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I have recently bought a low-end usb keyboard(Acorn Instruments Masterkey 49). I am trying to use it with Sibelius 6. After spending a lot of time in the settings of Sibelius, I have managed to get latency down to 10ms, although I am not happy with that. I am using a laptop so I'm thinking this must be the limit for my current hardware.(CPU/GPU are good but I'm guessing sound is rather basic) I was told that this latency is probably due to my sound card.

After a lot of googling I couldnt find any external soundcards that seem to work for me. Can anyone suggest some that I should look at? Keep in mind the keyboard I am using only has USB connection. Thanks !

p.s I am a uni student, and using the above equipment for my studies, so professional equipment is out of budget.

System Info

Win 7 64bit i7 3610QM 2.3Ghz 6GB RAM Realtek High Definition Audio(WASAPI)

Sibelius supports ASIO drivers although the system doesn't(option is visible in settings, but greyed-out).

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migrated from Feb 21 '14 at 11:07

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The delay you're noticing is primarily from your sound card, not from your keyboard. – Brad Jan 1 '13 at 20:06
Yes I am aware of that. – Giannis Jan 2 '13 at 0:45
What brand and model is your laptop, or more interesting, which sound chip does it use? – K3N Jan 3 '13 at 0:58
@Ken-AbdiasSoftware I updated question with system info – Giannis Jan 5 '13 at 22:29
up vote 6 down vote accepted

I'm afraid you are stuck as the Realtek chipset doesn't have a dedicated ASIO driver.

As tomeoftom's mention in his answer, you can use the Asio4All.

This will give you the ASIO interface but not necessarily the low latency that comes from using a dedicated ASIO driver. This is because Asio4all is more a interface "wrapper" than an optimized driver - it fools the system into thinking there is an actual asio driver for your card there (but it works).

However, minor tweaking is possible with it such as buffer sizes and adjustment of internal latency to get most out of your ordinary drivers which is use in the end. I recommend to test different settings here, playback and adjust again to find the optimal settings for your setup.

What this means is that it (Asio4All) can help with the problem, a little, hopefully enough to make playing the keyboard less annoying.

The greyed-out box just indicate that Sibelius is looking for an ASIO option but doesn't find it. This will change with Asio4all installed.

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Greyed-out boxes are the worst design in the world, not least because they never tell you why they're greyed on mouseover. – iono Jan 6 '13 at 4:08
This worked. Latency got lower using Asio4All. Although I am not sure how the really small buffer size(64 compared to 4096 with old settings) is going to affect the sounds(no problems yet) and also while Sibelius is open, no other applications can produce sound. – Giannis Jan 7 '13 at 23:57
That's great. A small buffer reduce the latency but can become a problem if there are a lot of instruments and effects that need to processed and the cpu isn't able to deliver to the buffer fast enough. The sound will start to break up. – K3N Jan 8 '13 at 4:14

See if Sibelius supports ASIO drivers (look for Asio4All for an implementation that should work without a dedicated soundcard). If your keyboard also has MIDI Out, maybe a MIDI-to-USB converter cord will be better for latency - the Roland UM-ONE, which I use and works great for Ableton, is 35-50AUD on Ebay.

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The Acorm masterkey 49 does not have MIDI-out it is MIDI-over-USB only. – RedGrittyBrick Jan 1 '13 at 17:29
Ill check that as soon as possible.Any suggestions for external sound cards? – Giannis Jan 2 '13 at 0:46
Updated question. Sibelius supports ASIO but the ASIO option in settings of Sibelius is greyed-out. – Giannis Jan 5 '13 at 22:30

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