Triggering EZDrummer without latency

Grace :)

Senior Member
Hey guys,

So I was advised by some of the forum's users to look in to triggering my Roland TD4 Kx2 kit into some software like superior drummer or EZ Drummer, I've been experimenting with the addictive drums demo software and really like it - I've decided I'm going to buy the EZ Drummer package as that's within my price range.

But, I'm having massive latency issues - maybe 1-2 seconds (I don't know if this is a big gap - but it sure feels like it when you're playing!) Could anyone recommend any cables that will have reduced latency - to a level where I would actually be able to use the software as a drum brain as I'm playing.

My computer is only a month or two old, 4gb memory, 500gb hard drive, i5 processor - so I'm assuming the problem is with the cable as opposed to the computer?

Any help would be greatly appreciated!
 

thebarak

Senior Member
You cannot move forward until you get rid of that latency. If you can afford one, an external USB audio interface is your best bet. Keep the hard work out of the computer. The interface will let you hear the live drums and the other tracks all together at the same time and in sync. Mine is a MOTU Audio Express and I can certainly recommend this one.
 

bigiainw

Gold Member
You need a zero latency interface- firewire is best IMHO. I had a presonus firebox which had no latency at all. It's nothing to do with the trigger side of things I suspect, it's about the ability of your computer to produce the sound quick enough, which the firebox does for the computer. I works like a superfast sound card.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q2Uq6G3P9GM This is where I learned about this kinda stuff!
 

Garvin

Pioneer Member
There is no reason to have that kind of latency these days. Check your DAW. There should be a way to easily adjust the latency. I have run EZDrummer on Garageband, Logic, and Ableton. Your computer is fine. Just get into the preferences on the DAW.
 

Mezzo

Member
Hey guys,

So I was advised by some of the forum's users to look in to triggering my Roland TD4 Kx2 kit into some software like superior drummer or EZ Drummer, I've been experimenting with the addictive drums demo software and really like it - I've decided I'm going to buy the EZ Drummer package as that's within my price range.

But, I'm having massive latency issues - maybe 1-2 seconds (I don't know if this is a big gap - but it sure feels like it when you're playing!) Could anyone recommend any cables that will have reduced latency - to a level where I would actually be able to use the software as a drum brain as I'm playing.

My computer is only a month or two old, 4gb memory, 500gb hard drive, i5 processor - so I'm assuming the problem is with the cable as opposed to the computer?

Any help would be greatly appreciated!
Did you sort this out? I can help you with this is you still have the problem
 

mike d

Silver Member
I don't think there is a USB solution that doesn't have "some" latency. You can get it down to 15 or 20 mS (round trip - from drum trigger into computer out to your headphones) which may be tolerable for you, but it's still noticeable when trying to lay down a track. If you can get a PCI, or PCIe midi interfae card you would be much better off.
 

BacteriumFendYoke

Platinum Member
USB is easily fast enough to communicate without noticeable latency. I have no troublesome latency with my USB audio interface and that's running at least four-in, two-out at any time at 44.1KHz. USB is not the issue - there is no bottleneck.

If I remember my classes correctly, MIDI data is incredibly tiny. Each note is comprised of eight bytes which would have been easily commutable even in 1983 when the protocol was first acted upon. USB is not the issue. Even when taking into account CPU-control of the USB protocol, it's still not an issue.

There's something wrong with the way your buffers are set up.
 

Piebe

Senior Member
May i suggest you give Addictive Drummer a try? I used that software when i had a td-4 last year and i found the latency to be barely noticeable. One of the options i really liked was the e-kit selector. If you have set up your midi correctly, its simply a matter of selecting your e-kit and there you go. Seriously, if you want the least latency possible go get it.

Another thing that might cause latency is your windows updater namely that horrible help center from the latest editions. I got rid of that and installed XP which made things a whole lot better.

What i did notice was that the longer my laptop computer was on, the more the latency increased. This was also the case with EZdrummer, even way more than with AD. After trying all that is possible with e-drums and getting it to work without noticeable latency, i sold my e-kit and bought an acoustic set. In comparison: e-kits have a long way to go and latency isn't the only issue they come up short with. For the best experience you have to dig way too deep in your pockets and get a td-30 or rather wait for the td-1000 to come out. I've been there, done it and came to realize that e-drums just aren't suited for drummers who are hesitant to spend a fortune.
 

Mezzo

Member
Latency is totally down to buffers, if your sound card runs at say 44.1Khz 24 bit, that means the sound card needs 24 bits of data 44100 times a second, the buffer is like a bucket with a hole in it so that you get the constant drip out the bottom 44100 times a second but the operating system on your computer needs to do other things as well, so what it does it throw a cup full of water into this bucket every now and again, the problem is that the bigger the bucket (buffer) the longer it takes for the water (data) to go from the top to out the bottom.

The key is to have a tiny buffer, a bottle top instead of a bucket, that means the operating system has to spend more time putting smaller amounts of data in it, if it runs out you get the pops and scratches noises.

There is some software called ASIO4ALL which is free, and overrides windows sound buffers, with this you can get down to 10 - 15ms using the standard built in sound card as long as the laptop is capable, to put that in perspective, thats about 3 - 4 meters of sound travel. To get better you can use something like a USB external sound adapter that supports ASIO, which in short means you can define the buffer size.

I use an E-MU 0404 USB adapter with addictive drums and I get around 6 - 7 ms including MIDI latency at 1ms, which is literally as soon as you hit it you hear the noise with no delay, which is better than most drum brains, and thats on an old ish dual core laptop, it does push the laptop fairly hard but no stability problems or stuttering at all, and I never turn it off, its been on for a few months with no problems.

Just to add to that, I also play on a TD-4 with the stock brain and there no audible latency difference between that and running through AD, my AD setup may even be slightly better, and much better sounds, but like I say, once you get down to 10ms range your talking a couple of meters in sound travel distance terms, its like standing 2m away from a snare drum with someone hitting it.

Hope that helps a little.
 
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