Midi & Synch Blues


I am having issues trying to synch midi vst plugins. I am loading a midi file which plays sort of OK if I hit the play button. I say sort of because some of the tracks don’t always play the instrument it is supposed to play, so it defaults to the 1st instrument - piano. I am guessing that this is due to me using ASIO and it is in some way preventing the same midi mapper or general midi access that, for example, Windows Media Player would use when playing the same midi file.

However, when I then try to use VST plugins I get timing issues. For example,I might use the n-Track drum plugin, but this goes way out of time over the duration of the song. I have tried increasing the latency on the ASIO control panel, along with changing the audio device from the selection I have. I just can’t seem to resolve the issues.

When I play guitar along to midi using midi mapper, this is usually OK, but when I introduce plugins, the timing issues emerge

This issue goes back over several versions of n-track, so I think the issue is with my sound card setup, but I could really do with some help. I would love to play along to midi and use plugins, but I just can’t get the timing right.

I have an EMU 4040 PCI card that I am using with n-Track 6, although this issue goes back to version 3 I think. I have the following audio devices:

ASIO Multi-Media driver
ASIO DirectX Full Duplex Driver
MME - E-DSP Wave
MME Windows Default Playback Device
WDM - E-DSP Wave

Hmm!? As for n-Track Drums - are you running it as a drum machine or have you created and pasted midi tracks with it?

Quote: (TonyR @ Dec. 28 2010, 7:09 AM)

Hmm!? As for n-Track Drums - are you running it as a drum machine or have you created and pasted midi tracks with it?

I have some midi files that I have downloaded or got hold of over the years. I load them into n-track. If I click play at that point, all seems well (apart from the issue where some instruments are not loading and defaulting to piano). I guess this should be in synch because all tracks are output to Midi Mapper.

Then I change one of the tracks to output thru a VST instrument like n-Track drums. All other tracks stay in synch but the drum track goes out of synch

I recall laying down my own midi tracks and getting synch issues when using VST instruments in previous versions of n-Track. It's one of those background bugs that I have never got round to resolving, but I am using a lot more midi now so would love to get it sorted

I too have issues if I have several midi tracks and use different sources to play them.

I found the solution was to have all the same type of sources on all the tracks.

For instance, if I am using standard GM midi sounds, I use them on all the tracks, if I am using Sfz’s via a VST, then I load each track through a different sfz2 font/VST player.

This seems to keep all of the playback in sync.

Other than that if I feel the need to have GM sounds on a track or two and VST sounds on others, I do mixdowns of them to wav. and use the wav. mixdowns to to track too.


Don’t use the stupid MS GM Wavetable Synth! That thing is horrible!!

If you want General MIDI sounds, get something like the Coyote Forte DXi GM module. Low latency and stays synch’d up nicely.

Forte DXi

About 40 bucks… but worth it.


Thanks for the tips Dontcare and UJ

I had forgotten about mixdown - I used to do that quite a bit a while back and I think that would work well

I also like the idea of getting something like the Coyote. Afterall, I use the VSTs to enhance the basic MS GM thingy :)

I read on here somewhere that re-loading n and saying ‘no’ to keeping your saved setting can help with synch issues. So I tried it and, yes, it does. :)

Further to this issue I tried mixing down a few tracks of midi to wav files, but then I found I was getting issues playing those wav file tracks alongside the remaining midi tracks. All sorts of timing problems, skips and alike

I re-loaded n and said ‘no’ and opened up the original midi file into a new sng file. I copied in the 2 wav files I had created into the new sng and pressed play. All in synch - right to the end.

I still have synch issues if I introduce a VSTi into one of the midi tracks while playing back the all of the tracks, but I think I can work with this