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#1516004 - 09/15/10 05:49 PM USB to USB issues with Midi
paddy1nz Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/17/10
Posts: 32
Hi,

I just got my brand new Casio PX-830. I used to have a Kawai CL25 before I moved to a new country. The 830 is the nice new replacement.

I have Garritan Steinway Basic, and with my old Kawai, I used to use a Midi-to-USB cable to control it. No problems whatsoever.

Now, I have a problem with the Casio - it uses a USB A to USB B cable (no midi connectors at all). Now, it works alright, but when when I'm playing happily along, all of a sudden I'll hit a big chord and the chord will take a few (noticeable) extra milliseconds to sound than it should. It seems completely random, and it's not a big delay, but definitely noticeable, and makes my playing sound a bit jerky. Not satisfactory. The cable I purchased was just a cheapo USB A to B cable, cheapest one I could find - would this have an affect? I looked at the gold-plated ones in the shop, and then looked at the price and figured the cheapo one would work just as well.

There are no crackling issues or anything like that - I'm running the VST on a 7200rpm HDD, and as I said I never had any problems with the Kawai using the Midi-to-USB (expensive!) cable.

Any help or thoughts much appreciated.
Cheers,
P.

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#1516028 - 09/15/10 06:14 PM Re: USB to USB issues with Midi [Re: paddy1nz]
ChrisA Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/08
Posts: 3841
Loc: Redondo Beach, California
No, a bad cable will fail completely or drop out now and then not cause a delay.

The short delays you are having are almost certainly happing in software on the computer. Which software? Either the OS, your MIDI driver or the virtual instrument.

I'd suspect the OS or USB driver as you have used the same virtual instrument with your other piano. Could also be that an interrupt is shared between the disk and USB controller.

The defect could also be in the PX130 but others have not reported it and would have noticed by now.

I'm thinking you are right that it is a MIDI/USB problem and not an audio problem because you say "delay" and not "pop and click". PC audio problems tend to loose bits of data not delay them.

I doubt the cable itself is the problem.


Edited by ChrisA (09/15/10 06:19 PM)

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#1516037 - 09/15/10 06:27 PM Re: USB to USB issues with Midi [Re: paddy1nz]
paddy1nz Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/17/10
Posts: 32
Thanks ChrisA for your reply.

I'm using Windows 7, and using MuLabs with Garritan Steinway as the VST. However, the slight delay also occurs when I run it in standalone mode, so it can't just be a problem with the host either. I'm also reluctant to think it would be a problem within the piano due to no one else ever reporting any problems, but just am not sure what it might be.

For slower music with less notes involved, there doesn't seem to be any problems - Brahms Intermezzo in A Major is fine; I noticed the problem on the final page of Schumann-Liszt Widmung, the bit where there are lots of big fat chords repeating - and believe me, it doesn't sound good when the 3rd or 4th chord gets delayed by a few milliseconds! It feels like latency, except for the fact that it only happens once in every few chords.

Cheers,
P.

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#1516155 - 09/15/10 09:03 PM Re: USB to USB issues with Midi [Re: paddy1nz]
sullivang Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/05/09
Posts: 2100
Loc: Sydney, Australia
A couple of suggestions:

1. Try a different instrument entirely. (perhaps a demo version of Pianoteq, Pianissimo, TruPianos etc, all of of which are small downloads), and see whether the problem still occurs. (it probably will, from what you say, but it doesn't hurt to do this test)

2. Run a MIDI-Thru program on your PC, and play the Casio "through" your PC. This will require disabling the Casio's internal processing of the MIDI directly from the keyboard - we want it to ONLY process external MIDI. (I don't know whether or not this is possible, given that it's a home-style DP....)

Greg.

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#1516313 - 09/16/10 03:06 AM Re: USB to USB issues with Midi [Re: paddy1nz]
paddy1nz Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/17/10
Posts: 32
Ok, have tried it with pianoteq demo, and sure enough it still has the same problem.

Let me put the problem another way (having had a sleep and then another play). It's like when I play a big chord, say 4 notes in the left and 4 notes in the right, one of the chords has to sound first, and the other one has to wait until the first is played before sounding. And generally it's the right-hand chord that seems to lag behind. I assure you it's not my hands that are out of sync, as I've never had this problem before!

I might buy a slightly more up-market cable and give that a try - has anyone else ever had any problems along these lines?
Cheers,
P.

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#1516329 - 09/16/10 04:04 AM Re: USB to USB issues with Midi [Re: paddy1nz]
hpeterh Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/26/10
Posts: 824
Loc: Germany
Do you run the piano in local off mode?
If no, choose local off. I have seen reports that the casio is sometime overloaded with processing the internal voices.
You migth of course try if this problem happens when you play the internal voices and the vst at the same time. Then you should hear if they get out of sync.

I dont know, if the Casio has an USB 2.0 interface. Probably not, because USB 1.0 can easily do the job.
(It will of course be USB 2.0 compatible and might be advertised this way. But dont let this confuse you. If the advertising or specs says it is USB 2.0 compatible, that does usually mean it has USB 1.0)

Recently I had a problem with a soundcard that had an USB 1.0 interface. This problem happended with a VIA USB interface card. It had dropouts. This VIA chipset has bad USB drivers in windows or might be faulty. Putting a high quality USB 2.0 Hub inbetween solved the problem. This does the 1.0->2.0 conversion and removes some load from the driver. So you might try to put a quality USB 2.0 Hub into the MIDI-USB connection.

And no, the delay cannot happen in the VST. When the sound is delayed it must be buffered somewhere. It is impossible to delay sound without a buffer. So the VST or the OS cannot produce delays without crackles or dropouts (buffer overruns), that means, when delays occur then also dropouts and crackles would occur, when the sounddriver or the VST would have caused the delay.

Peter.


Edited by hpeterh (09/16/10 05:27 AM)
_________________________
1929 Galaxy Blüthner Baby Grand
acer aspire m3300 AMD Phenom II X6


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#1516364 - 09/16/10 06:10 AM Re: USB to USB issues with Midi [Re: paddy1nz]
sullivang Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/05/09
Posts: 2100
Loc: Sydney, Australia
Peter,
The VST could, technically, introduce a delay with regards to MIDI event processing, as could the MIDI driver, or VST host. But yes - I agree that individual notes cannot be delayed anywhere in the audio chain - at least - not without introducing glitches.
So, for the time being we can forget about the audio side of things I think.

Greg.

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#1516378 - 09/16/10 06:41 AM Re: USB to USB issues with Midi [Re: paddy1nz]
PhilzPiano Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/20/09
Posts: 113
Loc: UK
I had similar delays when I tried the demo of Pianoteq. In the end I fixed it by downloading ASIO drivers, as recommended on the Pianoteq website. These are general purpose drivers not specifically intended for Pianoteq and may solve your problem. My understanding is that the drivers fix audio latency not anything to do with USB latency, but the problem prior to loading the drivers was exactly as you have described. Having loaded the drivers, it is possible to switch them in and out within Pianoteq for comparison.

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#1516380 - 09/16/10 06:55 AM Re: USB to USB issues with Midi [Re: paddy1nz]
sullivang Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/05/09
Posts: 2100
Loc: Sydney, Australia
PhilzPiano, I have actually experienced something like that too.

When I use ASIO4ALL, in conjunction with the integrated audio interface of my laptop, I experience a bit of arpeggiation.
I am using the MIDI port on an external USB combined audio/MIDI interface.

If I then use the audio output of the same audio/MIDI interface, the arpeggiation disappears. (I use the native ASIO driver for the interface - not ASIO4ALL)

I concluded that, for whatever reason, the ASIO4ALL driver is interfering with the MIDI processing. For example, it is conceivable that the ASIO4ALL driver is running at a higher priority than the MIDI driver, which delays the processing of MIDI events. I am not necessarily saying that anything is "wrong" with ASIO4ALL - merely that I notice a definite improvement when I use my natively ASIO audio interface.

Greg.

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#1516500 - 09/16/10 11:17 AM Re: USB to USB issues with Midi [Re: paddy1nz]
paddy1nz Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/17/10
Posts: 32
hpeterh et all, thank you for your replies.

Your suggestion of local off - I just tried it and PROBLEM SOLVED!!!

Thank you so much. Up til now I'd just been lazy, and left a 1/4" headphone jack in the headphone thing to mute the piano sound...

So happy - now I can get on and make some music!

Cheers,
P.

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#1516513 - 09/16/10 11:51 AM Re: USB to USB issues with Midi [Re: paddy1nz]
hpeterh Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/26/10
Posts: 824
Loc: Germany
Im glad that this solved the problem.
Of course I dont know, if the Casio was really overloaded with the internal voices. This is second hand knowledge that I got somewhere else.
There is another possibility: Possibly your software echoes all MIDI events.
Could you look if there is "MIDI Trough" is enabled or if an Midi Output Port is enabled in the software? If yes, disable this. This might also solve the problem without the necessity to use "local off".

Peter
_________________________
1929 Galaxy Blüthner Baby Grand
acer aspire m3300 AMD Phenom II X6


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#1518161 - 09/18/10 11:02 PM Re: USB to USB issues with Midi [Re: paddy1nz]
sullivang Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/05/09
Posts: 2100
Loc: Sydney, Australia
Regarding the arpeggiation when using ASIO4ALL, I notice that when I use a USB keyboard (PX-330) connected directly to the laptop, I do not experience this problem. So it may be a compatibility problem between ASIO4ALL and my audio/MIDI interface (M-Audio Fast Track Ultra).

This is nice because now I can connect my laptop directly to the line-ins of the Casio (using ASIO4ALL), without having to have an outboard native-ASIO USB audio interface dangling around, and of course I don't need a MIDI to USB converter either.

Greg.


Edited by sullivang (09/18/10 11:04 PM)

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#1580758 - 12/20/10 05:08 PM Re: USB to USB issues with Midi [Re: paddy1nz]
sullivang Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/05/09
Posts: 2100
Loc: Sydney, Australia
I've encountered this problem on my PX-330 too, and yes, turning off Local Control fixes it.

The problem ONLY occurs when using USB. If I use a standard MIDI connection, I can leave Local Control on. (however, I have not yet tried connecting the MIDI OUT from the PC back to the MIDI IN of the PX-330, to simulate the bidirectional USB connection)

Assuming there isn't something spewing out lots of MIDI from the PC back to the PX-330, it looks like the audio processing is bogging it down, which affects the USB timing. (?)

This won't be a problem for me, however it doesn't seem right.

Greg.


Edited by sullivang (12/20/10 05:14 PM)

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#1580802 - 12/20/10 06:06 PM Re: USB to USB issues with Midi [Re: paddy1nz]
sullivang Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/05/09
Posts: 2100
Loc: Sydney, Australia
Bingo! Switching to a preset that does NOT use the layer morphing (such as an electric piano), eliminates the arppegiation. This is much easier to do than diving into the menus to disable Local Control. ;^)

Greg.

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