Any chance of a low latency mode for realtime MIDI recording (or other solution)?

I’ve found with my slower computer (2015 MacBook Pro) the latency when recording via realtime MIDI is distractingly slow, even with the buffer set to as low a setting as I’m able. I was therefore wondering if Dorico is considering something similar to Logic Pro’s “Low Latency Mode” setting. This is a setting, when invoked, that reduces the CPU load by eliminating any fx plug-ins or other unnecessary elements that could slow the computer down, allowing MIDI input to be truly in “realtime” (albeit with the playback not reflecting the current state of things as far as fx, etc.).

I know (Dan?) suggested temporarily turning off Midi Thru as another option whenever one records MIDI in real-time, but (unless I’m misunderstanding) doing so also prevents a given staff you’re recording to from being audible when recording (or even when wanting to just hear the sounds of a particular staff by clicking on a given staff temporarily, etc.), plus it seems cumbersome to have to turn off/on MIDI thru whenever I want to record.

Thanks for any thoughts!

  • D.D.

I turn it off and leave it off. I use computer sound for playback, but not for auditioning during recording.

Turning off MIDI thru doesn’t silence notes when you click on them.

For what it’s worth, I would personally find it difficult to do realtime MIDI without actually hearing what I’m entering as I’m entering it (especially if it’s something more improvisational at first, etc.). And turning MIDI thru off DOES prevent me from going to a staff and immediately being able to audition the sound of that staff’s instrument before recording (something that I’d commonly want to do before hitting “Record”). So it still seems like it could be useful if there was a way to keep MIDI Thru “on” but also reduce the CPU load such that latency is reduced as much as possible when realtime MIDI recording (as Logic Pro does with it’s “Low Latency Mode” button - a function I would imagine is pretty common in other DAW’s as well and which could also perhaps be effective here). My two cents.

  • D.D.

I hear ya. I always use a keyboard with its own internal audio, so I can play with no latency.

It should be possible to open a standalone VST player for low latency audio while inputting so you could just leave MIDI Thru to off. You would probably need to use some sort of program like MIDI-OX or a software virtual cable to enable both the standalone and Dorico to receive the MIDI signal simultaneously. That way you could hear a piano sound while inputting but still hear the full range of sounds on playback.

My keyboard has sounds, but shares my computer speakers, so I just use a Mackie Big Knob passive to quickly switch between keyboard and Dorico with one button. I also sometimes just use Focal open-back headphones so I can listen to computer playback through my headphones using my DAC/amp and keyboard input through the speakers, which is useful when transcribing.

Opening a stand-alone piano sound outside of Dorico on my computer and then muting Dorico’s MIDI-thru IS a pretty compelling-sounding workaround, so I’ll try that (thanks both!) I will still hope, though (fingers crossed) that Dorico may at some point (among their I’m sure long list of future potential features!) consider a Low Latency Mode, which I’ve found indispensable in Logic (especially, in Dorico’s case, as their Play Mode gets more and more mature and allows for increasing fx plug-ins and other things that will otherwise eat into the latency even more).

Best -

  • D.D.

I use DLS-MIDI-Synth, available on the Mac App Store, which is a low-resource app that uses MacOS’s built-in General MIDI samples. FWIW, my 2014 MBP seems to cope admirably.

This really was an excellent idea. I’ve had success using PianoTeq’s Stage piano (which I already had). Even with it’s built-in audio buffer set (as is needed to avoid crackling) to 256, it feels like “real-time” and notes played while recording in realtime in Dorico (with PianoTeq opened outside the piano and Dorico’s MIDI thru off as suggested) sound a significant amount sooner than playback in Dorico itself (where the buffer needs to be higher), preserving timing. Fingers crossed, though, that perhaps Dorico will eventually come up with their own “Low Latency Mode”-type solution so I can hear the sounds I’m actually playing on the respective staves, etc. and can keep MIDI thru on (but definitely an excellent workaround!)
Best -

  • D.D.