Midi Latency?

Midi playback is delayed?

I’m getting a lot of latency when trying to record midi. Like the sounds are a second or two late… I’m using a Delta 1010, N-Track 4 and have output routed to “midi mapper” which goes the Micrsoft Wave thing.

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which goes the Micrsoft Wave thing


That could well be your problem. It notoriously bad for latency. Afterall its main purpose is to play cheesy background music for games.

Since your Delta doesn’t have a MIDI engine you need to find something else to play your MIDI for you. I sometimes use an old SB live that I’ve got in my machine but more often or not I use a VSTi of the instrument I want or SFZ with a soundfont loaded. That’s probably your best bet.

You might still get a bit of latency (YMMV) when recording (playing “live”) depending on the drivers and buffers you use but you should be able to make it bearable by lowering your buffer settings.

Failing that, I sometimes record MIDI using one of my keyboard’s built-in sounds for monitoring. Once I’ve got the MIDI in there then I play around with VSTis etc. Latency isn’t so much of a problem then.


HTH


Mark

Where can I find out more about VSTi’s and how to use them in N-Track?

Quote (Rocket Boy @ July 23 2006,01:15)
Where can I find out more about VSTi’s and how to use them in N-Track?


…the n-track manual has a section on this.

Other than that, search the forum, use google and ask specific questions here I guess.

Hi, I agree with XonXoff about an old SB card. I have a delta 1010 and a SB PCI 128 CT4810 in my computer.The CT4810 midi synth give cheesy but zero latency midi sounds which could be later replaced with soft synths.The CT4810 are very cheap on ebay less than $10,(they are also pretty good for audio without the 48K sampling issue of later soundblasters).

Nick

What you want is a “GM synth”, which means “General MIDI”. GM is just a collection of agreements like “program 1 should be acoustic piano”. Your best bet will be to download ‘sfz’ from http://rgcaudio.com, and then find a good “GM soundfont” to load into it. More on the soundfont later.

BTW, this topic comes up now & then and would make a good Wiki page, so any folks that have good info to add here, please do so, and later maybe I’ll combine it into a Wiki page, if I get inspired to.

The first step is to install the VSTi. I don’t remember whether sfz comes with an installer that automatically finds your VST folder. If it does, fine, just run the installer. If not – if it just comes with the sfz.dll file in a zip, just drag the .dll file to “C:\Program Files
-Track Studio\Vstplugins”, which is where the installer would generally put it. Then start n-Track.

I have n-Track V3, not V4, so the menu has changed, and I’ll have to guess a little, but I believe there’s a menu item to add a plugin instrument. Shouldn’t be hard to find. Just select ‘sfz’ as the instrument plugin to add. This does three things:

1) pops up the sfz GUI. More on this below.

2) puts a new channel in the Mixer – if you haven’t seen the Mixer view, look at it now. There’s a mixer toolbar button, or you can use “View” menu to show it. If you close the sfz GUI, you can get it back by double clicking on ‘sfz’ in the FX box in this new instrument channel.

3) creates a new MIDI output device to pick. Back in the Timeline view, right click on your MIDI track and hover over “Output To”, and you’ll see ‘sfz’ as one of the otions: pick it! Now this MIDI track will be sent to sfz.

However, sfz is a soundfont player, with no built-in soundfonts.

What’s a soundfont? It’s a file with samples and control information. When plugged into a soundfont player, it becomes a sample-based synthesizer. So your next quest is to find a good GM soundfont – a soundfont that has lots of different instruments in it, and that follows the GM conventions for which program numbers correspond to which instruments.

I don’t use GM soundfonts, so I can’t help you there other than to point to http://sf2midi.com and search away. I also recommend you post a new topic here asking for “GM soundfont reccomendations?” or something like that, because there are gazillions, and you want one that sounds good and doesn’t need to fit in Soundblaster memory. (In other words, you can play a really big one, if you have enough memory in your computer.) Let folks know what version of Windows you’re running and how much memory you have, as a guide.

Once you’ve copied a soundfont to your computer, use sfz’s GUI to load that soundfont file.

OK, one more technical detail to cover, that’s specific to sfz. If I understand correctly, it will only play one program at a time. So, if you want both piano and strings, you need to load two copies of sfz, and point the piano MIDI track to one copy, and the strings track to the other. Folks, please correct me here if I’m wrong!

There’s a paid version of sfz, “sfz+” that (IIRC) can handle playing more than one preset on different MIDI channels. Then all you have to do is make sure the piano MIDI track and the strings MIDI track have different MIDI channels selected in their “Properties” boxes, and sfz+ should sort it out.

Finally – latency will still be an issue, but it’s easily fixed by using ASIO drivers. Just go to “Preferences -> MIDI settings -> MIDI devices” and select the ASIO driver for your soundcard. If you’re not sure which one it is, go to “Advanced” and turn off all types but ASIO. That alone should reduce it enough to get going. If you want to reduce it further still, just post back and we’ll let you know.

HTH, and good luck.