delay when recording midi


so I just got this midi keyboard today and I’m trying to use it but ran into an annoying problem I can’t figure out. I am using cubase 5, my keyboard is the M-Audio Keyrig 49, I’m using the steinberg Ci2+ interface.

here’s my issue:

when using Halion one, I’m recording the midi notes live by hitting them on my keyboard. it doesn’t matter what sound I use…I will hit the keys perfectly in sync with the metronome, but when I play it back, the timing is off.

I was looking through the forums and saw someone say that the problem could be caused by their USB cable? I just have the one that came with my keyboard.

if someone can help that would be awesome! I finally got to a point where I was ready to record with my keyboard and violin and everything…and the keyboard notes were off. so frustrating.


Are you hearing the notes in sync when you play them … but they are off on playback? If so, then it’s probably not an audio latency problem … but midi latency.

When you say the timing is off … do you mean between the notes you play or simply against the metronome? If the midi recording is properly synced … but just off the metronome, you can simply take of the ‘snap’ feature in the project window and slide the file to the left (or right) until it syncs back up with the metronome, turn ‘snap’ back on and you’re good to go.


hey como

I know what you’re talking about, if I was to have started the recording between beats on the metronome then the notes themselves would be correct, and it could be solved just by moving the track to the correct position.

in my situation, some of the notes come early, some come late, and some are right on time.

i have no idea what the problem is…it could be simple but i’m new at this


No offense … but I have no idea how good of a player you are! If the timing is just off a little, then you should consider learning how to quantize … a way to automatically move selected midi notes either exactly on a strict timing grid or alternatively relatively close to one. Read the section on quantizing in the manual.

If it is really erratic … that suggests something seriously amiss with your setup. Or gear? Got a friend who can bring another piece of midi gear over and check it out on your system. Potential suspects include your new keyboard, your midi input and or the midi drivers for your keyboard.

That’s about as far as I can go to help. Hopefully someone else here can get you further down the road if you can’t find a solution.


Check the Auto Quantize button (in the bottom left corner of the transport bar). If it’s on, it could be quantizing your MIDI notes according to the value set in the toolbar Snap/Quantize button, in which case turn it off or set a more appropriate value. If that’s not the case, try going to Devices=>Device Setup=>MIDI Port Setup and ticking “Use System Timestamp for MIDI Inputs”.

Did you solve your other problem with vst presets? I wrote you a detailed answer (

thanks so much el russo, the auto quantize button was on, and now that its off the sounds are coming back the way I put them in. so simple…but I never would have figured it out on my own.

since we’re on the topic…can you explain to me what quantizing means? I’ve watched some tutorial videos on it, but none that have talked to me as if I’m a total noob; they use other big words I don’t understand…just makes me more confused.

thanks, you’re awesome!

Hi, Violinist. I’m glad it worked.
Regarding quantization. No wonder the idea of it wasn’t easy to grasp since the whole concept of mechanical straightening of note positions on a grid should be alien to any musician who plays an acoustic instrument, which is not bad at all, but rather natural. However, sometimes the material you record cannot be played precisely on time for various reasons (drum patterns, small note values, moderate playing skills etc.). That’s when quantization may come in handy.

If you read scores you should know that a bar is a relative measure of time that can be filled with notes and rests of different rhythmic values depending on the time signature. Imagine a bar with 4/4 signature as a grid of 4 squares (or note positions) equally distant from each other. Any note or rest you record gets placed on one of those squares only, not letting you miss its position, even if in absolute time you might have missed it. This is what happens when you turn auto quantize on an set the quantize value of 1/4. Set the quantize value of 1/16 and your measure is going to consist of 16 note positions and whatever you record gets automatically placed on the position on the grid which your playing in absolute time is closest to.

Now let’s approach this in reversed order. You recorded some MIDI material and found that some notes are out of time. You select those notes in the key editor and run Quantize command. The program asks you what quantize value you would like to set, which means how many equal note positions (grid squares) you’d like to divide your measure (grid) into. You set this value and run the command and the program makes sure the notes you selected are put in the appropriate grid squares.

Quantization is something you have to not overdo with. If you fill your measure with only 1/4 notes, but then set the quantize value of 1/32, the program then has 32 positions to choose from for the notes placement, which might give you the result you didn’t intend to achieve. You have to experiment a little, but soon you will be seeing right away which value would be the most appropriate in any given case.

If this doesn’t clarify the quantize concept, feel free to ask more questions.