Latency issue when playing with virtual instruments

Hi Dorico Experts,

I follow the advice and create a separate post for each problem so that the clarity is guaranteed.

Compared to Cubase Pro 7.5, which I own, I have a slightly increased but very annoying latency in the Dorico Elements demo. This latency primarily affects improvising without recording, which is very important for me to try out ideas, for Inspiration or just for playing virtual piano. I haven’t tested the latency when recording midi yet, but here latency is just as important to me.
I use a Roland UA-55 Quad-Capture as an audio interface.
I use East West Symphonic Orchestra Platinum Plus, Vienna Synchron Steinway Full as virtual instruments. I have this problem with both virtual instruments and also the Halion Sonic SE 3.
I have to activate Midi Thru in Cubase Pro 7.5 as well as in Dorico Elements Demo, otherwise there is no sound.
This latency problem prevents me from making a purchase (Dorico Elements / Dorico Pro).
I own a E-Piano Yamaha Clavinova CLP - 585 which is directly connected to my Computer via USB (USB to Host). Same with my Akai MPK 249.
The buffer size of my audio interface is the same as in Cubase.

Thanks for help.

German Translation:
Im Vergleich zu Cubase Pro 7.5, was ich besitze, habe ich in der Dorico Elements Demo eine leicht erhöhte, aber sehr störende Latenz. Diese Latenz betrifft in erster Linie das Improvisieren ohne Aufnahme, was aber für mich zum Ausprobieren und zur Inspiration sehr wichtig ist. Ich habe die Latenz bei der Aufnahme von Midi noch nicht getestet, aber hier ist die Latenz genauso wichtig für mich.
Ich benutze ein Rloand UA-55 Quad-Capture als Audio Interface.
Ich benutze East West Symphonic Orchestra Platinum Plus, Vienna Synchron Steinway Full als virtuelle Instrumente. Mit beiden virtuellen Instrumenten und auch den Halion Sonic SE 3 habe ich dieses Problem.
Sowohl in Cubase Pro 7.5, als auch in Dorico Elements Demo muss ich Midi Thru aktivieren, sonst kommt kein Ton.
Dieses Latenz Problem hält mich sehr von einer Anschaffung ab (Dorico Elements / Dorico Pro).
Ich besitze ein E-Piano von Yamaha (CLP - 585), was direkt per USB (USB to Host) mit meinem Computer verbunden ist. Dasselbe gilt auch für mein Akai MPK 249.
Die Buffersize meines Audiointerfaces ist die Gleiche wie in Cubase.

Danke für die Hilfe.

Can you say how long the latency is, roughly speaking? When I play a note on my MIDI keyboard, I perceive the sound being echoed back to me by Dorico instantaneously. How long is the latency on your system? A tenth of a second, a quarter of a second? Longer?

FYI, I can reproduce this problem on my system too. (I’m using external MIDI normally, so it’s not actually a problem for me)
The latency isn’t terrible, but it’s enough to be a problem. My guess is a few tens of milliseconds.
Using Yamaha P-515 for both MIDI and audio, over the same USB cable. Audio driver is the Yamaha Steinberg ASIO driver, buffer size 64 samples. Tried two different VSTs.

Hi Daniel,

It is hard to estimate the latency. The only thing I can say, that the latency is noticeable longer than in Cubase Pro 7.5. It is long enough to be quiet annoying. I have already tested Dorico Elements and now I am testing Dorico Pro. I have the same problem here, although I use the same audio interface settings as in Cubase Pro 7.5.

This problem definitely prevents me from buying. I would be really happy if we could solve this problem. Is there maybe any conflict between the audio interface driver and any driver of Dorico / Asio??

The Roland Quad-Capture UA-55 uses an Asio driver, too.

Are you able to make a little video using e.g. your phone showing you playing on your keyboard so that we can hear the latency between you playing the note and Dorico echoing it back?

Is the latency still large if you change the sound to a piano? Some of the orchestral samples have a significant attack and will increase the perceived latency.

Hello Daniel at Steinberg,

I think it is too difficult for me to make this video good enough regarding the audibility/visibility of my latency. I tried to estimate my latency using youtube metronome clips. I estimate my latency values using these videos to be around maybe 80ms - 30ms. In comparison: Cubase shows me a latency values of approximately 11ms - 6ms. The latency is perceptible while playing.

Hello PaulWalmsley,

I have tried both VSL Synchron Steinway, East West Play and Halion Sonic SE 3. Especially when using a piano sound both in Halion Sonic SE and with VSL Synchron Steinway it is perceptible/noticeable.

Greetings Johannes

Can you do Help > Create Diagnostic Report and attach the that it writes to your desktop?

Hey @PaulWalmsley please find enclosed my diagnostics file.

Please note that I have not installed the included VSTs from Steinberg e.g. Halion Sonic Se3 and HSO for the moment. I have not wanted to install 9 GB for first try. I am now testing Dorico Pro by the way.
When I tested Dorico Elements before, I had installed the sound files belonging to Dorico Elements. In Dorico Elements I had the same problem, despite the sound installation.

Strangely enough, since I installed Dorico Elements and now Dorico Pro, I also have a problem that in short intervals the velocity of a pressed key is much too high, so that I almost get scared. Then everything is ok again for a short time and then the sudden velocity peak comes back.

Maybe there is a connection between the latency problem and the velocity peaks that helps to solve the latency issue.

Greetings Johannes
Dorico (850 KB)

I’ve had a look through your log file but I can’t see anything in there that shows the problem. It’s reporting the use of your (Roland?) Quad Capture @ 44.1k and 128 samples, which normally should give very low latency. You mention that you have to put Cubase in MIDI Thru mode, so do you mean that you are running Cubase and Dorico at the same time? That may increase the latency.

Hello Paul Walmsley,

thanks for your research in log file. Yes, I am using a Roland Quad-Capture with 44.1k and 128 samples as my audio interface. Until now I have not running Cubase and Dorico at the same time.
I’ve always used either just Cubase or just Dorico.

Yes, I have to activate Midi Thru in Cubase as well as in Dorico, otherwise I won’t get any sound. I have no clue whats the cause of this.

Before I tested Dorico for the first time (Elements), I downloaded the midi driver for my e-piano from the Yamaha website and also the Steinberg audio driver, which is available from Yamaha too.

I actually deleted the Steinberg Audio driver again.

What I find very peculiar is that since I installed Dorico Elements for the first time, I have this velocity problem, which repeatedly occurs with very loud velocity of a note when playing or recording VSL Steinway. Since then I have had the problem in Cubase too and also with the standalone version of the VSL Synchron Steinway.
The latency is still good in Cubase and have not changed, I think I get a latency of 6ms - 10ms. But it’s really mysterious that the latency in Dorico is so noticeably worse than in Cubase.

Are there possibly driver conflicts somewhere?!? Maybe there is a connection between bad latency and Cubase and the midi velocity incidence.

Would be great if we could somehow solve the problem, until my test version expires and I have to make a decision.

I’m really not sure what’s happening here. There should be no connection between the MIDI thru setting of Cubase and Dorico, as Dorico doesn’t use any of Cubase’s preferences. Can I check that you are using the Quad-Capture ASIO driver in Edit > Device Setup, and not the ASIO Generic Low Latency driver?

The velocity problem is also very strange. Try recording some MIDI in Cubase and look at the recorded velocities to see if you see high velocities there. If you do then there’s a problem with either the piano or the MIDI device. If the velocities are normal but when you play back they sound loud then that suggests a problem with the VSL Steinway plugin.

One other thing to try - use a different USB port. We’ve seen strange problems in the past with drivers producing random data which are fixed by plugging into a different port (due to power and data bandwidth). Also if you have a can of compressed air, that can be good for blowing dust out from the keyboard and other controls, which can fix some problems with devices sending random MIDI messages.

I’m also having issues with latency and it’s pretty bad. I’m getting 40ms of latency on a 6-core Mac Pro. Buffer size is all the way down to 32 samples. I have no problems with latency on any other program. And I use tons of VI’s with MOTU Digital Performer (for example). It doesn’t matter what Sound Output I use. Running at 44.1kHz.

hammerman, can you provide a bit more information? How are you measuring the latency? Is the latency experienced when doing real-time recording, or when echoing notes during step-time input, or in another situation? For real-time input, you could try adjusting the latency compensation value in Preferences, as described here.

Hi Daniel. Sure thing. I have a Kurzweil MIDI keyboard and when I play a note (no Input Mode, Step Input Mode, Realtime Input Mode) I get a flam (if I leave the output of the MIDI keyboard to a piano sound, therefor hearing 2 pianos - Kurzweil and Halion). I then record that and measure the space between the attacks of both notes. I have tried DoricoBeep, Halion piano, Kontakt with a wood block, it doesn’t matter. Realtime MIDI Input works perfectly but as a pianist, I can still feel a little bit of latency. It’s workable and I don’t have to play notes a hair early. It just feels like Dorico is not prioritizing Audio latency or there is an issue with the ASIO Driver. Last thing: it doesn’t matter if I route audio through my Apple Display, MOTU audio interface, Mac speaker, etc… It’s all the same latency.

So, presumably if you turned off MIDI Thru, you would have no problem playing along with Dorico playback.

Then I can’t hear any of Dorico’s sounds (Halion) or I am floating between 2 different piano sounds (Kurzweil and Halion) and that is disconcerting.

Unfortunately it is the same for me.

For test purposes I have now connected my Yamaha CLP 585 e-piano to my Roland Quadcapture UA55 via Midi and removed the “USB to Host” from my computer. This setup did not solve the problem with either the latency in Dorico or the “sudden velocity peaks” either.

The latency is still good in Cubase. In Dorico, the latency is still worse (approx. 40ms or more).

As I said, I have had the Velocity Peaks problem since installing Dorico in general, both in Dorico, Cubase and Standalone versions of Vsts. Maybe something is causing a conflict here.

Where are all the audio / midi drivers actually installed on a windows computer? I wanted to see if anything was left of the Yamaha USB-Midi driver and the Steinberg Yamaha audio driver after deleting them.

In search of the causes of the problems I tried to delete the Dorico co-installed Asio Low Latency Driver. The deletion did not help either.

Like hammerman, I have to activate midi thru in both Cubase and Dorico, even now after I’ve removed USB to host and connected the keyboard to the Roland interface via midi.

Thanks and greetings Johannes

I’ll also point out that initially, I had all the Halion sounds on my internal SSD system drive. I decided to move them to my VI and Sample drive (also internal SSD) with better performance). It made no difference.

Hey Daniel@Steinberg and PaulWalmsley,

I just wanted to ask if the topic is still considered and on the research list. My Dorico trial version will expire soon and, as I said, this issue is holding me back a little from a purchase.

Hey hammerman and others who know this issue,

let us know your solutions if you discover some.