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Sweetwater Forums [Archived]

After 15 years of great discussions, the Sweetwater Forums are now closed and preserved as a "read-only" resource. For discussions about current gear, check us out on Facebook, YouTube, inSync, and our Knowledge Base.

MIDI for Live Performance

chrisjamesadams

Something I've always wondered: How does one go about using a MIDI keyboard in a live performance setting without any lag? I've always had problems with this.
January 28, 2011 @10:52pm
DAS

MIDI itself only has about 5ms of latency. That's equivalent to the length of time it takes the sound from your speakers to reach your ears when they are five feet away. So MIDI itself is fine. Sometimes the device receiving the signals may add latency to that, but with most hardware based instruments it's negligible. Where people tend to run in to problems is with software based instruments running on a computer. That's a whole different can of worms. There are many ways to improve performance, but the best case scenario ultimately depends on your computer and the software in question.
January 28, 2011 @11:29pm
TimOBrien

Are you going into a computer? (next time list your equipment, we're not psychic)
Are you using the on-board soundcard or onboard midi synth?
If so, that's why....
Ya gotta use an asio external soundcard rather than the 40-cent gamer onboard card. Also, the microsoft software synth (gamer) lags horribly and shouldnt be used.
Same advice as same as with studio recording.
January 29, 2011 @01:19am
chrisjamesadams

Are you going into a computer? (next time list your equipment, we're not psychic)
Are you using the on-board soundcard or onboard midi synth?
If so, that's why....
Ya gotta use an asio external soundcard rather than the 40-cent gamer onboard card. Also, the microsoft software synth (gamer) lags horribly and shouldnt be used.
Same advice as same as with studio recording.

Ah, sorry. My lack of sleep didn't have me processing my message when I first posted. Alright, so what I'm interested in doing is using my MacBook Pro in a performance setting running Reason through Ableton Live. I'd be using a MIDI keyboard to play the sounds. I've just heard of problems with latency before so I'm wondering how I should approach this.
January 29, 2011 @08:56am