Midi latency problem with ASIO guard and virtual instruments

I’m having a truly bizarre problem here. I’m trying to use Superior Drummer 3 with my ekit, using midi out of the kit into the midi input of my interface. For some reason, if I record arm and monitor arm the instrument track itself, there’s a significant latency present whenever I hit one of the drum pads. However, if I make a new midi track that’s connected to the input of Superior Drummer 3 and record/monitor arm that one instead then suddenly the latency is completely gone. Only, after some time or if I do some unknown thing, suddenly even that midi track will have the latency now. Then I have to repeat the process and make yet another midi track for the latency to go away, and so on and so forth.

This behavior seems to be related to ASIO guard as the latency goes away when I turn it off. The latency isn’t due to my interface, I’ve already set it to a low enough buffer; nor is it due to any plugins in the signal chain. It’s like ASIO guard only thinks it’s supposed to process the VSTi in realtime if a separate midi track is armed instead of the instrument track, and even then it “forgets” about the midi track after some time as well. I’ve tested with other VSTi and not just SD3 so don’t think it’s on their end

Why do you monitor arm the track? A midi track only needs to be record armed to monitor it. I’m not seeing the problem you are seeing using sd3.

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I only used the monitor button to ensure there wasn’t some functionality with ASIO guard that requires that, it makes no difference to the problem either way, it happens regardless of whether the monitor button is on or off.

Behavior of this issue is pretty erratic, in the project i’m currently working on it only happens on one of the instances of SD3, and specifically it seems to happen when I try monitoring through both instances at the same time, this one instance that was fine before will suddenly have a huge latency. Which of course goes away if I disable ASIO guard

Turn off ASIO Guard and set your AUDIO buffer as low as you can get it without issues.

SD3 works fine here with no latency to speak of

Uh yes I know I can do that lol. The problem is that my sessions are pretty intensive and low buffer + ASIO guard off is gonna mean CPU overloads. Kinda the thing ASIO guard was made to prevent.

Okay I think I might have narrowed the issue down to something relating to drum maps. Seems like this issue is happening when I add the drum map for my ekit to whichever track. I’m finding a few people saying drum maps were causing a similar issue for them years ago but also still in Cubase 10.

I’ve gotten around the issue by disabling ASIO guard only for SD3 and that basically fixes the problem for me without compromising the whole project. That said, now that I know it’s an issue with drum maps and ASIO guard (and that this issue has been known for years) i’m hoping Steinberg can maybe at least look into the cause of this bug?

Here’s where the issue has been discussed before: Drum Map - Midi Keyboard lag issue

how can you disable Asio guard for a specific plugin?

I had no idea you could do that either until just now lol. Go to the VST Plug-in Manager, find the plugin, and under “Plug-in Information” there’s a button to Enable or Disable ASIO-Guard for it


I´d be nice to know for which kind of plugins it could be helpful to disable Asio guard. I can´t test one by one.
Thanks for the hint.

woah! good to know!

Well what do ya know :upside_down_face: