Midi device latency problem

I have just bought an Akai MPK II midi keyboard usb controller to use with my studio PC. I am running Cubase 8.5 with all updates in place. Using a Focusrite Saffire Pro 40 firewire interface. The MPK plugs into the PC, not the interface because there is no usb port on the interface.

I have a latency problem that makes it unusable. I have tried the Akai forums with no joy. Anyone here got some advice?

So describe your latency problem.
Are midi notes not recorded at the right time?
(enable the click and record some notes just tapping the keyboard along with the click, without assigning a sound to it).
See if the notes line up nicely with the grid. If they do, then your latency problem is actually with your Focusrite buffer settings and not with the AKAI.

Thanks Strophoid. I checked what you suggested. Yes the notes line up if I play along, but the audio as I play the midi keyboard notes is delayed. I have tried lowering the buffer size on the Focusrite all the way down as low as it will go, but the audio is still delayed and if I lower the buffer below 512 it starts distorting anyway.

I am thinking I need a keyboard that will plug into the midi input of the Focusrite, rather than the usb port of the computer. If I can’t get this MPK working properly in the next day or so it is going on to ebay. I don’t think it is compatible with my firewire interface.

Strophoid is right.
The keyboard is not the problem.
If you get a new one, it will likely be the same.

I would try to find out why you can’t go under 512 sample buffer size.

I use several midi keyboards connected via usb and I can go down to 128 samples buffer without problems.

Exactly, your midi keyboard seems to work fine.
If you start hearing dropouts below 512 buffersize on an otherwise empty project, then there is some room for improvement.
Unfortunately getting your system to run smoothly at low latency can be quite a challenge.
Can you give us some specifics on your computer hardware?

The video linked below gives a good explanation of buffer size and latency.
It’s a bit long so if you’re not interested you can skip to around 22 minutes in, where they start to discuss possible culprits in your system…

I just added my gear configuration to my signature so you can see what I use.

The project in which I am trying to use the MPK is almost empty. No audio. One Superior Drummer midi drum track and the track I am trying to use the MPK with - midi bass through Halion 5. It is 3.5mb in size. All plugins and channel strips are bypassed. ASIO guard is switched off, so it’s latency is zero. Driver latency in is 11.995ms and latecy out is 13.741ms.

Even when I reduce the buffer size of the Focusrite interface down to 32 (the minimum) the latency problem is exactly the same as it is at 512, except distorted.

I have a hunch that the ‘round trip’ required by ther MPK being plugged into the PC and not the interface is the problem, but I don’t have the technical background to know if this is right. I can’t think of any other explanation.

Post some screenshots of your ASIO configuration (device setup) and vst connections and your focusrite asio panel settings.

Screenshots below.


Let me know if you need more.

Hi the uploaded picture isn’t available, try to upload it in the message itself by using the full editor.

Do you have any plugins on your master? Ozone, multiband compressor?
Did you try to disable the plugins instead of bypassing?
Maybe you could try the Constrain delay compensation…

Asio guard shouldn’t be a problem. It could actually help if you want lower latency. As soon as track is record enabled or monitored, it switches back to real time processing path. No additional delay is added to this track.

If you say the midi notes line up nicely and it’s just the sound that’s delayed, I still think the keyboard is ok.

I’m out of ideas on this one…
Changing the buffersize has no effect on the perceived latency, and midi notes are recorded as they should… So all should be well.
Something seems off with the plugin delay compensation or ASIO latency, but I can’t figure out what would cause your problems.

I can’t think of any other source of delay, unless you’re doing some kind of post processing on your amplifier, but that’s something only some TV’s do.

I dont have permission to add attachments, not even in the full editor. Sorry about that.

See if this link works. This is the first time I have tried to share pics on Google Photos:


Still no joy. No answers here and none on the Akai forum either. I am getting rid of the MPK and looking for something else. Thanks to those who offered help.

I had similar issues with delayed sound from VST instruments…found that turning off OZONE which was on the Stereo Out buss eliminated problem…

I have a Soundblaster XFI, most will laugh at it. But it has a Asio driver that works very well and you can setup Asio Latency as milliseconds, i have mine at 8ms. I had a USB Focusrite, and it did really everything but doing a good asio latency. Still using slots in a pc to me is better then any usb driver of asio or hardware. Somehow with Cubase you must have luck and have a systems that works. But the midi latency should be below at least 10ms. And with C9 and Maudio Oxygen61, a simple soundblaster as a card in a slot, pretty cheap, but all whats needed is SSD, processorpower and low asio latency.