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rendered audio from midi out of sync in cubase and reaper
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tonytee335
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#1
28th January 2013
Old 28th January 2013
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rendered audio from midi out of sync in cubase and reaper

Hi

This is my first time in posting a message and the reason why I am doing so is because I have a serious issue with my digital studio that is causing me a lot of stress and has kind of brought my ability to record midi based music to a standstill. I'm hoping someone can help me.

I use Cubase 5, and I'm currently working on a track that is mainly all software synths, and I am now in the final stages of rendering the midi to audio. I was listening back to the project recently, and found that one of the tracks was glaringly out of time. When I zoomed in on the project, I was horrified to find that all of the waveforms that had been rendered from midi were all out of time, the first beat after the midi note, then the beats afterwards either in front of or after the midi note, drifting out of time inconsistently as the track moves forward.

I'm pretty sure this is not due to general latency problems, because the midi track is in time upon playback, but when I render it to audio using all the
methods available, real time export/normal export using export audio mixdown, sending the midi to a group track, recording from that, and recording directly from the stereo outs, the same thing happens, whether it be mono/stereo, 44,48khz, 16,24,32 bit.

Over the last few weeks, I have spent my time tearing my hair out trying to find what the problem is only to be completely stumped. I have looked through pages and pages of forums trying to find the answer, and tried just about everything suggested within Cubase; increasing/decreasing buffer size, checking and unchecking system timestamp options, constrain delay compensation, moving the Cubase application folder, none of which have solved the problem.

At first I thought it was specific software synths, namely Arturias Minimoog, Jupiter 8 and Pro VS. The Minimoog was the track that was glaringly out of time, so I contacted Arturia Tech support, I even sent them test Cubase projects with the rendered audio. They didn't respond, and I gave up after several attempts. But then I found that all of the software synths were exhibiting the same problem, and the weird thing was the timing would change each time the tracks were rendered. Kontakt 5 seemed to be the most stable of the 3rd party synths, and the rendered audio would be delayed using the Cubase synths, but consistently, so moving the waveform would mean it was in time. So I thought maybe reinstalling the third party software synths to a different location might work, but it didn't.

Then I thought it's either got to be the computer I'm using, the audio interface, or a problem with Cubase itself. I tried doing a fresh install with nothing on each computer(so there were no possible conflicts with other software) using different versions of Cubase SX2, 4 and 5 on four different computers; An old Pentium pc with an Maudio delta 2496 soundcard installed, A Packard Bell Imedia x2416 pc with an Maudio delta 1010LT soundcard, and the laptop I had been using on the project, A Scan 3XS ADK 7600 with an Maudio Fast Track Ultra. I also tried updated all of the drivers for the soundcards.

None of this resolved the problem.

I then thought it might be a problem with the Maudio products/drivers and possibly The USB connectivity, so I got a Focusrite Saffire Pro 40 firewire audio interface. It didn't resolve the problem. I tested the audio interface in the shop where I bought it from, Production room in leeds, and discussed it with two of their staff who were also completely stumped.

Finally I got a Scan powerdaw SAX-6, and even with the power of the pc, it didn't resolve the problem.

So I thought it has to be Cubase, so I contacted Cubase technical support and they suggested I downloaded the latest update (5.5.3) and when rendering to uncheck the box saying 'insert IXML chunk'. I did this and amazingly everything was in time after rendering, but then even more amazingly a few days later the problem started happening again. I restored a backup I made before the Cubase update was installed and it didn't change anything. I contacted them again and they just said it must be a problem with your setup, which is unlikely, because I've tried four different computers, with four different audio interfaces, with no other software on there, apart from the essential drivers. They've now distanced themselves from the issue.

I then downloaded an evalutation copy of Cockos Reaper and tried rendering from inside that, and was surprised to find the exact same thing happened. I then tried to record audio from Cubase to Reaper using the loopback facility on the Pro 40, and it still didn't resolve the problem. I even tried recording the audio out of the interface into a digital 8 track using rca spdif and then back again, and the exact same thing happened.

Its bizarre because when I try to set hitpoints and slice the audio after rendering, or quantize audio, it doesn't quantize up to the start of the waveform, theres always a gap between the slice and the start of the waveform. It's as if the display isn't accurate, or something's happening in the render that is adding an inconsistent gap or pulling the audio forward. It could be a problem with the waveform display, but after having this problem for several weeks and listening over and over again, it's hard to be subjective about whether the track sounds in time, and I've lost confidence in my setups ability to keep time completely. I'm having to cut the audio up manually and physically move it to the beat, which as you can imagine, is extremely time consuming, and when the notes glide into each other, or if there is filter modulation, its a nightmare.

I've run out of ideas and I'm hoping someone can help. Any advice would be most gratefully appreciated.

Anthony
#2
28th January 2013
Old 28th January 2013
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I'm sorry not able to suggest a Cubase solution, per se, but I do remember it from back in the day and it was nothing but nightmare and limitations.

I can tell you that there is a reason (pardon the pun) I use Pro Tools HD, and this just reaffirms it... because this NEVER happens in PTHD.

Have you considered a platform switch? No amount of money saved would be worth that kind of aggravation to me.
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29th January 2013
Old 29th January 2013
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hmm...maybe the problem is "midi-jitter" .. what os did you test your setup on? win7?

there is a thread here called "windows-7 midi out jitter disaster"
maybe there is a connection to your problem
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29th January 2013
Old 29th January 2013
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I assume you've checked your Midi events and confirmed that they all line up before you render?

Can't help you with Cubase, but this doesn't happen to me in Sonar X2 (or any previous version)
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30th January 2013
Old 30th January 2013
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Have you posted this on the Cubase Forum? There are experts there that could help you get through this issue.

I have used Cubase for years (SX3 and now 5) and the only time I had an issue with software synths was due to CPU overtaxing; I would then just freeze the MIDI track and export it by itself (muting all other tracks or disabling the output bus) as a stereo WAV, then re-import it into Cubase.

IMO, suggesting a platform switch is not helpful.
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#6
1st February 2013
Old 1st February 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ivmike View Post
IMO, suggesting a platform switch is not helpful.
It certainly has been in the past. Remember Studio Vision? How about Master Tracks Pro? Didn't think so.
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1st February 2013
Old 1st February 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ward Pike View Post
It certainly has been in the past. Remember Studio Vision? How about Master Tracks Pro? Didn't think so.
My point was (and remains): you came into a Cubase thread, where someone was looking for help and said, "I'm sorry not able to suggest a Cubase solution, per se, but I do remember it from back in the day and it was nothing but nightmare and limitations." and then after championing your set-up, advised the poster to invest in a brand new set-up.

You weren't helping the poster alleviate his current problem; throwing everything out and starting over is not the answer.
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#8
3rd February 2013
Old 3rd February 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ivmike View Post
My point was (and remains): you came into a Cubase thread, where someone was looking for help and said, "I'm sorry not able to suggest a Cubase solution, per se, but I do remember it from back in the day and it was nothing but nightmare and limitations." and then after championing your set-up, advised the poster to invest in a brand new set-up.

You weren't helping the poster alleviate his current problem; throwing everything out and starting over is not the answer.
We'll just have to agree to disagree on that one.
#9
4th February 2013
Old 4th February 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ivmike View Post
My point was (and remains): you came into a Cubase thread, where someone was looking for help and said, "I'm sorry not able to suggest a Cubase solution, per se, but I do remember it from back in the day and it was nothing but nightmare and limitations." and then after championing your set-up, advised the poster to invest in a brand new set-up.

You weren't helping the poster alleviate his current problem; throwing everything out and starting over is not the answer.
Good on ya!
#10
6th February 2013
Old 6th February 2013
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hey, don't know if you solved your problem but I'm having a strange issue in pro tools with regard to MIDI being misaligned.

I figured out a workaround, maybe it relates to you as well?

anyway, I was playing some MIDI and audio that I recorded and the MIDI seemed to have been drifting. I have delay comp on, tried to adjust buffer, no luck. then I realized my master fader had a limiter on it which was causing a lot of delay. for some strange reason, MIDI was ignoring delay comp on the master fader. so while the audio tracks were being compensated for, MIDI was drifting (ignoring the master fader). I disengaged delay comp just from the master fader and everything lined up again. weird!

do you have anything on your master bus doing processing while you are rendering a bounce? if so, maybe try it with the master bypassed.

cheers,

oto
#11
7th February 2013
Old 7th February 2013
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I'm not familiar with Cubase at all, but is there another option for rendering your synths other than bouncing them down?

In Sonar, at least 2 other methods spring to mind - you can freeze soft synths, which renders the audio and removes the synth from RAM, and the other option is to do a project export - this again renders all Midi down, produces a wav in whatever bit depth you want and leaves the synth in memory.
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7th February 2013
Old 7th February 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bristol_Jonesey View Post
I'm not familiar with Cubase at all, but is there another option for rendering your synths other than bouncing them down?

In Sonar, at least 2 other methods spring to mind - you can freeze soft synths, which renders the audio and removes the synth from RAM, and the other option is to do a project export - this again renders all Midi down, produces a wav in whatever bit depth you want and leaves the synth in memory.
That is also possible in Cubase.
tonytee335
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#13
22nd February 2013
Old 22nd February 2013
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Hi

I'd just like to thank everyone for their help and for posting some good constructive advice. I'm sorry I haven't replied, I haven't checked the posts because at the same time I posted the same problem on KVR audio and I basically just got slagged off by everyone, the comments are here:-

KVR: rendered audio from midi out of sync in cubase and reaper

After being ripped to shreds by those elitist w**nkers I've kind of given up and just gone back to cutting up the audio and dragging it in time. I've tried rendering the audio in very way possible in Cubase, I have actually tried a demo version of Pro Tools 9 and the same thing happens. It makes no sense. The midi sounds like it's playing back in time, but when I listen to it against the audio, it's phasing. Steinberg are saying it's a problem with my system, but what? I have no idea, I've done the tests with a fresh install on four different pcs, two running xp, two running seven, no other programs, just the drivers for the audio interfaces and the DAWs. I've tried freezing tracks, each test was one plugin at a time, nothing else. Doesn't make any difference.

The most bizarre thing is that I programmed a midi part on one computer, recorded it into the other computer as analogue audio and then reimported it back into the original arrangement and lined it up against the midi part and it was out of time, and phasing again against the midi notes upon playback. I've also recorded the vstis to a digital 8 track and then recorded it back in, and it's still out of time and phasing?!?

I've put a video on youtube detailing the problems. It's here if anyone wants to take a look:-

Midi to Audio Problems - YouTube

The only constructive comment I found on KVR was someone said the plugins may not be reporting their delay back to Cubase properly because the timing errors are completely random and seem to change each time I render, but not on every single vsti I have; I rendered the TAL Noisemaker synth to audio and it was bang on the beat, but then went to render a different midi sequence using it again the following day and this time it was out of time. The ADM drum machine by audio realism and the Transistor Revolution Kontakt 5 sample pack are the only instruments I have that are bang in time. Handy if I want to compose entire songs made up tr909 and 808 sounds!

If it is the VSTi s failing to report their latencies back to cubase properly, I have no idea how that can be changed, so if anyone can help, any advice would be received with thanks. I've just spent a full day cutting a bassline up and moving it to the beat; I don't recommend it!
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22nd February 2013
Old 22nd February 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tonytee335 View Post
Hi

I'd just like to thank everyone for their help and for posting some good constructive advice. I'm sorry I haven't replied, I haven't checked the posts because at the same time I posted the same problem on KVR audio and I basically just got slagged off by everyone, the comments are here:-

KVR: rendered audio from midi out of sync in cubase and reaper

After being ripped to shreds by those elitist w**nkers I've kind of given up and just gone back to cutting up the audio and dragging it in time. I've tried rendering the audio in very way possible in Cubase, I have actually tried a demo version of Pro Tools 9 and the same thing happens. It makes no sense. The midi sounds like it's playing back in time, but when I listen to it against the audio, it's phasing. Steinberg are saying it's a problem with my system, but what? I have no idea, I've done the tests with a fresh install on four different pcs, two running xp, two running seven, no other programs, just the drivers for the audio interfaces and the DAWs. I've tried freezing tracks, each test was one plugin at a time, nothing else. Doesn't make any difference.

The most bizarre thing is that I programmed a midi part on one computer, recorded it into the other computer as analogue audio and then reimported it back into the original arrangement and lined it up against the midi part and it was out of time, and phasing again against the midi notes upon playback. I've also recorded the vstis to a digital 8 track and then recorded it back in, and it's still out of time and phasing?!?

I've put a video on youtube detailing the problems. It's here if anyone wants to take a look:-

Midi to Audio Problems - YouTube

The only constructive comment I found on KVR was someone said the plugins may not be reporting their delay back to Cubase properly because the timing errors are completely random and seem to change each time I render, but not on every single vsti I have; I rendered the TAL Noisemaker synth to audio and it was bang on the beat, but then went to render a different midi sequence using it again the following day and this time it was out of time. The ADM drum machine by audio realism and the Transistor Revolution Kontakt 5 sample pack are the only instruments I have that are bang in time. Handy if I want to compose entire songs made up tr909 and 808 sounds!

If it is the VSTi s failing to report their latencies back to cubase properly, I have no idea how that can be changed, so if anyone can help, any advice would be received with thanks. I've just spent a full day cutting a bassline up and moving it to the beat; I don't recommend it!

Try rendering your MIDI sounds into waves without using any plug-ins; then try the plug-in on the wave file.
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#15
24th February 2013
Old 24th February 2013
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Sorry, I wasn't clear in that post. I meant VST instrument not plugin, I haven't been using any plugins when testing. Does anyone know if there is a way of measuring each individual vstis delay/latency and then adjusting it to compensate?
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24th February 2013
Old 24th February 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tonytee335 View Post
Sorry, I wasn't clear in that post. I meant VST instrument not plugin, I haven't been using any plugins when testing. Does anyone know if there is a way of measuring each individual vstis delay/latency and then adjusting it to compensate?
Have you tried freezing your synth VSTs before exporting?
tonytee335
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25th February 2013
Old 25th February 2013
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Yes. Makes no difference unfortunately.
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26th February 2013
Old 26th February 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tonytee335 View Post
Yes. Makes no difference unfortunately.
When the audio goes out of sync, does it go out of sync randomly or to a different BPM?
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3rd April 2013
Old 3rd April 2013
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Hi

Sorry it took a while to reply again, not checking this post consistently, just getting on with making music again. It's random, the first beat will usually be out of time and then it will drift randomly as the track goes on.
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9th February 2014
Old 9th February 2014
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Sorry to drum this back up

I'm having the exact same problem in cubase 7.0.6 on windows 7 pro.
No solutions have been offered by steinberg or sweetwater (my computer designer) as of yet.

At this point I've tried everything as well. Literally my 2006 laptop with Cubase 3 on vista does everything more in time.

Anyone ever find a solution or determine what the problem is?
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10th February 2014
Old 10th February 2014
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So Protools 9 does this, Reaper AND Cubase on your setup?

It aint Cubase my man
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#22
1st March 2014
Old 1st March 2014
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Hi Tony,

I've been having this issue too. Same as you it seems, midi files recorded in Cubase midi tracks (operating Fruity Loops/FL Studio synths/samplers in my case) when rendered to audio are out of time. But they playback in time.

One thing I just tried then was to check the "Real-Time Export" in the Export Audio Mixdown (Audio Engine Output) section. It rendered my midi to audio in better time though it is still about 1/16th out for most notes whereas before it was half a bar out at times. Its improved it but obviously I still need something else to get it right on time.
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