Latency or what? (GI-20 USB --> Cakewalk)

Discussion in 'comp.music.midi' started by Googler, Aug 11, 2003.

  1. Googler

    Googler Guest

    My first attempt to record guitar performance in MIDI. I'm
    experiencing a considerable delay between the plucking of the note on
    the guitar and the recording of the note in Cakewalk.

    I have a nylon-string guitar equipped with RMC pickups. This feeds
    into a PolyDrive II preamp, which connects via GK to a GI-20. The
    GI-20 connects via USB to my P4 computer running Win2k Pro and
    Cakewalk Express Gold 8.0.

    It seems like all the notes are recorded nearly half-a-second late. I
    am bewildered. I don't know where to begin to fix this. (Very new to
    MIDI.)

    My first goal is simply to use the guitar to enter notes into
    notation, rather than mousing them in. However, this half-second delay
    ruins everything.

    I think I must be missing something rather basic in my setup, but I
    need a clue....
  2. JB Seattle

    JB Seattle Guest

    My guess is your sound source for midi out of the PC is the GS Wavtable
    which is a software synth that is not DXi.
    You can solve this problem with a hardware synth out, like a soundcard with
    a hardware chip or an external midi module. Or you can get Cakewalk Sonar
    and assign your midi tracks to an audio track running a DXi synth like the
    Roland VSC one that comes with Cakewalk Sonar XL-there is no audible
    delay--in fact, that is all we use Sonar for.
    WDM drivers and DXi eliminates the delay or latency of softsynths in a
    decently powered PC--a P4 with plenty of RAM should be enough--a 7200RPM
    drive couldn't hurt.
    JB
    "Googler" <google@dtraders.com> wrote in message
    news:75f467b.0308110122.4a38787c@posting.google.com...
    > My first attempt to record guitar performance in MIDI. I'm
    > experiencing a considerable delay between the plucking of the note on
    > the guitar and the recording of the note in Cakewalk.
    >
    > I have a nylon-string guitar equipped with RMC pickups. This feeds
    > into a PolyDrive II preamp, which connects via GK to a GI-20. The
    > GI-20 connects via USB to my P4 computer running Win2k Pro and
    > Cakewalk Express Gold 8.0.
    >
    > It seems like all the notes are recorded nearly half-a-second late. I
    > am bewildered. I don't know where to begin to fix this. (Very new to
    > MIDI.)
    >
    > My first goal is simply to use the guitar to enter notes into
    > notation, rather than mousing them in. However, this half-second delay
    > ruins everything.
    >
    > I think I must be missing something rather basic in my setup, but I
    > need a clue....
    >
  3. Jeff Sandys

    Jeff Sandys Guest

    Googler wrote:
    ....
    > I have a nylon-string guitar equipped with RMC pickups. This feeds
    > into a PolyDrive II preamp, which connects via GK to a GI-20. The
    > GI-20 connects via USB to my P4 computer running Win2k Pro and
    > Cakewalk Express Gold 8.0.
    >
    > It seems like all the notes are recorded nearly half-a-second late. I
    > am bewildered. I don't know where to begin to fix this. (Very new to
    > MIDI.)

    ....

    A half second sounds like a lot. Delays of 10ms can be noticed and
    50ms annoying when you are depending on audio feedback while recording.

    Part of the delay could be the latency of the sound driver as JBSeattle
    describes.

    The other part of the delay is in the guitar to midi conversion.
    The Roland GI-20 has to listen to the sound output of each string
    to determine the frequency and therefore the note that is played
    before it can send the midi message to the computer.

    The RMC and GI-20 is probably the best you can do with nylon
    strings. Bass strings will have a longer delay than treble strings.
    In fact some midi guitarist string their instrument with all high E
    strings and let the midi converter transpose the notes.

    I also suspect that finger plucking doesn't give as much percussive
    attack that the GI-20 looks for, try a pick and see if that helps.

    You can use Cakewalk to quantitize the notes after input. This will
    pull all the notes to user specified beats, like the nearest quarter
    beat. This can help clean up the score. Also use a slow metronome
    while recording, you can speed it up on playback.

    Good Luck,
    Jeff Sandys
  4. Googler

    Googler Guest

    "JB Seattle" <shnoozle8@hotmail.com> informed:

    > My guess is your sound source for midi out of the PC is the GS Wavtable


    Correct. In Cakewalk, under "MIDI Devices"/"Output Ports," I'm offered
    the choice of "Microsoft MIDI Mapper" and "GI-20 MIDI OUT" in addition
    to the GS Wavetable. Might either of those help?

    > which is a software synth that is not DXi.
    > You can solve this problem with a hardware synth out, like a soundcard with
    > a hardware chip or an external midi module.


    Well, I have a Roland GR-33 guitar synth. It also has delay, but much
    less. Very acceptable -- in the trebles, anyway. I expected the basses
    to be delayed, but even the bass delay in tracking is much better than
    the delay through the GS Wavetable.

    However, I was told that routing through the GR-33 into the computer
    would only add more delay when I want to use the guitar to enter data
    into a program like Cakewalk or Finale. The GI-20 was recommended for
    data entry into the computer, the GR-33 was recommended for live
    performance.


    > Or you can get Cakewalk Sonar
    > and assign your midi tracks to an audio track running a DXi synth like the
    > Roland VSC one that comes with Cakewalk Sonar XL-there is no audible
    > delay--in fact, that is all we use Sonar for.


    Ok, that's a new one one me. Thanks, I'll certainly check that out.
  5. Googler

    Googler Guest

    Jeff Sandys <sandysj@juno.com> wrote:

    > A half second sounds like a lot.


    It's a lot!

    > The other part of the delay is in the guitar to midi conversion.


    I get acceptable delay going through the GR-33 into the amp, so I
    don't think the MIDI conversion is the problem. I can work with it
    using the techniques you describe (quantizing and slowing down the
    entry). Going through the GI-20 into the computer, though, the delay
    is unworkable.

    Thanks for your response!

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