sonar.
    post edited by johnnyV - 2010/08/18 11:41:39

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