PD question

Hi gang,

First post here - pro-level musician who dabbles in recording. I got a CMC-PD in hopes of easily creating my own grooves with a desktop controller. It was easy to get it to trigger the Groove Agent One software drum machine, but there’s noticeable lag between when I press the controller and the sound reaches my ears, hence it’s unplayable the way I’m doing it now. Setup is working like this:

Windows 7 PC, Cubase 6.5
Focusrite Saffire 6 for audio in/out

Is the lag coming between the PD and the computer, or maybe between the computer and Saffire 6 unit? The Saffire has a about half a second lag (-46.44) for audio when I play back recorded audio - it seems a similar time, but I don’t understand why it should lag with this trigger playing live. I guess it just takes that long for anything to get from the software to the output of the Saffire. Is there anything I can do? Is my analysis correct?

Sorry for what may be a very basic question - thanks for any help or confirmation on what I should be expecting here.


When you hit a pad on the PD, a MIDI message is sent to the virtual instrument. This is close to instantaneous.
The virtual instrument then has to generate (or play) the sound.
That sound enters the audio system’s buffer, where it will stay until the buffer is sent to the interface.
If that buffer is set to a high value, then the sound will be more delayed.

All audio makes use of this buffer setting.

The only way to lessen the delay (it can never be totally eliminated) is to reduce the buffer setting.
This setting can be found in your interface’s control panel.
However, setting this too low will introduce distortion, cracks, and/or pops into your sound.
You’d need to experiment to find a value that works for you.