I have a serious - and somewhat strange - MIDI latency-problem, resembling that described by a member called 2211 in a post titled “Midi Latency Issues with Cubase 6.5” Steinberg Forums.
As for 2211, he experience that Cubase “first it plays fine, and nice and tight, then after a little while (anything from 15 minutes to a couple of hours) there is a latency lag when i try to play in any midi notes.”
As for me, the latency comes and goes in periods. If I play the keyboard continously for 15 minutes, the situation is usually that Cubase plays fine for a little while - then suddely intoduces a latency at at least a 1/3 of a second (which is impossible to play with) - and then suddenly swaps back to “normal”, and so on in intervals of abaout 3 and a half minutes. I do not touch or change anything in Cubase when the phenomenons happen.
Now, one may think that the cycling periods of gross MIDI-latency are due to something going on in the background on my PC. At least that was the first thing I thought about.
So I launched the Task Manager and a little program called DPC Latency Checker which can be freely downloaded from http://www.thesycon.de/deu/latency_check.shtml.
I ran them simultaneously for about 2 hours. Nothing strange to view in Task Manager. And in DPC Latency Checker, all the “bars” kept waving under the bottom green line, and the program said:
“This machine should be able to handle real-time audio and/or video without drop-outs.”
Yes. So if it should be able to handle real-time audio, it should certainly be able to handle just MIDI!
I tried the Constrain Delay Compensation button mentioned by tpmears (Steinberg Forums). It may affect performance when using VST-instruments (as the Owners Manual says). But for me, it made no impact at all - as I expected, since I’m not playing a VST-instrument, but a rack of physical synthesizers connected to individual ports on my MIDI-interface.
My setup is like this: Cubase 6.5.4 64, Lenovo ThinkPad T520 with Core i7, 8 Gb RAM, Win7 64Pro, MR816x soundcard, ESI/M-Audio MIDI-interfaces, keyboard connected via USB. The audio-output of the synths are connected directely to a physical, ANALOGUE mixer. So there is no room fro latency in the synth-sounds: The sounds come out of the speakers in the same moment the instruments get a note-on message feeded to their MIDI-inputs - every time.
So how on earth do Cubase attain to introduce half a second of latency into a MIDI signal-stream when NOTHING else is runing? There’s only one simple MIDI-track in Cubase. And it’s one and only duty, is to pass a note-on message from the keyboard to the selected MIDI Out port - which is a very simple task!
When I started MIDI-sequencing in the 80s, we used an IBM 8086 PC with 512kb of RAM running MS-DOS + Voyetra Sequencer Plus MkIII and connected the synth-gear via a Roland MPU 401 MIDI interface. And we never had a single MIDI-problem. We never experienced latency at all.
Later I swapped to Logic. Then the problems of latency arised in respect of audio-recording and VST-instruments. But I never experienced any latency in a pure MIDI-configuration, where the audio-output of the synths are connected directely to the mixer.
The first time I experienced MIDI-latency, was after I swapped to Cubase.
So why am I so sure that the problems have to to with Cubase, and not with some background-stuff running on my PC? Well, at least I’m pretty sure that the problem only occurs when running Cubase - regardeless of what the source of the problem is. That is because I downloaded a tiny program called MidiRouter from http://www.pcmus.com/Free-Midi-Software.htm (no install - no drivers):
MidiRouter lets you rout a connected keyboard to one of the present MIDI Out ports. I tried it, and - voilà!!! - no latency at all, just like in the old days
So, for the first time in a while, I have been able to actually PLAY my synths without knowing that the latency-demon will possess my MIDI-stream at any time. After about 4 hours, I launched Cubase to check. Just like before: MIDI-latency coming and going in predictible waves. It’s really annoying - at least if you want to use the software for recording music played by real human hands.
So: Does anyone know a a solution to this problem…?