Midi Input Data Recorded with more Latency on Instrument Tracks than Midi Tracks

If I record midi into a Midi track the midi data is recorded with a lot less input latency than if I record into an Instrument track with a VST on it or even using Cubase’s in-built Sampler Control.

Driving me nuts.

I understand there being latency through a plugin but surely the recording of midi input data is pre-plugin so shouldn’t have plugin latency on the recorded data.

Been trying to fix this and I’m getting nowhere.

2015 15" Intel i7, 16GB ram mbp, Monterey 12.6.7
Cubase 12.0.70
Using a Unitor 8 USB interface for the midi.

Cheers for any help with settings, etc.


Could you attach a screenshot worth the comparison? My expectation is, you are sending the MIDI data to the MIDI and Instrument track simultaneously to be able to compare. Then you can easy see in the List Editor the Delta time between these two tracks.

Recorded on all four tracks at once.
I just manually tapped in some midi.

Similar behavior here. I’m using Vienna Ensemble Pro though, with ASIO Latency Compensation, and assume it has to do with some difference in how the latency compensation engine works / doesn’t work with external instruments. It sucks.

Not sure whether you’re a Windows user, but personally speaking ASIO on Mac confuses me. I didn’t think it made any difference on Mac’s. Really don’t know. I’ve tried all the different settings enabling and disabling it and setting everything to default, etc.

I don’t think the updated Unitor driver for MacOS 12+ is going to affect performance with Cubase. The Unitor, it’s driver (with Logic) timestamps MIDI I believe when it is recorded and played back so it more properly aligns when viewed in the arrange window. For sending to external instruments, the Unitor can delay/align the MIDi data such that it is sent at the same time out of all the Unitor ports. Such a MIDI timestamp feature is part of the new MIDI 2 spec - but MIDI 2 is not yet common. With Cubase you lose this timestamp functionality. PDC does not usually apply when inputting audio for recording or tracking. In that case, do as close to “direct monitoring” of the audio source as possible that is triggered via MIDI. You can try reducing audio buffer size as much as possible. I’ve found in Cubase smaller audio buffers seems to work better with ASIO priority set to normal. You could also try not using the Unitor and test send/rcv of MIDI over USB if your devices have USB connections and see if that results in better timing.

Not sure you read the problem properly.

Regarding midi output, I use Expert Sleepers ES-40, ESX-8MD and ESX-8GT for super-tight midi-over-S/PDIF.

The issue is that VST instruments and the Sampler Track add latency to the input.

Just tried inputting midi with the midi in on my Prism Orpheus soundcard and the results are the same - Adding a VST Instrument or using the in-built Sampler adds latency to the inputted, recorded midi data.

Well, I’ve fixed it.

Trouble is, I can’t replicate the problem.
I went into Studio → More Options → “System Component Information” and disabled ADM Editor, Audio2Chords, Head Tracking, HostChannelAccess, Usage Logger, VR Player Remote and VST 2.x Plug-in Manager and that didn’t fix anything. But, I then closed Cubase and re-opened it and now the midi input latency discrepancy issue on VST and Sampler tracks is fixed.

BUT, I then re-enabled all those things and restarted Cubase but the midi still works.

So, I fixed it but can’t replicate the problem.

If you have the same problem can you please try what I did to fix it and see if it works for you. Just so it can be labelled as a solution.

I don’t have time at the moment but will keep an eye out for it. I find the issue to be intermitten myself…for example, I ran the test on an instrument track vs a midi track with ASIO Latency Compensation on, and they were out of sync. I turned off ASIO latency compensation, ran it again, and they were in sync. Then I turned compensation back on again and they were in sync.

This is one of the many persistent quirks with the program I’ve learned to live with…for me, other issues are higher on my list to endlessly scream into the void about :sweat_smile: