Slight Delay in triggering soundfonts...

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Posts: 19
Joined: June 3, 2017 - 02:22
Slight Delay in triggering soundfonts...

Hello all,

I am using Cakewalk Pro Audio 9 as my sequencing software..I also use an external USB midi interface to drive my harmonizer and other midi instruments on my external sound modules. My problem is that when I go to trigger these soundfonts from an external MIDI controller keyboard,I get a second or less "delay" between the time I touch the key and get the corresponding soundfont assigned to that track...I move to another track,and it's the same delay with THAT soundfont assigned to THAT track.

Very irritating,as I want to start recording on a track and trigger these soundfonts into the sequence..I can correct this by turning the MIDI Echo thru mode from "auto" to "none",but then I'll get no triggering of the soundfont instruments at all! I can't record a new track at all using these soundfonts using an external keyboard controller because that short one second or less delay between the key hit and hearing the soundfont instrument is driving me crazy!

Is this inherent and standard with trying to use an external MIDI controller to drive these sounds,because it takes a second or less to trigger the sampled instruments?

Is there any way around this so I can hit record and play these instruments from an external keyboard without this delay? Of course I have NO delay at all when triggering other MIDI instruments through a separate sound module using the very same USB midi interface...I'm hoping this is not too complex in trying to explain the problem I'm having...The delay between key hit and sound makes it literally impossible to record any new sounds as the rest of the sequence is heard. Any help would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!

Posts: 1796
Joined: March 25, 2012 - 01:19
Re: Slight Delay in triggering soundfonts...

You've started two identical threads:
https://coolsoft.altervista.org/en/forum/thread/965
https://coolsoft.altervista.org/en/forum/thread/966 (this one)

From your description I can hardly find out how is this related to VMS or a bug of it... I'm going to close this one and keep the "General discussions & questions" one 🤔

To sort it out... how is your MIDI configuration?
Is it something like External MIDI Keyboard --> USB MIDI Interface --> Cakewalk --> VMS?

Posts: 19
Joined: June 3, 2017 - 02:22
Re: Slight Delay in triggering soundfonts...

YES that is EXACTLY my configuration and chain of how I am running things...

Like I said, if I trigger MIDI instruments on an external sound module through the SAME USB interface, there is NO delay between pressing the key and getting the desired sound immediately using the external sound module...

However, when I set my port to VMS and the soundfonts, the sound triggers like a half second AFTER I press the key...
I'm thinking because it's a sample, maybe I have a slow computer, and it's taking the CPU that long to trigger the samples...
Nothing else comes to mind as to why there is the delay... and I would like to record these soundfonts INSTEAD of the cheesy instrument MIDI sounds on my external sound module that is MIDIed through the same USB interface... when I play a MIDI sequence using VMS and Cakewalk, of course there is no delay, it's ONLY when I am trying to RECORD and trigger the soundfonts using Cakewalk set to the VMS port that the half second delay occurs...

I don't have a MIDI loop, where the keyboard's OUT midi jack is coming back to the MIDI in jack at the same time when I press a key, because I only have the midi out cable connected...

I'm only using this keyboard as a controller to record events, I don't have this keyboard with MIDI in connected to trigger its own sounds in the sequences.
I do NOT have anything plugged into the midi IN port on the keyboard. I know if I did, it MIGHT cause a doubling loop which might cause that...
I hope I was at least somewhat concise in my description of the problem, and you can get an idea in your head of what I'm talking about.

Like I said before, maybe it's just my CPU in my laptop not having the speed to trigger these soundfont samples right away when the key is pressed...
My only resolution at this point if I don't have a fix is to record a MIDI instrument through the sound module that I have no delay with, then switch it over to VMS port to play the soundfont instrument...
You can just imagine how frustrating it is to try and record a soundfont sound with that delay when the rest of the sequence is playing...
It's pretty much impossible since you have to train your brain to play a half second before to have the timing of the recording in sync with the playing sequence...

I've even went so far to adjust the "Time" port option in Cakewalk that pushes the recording of the track you are on, back or forward by "TICKS" which are units of time in Cakewalk that either pushes back or forwards the time of that instrument in the sequence... Didn't make any difference...

I appreciate BIG TIME the response and help from you and I know it's probably not be a bug in VMS, but I'm just wondering where to go next with this, if there is a resolution at all...
Perhaps it's just a common and inherent thing that naturally occurs when you are trying to play soundfonts and samples through an external controller.

I'm guessing no one else is trying to do what I am, and just plays the sequences using VMS and not trying to RECORD those soundfonts for new tracks.

Thanks again for trying to help and any responses... I DO really appreciate that...

Take Care!

Posts: 1796
Joined: March 25, 2012 - 01:19
Re: Slight Delay in triggering soundfonts...

Ok, this is something to try:

1) Reduce output buffer:
open VMS configuration, Options tab, set Additional output buffer... to 50ms or less (it should be set higher than 200ms on low-performances PCs, but this will introduce stuttering while playing).

Now check if you still have the delay or not. If yes, go to next step.

2) Check which element of your MIDI chain is introducing the delay: "External MIDI Keyboard --> USB MIDI Interface --> Cakewalk" or "Cakewalk --> VMS"

* External MIDI Keyboard --> USB MIDI Interface --> Cakewalk

I don't know Cakewalk but it should have something to monitor incoming MIDI stream (something like a monitor window).
Open this window and look if Cakewalk reacts with some delay to your keyboard presses.
If yes, then the issue is caused by the USB MIDI Interface or by Cakewalk input.

* Cakewalk --> VMS

Cakewalk should have a window that allows you to "play a piano" with the mouse ("Piano window" or something like that...).
Open this window and click on a note and check if that note is played by VMS with some delay.
If yes, then switch to another synth (like Microsoft GS Wavetable Synth) and check if this one have delay too.
If yes, then the issue is on Cakewalk which outputs its MIDI with a delay (and I don't know why); otherwise the issue is on VMS that is not able to play in realtime, so you have to:

  • lower its additional buffer (as you sould have already done) down to 0ms (but it could not be able to work correctly because of the low-performance CPU
  • lower VMS rendering quality (see the MIDI Synthesis section into VMS Options)
Posts: 19
Joined: June 3, 2017 - 02:22
Re: Slight Delay in triggering soundfonts...

Thanks SO much for your reply...I will try these steps and report back on what I find....

Thanks again for your help...I DO appreciate it BIG TIME!

Manik Groove