MIDI and AUDIO not lining up

Hi there,

I have recently purchased Cubase Artist 8 for sequencing of my Korg Kronos.
I connected them via USB to use MIDI/AUDIO functionality (KRONOS AUSIO) and keep things tidy.

The problem I’m having, I guess the most “annoying issue” is timing delay.
I’ve gone through the Cubase manual in order to find any answers to my problem - there were few things but not really clear to me.
I understand that Cubase can compensate timing issues automatically when using internal build-in VST instruments but in my case with Korg Kronos I’m using an external hardware synth.

  1. I recorded MIDI track, then quantised it. All MIDI notes are in line with the grid. However when I play MIDI track back the sound from the Kronos is delayed and I can hear it on the monitors.
  2. Having recorded MIDI track (as above) I thought it was a problem with MIDI and should not affect my AUDIO recording. So I decided to record an Audio track from the MIDI track play back. To my surprise Audio track got even more quantising issues. I had to further adjust it to the grid using hit-points detection, splitting and quantising. Such a hustle!

    I mean we live in 21st Century and still having these timing delays and connection issues. How frustrating!
    I’m not an IT engineer and it is quite difficult to understand what you need to do really.

Anyone please help

hard to say what it is without more info about your setup. os/sound card/cpu/etc

Ok before you start to come up with these “we can fly to the moon but cannot earse Latency” Statement and first blame the software for this how about more details about your configuration?. What Audiointerface are you using? Do you use the correct Asiodriver at a low buffer setting? Where are your monitors connected to? Operating System?

Ok, this is the info:
Mac Desktop OSX version 10.8.5
Processor 2.9 GHz Intel Core i5
Memory 8GB 1600 MHz DDR3

I use internal Korg Kronos Audio/Midi interface that is build-in. The synth is only connected to Mac via USB that can stream 2 Audio (Stereo) channels In/Out and 16 Midi channels. I went for this option as did not want to use any other separate hardware Audio interfaces, connections, settings and such nightmare as I hate mess.
I use the latest Korg driver 2.1 as on their website. Cubase 8 Artist and Kronos both run 64 bit applications.

In the Device set up menus of Cubase I’ve chosen 128 samples buffer as recommended to reduce latency, using Kronos ASIO driver with IN/Out latency around 4.9ms
I ticked the box "latency compensate’ in the record mode as well.

I do not know what else I need to set up to avoid the delays???
Any help?

Hi, please forgive me if I am wrong - I am not 100% certain, but: I think for latency compensation of external gear you have to use the “external Instrument” Feature of cubase. To do this you have to set up a midi device for your Kronos (a “dummy” is sufficient). Then in the vst-connection window you can use this Instrument and establish the audio-Connections.

As far as I remember the simple “midi out, Audio in” does not provide latency compensation. Only “external instruments” does this.

Cheers, Ernst

PS.: If you think about it - without using “external Instrument” cubase cannot know that your midi Output is triggering an Instrument that you record back at the same time. “External Instruments” makes cubase Aware of this and - if you want to call it like this: “Converts” your external gear into a “virtual virtualinstrument” ;o)

I don’t think you should need to set up the Korg as an external instrument just to get the timing right.

Cubase has been synchronizing with external MID instruments for years before VSTs came along and should still do so today. Mine certainly does. I have several external external modules and don’t have your issues MOST of the time. Whenever I do I can only solve it by re-booting the computer or by hitting the PANIC button on my Steinberg MIDEX interface which i think resets everything.

If the MIDI is in time on the grid then there’s a problem with the signal getting through to the Korg which to me suggests either a driver problem or some incompatibility. I have three different USB MIDI interfaces and all have occasionally given me problems but not consistently unless I try to use them all at once.

Is there MIDI activity even when you’re not playing? I’ve seen this as a problem in the past and again a reset is required.

Sorry I can’t be of more help but I do believe this is solvable.

Hi, thank you planarchist, for your view.

I still think that I was right. I remember when the external instruments were introduced, the latency compensation (which means to send midi out EARLY - we are talking of “external latency” and not of the cubase-internal one) was one of the Major improvements. (I am on cubase for 15 years now).

Of course - if the Drivers of the external gear and the device itself are fast enough, you will not experience a drastic latency.

If the device is “slow” (or the Drivers of either the device and/or the Audio Interface) this will be different.

It is the way I stated it: The external Instrument solution provides a Kind of Logical wrapper that treats the external device like an internal vsti - so you have a virtual virtual Instrument and cubase can provide compensation of the delays.

So for the original poster: Please try with “external Instrument” (you will find a latency compensation setting there in the vsti-connections).

Cheers, Ernst

…but if External Instruments is essential for MIDI timing of external modules then how come I can have my very old MIDI modules (20-25 years old) working with versions of Cubase that don’t even have this feature?

To treat the module as though it was a VSTi, yes you need this feature, but not just for playing it in time.

I’ve been using Cubase since before it was Cubase (Cubeat on the Atari ST in the early 90’s) when it was MIDI only and you had to synch to your your tape deck for audio, never have I used the External Instrument feature. Unless newer instruments have really crappy drivers I can’t believe it’s suddenly essential. In fact my old instruments don’t even have drivers, you just plug in a MIDI cable and tell Cubase which channel.

I’m not saying it won’t solve the issue but if it does then there’s something wrong in the system set-up somewhere else.

Hi you :slight_smile: we share a common experiece with cubase. I dont want to
argue i just want to help the op :slight_smile:.

Just because i am curious: if you route a midi track to a vsti and at the same time to an extetnal
module… do they sound simultanuously?
And: if you record those to audio… does everything align properl?

Br ernst

…hi, not wanting to argue either…I know it sometimes can get that way in forums without meaning to :smiley:

Also want to help the OP.

Will indeed try your suggestion this afternoon and let you and the OP know what happens.

I’ll do it in both Artist 6 and my trial of Pro 8.

Ill also make a check on any settings I have in place but I haven’t changed anything in years…

BR Nic

Hi, thank you :slight_smile:

now I am curious what we find out :slight_smile:

BR, Ernst

The results of my tests as suggested…

No audible timing differences between the Halion SE Piano internal VSTi and my old Proformance Piano module which was linked to Cubase via a pretty old Steinberg MIDEX 8 (thus USB & MIDI cable).

I then routed both tracks out through an analog mixer and back into Cubase. The only evidence of any timing delay here is a very slight phasing of the piano sound when the Halion direct and Halion re-recorded are played back together (same for Proformance). No discernible time delay other than this.

The re-recording of MIDI instruments was better than I expected, I had thought there might be more of a delay here than a bit of phasing. The MIDI instrument timing I’m not really surprised by as I’ve been doing it this way for years, mainly because I like the sound of some of my old modules and the early VSTis were poor in comparison and hungry for my then basic PC’s resources. If there were consistently timing errors I’d be spotting them. As I already mentioned I do have them occasionally, though I don’t think I’ve had any with the Pro 8 trial so far.

For the OP I have some further questions.
How long is the delay?
Is it always the same?
Do have access to another MIDI interface?

Hi planarchist,

many thanks for your Information. Very interresting results. I am also curious about the original poster’s Problem and Situation, hopefully he can sort things óut.

Cheers, Ernst

Hi guys, thank you very much for your inputs.
I hope I’ve got a good equipment in my studio set up and I use latest korg Kronos drivers v2.1 both Cubase and Kronos running 64bit.
I trust my ears that I play keybord in line with the rithm when recording MIDI track. On top of that I always quantise it to the grid. The problem is comming from the playback. My monitors and headphones are connected to the Korg Kronos and the Audio is obviously streamed through the internal Audio/Midi interface.
Couple of days ago I reduced sample rate (buffer) from 128 to 64. Though I have noticed just a tiny bit of reduction in latency I cannot reduce it further as will get some audiable clicks and cracks.
I am sure this is something to do with connections and settings in Cubase.
I use Cubase 8 Artist version which is mid range and it does not have an ‘external instruments’ settings TAB in the busses In/Out section. If this is the problem than I will have to upgrade it to Cubase PRO 8. But this would be rediculos paying extra £200 or such… :open_mouth:

Until the Pro 8 trial came along I’ve been using Artist 6 and so also had no access to the “External Instruments” tab either and yet do not have your problems with MIDI or audio playback. It should not happen and you shouldn’t need “External Instruments” to solve the problem.

Personally I suspect the interface in the Kronos but if you don’t have access to an alternative interface this is hard to test one way or the other. As I understand it the Kronos is a Workstation and my limited experience of these is that they are complicated to set up with other units, particularly where the other units are doing the controlling

I’m not sure I fully understand how it integrates with your set-up anyway. I assume the following:-

The only link between your computer and the Kronos is a USB cable?
Your monitors and headphones are plugged into the Kronos?
Thus everything recorded through Cubase is monitored via the Kronos.

Have you tried playing your quantised MIDI sequence on a VSTi rather than one of the Kronos’s voices?
Have you tried listening to this via some other monitoring system directly attached to your computer?

I would suggest that the OP post at Korg Forums in the Kronos forum. There’s some knowledgeable people there concerning the Kronos specifically. Not that I see a problem with Kronos, but the difference between the OP and some other responses is that the OP is not using a standard MIDI interface, or an audio interface. He’s just using USB, so it’s important that the drivers are correct, and set up correctly for what he wants to do. External Instrument in Cubase may indeed help, too.

Hey guys,

Thanks for your support. I’ve done some testing. I created a new ‘Instrument’ track with Halion Sonic and copied MIDI data from the previously recorded Midi track to the instrument track. I wanted to see if I would still have timing issues when playing it back. To my surprise there were no any latency issues.
That proves that something is wrong with the settings of Cubase or connections to Korg Kronos.
I will try to experiment today with connections and Buffer size (i’ve already reduced it to 64 bit, not sure if I can go even lower to 32). Also I’ve got a MOTU Microbook Audio interface I want to try instead of using Kronos built-in one.
Though very little hope left after watching youtube videos re latency… :frowning:

I think I’ve sorted it out !!!
I’ve got now just a tiny bit (not even audible) amount of latency.
In the project settings - Sample rate - I’ve chosen 48kHz instead of 44kHz
So now my Mac is running at 64 bit, Cubase 8 - at 64 bit, Kronos - at 24 bit
If I convert my Midi track now to the Audio, I can see a small quantising issue but it is very easy to fix by shifting the whole audio track as the delay gaps are equal.
I cannot believe it that 44kHz caused the issue.
I am thinking now what happens if I change a Bit rate from 24 samples to 32 in the Project set up - will it reduce that tiny amount of delay at all?