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?

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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?