I have alesis dm5 plugged into cubase via midi triggering sounds from DFH superior. I have the buffer size in cubase set so that I have a fairly low latency ( about 6ms ) which I find fine to play with. On playback ( montoring via cubase ) everything works fine but when I hit record even though the monitoring still sounds fine when I play back the recording my drums are delayed by about 130mS.

I am baffled because I thought that the buffer setting in cubase was the main thing that determined latency and also I can't understand how cubase allows me to monitor properly but it's not able to to record the notes while it's playing them back to me. What I'm looking for are pointers to other settings I need to look into. I presume this must be to do with cubase and not the alesis or midi interface or DFH because like I said the sounds do get all the way in and out of cubase without any latency, just not recorded.

I have done some experimenting and I find that it seems to be to do with the Dm5 despite what I thought. I think this now because I don't have the issue when I trigger DFH from the keyboard but I still don't understand how the notes are able to get to DFH on time but not recorded on time

2 Answers 2


This is my gut-feeling about many DAWs. Don't read this as anything but a possible cause.

If I've missed the point of this question, please let me know and I'll delete it.

You say playback is fine. But how do you know? Well, you think you know because eveything sounds in sync - but you don't really know when your playback actually begins because there could easily be a 200ms delay between hitting play and hearing your existing tracks. My setup suffers from playback "delay" and some of the midi notes I capture (during record) are well off the mark - All the notes are precisely positioned relative to each other but there could be anything up to a half beat delay.

So your PC has a low latency for capturing notes but cubase it is trying to position the midi notes recorded on the track with reference to playback delay and this is a bit hit and miss I've found - this applies to midi from my USB keyboard.

If I'm recording guitar/sax/vox etc I generally find it's spot on.

  • I think I mustn't have made myself clear. It's not that playback is right ... it isn't. It's monitoring that's right. When I play the kit via the DFH and monitor via cubase then there's negligable delay, but this is monitoring not playback. When I record ( and then play back ) the notes are very late ( a lot ) and it's quite obvious against a click or even to view them in the editor.
    – byronyasgur
    Jul 15, 2013 at 19:10
  • When you record though, cubase will still need to playback so you can sync up to the existing tracks - when I referred to playback I meant the "playback" feature of the tracks already created whilst you are recording a new track alongside. Does this get closer to the mark? If not I'll delete.
    – Andy aka
    Jul 15, 2013 at 19:33
  • No sorry when I mean monitoring I mean without any playback or recording. Note that I'm using DFH maybe that's the confusion. The midi goes into souncard then into cubase then into DFH through cubase's monitor button and out to me. All of this without any latency ( between when I hit the pad and when I hear the sound ) ... no playback involved. But when I hit record even though teh monitoring is still fine the notes are recorded late
    – byronyasgur
    Jul 15, 2013 at 23:52

Solved. It turned out to be that I needed to set Cubase to use "Use system timestamp". More info on this page

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.