Cubase External Instrument latency (Moog Sub37 and other hardware synths)


I have a couple of hardware synths, all connected with DIN to the Motu MIDI Express 128, which is connected via usb to my Mac Mini.
I route all my synths to the inputs of an UAD Apollo 8 Thunderbolt interface. During recording in Cubase 10/11, there is latency.

My workaround solution is record/bounce the incoming audio to an audio track and then pull it back in to time manually by aligning the recorded clicks to the beat. But surely, there must be an easier way.

An External Instrument plug-in includes a “delay setting” but I have no idea how to measure the delay per External Instrument track.
Or do I have to adjust Active ASIO-Guard or other settings in Cubase?
Constrain Delay Compensation does not help in my case (I don’t use inserts on my External Instrument track while recording).

I have uploaded some screenshots here (Dropbox):

Any help much appreciated.
Thank you,

Kind regards,

I measure it manually.

How? Just select a snappy sound (like a kick drum) on the Sub37 and add a midi track that plays 16th notes over and over, record it and import back into Cubase.
Zoom in the audio waveform and check how long the notes are behind the actual 16th steps in the Cubase grid.

Change the delay setting in External instruments by hand, until you make it good enough. For my setup, usually somewhere between 2 ms and 8 ms

Note that this will change if you change your audio interface latency.

cool thanks but how did you calculate the delay? could you please take a look at this screenshot, I am not sure what the delay is here…

You need to change to show Bars+Beats to see if it matches the exact beat of the midi notes you put in. It looks like you have done it correctly. But, you have to adjust the Delay time and record the synth several times until you find the “exact” Delay time you need.

Here’s a screenshot:

There IS another way to find the Delay time, and that is to calculate it. Check your audio interface settings. Depending on what audio interface you have, it may show you the latency in milliseconds or in number of samples.

If your audio interface is showing the latency in samples, divide the number of samples by your sample rate:

For instance 128 samples in seconds = 128/44100 = 0,0029 seconds = 2,9 ms.

So if your audio interface has a latency of 128 samples and you have set Cubase to use 44100 Hz, the Delay time you must set is 2,9 ms (or higher as it also depends on what the delay is of the synths MIDI interface. That is why I prefer do to it manually to get the most correct setting).