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DAW: smaller audio buffer size= better MIDI timing?
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Music Software  
Author DAW: smaller audio buffer size= better MIDI timing?
Panason
I saw a comment on GS that (if i understand it right) DAWs send out MIDI in packets with a frequency dependent on the audio buffer size- the smaller the buffer the more frequently it sends out the MIDI data, which results in better timing.
Quote:
The sloppiness comes from the fact that midi is transmitted with audio buffer chunk. The shorter the audio buffer, the better the midi timing. Having 64 Samples Buffer size gives you very good midi performance.

Is this correct?
JohnLRice
hhmmm, I hadn't heard of this before. hmmm..... seriously, i just don't get it
Shledge
I have tried this and it seems to hold true. 512 samples would cause major MIDI jitter, while 64 samples is rock solid, to the point that I can send MIDI clock from DAW to my PNW without any dropouts or issues.
JohnLRice
Good to know, thanks all! thumbs up
catchin
Not sure which DAW you use (I use Ableton Live), but this helped me a lot.

Also after you figure out what you want to do with your sound, when it's time to record turn off the monitoring of the track you're recording on.

Quoting Ableton manual, page 666 Flamey -
Quote:
Do not enable track monitoring if you are recording MIDI while listening directly to a hardware device such as an external synthesizer (as opposed to listening to the deviceā€˜s audio through Live via the External Instrument device). Likewise, disable track monitoring when recording MIDI data that is generated by another MIDI device (such as a drum machine). When monitoring is enabled, Live adds latency to compensate for playthrough jitter. Therefore, it is important to only enable monitoring when actually playing through.
rjungemann
It'd depend on how the DAW was written. It's certainly convenient to have the code doing MIDI processing and audio processing happening at the same interval, but there's nothing strictly requiring it. I have code a little like this in a sequencer I made:

Code:

// Runs as quickly as possible
void loop (...) {
  if (previous_time + block_size >= current_time) {
    // Fill a buffer with audio samples...
  }

  // More code here...
}


But there's nothing forcing them to necessarily do the MIDI processing when doing the audio processing, although it may make certain things more convenient. At least as far as I've dug into music software and plugin development.
Panason
Thanks for replies. I guess this is what MIDI time-stamping is about. I think I read somewhere that Ableton does this.
catchin wrote:

Quoting Ableton manual, page 666


Yeaahh that paragraph in Live's manual always makes my head hurt. They don't give a clear enough explanation for serious things like this that can easily trip the user over.
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