Old 07-14-2011, 12:19 PM   #1
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Default MIDI input lag?

I have a MIDI keyboard and MIDI-to-USB cable attached to my computer. When I play a note, it takes Reaper almost a second to echo the note back on the MS synth or ReaSynth. Is that normal?

(Well, maybe not a second, but a significant delay. Makes it unplayable.)
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Old 07-14-2011, 12:47 PM   #2
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It is normal... mostly, but you can do something about it.

The problem is called latency and put simply the delay is caused by the time it takes your computer and soundcard to process the midi hits from the input through Reaper and off to whatever is making the sounds for you.

First up - avoid the MS synth - it's not great for latency.

Secondly, you need to reduce your buffer settings (the amount of "buffer" than the PC uses incase it gets busy when it needs to go and grab more audio data).

You do this by going to the Preferences in Reaper, but if you are using ASIO drivers you will need to alter the buffers in the soundcard's control panel.

Now, it is a tradeoff.... the more you reduce the latency the more likely you are to start getting pops and clicks, especially when your project is heavily loaded.

But it's fine to swap between a lower latency for tracking and a larger latency for mixing.

Last edited by XonXoff; 07-14-2011 at 12:48 PM. Reason: typo
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Old 07-14-2011, 05:31 PM   #3
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Deactivate (uncheck) the MS Synth in the Midi Devices page. Even just having it checked can cause uber latency.
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Old 07-14-2011, 09:51 PM   #4
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Do you have a decent ASIO USB device?

You cant play live MIDI using standard audio hardware.
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Old 07-15-2011, 02:42 AM   #5
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.. though it's possible with lots of standard/onboard soundcards using asio4all.
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Old 07-16-2011, 06:08 AM   #6
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Thanks for all the information. I installed ASIO4ALL and it eliminated the latency problem.
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Old 08-17-2011, 07:40 AM   #7
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Default MIDI latency low = good. Audio input gone = bad.

I, too, use ASIO4ALL to combat MIDI latency now that I have Windows 7/Reaper 4. It's the only one of my options that yields no noticeable lag. Strangely, though, when I select it in Audio Device settings in Preferences, it can't enable any audio input. My only options are "Not Connected." I assume this is because I need actual third-party hardware? There's no way to have ASIO4ALL just use the PC's audio inputs? Sorry for the nube question, but I'm more of a Mac/ProTools guy. My audio recording needs for the work I do on this PC are minimal, but I do need to record audio occasionally.
Also, ASIO4ALL being selected means any other app on my PC cannot use audio, so I have to change out of that driver if I'm not recording MIDI. Quite inconvenient, would love if anyone had a better suggestion.

Last edited by ebtihal; 08-24-2011 at 08:59 AM.
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