Midi notes being recorded too early

Everything is placed about 1/32 or 1/64 too early, seems like latency compensation is not set up properly. If I quantize ‘as is’ notes get placed in wrong places, I have to shift everything manually every time before I quantize. Is there a way to adjust it?


I’m having the same issue, and it is such a time drain to fix every note after you’ve played it. I have the exact same spacing as you’re dealing with. I tried Studio One 5, just to see if there were other DAWs out there that could compensate for this. The recording delay was the same, but you can adjust the recording timing. 53 ms was just about perfect for me. I have tried every solution recommended on these forums without any luck. Not quite ready to quit on Cubase after 15 years, but I’m tempted.

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Which driver type do you use, please?

Could you attach the screenshot of the Studio > Studio Setup > MIDI Ports Setup, please?

Are you using the VST instrument with slow attack ?? (strings, pads, etc)

It has the same timing issues regardless of what kind of attack is on the note. The note itself appears early, whether I am using Groove Agent or Iconica. I even tried it without a virtual instrument with an empty midi track, just to see if that was the issue, but the timing is the same.

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I’m using a Presonus Audiobox 44vsl as my interface. I’m on a different computer right now and can’t show my screenshot, but I have tried every combination of checkbox in this screen with no discernable effect.


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what I meant is, when I play strings with slow attack it will be recorded earlier

Do you actually use a Direct Music device? Try unchecking that and see what happens. Then try also unchecking use system timestamp. Do you have the box ticked in audio setup for Use External Clock?

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Thanks for taking the time to reply. I tried all of those things, and no difference. My next move is to rent another audio interface to see if that’s the issue.

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Hey Brian,

I’ve been having this problem on and off for years now in Windows. The System timestamp toggle seems to be the “go to” everyone recommends, but similarly, hasn’t helped me either. Any word from Steinberg? This issue goes back in the forum many years, definitely would like to see a solution.

Yes!!! This is the best illustration I’ve seen thus far, I am having the EXACT same problem no matter what VST or sample I’m using (Drums/Orchestra/Pads etc). Apparently looking through old forums, it’s been a problem for a while. Any luck on this? It’s driving me nuts.


Does this article help?


Are you sure this is not a ‘human’ timing issue? I see different values on note starts on every single note and 70.3 is close perfect. Maybe you think you have perfect timing but in practice we’re seeing deviations of 10 to 40 milliseconds. Are you playing a synth keyboard or a weighted piano keyboard?

First realize that we are human. We do not process a clock like a computer does. it’s humanly impossible to perfectly quantize on every single note. If you want this to automatically occur, then select ‘auto quantize’. Then every note will be automatically moved to the nearest perfect value.

If you want to see how accurate you think you are? Try this: And make sure you have auto quantize switched off!

  1. Load a VST with a sound that has an extremely short attack. Like a very short percussive sound.
  2. Put the click on 120bpm and start recording. Try to press a note exactly on every click for about 8 to 10 bars.

Now go and have a look in the key editor. I know, you think it’s not you. There must be something wrong with your computer. So try again…and again…and again.
Eventually you just can’t seem to hit the notes on zero value all the time. Welcome to the human race! Not even the best drummer/percussionists can do that! We humans can’t play on the exact millisecond all the time. Even if we try! And we shouldn’t want to!

We’re not computers. If you want the timing of a computer then use the computer for this and use ‘auto quantize’. Then all you’re played notes will be automatically placed to the nearest value you selected. But depending on the type of music you’ll have to ask yourself if that 's what you really want?

Commenting here to follow this issue. I do composition work and this issue has seemed to appear for me in Cubase 12. It’s true - we are not computers and our timing is not perfect, but there are people like me who played drums with backing tracks for decades and we do have really good timing, And in my case, I hear the notes coming out exactly as expected, but when I look at Cubase and when I play a track back, I can hear the tiny bit of earliness. I would understand if Cubase was adding some kind of lag but playing it and then seeing the notes on the piano roll as early notes is really confusing to me. Here is a screenshot of me playing some bells. It seems like it would be difficult to be this precisely off beat by such a small degree.
early midi note recording

I am using a Nektar Panorama P6 MIDI controller which has a Cubase profile loaded. I use an RME Fireface UFX. Buffer size is set to 256 samples. Is that high these days?

Do you have midi Asio compensation off?

I wasn’t familiar with that check box. Enabling it seems to have fixed my issue. Thanks so much.

asio latency

asio latency after

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me too, see my post from earlier -
midi notes recorded too early https://forums.steinberg.net/t/incorrect-recording-of-midi-note-placement-in-relation-to-metronome-and-editor-grid/830624

Solved.see below:
In Preferences->Record->Midi, turn on Add Latency to MIDI-Thru Processing and ASIO Latency Compensation Active by Default You can turn ASIO Latency Compensation off and on for individual tracks in the project window, but the setting is not visible by default.…

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I had the same issue and it seems that sonarworks as an insert in the control room was part of the problem, disabling it seemed to help.

Not sure if this helps but for me I needed to turn on the ASIO latency Compensation as discussed above but I had to restart Cubase for it to actually take effect. I spent about an hour checking and unchecking boxes in that drop down menu with no difference in the way midi was being recorded. I’m still on 11, not sure if its a bug or if thats just how it works across the board but nothing seems to work in that particular menu with out a restart to go along with it. Now all my midi is consistently draggy which is exactly how I play…need to figure out a setting for that:)

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