Questions & Answers

MIDI plays out of time

+10 votes
asked Apr 22, 2020 in Studio One 3 by leonardbernd (320 points)
Technical Specs below!
I have an external synth (Roland System-1m) connected to my Laptop via USB. I have the connection set up in Studio One 3 and want to play the synth using MIDI sequences on an Instrument Track.
The problem is that the MIDI simply doesn't play in time, but occasionally drifts (pretty severely at times).
From the manual I know there's apparently supposed to be a "Windows MIDI Settings" Tab under Advanced Settings that has a checkbox "ignore MIDI Timestamps" which allegedly can help with MIDI-timing issues, however I don't have this tab in my options.
Another interesting thing is that the problem gets worse when 1) I use a playback marker and I change the start position (especially in combination with negative delay times on the track for latency compensation) and 2) I make changes to the parameters of the synth.

MIDI-related things that are NOT the problem:
- Latency. I have compensated the latency with delays on the instrument track. If I record the audio, it doesn't line up with the MIDI Notes (i.e. if I put in a sequence of straight sixteenth notes, the timing drifts all over the place).
- Issues with the synth. It works as it should with FL Studio. Also when looking at the event list in Studio One it's apparent that even though I put in straight sixteenth notes, the time between the individual "note on" messages sent to the synth varies every time).
- Wrong Setup of the External Device. I am sending MIDI Clock as well as MIDI Clock Start and Timecode to the synth, I have also tried different combinations of these as well as unchecking all of them, it doesn't affect the problem. I send to a device called "System-1m" and receive from "System-1m CTRL" (which allows me to record all changes to the patch as automation).
For both of these devices there's also an "emulated" option (whatever that means), I tried those as well - no difference.

Studio One version (64bit)
Windows 10 Home version 1903
Dual Core i5 2.3 GHz

Final Note: I am currently using the FL Studio ASIO Driver as my main audio device. It allows me to independently choose input and output devices. I use that to select my Synth as the input device and my Focusrite 2i4 as the output, it eliminates the need for hooking up the synth to the interface. Due to some weird circumstances most of my audio drivers vanished one day so I'll try reinstalling ASIO4All and experiment with hooking up the synth to my interface, but maybe someone already knows how to fix this.

6 Answers

0 votes
answered Jul 12, 2020 by robertemerson1 (1,820 points)
I always thought I was losing my mind. Check out AdmiralBumbleBee to see it in action.
0 votes
answered Jul 17, 2020 by andyprinz (160 points)
same problem here. MIDI timing is totally broken. Can't record a proper 4 to the floor. I have no clue what the problem is. No problem with other DAWS
0 votes
answered Feb 22, 2021 by JosephJFK (750 points)
I have had the same thing happen with a variety of synths attached via different midi interfaces (both USB and DIN). This only happens in studio one.

I’ve noticed that I often get the problem to vary based on whether I bounce an external instrument to audio vs dragging the midi onto a new audio track. But sometimes one is worse, sometimes the other.

the issues can resolve as a track plays. If you let the same midi pattern repeat several times it may eventually start to be mostly right.

I’m working off an 8-core i9 16” MacBook Pro with 32gb ram so it’s definitely not my computer.

It’s sad that this is enough of a problem to push me back to Ableton for recording synths. Combined with the inability to easily capture audio tails and hardware synths really still don’t work in Studio One.
0 votes
answered May 8, 2022 by jasperbyrne (180 points)
I have started having the same issues since about 5.4. It's become worse in 5.5 onwards. It is not my equipment because it can happen in Impact.

I can cut a beat down to the sample level, put it in Impact, run it against the metronome, and it drifts like I remember early audio daws doing. Certain snares will be late, it will lock back on for a while, and so on.

It's unworkable and I'll have to change DAWs if it's not fixed soon.
0 votes
answered Apr 3 by ryanm1 (8,360 points)
I think this is still going on in version 6
0 votes
answered May 18 by richardsmithson1 (140 points)
Oh yea it's completley broken. Not sure why it's not been fixed. There is a workaround where you can use Pipeline and you get zero latency. Studio one has a few unfinished features / broken features. The sample browser is also not good. Love Studio One otherwise but these are some cold hard truths!