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#676829 - 01/08/08 12:45 AM USB to MIDI cable: can this be the source of delay?
sun4384 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/24/07
Posts: 28
I tried to install Ivory to my average-powered (2GHz dual core, 2GB ram) computer and hooked up a cheap keyboard controller to it using a MIDI to USB cable. I found horrible length of delay (about a second), and want to locate the source of delay.

Since I'm using the on-board sound card, I suspect it's the major source of delay even with ASIO4ALL driver. I'm about to get a new sound card, and wondering if I should get one with MIDI interface or not, because I suspect the MIDI 2 USB cable (mine is E-MU Xmidi 1x1) might also contribute to the delay. Can this be true?

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#676830 - 01/08/08 01:39 AM Re: USB to MIDI cable: can this be the source of delay?
Kawai James Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 12706
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
Well, I would actually expect USB-->MIDI to have a lower latency than old-fashioned MIDI-->MIDI, however I'm afraid I cannot be certain of this.

As for the delay from the onboard sound, one second does sound rather long. Have you tried adjusting the quality/polyphony settings of Ivory to see if things improve?

Kind regards,
James
x
_________________________
Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 fan & occasional rare groove player.

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#676831 - 01/08/08 04:19 AM Re: USB to MIDI cable: can this be the source of delay?
sun4384 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/24/07
Posts: 28
Fiddling with the settings does have improved the situation, especially the smaller buffer size and smaller sample set. However, still I don't understand why the larger sample set cause longer delay, because samples are loaded into memory, as long as I know.

It's surprising that MIDI to USB is faster and MIDI 2 MIDI! Good to know that.

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#676832 - 01/08/08 05:25 AM Re: USB to MIDI cable: can this be the source of delay?
mahlzeit Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/24/06
Posts: 1916
Loc: Netherlands
Of course the MIDI cable introduces some delay, but it's probably negligible to the delay from the soundcard.

I also don't believe that MIDI-to-USB would be faster than MIDI-to-MIDI because the MIDI protocol has a fixed transfer rate. But I'm not expert on the electronics involved.

ASIO4ALL does not reduce latency on your soundcard, it only makes it compatible with software that requires ASIO.

The only way to reduce latency is to lower the audio buffer size. Here's the formula: latency = buffer size / sample rate.

If your buffers are 512 samples and the sample rate is 44100 Hz, then latency is 11.6 milliseconds.

If you're experiencing a latency of a second, then your buffer size would be about 44100 samples.

The minimum buffer size depends on your soundcard (and drivers) but if it's not ASIO-compatible, then 512 is probably the best you're going to get.
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#676833 - 01/08/08 06:34 PM Re: USB to MIDI cable: can this be the source of delay?
Kawai James Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 12706
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
sun4384, please note that I do not know of any research comparing the speed/latency of MIDI-MIDI vs USB-MIDI - I was simply thinking out loud...

My apologies for misleading you!

Kind regards,
James
x
_________________________
Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 fan & occasional rare groove player.

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