Recording an electronic drum kit - Latency?

Guys I hope this topic hasnt been brought up before, Ive checked and cant seem to find an answer so please bear with me.
I am having some sort of delay / latency problem, I’m trying to record with a Roland V drum kit playing along to a track from an album.
I load the song into the first channel, then I record myself playing along with the track on my drums, I playing along in perfect time. But when I play back the 2 tracks together the drums are out of Sync if that would be the correct word. I have my Tascam US122 set to the lowest latency possible, does anyone have an idea if I can get around this problem. I have read the manual but its very brief on the subject.
I really appreciate any help or tips, thanks for reading this.
Chris

Try what I said here.

http://www.steinberg.net/forum/viewtopic.php?p=16400#p16400

Im recording Audio not midi, Ive got the line out of the kit going into 2 inputs on the Interface,if that makes sense sorry :blush:

what is your sound card , have you checked the asio driver time in the vst bay ?

regards
freq

Hello !

Recording electronic drum kits is bit more difficult due to latency issues…you have to have a maximum of 32 samples latency to be able to play in time and even that can be difficult occasionally ! Doesn’t matter if you are recording midi or audio…as long as you are monitoring through DAW. The best choice you have is to have a small mixer which you can use for hardware monitoring - you have to monitor V-drum output before signal is entering into cubase.

I have a small in-line desk and I can route cubase click and V-drum outputs into cans in addition to whatever back track I want to play along. I couldn’t do that without. Get a small mixer which would double as a monitor controller and you should be fine. The quality does not matter really - it is just for monitoring. You can wire midi in and split audio signals into cubase regardless using a cheapo mixer for monitoring.

…or…you can always use this mini headphone jack in V-drum brain unit to monitor what’s happening in cubase and you’d hear your drumming as well, right ?

cheers,
braunie

I have a tascam US122.

and what is the delay time on your latency in the vst audio system tray in the device setup ?

regards freq

I kind of understand what your saying about a mixer but Im new to all this and Im totally out of my depth, I have a samson 1640 analogue 16 channel mixer lying in the garage years but I dont even know what way to set it up i.e. the track playing in one channel and how to route all the signals etc. Im really sorry about this. :frowning:
I didnt think it would be so difficult to load a track in one Channel then record Vdrums in the next, play along, add another channel for guitar record that too then delete the music track, then Id have my guitar and drums on their own so as I could do a cover. :blush: :blush: :blush:

the reason you are getting latency is because of your asio driver , is it set up correctly in the device setup / vst system asio driver cause if you have it set on the lowest buffer size of 32 you should have nearly no latency , but you could always move the track manually once recorded by picking a point on the audio track recorded and manually move it in time , it sounds like you have some issue with the asio driver not being set up properly

regards
freq

Advice:

Don’t record audio.

Record MIDI instead and “freeze” the audio later, that way you can edit if you’re game obvious errors and you can “normalize” volumes.

Works well for me.

Hi !

Guess the problem OP has is to create a latency free monitoring for the drums. Recording midi would not solve latency issue. If - for example - you want to hear cubase metronome (or something else which has been recorded already) AND you want to make drum overdub you would like to hear your drums realtime as well.

I checked the specs of this Samson 1640 mixer and it does not have direct outs and you cannot have a signal both in group channels and main mix so it is not easy to create HW monitoring.

What you might be able to do is to use channel inserts - depending on how the mixer is built you might be able to take the signal after preamp by using normal mono cable “half inserted” into the insert jack.

So…route V-drum L and R outputs to samson line inputs 1 and 2. Using normal mono cables connect channel 1 and 2 inserts to your audio interface inputs. Set trim (gain) from samson and you should have your drums “direct fed” from both channels into cubase. If cubase cannot see input signal try pulling those insert cables 5 mm out from the insert sockets so they would “steal” the signal fed into the ring of TSR socket without muting the channel.

Then, route cubase outputs into mixer channels 3 and 4. Now when you start recording you should have latency free HW monitor signal in Samson headphone out - set the balance between cubase playback and drums by adjusting samson channel faders 1-4. And when you are playing your drums will be recorded via half-inserts.

It is always a good idea to hook midi cables into cubase as well and in addition to audio you would also have complete drum midi file recorded - like mentioned earlier you would have much more flexibility in shaping the sounds and finetuning timing (if needed) when working with midi.

Hope this makes sense. It would be easy to just use 3-4 bus for recording but according to 1640 manual you cannot monitor main bus and 3-4 bus at the same time which doesen’t make any sense to me.

…oops…another possibility…route drums to samson channels 1 & 2 and cubase monitor output to 3 & 4. Put your cans into Samson headphone socket, set the levels and once you are happy, connect Cubase left input into AUX 1 and Cubase right input to AUX 2 of Samson mixer. Then use AUX 1 pot in channel 1 to set up cubase L input level and AUX 2 in channel 2 for Cubase R input. That’s the easiest workaround.

And no worries about sample buffer size and latency.

cheers,
braunie

double post

braunie

When you trigger samples there is inherently less latency than if you are trying to record something and play it back at the same time.

The beauty of MIDI is that it can be recorded with minimal effort from both the user and system. Recording audio in the case of drums when you have an electronic drumkit is double handling.

@ OP, listen to your audio through whatever means you have and simply record the MIDI to the sequencer along with whatever audio was there beforehand, then play it back to your module and then record the sound if you have to into the sequencer otherwise mix it all live to another machine or program.

I too have an electronic drumkit, and what cramar said is true. If you route your audio signal through cubase and then to your speakers it’s much heavier on your soundcard then when you just play back the signal through your speakers and send it to cubase afterwards. A big advantage of the prior setup however is that you can use effects/EQ etc live which is very cool. (but even more demanding than just recording a clean signal.)

I have a Mackie mixer which let’s me decide wether I want a signal to be routed to the main out or to alt out. I have my speakers on main out and my soundcard input on the alt out. (this is essentially a mute unless you use your soundcard or cubase to route the audio back into the mixer.)
What I do when recording is this:
First I record the midi data, with my drumkit audio directly on the speakers. I then edit the MIDI data to suit my needs. Note that you can simply put the MIDI out in cubase to send the data back to your drumkit and have it play along.
When I’m happy with the timing and volumes, I create an audiotrack, using my soundcard input as input. I set my drumkit audio to alt out on the mixer, and put the audiotrack in Cubase to monitor. When I play my MIDI track, the audio generated by the drumkit follows this path: drumkit --> mixer --> soundcard --> cubase --> soundcard --> mixer --> speakers.
I can now use whatever I want on the audiotrack. EQ, effects etc.

When I’m happy with that, I can just go on with the rest of my project, I don’t record the drumtrack yet. Because the live effects are very demanding on my hardware, I use the button on my mixer to alternate between dry and wet signal whenever I want. This saves me latency when working on other stuff while still having a general idea of what the drumtrack sounds like, and when I want more detail to figure out how it all sounds together I take the wet signal (and suffer some hickups here and there.).
The big advantage is is that the only thing I have recorded so far is MIDI, so I can still change EVERYTHING I can think of on the drumtrack, including radical tempo changes.

Long story short: always keep your midi data at hand, and find a way to switch between drumkit audio and processed drumkit audio.

this method is good if you don’t need to record as audio. And quite often when e-drums are concerned you don’t as midi data is so much more flexible for editing. The problem comes when you need to record audio like vox and guitars and you need to create latency free foldback. Nowadays many setups will let you go to so small buffers that latency is not an issue but not all systems are equal. Possibility to use true hw monitoring when needed is nice. Br, braunie

Guys thanks for all the info I feel like an idiot Im understanding bits of all your ideas, I have one last question before I feel like giving up. Is it possible to record into cubase with 2 channels at the same time? there is 4 inputs on the US122 so could plug in my Ipod and record the song I want to play along with on Audio 01 and plug the out of the v drums into another input on the US122 and and record that on Audio 2? so that would mean Id be playing the song and the drums while recording at the same time? if this is possible is there a setting in Cubase to let it know to record to seperate signals to 2 different tracks? Im really sorry about this :blush:

gitman

This is a forum brotherhood, no need to worry about having a discussion to help crystallize your ideas.

Now with your iPod, plug it into an input (or inputs) of your hardware and use Direct Monitoring to listen.

If you like you can also plug your drum module audio outputs into your hardware if there are additional inputs eg 4 in total (2x stereo for example).

Play your drum kit as normal while recording the midi and don’t record anything else except the ipod or to eliminate an additional step you can import the audio in .wav format and play along

HTH.

Guys I just want to say thanks for the help I got it sorted in the end thanks to you all :smiley:

Nice one :slight_smile:
What was the solution that worked for you? That might help other users as well!

I changed from Asio for all to Tascam in the settings and used direct monitor as you said on the Us122 instead of playing along with the track on monitors. all perfect!
Cheers