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Why do I have so much MIDI delay?

Sometimes, when you trigger MIDI notes on a keyboard or pad controller, you may find a delay between the time you play and what you hear. This is not generally a fault of the midi controller itself. It is delay created from the audio playback device driver. Computers have built-in soundcards that allow you to playback audio from your computer. For superior audio quality, try using an audio interface. With both of these devices you can select their buffer settings from within your audio playback or interface software.

Note: the Buffer Setting manages the delay that you are hearing. A lower buffer setting means less delay, at the expense of system performance. You’ll need to find a setting that provides the best balance between real-time playback and system stability. The example below is from a Roland Quad Capture audio interface and Ableton Live software.

 While Macs use Core Audio drivers, if you are using an audio interface on a Windows system, you'll want to select ASIO as the driver type within your playback software as it is the most efficient and best performing. There will be audio buffer settings there as well. If you are not using an audio interface you'll choose between the generic Windows media drivers. Try the different drivers and lower their buffer settings to see what works best on your system. If you lower the setting too much you will get poor playback performance. Generic Windows drivers are not optimized for audio production and it is always recommended to use a dedicated audio interface with ASIO drivers if possible.

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