Midi Controller Latency?

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
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Midi Controller Latency?

Post by rickdorr » Thu Mar 22, 2012 6:47 am

I have a latency issue with my Guitar Midi Controller (Roland GR55). The tracking is spot on within GR55 unit but is lagging with software synths and drum racks. Is there something I can do within Ableton to adjust the latency? Buffer size is currently at 128samples.

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Re: Midi Controller Latency?

Post by trevox » Wed Mar 28, 2012 1:16 am

128 samples at 44.1kHz is 3.65ms. This is pretty negligible. If you want to play softsynths using controllers, you just need to put up with it. Believe me, years ago I would have given an arm and a leg for latency that low. All you can do is adjust your buffer size to lower the latency as much as your system can handle. If it is really noticeable, you could have another issue, but if you are talking about a latency of well under 10ms, I would say you just need to put up with it! I play an electronic drumkit with the same latency and it is well within acceptable range.

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Re: Midi Controller Latency?

Post by icedsushi » Wed Mar 28, 2012 6:22 am

Do some reading about how the Roland guitar synth series convert the sound coming from the pickup to the internal sounds. It can't really be thought of the same thing as the pitch to midi conversion coming out the midi port.

The latency is always going to be better within the Roland because the closed technology they use. Most of the internal patches aren't even converting to midi notes, it processes the audio waveform directly, that's why it's so fast. The midi out port on the GR55 is taking the signal from the guitar pickup & doing the extra step of converting it to midi. So it's already slower coming from the midi out port than the built in patches before it even gets to your computer.

Even if you plug the GR55 midi out jack directly to a hardware synth, you will see that it reacts slower than the internal sounds. Try it!

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Re: Midi Controller Latency?

Post by crumhorn » Wed Mar 28, 2012 10:12 am

I use an ancient Casio MIDI Guitar with terrible latency issues but I've discovered a few tricks to get decent results.

Latency is always much less on the high notes - if you want to input a bass line play it a couple of octaves higher and use MIDI pitch shift to make it play at the right pitch.

Monitor your playing using just the natural guitar sound but record both the audio and the MIDI on separate tracks. Then quantize/shift/edit the MIDI data to bring it back into alignment with the audio.
"The banjo is the perfect instrument for the antisocial."

(Allow me to plug my guitar scale visualiser thingy - www.fretlearner.com)

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