latency tips?

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Member Since: Feb 02, 2008

im just wondering guys on some issues regarding latency with home recording. i plan on using my computer as my hub for everything. i want to have little to zero latency with recording midi keyboard. there as far as i know are two methods of recording it, directly into the usb port form a midi controller, or from a midi out on a keyboard into a midi controller, like a tapco interface, and then into the usb port in the computer. as well does the sound card have anything to do withlatency for midi recording? what succesfull methods have people used so far that seem to work. my computer is brand new p.s. ive got a acer quad core 2.4 ghz and a realtek hd sound card (standard, and its nothing fancy)

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Mans reach exceeds his grasp
Since: Oct 23, 2007

Feb 02, 2008 09:53 pm

Hey, welcome to HRC. :)

Zero latency is a myth, so don't get your hopes up for the big "0".

No matter how you look at it, you're going to need a midi converter unless you buy a sound card with midi inputs, but either way a straight up midi converter shouldn't have any noticeable latency at all, and doesn't have anything to do with the sound card until the output stage, like monitoring and playback. Soundcards on the other hand, for the audio side of things, you can tweak them down as low as you have the patience for, but never to zero... just not possible when you consider the mechanics of it all.

Anyways, what you have to ask yourself right now is what you want to accomplish. If you're just going to be working with the midi keyboard and thats all, you'll get by with a midi converter (midi to USB.) The tapco may be much more than you need.

If you're only going to be using the keyboard, then a midi converter will be your best (and cheapest) option, here's a link for one:

If you're looking to record vocals, live instruments, etc, then you'd be better off getting a sound card that has microphone inputs as well as midi inputs /outputs, that way you'll have all your bases covered.
If you plan on doing more, there's 2 ways you can go with the sound card:
1)An external USB or Firewire sound card, which will give you phantom power most likely, so if you plan on using a condenser microphone, you'll have that on your side. Here's some links: No phantom With phantom Power:
2)An Internal PCI sound card, which will give you the lowest latency if set up properly, and will give you a bunch of options if you ever plan on expanding your studio, like inputs for mixers and stuff. Here's some links:

Hope this helps :)

Since: Feb 02, 2008

Feb 03, 2008 09:55 am

dude thank you so much. you really covered all the bases there. i have recently purchased the program reason 4.0. a nice addition to the computer software im sure you will agree. any recommended external midi controllers you suggest? that essentially was the way i planned on setting everything up (i realize now it would have helped to mention it sooner).

Mans reach exceeds his grasp
Since: Oct 23, 2007

Feb 03, 2008 12:28 pm

Yeah, reason 4 is a cool program for sure.
For midi controllers, you have to consider weather you want the controller to have on board sounds or not, and also if you want weighted keys or not. I currently don't have a midi controller, but here's a couple I've been looking at, from a low budget to high budget point of view. (I like weighted keys, so my recommendations are a little bias)

Affordable, more than capable:

Expensive, dream pianos:

Since: Feb 02, 2008

Feb 05, 2008 10:29 pm

those are pretty sweet. ive owned some m audio stuff in the past. never midi controllers however that would be nice. i want weighted keys, no on board sound to save myself some cash im assuming. what is the best way to set something like that up to recieve the lowest latency, as you can tell latency is what seems to ruin my life and make me not want to even record. lol.

Since: Feb 02, 2008

Feb 07, 2008 06:11 pm

so yeah, finally i have one last question. USB output our midi output, which one is better? the keyboard im looking at right now has both. it seems like the more expensive ones have the midi in it. but im wondering what anyone or mr. warren. your oppinion is on the two.

Czar of Midi
Since: Apr 04, 2002

Feb 07, 2008 07:48 pm

Both are going to be about the same. Some of the cheaper units with built in midi interface using USB can have issue's with
Windows not recognizing them, but it is pretty rare these days.

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