Delay problems with External Instuments


I’m having a problem with external instruments being recorded “late” when triggering them via midi from cubase.
The same happens when I just render the part in real time.

I’ve followed the instructions for setting up an external instrument and associating a midi device, which I understand is supposed to use delay compensation, but it seems not to be working.

I have a DSI Poly Evolver which i created an external instrument for, and since there is no template for it in cubase, I just associated it with a GM device.

When lining up the exported parts with the midi there is a consistant delay between the midi note and the rendered audio from the synth.

If i just record the synth like a regular instrument, ie play it live into cubase, i’m not getting these delays.

Any ideas what’s going on here? Or do i have to just manually adjust delays and/or align things visually?


Try enabling Constrain Delay Compensation.


Thanks for the suggestion. I tired it and it made very little difference.
I’ve attached an image showing the pretty much consistant delay across a variety of patches from the synth.

I’ve tried lowest buffer settings (32) which also made no difference.
Screen shot 2011-08-16 at 10.03.35 PM.png

To diagnose the problem, did you try to record the midi output to the midi input to see if the midi timing is spot on! If it is you know midi timing isn’t the issue.


Do you mean connect the out to the in of my midi interface to itself? If so I tried that, sent midi out and re-recorded it on another midi track, timing was spot on.

Edit - on close inspection it wasn’t spot on. Re-recording midi from the interface back into itself actually places the midi notes slightly earlier on the grid… but that doesn’t explain why audio is being captured late…

True, it was a long shot. I don’t know anything about Mac so I’m afraid I can’t give any useful tips.
I assume you tested it without any processing VST’s running!?

Yes, blank project with just the synth loaded up.

This could be affecting the recorded audio:

If not, then it might be the synth that is causing the delay. How long of a delay is it? I have a number of external synths and each have a different delay time. The longest is my Virus C with about a 10 millisecond delay.

thanks… my settings look exactly like that… 0 samples. Looks like it’s a manual job to align things after bouncing.
The delay is quite short, I haven’t measured it but it’s significant enough to cause problems where tight timing is required.

I know what you mean. A mere 3 millisecond delay is enough to drive me crazy. And that’s about as short as it gets with external gear. For me anyway. I usually just adjust the MIDI track’s delay setting to compensate.

Great, thanks for the info, really helps.
Is there any specific way you measure the delay so you know how much to compensate?

Make sure the Time Display is set to seconds in the Transport Panel and use the Range tool to measure the delay.

Excellent. Thanks for taking the time to help out!

No probs. Glad to help. Just out of curiosity, how long was the delay?

seems to vary slightly from patch to patch but generally around 3-5ms

That’s about normal I’d say.