MIDI Latency Compensation?

A little confused how MIDI Latency Compensation works in Cubase?
Can someone help clarify this?

In Logic X, Midi (along with Audio) both seemed to be latency compensated together. In Cubase however, it seems MIDI has a direct separate line and doesn’t go through this compensation route. Which can be nice when buffer settings are high and you dont want to deal with that.

However when doing some overdubs late in a Mix, I have a buffer setting of 1024. I ran out the midi track to an external synth and monitored in Cubase to hear it in the context of the bus processing etc, and it was not lined up with the rest of the track. However it seems after recording the external synth and upon playback, it is then correct.

So looking for a basic explanation how this works? Is there a way I can monitor (late in a mix) and hear it correctly compensated while recording and monitoring through cubase?

This is actually nothing to do with midi.

If you are monitoring audio input through Cubase you can only monitor that audio with system latency.
As well as the basic system latency you may be adding further latency with plugs on those buses or the master bus.

You can direct monitor to play the part without latency and you just have to live without the bus processing.

Ok. But so actually I am asking the opposite of what is the typical question.

I want Cubase to ADD latency to the audio which I am monitoring so it is sync-ed up with the rest of the tracks.
This is during the mixing stage, (and the midi is already performed, so the latency isn’t a problem.)

Everything is all good when routing audio out of my computer to outboard hardware. It comes back in sync.
But for some reason when sending MIDI out of my computer to an External Synth then monitoring that coming back in, it is not in sync.

It almost seems like the MIDI is bypassing this Latency Out Compensation, going straight to the outboard synth, then coming back in and compensated in the input. But since the output isn’t compensated, I am hearing the Synth BEFORE the rest of the tracks.

Does that make sense?

When I play it back AFTER being recorded, it seems shifted and in the correct place.

I will double check this behavior tonight (and verify I wasn’t monitoring through my Apollo which would cause this) but pretty sure this was the case.

Is it set up as an external instrument in Cubase or are you just sending midi and monitoring on another track?

The later case. I am just sending midi to the synth from a generic track and monitoring it via an audio track.

I could try setting up as a proper external instrument… would that possibly fix the issue?

Think about it…How can Cubase possibly know your generic midi track must be compensated to work with your totally unconnected audio track…you haven’t established any software connection between the 2.

If they applied the same latency compensation to MIDI as they did Audio then it would work just fine.
Logic X does this and I have no issues.

However it seems the MIDI is going out too fast. It is skipping past the latency of the entire track and its stereo bus processing.

But I wont complain because I like this when I am actually recording something live. (Just for this case it is annoying)

So you tried setting up as a proper external instrument?

If it still doesn’t work I would suspect a plug that is adding latency or something…maybe too much latency in plugs on the bus/master to be compensated??

Ok yes setting it up as an external instrument fixes the Monitoring issue.
Forgot about that…Thanks!!

Although, (same with External FX) …I don’t have unlimited channels to spare and dedicate for this (only 32 I/O in my studio total), so it would be nice to be able to save External Instrument configurations. Since this is Exclusive and reserves the channel I need to be able to switch back and forth for using this for recording audio etc.

Sounds to me like you are direct monitoring now, and don’t want to.
Turn off direct monitoring and try again, does that work ?


I typically always monitor through my Apollo interface (not cubase)…but late in a mix, I want to audition how the part would sound with Cubase inserts and into the buss compressor from the external synth. So I want the monitoring with all the plugs and I don’t need it to be latency-free.

It’s a pretty particular need, but just confusing to me since Logic X handles it differently.

I quite like that normally cubase doesn’t apply output comensation to their MIDI (for tracking), but in this case I need it. The external synth route can get me there, but again it is clunky and not the best solution do to the I/O restrictions.

If my logic is right, if the external midi audio is early it is not going through the cubase audio chain. So there is latency compensation for something unneeded. Without compensation and going through the cubase mixer live, it should be late.
It could be that one plugin is reporting it’s latency incorrect, which would need to be in the master section.
Have you tried with an almost empty project with high buffer setting?