When I record MIDI tracks in Ableton Live, is there any way to adjust it so the MIDI notes I record are automatically shifted to their correct positions, correcting for the lag time on my MIDI adapter?

I can easily adjust the latency for sync/realtime messages, but this setting has no effect on regular notes.

I am recording my Juno-106 both on MIDI and on audio, but I want to record the MIDI so I can go back and fix a note here and there, and then play everything back with the Juno correctly in time.

3 Answers 3


Unless you're doing epic synth solos chances are you could easily solve this problem using the 'Quantise' function.

Simply right-click in the piano-roll and select the 'Quantise Settings' option: this will allow you to quantise right down to 1/32note triplets (IIRC).

OR you can even turn on auto-quantise from the Edit menu (Record Quantisation), which will let you quantise what you're playing as you play it, which can be useful in a live setting if your timing is a little off.

  • Unfortunately, epic synth solos is what I use it for. Quantizing makes it too robotic sounding for me. If I could shift everything to the left by 20-30ms, I'd be in good shape. I'm not concerned about playing live.. that would be fine, as I am using the audio out of the Juno.
    – Brad
    Commented Dec 30, 2010 at 18:54
  • 2
    Ah, in that case I'd probably CTRL-A and drag a bit to the left while I hold ALT ;) Not exactly robust but I think it'll fix it.
    – Ed J
    Commented Dec 30, 2010 at 19:05

It sounds like you have found the lag adjust, and you also need to make sure the latency settings for the audio card is correct.

Also, I have been plagued by a bug in several versions where MIDI recorded notes get a long lag if monitoring is on or off (I can't remember which) so make tests with that, turn off and on monitoring on the channel you record on. I don't have Live on this computer, so I can't tell you exactly, but fiddle around and see if it gets better.

  • This makes no difference on my system... and shouldn't anyway, unless the PC is way behind.
    – Brad
    Commented Dec 30, 2010 at 22:11
  • @Brad: Well it does in some versions. It's a bug in Live, quite simply. If you aren't affected by that I don't know what the problem could be. There is latency adjustment, and it works, since at least Live v4 which was the first one I used. :) Commented Dec 30, 2010 at 22:20

If it's the lag time on your midi adapter, then the lag should be constant throughout the entire midi recording... so just select all the midi notes in the edit view, zoom way in and move the notes until you can hear it's where you want it.

As for doing it on the fly, or in real-time I don't think there's a way to automate that, though I could be wrong. I'm sure you could do it with Max, but that's usually the case.

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