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Old 10-14-2015, 12:15 PM
guitarist9891 guitarist9891 is offline
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Default Combination of VI's and Hardware

Hello

I am running all my VI's though Vepro 5 but still wanted to incorporate some hardware sound modules into my setup. I like to keep things in MIDI as long as possible. I have noticed that my Yamaha P155 is out of sync tempo wise with my VI. Below are two waveforms both piano from the same MIDI file. the top one is kontact piano the button is my hardware. Obviously I can nudge the track - but again I want to keep it in MIDI as long as possible. My Drums bass and strings are also all in VEPRO so hardware piano sounds out of sync. Any ideas how to fix this? Thanks!

I am running Steinberg Ur824 interface, Pro Tools 12 (non HD) and MOTU micro lite midi interface.
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Update: I thought that VEPRO 5 was introducing latency on the VI's so I printed the KONTAKT piano on an instrument track internally in Pro Tools. The wave form was the same as the one printed through VEPRO 5. It seems my hardware piano is early...any way to sync it to my VI's?
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Last edited by guitarist9891; 10-14-2015 at 01:04 PM.
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Old 10-14-2015, 03:08 PM
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nigelpry nigelpry is offline
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Default Re: Combination of VI's and Hardware

Ok, so ...

The bad news is that every piece of MIDI will have its own inherent slight delay, responding internally to received MIDI and sending the audio out. Any digital to analog converters will add a little delay too, so digital hardware will all have the problem to some degree.

The good news is that the size of that delay is pretty consistent.

You can adjust by feel, until it 'sounds' tight, or measure it accurately and adjust precisely, that's up to you.

The simplest thing to do is to make the MIDI real time properties column in the edit window visible. One of the properties is delay, and you can equally use this to nudge MIDI forward in time as well as back.

If the hardware is playing back late, use a negative delay value and adjust it until the two audio sounds are tight.

Once you are certain you've nailed it, make a note of the delay figure for future reference. Or do what I've done .....

I'm a big fan and user of the track preset hack .... I have track presets saved for each of my MIDI hardware devices, and the delay real time property is saved as part of that track preset. So now I don't have to think about it at all. The tracks automatically send out the MIDI data early, and the audio comes back right on time.

The only limitation is that if you want hardware and a VI to both react to the same MIDI data, then you have to duplicate the MIDI data, and then you need to be careful editing it to make sure both copies stay the same.

But I do dislike the concept of duplicate data, it should only need to exist once.

Unfortunately, only 'some' real time properties can be made to apply 'live' to incoming data received by a MIDI or Instrument track, not just data already on the track. This is done by record enabling the track ... but delay IS NOT one of the properties that can be applied live.

That's a real crying shame, and it's one of many MIDI related enhancements on my Pro Tools wish list. Obviously you couldn't achieve negative delay live (without having power over time), but positive delay should not be a problem, and should be implemented.

Why, well because then I could send the MIDI out of the MIDI track to two places .... to the ...

1) interface MIDI Out that is connected to the hardware MIDI IN, and
2) Instrument track with the VI that you also want to trigger.

You'd set a negative delay on the MIDI track to send it out early, and set an equal positive delay on the Instrument track to delay the early MIDI to bring it back into time.

Then, the hardware and VI would both play in sync, from a single copy of the same MIDI data.

If only!
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Digi 003 Console, Focusrite OctopreLE and MOTU Traveler for extra analog-ADAT conversion, UAD Apollo Quad Silver with Thunderbolt card, Apollo x4 and pci-e Octo, Adam A77X monitors.
Pro Tools 2020.3, Media Composer 8.9, Sibelius 8.7, Cubase Pro 10.5, Wavelab Pro 10, Logic Pro X 10.4.8, Mainstage 3.
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Old 10-14-2015, 03:39 PM
guitarist9891 guitarist9891 is offline
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Default Re: Combination of VI's and Hardware

I am surprised automatic midi delay compensation was not implemented a long time ago. The same way one could measure and compensate for latency when using a hardware compressor for example. Strange this was not done for MIDI instruments.
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Old 10-14-2015, 04:13 PM
guitarist9891 guitarist9891 is offline
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Default Re: Combination of VI's and Hardware

Thank you for your suggestion I tried this. Could not get it perfect but very close. Still had to nudge by about a millisecond after the clip was recorded. Funny If I increased the delay in the midi event list by that same millisecond it did NOT have the same effect. Another thing is that when I changed sample rate from 256 to 1024 (which I often do once all the parts are played in and I start putting more comps and Eqs on AUX tracks while everything is still in MIDI) and printed the track from my hardware piano the track moved completely out of sync once it was printed. ( I was not printing through any comps or eq ) As a test I also reprinted the KONTAKT piano track and the rePrint stayed exactly the same regardless of the chosen buffer size.

I got interested in this as I was GASING for an INTEGRA 7 but now I see it is very impractical to use hardware sound modules....shame

Update: Just repeated the test in Cubase Pro 8 - same problem.

Last edited by guitarist9891; 10-16-2015 at 12:02 AM.
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Old 10-14-2015, 08:45 PM
guitarist9891 guitarist9891 is offline
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Default Re: Combination of VI's and Hardware

with further experimentation I actually got everything in sync by putting on a time adjuster plugin on my drum aux. At 1024 i had to delay 2300 samples on the time adjuster plugin.

It still is a pain to work while combining external sound modules and VI's. I wish there was a simpler way that was not dependent on me changing the buffer in the playback engine. Something that would adjust automatically.
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Old 10-14-2015, 09:05 PM
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Shan Shan is offline
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Default Re: Combination of VI's and Hardware

Use MIDI Playback Offset to compensate for delays in MIDI devices. To configure a MIDI or Instrument track offset choose Event > MIDI Track Offsets. The offset can be set in samples(–10,000 to 10,000). For the global MIDI playback offset choose Setup > Preferences and click the MIDI tab. The global offset can also be set in samples:



Hope that helps.
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Old 10-14-2015, 09:22 PM
guitarist9891 guitarist9891 is offline
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Default Re: Combination of VI's and Hardware

Yes that helps! Thanks. everything sounds aligned after about 5 mins of experimenting to get the offset right.

Unfortunately it is still Buffer size dependent but I guess I need a new computer anyway to set a hardware buffer size and forget about it.

I currently have 2.4 ghz i5 with 4 gigs of ram. Late 2013 13 inch macbook pro.
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Old 10-14-2015, 09:58 PM
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nigelpry nigelpry is offline
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Default Re: Combination of VI's and Hardware

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shan View Post
Use MIDI Playback Offset to compensate for delays in MIDI devices. To configure a MIDI or Instrument track offset choose Event > MIDI Track Offsets. The offset can be set in samples(–10,000 to 10,000). For the global MIDI playback offset choose Setup > Preferences and click the MIDI tab. The global offset can also be set in samples:



Hope that helps.
Wow!

I knew well about Global MIDI Offset, but that affects all MIDI by the same amount, so it's not precise enough to cope with different delays in different devices.

I was completely unaware of MIDI Track offset. Thanks Shan, I'll have a look into that myself.
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Mac Pro 2009 with 2010 firmware, 12-Core 3.46ghz, 64gb RAM & working Thunderbolt, OS 10.14.6 and Windows 10
Macbook Pro 2011 17", 2.2ghz i7, 16gb RAM OS 10.12.6
Digi 003 Console, Focusrite OctopreLE and MOTU Traveler for extra analog-ADAT conversion, UAD Apollo Quad Silver with Thunderbolt card, Apollo x4 and pci-e Octo, Adam A77X monitors.
Pro Tools 2020.3, Media Composer 8.9, Sibelius 8.7, Cubase Pro 10.5, Wavelab Pro 10, Logic Pro X 10.4.8, Mainstage 3.
Various apps, soft synths, FX plugins.
Plenty of hardware synths, rack gear, microphones etc.
And then there's the studio ;-)
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  #9  
Old 10-14-2015, 10:07 PM
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nigelpry nigelpry is offline
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Default Re: Combination of VI's and Hardware

Quote:
Originally Posted by guitarist9891 View Post
Thank you for your suggestion I tried this. Could not get it perfect but very close. Still had to nudge by about a millisecond after the clip was recorded. Funny If I increased the delay in the midi event list by that same millisecond it did NOT have the same effect.
The Delay MIDI Real Time Property can be set to ticks or samples. Were you using it as ticks?

Also, perhaps its my old ears, but if you've got it correct to one millisecond, or one tick, are you actually hearing a one tick/ms flam, or is it just irritating because the clips are not precisely aligned.

For me it's close enough, especially as I don't generally 'double up' sounds using a combination of hardware and VI.

The delay compensation issues are a pain though at mix time, so I generally print the MIDI, especially from hardware, as soon as I can.

At least you are in a better place than you were ;-)
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Mac Pro 2009 with 2010 firmware, 12-Core 3.46ghz, 64gb RAM & working Thunderbolt, OS 10.14.6 and Windows 10
Macbook Pro 2011 17", 2.2ghz i7, 16gb RAM OS 10.12.6
Digi 003 Console, Focusrite OctopreLE and MOTU Traveler for extra analog-ADAT conversion, UAD Apollo Quad Silver with Thunderbolt card, Apollo x4 and pci-e Octo, Adam A77X monitors.
Pro Tools 2020.3, Media Composer 8.9, Sibelius 8.7, Cubase Pro 10.5, Wavelab Pro 10, Logic Pro X 10.4.8, Mainstage 3.
Various apps, soft synths, FX plugins.
Plenty of hardware synths, rack gear, microphones etc.
And then there's the studio ;-)
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  #10  
Old 10-15-2015, 09:49 AM
albee1952 albee1952 is offline
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Default Re: Combination of VI's and Hardware

Quote:
Originally Posted by guitarist9891 View Post
Yes that helps! Thanks. everything sounds aligned after about 5 mins of experimenting to get the offset right.

Unfortunately it is still Buffer size dependent but I guess I need a new computer anyway to set a hardware buffer size and forget about it.

I currently have 2.4 ghz i5 with 4 gigs of ram. Late 2013 13 inch macbook pro.
Indeed, i5 and minimum RAM is woefully underpowered. i7 and lots of RAM makes a major difference
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