MIDI notes too early

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Conman
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Re: MIDI notes too early

Post by Conman »

SteadyEddie wrote:
LeVzi wrote:I think it's #2, that the MIDI notes get printed early. And they are out by 1/32th exactly no matter what the tempo (Thump test) when I record a set of MIDI notes, if I group them all up then shift literally 1/32th later, it aligns perfectly (Within human tolerances) on the beat.
Hmmm, interesting. 120 BPM, then 1/32 = 15 msec. 60 BPM, then 1/32 = 30 msec. I have no explanation for the time difference being related to BPM. Just for sanity's sake, no MIDI Quantization, correct?

FYI, to see the actual msecs, you can zoom in with the cursor and see the actual time in the transport bar.
There will always be some quantisation. If you work it out at default in Cubase prefs the ppqn is set at 4096pulses per quarter note. You could try increasing this and see if that makes any difference to the note placement you're getting.
Quantise off is what I'd call "incoherent" quantise where the timing could be arbitrary and quantise on is where it should be more coherent.
4096 x 1 bar at 120bpm (ie: two seconds per bar of 4/4) = 8192 pulses per second. ie: 8192ms.
So without making too much of it you could see if that has any bearing on your own calculations. And I hope my math is right. :mrgreen:
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Split
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Re: MIDI notes too early

Post by Split »

8192ms is 8.192 seconds!!! :lol:
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Conman
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Re: MIDI notes too early

Post by Conman »

Split wrote:8192ms is 8.192 seconds!!! :lol:
:mrgreen: :mrgreen: See the math is dodgy. 8192 pulses per 1000ms at 120bpm.

Probably still rump about face somewhere. :mrgreen:

But if it's relevant it should mean changes in timing placement at different bpms.

Yep I can only count three. After that I usually hit something.
The wall! :mrgreen:
Last edited by Conman on Tue May 22, 2012 6:11 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Split
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Re: MIDI notes too early

Post by Split »

Conman wrote:
Split wrote:8192ms is 8.192 seconds!!! :lol:
:mrgreen: :mrgreen: See the math is dodgy. 8192 pulses per 1000ms at 120bpm.

Probably still rump about face somewhere. :mrgreen:
That's drummers for you :mrgreen:
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mr.roos
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Re: MIDI notes too early

Post by mr.roos »

Just a comment on the 'thump test'. I don't see where this is a valid test. Case in point, in the case of my keyboard anyway, the notes don't even trigger the sound until the key is pressed 1/8" down. So here I would be hearing the click of my finger striking the key and there would be a delay to the note right from the gate.

On the other hand, if I record a track to the click and then double click it into edit land for a look, I can clearly see the midi note and where it sits on the bar line. It should be starting right on the vertical bar line on playback if you are playing right on the beat. And I can do this without a problem.

So the question remains, are all keyboards like my keyboard? Prolly not, maybe not, I dunno. So, considering this, I think that every player has a 'thing' that naturally happens, that you sense where your instrument makes a sound, and then you play the instrument to the beat. So looking at the recorded midi note - as it lines up to the beat - seems the best way to determine if your midi send is working properly. THAT SAID --- if the player is playing along to the beat and it sounds correct, but yet when examined, the midi note is way off the vertical beat line, then I would agree there is maybe a midi timing issue. As to drummers (or anyone) playing ahead of the beat, well, *it* happens. It would be a shame to fret over midi timing issues when in fact it is the player, eh?

My .02.
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Re: MIDI notes too early

Post by Scab Pickens »

mr.roos wrote:Just a comment on the 'thump test'. I don't see where this is a valid test. Case in point, in the case of my keyboard anyway, the notes don't even trigger the sound until the key is pressed 1/8" down. So here I would be hearing the click of my finger striking the key and there would be a delay to the note right from the gate.

On the other hand, if I record a track to the click and then double click it into edit land for a look, I can clearly see the midi note and where it sits on the bar line. It should be starting right on the vertical bar line on playback if you are playing right on the beat. And I can do this without a problem.

So the question remains, are all keyboards like my keyboard? Prolly not, maybe not, I dunno. So, considering this, I think that every player has a 'thing' that naturally happens, that you sense where your instrument makes a sound, and then you play the instrument to the beat. So looking at the recorded midi note - as it lines up to the beat - seems the best way to determine if your midi send is working properly. THAT SAID --- if the player is playing along to the beat and it sounds correct, but yet when examined, the midi note is way off the vertical beat line, then I would agree there is maybe a midi timing issue. As to drummers (or anyone) playing ahead of the beat, well, *it* happens. It would be a shame to fret over midi timing issues when in fact it is the player, eh?

My .02.
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Re: MIDI notes too early

Post by alexis »

mr.roos wrote:Just a comment on the 'thump test'. I don't see where this is a valid test ...
I agree, if people are using it as a "gold standard" by which to validate MIDI timing. I don't think it's as simple as that, since obviously the thump test signal has to go through the A/D buffer before getting printed. So, I think its main use is really only to compare 2 signal streams:

Stream 1 - MIDI: Key press> finite time for MIDI signal to be generated in synth > MIDI transmission down cable > MIDI signal processed in the interface (or the computer in my case where the USB MIDI cable is routed to the computer itself, not the interface) and routed to Cubase > MIDI printed on track.

Stream 2 - Audio from thump test: Key press generates sound at the end of the key excursion (unless you've got clicky fingernails, in which case it's at the beginning of the key excursion ;) ) > audio signal to interface > delay caused by buffer > audio printed on track.

How useful that comparison is is not entirely clear to me. On my system, the "thump test audio" is printed 2-4 msec before the MIDI is. Which tells me, I think, that if I activate direct monitoring on my interface, I'm hearing the vox about 15-16 msec before I hear a MIDI signal that I press at the same time.

I haven't come to grips yet with what I should do with that info. My music is recorded live without a click-track, I don't know if maybe by "compensating" for that 15-16 msec things would somehow sound better in a way I haven't identified.
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Re: MIDI notes too early

Post by Conman »

As to drummers (or anyone) playing ahead of the beat, well, *it* happens. It would be a shame to fret over midi timing issues when in fact it is the player, eh?
There's been more than a few :oops: es posts where the OP has had to admit that his timing was not as good as he thought it was. And some are more interested in posting here than delving into the innards of their machines and sorting it out themselves which could really be much faster than waiting for the "doctor" to bless them for finding that new disease which they have to find a cure for. :mrgreen:
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Ernest T. Bass
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Re: MIDI notes too early

Post by Ernest T. Bass »

IMHO, some of the posters in this thread need a thump test. ;)
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Re: MIDI notes too early

Post by LeVzi »

Conman wrote:
SteadyEddie wrote:
LeVzi wrote:I think it's #2, that the MIDI notes get printed early. And they are out by 1/32th exactly no matter what the tempo (Thump test) when I record a set of MIDI notes, if I group them all up then shift literally 1/32th later, it aligns perfectly (Within human tolerances) on the beat.
Hmmm, interesting. 120 BPM, then 1/32 = 15 msec. 60 BPM, then 1/32 = 30 msec. I have no explanation for the time difference being related to BPM. Just for sanity's sake, no MIDI Quantization, correct?

FYI, to see the actual msecs, you can zoom in with the cursor and see the actual time in the transport bar.
There will always be some quantisation. If you work it out at default in Cubase prefs the ppqn is set at 4096pulses per quarter note. You could try increasing this and see if that makes any difference to the note placement you're getting.
Quantise off is what I'd call "incoherent" quantise where the timing could be arbitrary and quantise on is where it should be more coherent.
4096 x 1 bar at 120bpm (ie: two seconds per bar of 4/4) = 8192 pulses per second. ie: 8192ms.
So without making too much of it you could see if that has any bearing on your own calculations. And I hope my math is right. :mrgreen:

This would make sense with some kind of internal quantize going on that's not actually correct. I'll try and locate it and play about with the values and see if it helps.

As regards my timing being off, i'm not claiming to be perfect, but in the thump test, I don't see how I can be that bad if in Ableton doing the exact same thing I am virtually on the beat, yet in FL and Cubase I am that 1/32nd away from it, but if you globally move the midi that amount later, it (in theory) mirrors what I do in Ableton.
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Re: MIDI notes too early

Post by LeVzi »

SteadyEddie wrote:
LeVzi wrote:I think it's #2, that the MIDI notes get printed early. And they are out by 1/32th exactly no matter what the tempo (Thump test) when I record a set of MIDI notes, if I group them all up then shift literally 1/32th later, it aligns perfectly (Within human tolerances) on the beat.
Hmmm, interesting. 120 BPM, then 1/32 = 15 msec. 60 BPM, then 1/32 = 30 msec. I have no explanation for the time difference being related to BPM. Just for sanity's sake, no MIDI Quantization, correct?

FYI, to see the actual msecs, you can zoom in with the cursor and see the actual time in the transport bar.
No MIDI Quatization at all. It's on or around 50ms. That was done at 150bpm
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Re: MIDI notes too early

Post by LeVzi »

I've been back and forth through this again this afternoon in a vein attempt to try and find some kind of solution. I did discover that the MIDI controller has a generic option for driver instead of the included one, so I tried that, same result.

One thing I did learn is that the Edirol drivers use Directmusic, and the generic use windows MIDI. That I didn't know.

Anyway, I then just tried various recordings to get playing in time, and all i've concluded is that to get the recorded MIDI note on the beat, I need to deliberately play AFTER the metronome click, I have to conciously play late.

So what is the relationship between Metronome and recorded MIDI ? If the MIDI recording is accurate, then the metronome is playing earlier than the grid of the MIDI clip.

I dunno i'm throwing out theories none of which seem to make any sense.
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Re: MIDI notes too early

Post by Bassbase »

Hi

Huuuh big thread, just a stupid question doesn't also the quantize setting effect the placement of the played notes?


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Re: MIDI notes too early

Post by Conman »

LeVzi wrote:
This would make sense with some kind of internal quantize going on that's not actually correct. I'll try and locate it and play about with the values and see if it helps.

As regards my timing being off, i'm not claiming to be perfect, but in the thump test, I don't see how I can be that bad if in Ableton doing the exact same thing I am virtually on the beat, yet in FL and Cubase I am that 1/32nd away from it, but if you globally move the midi that amount later, it (in theory) mirrors what I do in Ableton.

But what's the ppqn in Ableton and how do you know if quantise OFF in Ableton is the same as quantise OFF in Cubase?
Could be a couple of other factors as well. Could be that Ableton is applying a qt that makes the player feel he is more accurate than he actually is.
Just get a tape recorder and a metronome (no Cubase no Abletons) and play to the metronome. See how accurate you really are. After all the tools in these DAWs are designed to compensate for BAD HUMAN TIMING.

Thing is that years ago at the dawn of electronic music one drummer did report that his timing, as tested by the then new computer tools, did turn out to be between a 32 and 64 out, and early. Not sure, think it was the guy with Japan.
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Re: MIDI notes too early

Post by Guest »

LeVzi wrote:So what is the relationship between Metronome and recorded MIDI ? If the MIDI recording is accurate, then the metronome is playing earlier than the grid of the MIDI clip.
Record the metronome's midi ;)
I keep asking, did you try to record you MIDI out to MIDI in, and what are the results?
At what buffersize are you recording?
You did enable the system timestamp for DirectMusic?
Conman wrote:But what's the ppqn in Ableton and how do you know if quantise OFF in Ableton is the same as quantise OFF in Cubase?
Ableton uses a (I think, neat) trick to fool the user playing ahead.

---
Live automatically compensates for delays caused by Live devices and plug-in instruments/effects used on tracks, including return tracks.
The Delay Compensation delays all tracks corresponding to the track which has the highest latency (introduced by the devices/plug-ins).
This ensures, that all tracks are perfectly in sync but may result in a overall higher latency.

In order to still play software instruments with the smallest possible latency and to achieve a 'tight' musical feel for the instrument, the 'Playthough Optimization' is necessary: This function deactivates the mentioned latency compensation for armed tracks (for monitoring/recording) - these tracks will only have the latency which is introduced by the audio driver and the software instrument/effects on those armed tracks. The trade-off for this function can be e.g. that the Arpeggiator is not in sync with the rest of the set anymore.


Source

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Re: MIDI notes too early

Post by LeVzi »

niles wrote:
LeVzi wrote:So what is the relationship between Metronome and recorded MIDI ? If the MIDI recording is accurate, then the metronome is playing earlier than the grid of the MIDI clip.
Record the metronome's midi ;)
I keep asking, did you try to record you MIDI out to MIDI in, and what are the results?
At what buffersize are you recording?
You did enable the system timestamp for DirectMusic?
Conman wrote:But what's the ppqn in Ableton and how do you know if quantise OFF in Ableton is the same as quantise OFF in Cubase?
Ableton uses a (I think, neat) trick to fool the user playing ahead.

---
Live automatically compensates for delays caused by Live devices and plug-in instruments/effects used on tracks, including return tracks.
The Delay Compensation delays all tracks corresponding to the track which has the highest latency (introduced by the devices/plug-ins).
This ensures, that all tracks are perfectly in sync but may result in a overall higher latency.

In order to still play software instruments with the smallest possible latency and to achieve a 'tight' musical feel for the instrument, the 'Playthough Optimization' is necessary: This function deactivates the mentioned latency compensation for armed tracks (for monitoring/recording) - these tracks will only have the latency which is introduced by the audio driver and the software instrument/effects on those armed tracks. The trade-off for this function can be e.g. that the Arpeggiator is not in sync with the rest of the set anymore.


Source

What do you mean record my midi out to midi in ? My buffer size is 40ms. And yes I enabled system timestamp for directmusic, didn't change it. I am now using the generic MIDI drivers, and trying them out. I was advised to do this by tech support, yet at the time I didn't know you had to change the drivers on the controller itself, so i'm trying it now.
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Re: MIDI notes too early

Post by LeVzi »

Conman wrote:
LeVzi wrote:
This would make sense with some kind of internal quantize going on that's not actually correct. I'll try and locate it and play about with the values and see if it helps.

As regards my timing being off, i'm not claiming to be perfect, but in the thump test, I don't see how I can be that bad if in Ableton doing the exact same thing I am virtually on the beat, yet in FL and Cubase I am that 1/32nd away from it, but if you globally move the midi that amount later, it (in theory) mirrors what I do in Ableton.

But what's the ppqn in Ableton and how do you know if quantise OFF in Ableton is the same as quantise OFF in Cubase?
Could be a couple of other factors as well. Could be that Ableton is applying a qt that makes the player feel he is more accurate than he actually is.
Just get a tape recorder and a metronome (no Cubase no Abletons) and play to the metronome. See how accurate you really are. After all the tools in these DAWs are designed to compensate for BAD HUMAN TIMING.

Thing is that years ago at the dawn of electronic music one drummer did report that his timing, as tested by the then new computer tools, did turn out to be between a 32 and 64 out, and early. Not sure, think it was the guy with Japan.
I couldnt find anything in the defaults relating to ppqn for cubase, so I couldnt alter it. As for ableton, I dunno what that is doing, but it does it better, when I do the thump test in that, I am more or less on the money. So I cannot be that far out in cubase and not in ableton.
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Re: MIDI notes too early

Post by Guest »

LeVzi wrote:What do you mean record my midi out to midi in?
Connect a cable from your MIDI in to your MIDI out.
Set up the following tracks:

MIDI 01 containing a MIDI event
Input: None
Output: Your MIDI out

MIDI 02:
Input: Your MIDI in
Output: none

Arm MIDI 02 and start recording the event on MIDI 01.
After that see how things are lining up.
LeVzi wrote:My buffer size is 40ms.
No offence, but are you serious?
What is that 2048 samples?
That's a lot, I doubt you'll ever play on time with that kind of latency. Without any nifty trick to shift the signal you're playing at (like Ableton), that is.
Your MIDI input will be recorded roughly 40ms seconds before you hear the sound. When I play at that latency all my notes are early too.

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Re: MIDI notes too early

Post by Split »

LeVzi wrote:I couldnt find anything in the defaults relating to ppqn for cubase
Preferences/Midi page/Midi Display Resolution (default 120 ticks per sixteenth note)
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Re: MIDI notes too early

Post by LeVzi »

niles wrote:
LeVzi wrote:What do you mean record my midi out to midi in?
Connect a cable from your MIDI in to your MIDI out.
Set up the following tracks:

MIDI 01 containing a MIDI event
Input: None
Output: Your MIDI out

MIDI 02:
Input: Your MIDI in
Output: none

Arm MIDI 02 and start recording the event on MIDI 01.
After that see how things are lining up.
LeVzi wrote:My buffer size is 40ms.
No offence, but are you serious?
What is that 2048 samples?
That's a lot, I doubt you'll ever play on time with that kind of latency. Without any nifty trick to shift the signal you're playing at (like Ableton), that is.
Your MIDI input will be recorded roughly 40ms seconds before you hear the sound. When I play at that latency all my notes are early too.

How can latency of 40ms record early ? The idea is that it's latent, i.e. late , not early.

Surely Cubase should compensate for that latency then even if it is recording that early ?
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Re: MIDI notes too early

Post by Guest »

LeVzi wrote:How can latency of 40ms record early ? The idea is that it's latent, i.e. late , not early.
Correct, and it is. The only problem is, you want the sound (what you hear while playing) to be on time so you press your keys 40ms early (compensating).
LeVzi wrote: Surely Cubase should compensate for that latency then even if it is recording that early ?
Cubase places the MIDI data at the moment the key is pressed (e.g. the data is time stamped), how it should be.
Live does exactly the same, the big difference is: Live delays the audio of the whole project, except the played instrument by the amount of latency present. That way your overcompensating is compensated and the MIDI track is on time where it should be.

Try this to see what I mean.
Add a rhythmic MIDI event on one track and shift it X ms (X is your 40ms) forward.
Play an additional part on a second track.
After that, shift the first track back.
If you played like you normally do (with the human compensation) you'll see the MIDI you played is on time and where you intended it to be.

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Re: MIDI notes too early

Post by Conman »

niles wrote:Live automatically compensates for delays caused by Live devices and plug-in instruments/effects used on tracks, including return tracks.
The Delay Compensation delays all tracks corresponding to the track which has the highest latency (introduced by the devices/plug-ins).
This ensures, that all tracks are perfectly in sync but may result in a overall higher latency.
Thank you.
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Re: MIDI notes too early

Post by LeVzi »

niles wrote:
LeVzi wrote:How can latency of 40ms record early ? The idea is that it's latent, i.e. late , not early.
Correct, and it is. The only problem is, you want the sound (what you hear while playing) to be on time so you press your keys 40ms early (compensating).
LeVzi wrote: Surely Cubase should compensate for that latency then even if it is recording that early ?
Cubase places the MIDI data at the moment the key is pressed (e.g. the data is time stamped), how it should be.
Live does exactly the same, the big difference is: Live delays the audio of the whole project, except the played instrument by the amount of latency present. That way your overcompensating is compensated and the MIDI track is on time where it should be.

Try this to see what I mean.
Add a rhythmic MIDI event on one track and shift it X ms (X is your 40ms) forward.
Play an additional part on a second track.
After that, shift the first track back.
If you played like you normally do (with the human compensation) you'll see the MIDI you played is on time and where you intended it to be.

OK I kinda get what you are saying, but it doesn't explain the fact that i've done this test without an instrument connected. Just record a blank MIDI track, hitting the keys in time with the metronome.

But if I understand you right, Cubase is playing the metronome without latency, so it's early, if it was to do what ableton does, it would allow for the latency but shifting all sound x ms. (?) Is that it ? So to rectify the problem, either a) something needs to be done to compensate for the latency in Cubase or b) I need to get a much lower latency myself by dropping my buffer right down just to record MIDI ?
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Re: MIDI notes too early

Post by Toronja »

I have solved it (at least for the moment)
As the problem principally was the Metronome, I decided to use audio files, if you play with the default one you have the notes too early, but if you create 2 audio files with some space at the begin (depending how early are your notes recorded) you can record midi tracks with your metronome without problems.
I upload the wav files I use for this, you can change it from TRANSPORT - METRONOME SETUP
Perhaps it helps somebody else

Pablo
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Music Composer / www.pabloborghi.com

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Re: MIDI notes too early

Post by Guest »

LeVzi wrote: But if I understand you right, Cubase is playing the metronome without latency, so it's early, if it was to do what ableton does, it would allow for the latency but shifting all sound x ms. (?) Is that it ?

AFAIK the metronome is spot on.
So when you play on time to the metronome, without a VSTi, the MIDI data should be on time.
LeVzi wrote: So to rectify the problem, either a) something needs to be done to compensate for the latency in Cubase or b) I need to get a much lower latency myself by dropping my buffer right down just to record MIDI ?
Option B, hands down!

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