VST Instruments

Seem to be useless

So I’ve downloaded a few VST instruments, hooked up my midi keyboard to my computer, and tried to play these sounds. The latency is scary long, usually a few seconds between key press and voice being heard. I can understand why software-based instruments would be a good thing, but I can’t for the life of me make it work in any way that would be remotely useful.

Can anyone shed some light on how these things work, and if the latency is normal? Thanks.

The latency is adjustable through your sound card usually if you are using ASIO drivers (which you probably should for this task). Check that first… but your computer speed is also an issue. An old slow machine will not be able to handle super low latencies of 10ms or so.

I can often get less than 3 ms latency with asio at 24/96 on my laptop, using an Echo Indigo, a USB midi kayboard, and either n-Track or Orion. That’s 7 ms better than a Minimoog. :)

Thanks for the comments. I’ve got a 2Ghz PC with 2GB of RAM, so speed isn’t the issue. Sounds like I need to do some tweaking!

You don’t mention your sound card ?

If it is a card that comes with an Asio driver you might want to try switching to it.

If it is a soundblaster live or later you can try and use the KX-Project drivers.

Otherwise you can also use asio4all to give you the lowest latency you will ever get with a ‘non asio non soundblaster’ card…

Latency is always a function of the drivers you use and the amount of buffers that you set your host app to use. it is also a trade-off between what is low enough for you to work with it and what is too low for your PC. But with the PC you should be fine. Confirm the drivers and then play with latency …

If you need to we can flesh this alley out with a link or two …


I’ve got an M-Audio Firewire 410. Great card, and with a built-in midi in/out/thru.

M-Audio usually comes with very good drivers.

Make sure you are using the asio drivers and then fiddle with the amount of buffers in your host app.