[PD] midi/latency

Christof Ressi info at christofressi.com
Thu Oct 27 15:56:54 CEST 2022

Hi Michael,

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I can second everything Oliver has said. I also have the suspicion that 
you have been using the (legacy) MMIO backend. Always use an ASIO driver 
for any kind of low latency stuff! Typically you would use the driver 
provided by the device manufacturer. In some rare cases, ASIO4ALL might 
work better than the official driver, but IMO that would be a red flag.

Here's how you use Pd with an ASIO driver: Pd menu -> "Media" -> "ASIO 
(via portaudio)". In the audio settings dialog, make sure that you 
actually select the correct ASIO driver as input/output devices!

To give you another data point: I'm on Windows 10 and I typically use a 
blocksize of 64 samples and 8-12 ms delay, depending on the patch.

If the Gigaport HD+ does not work at low latencies even with an ASIO 
driver, do yourself a favor and get a better interface. For a low budget 
solution, I can recommend the Behringer UMC series (except for UMC22). 
They are very affordable and reliably work at low latencies. I you have 
a bit more money in your pocket, get something like a Focusrite 
Scarlett. If you want to go pro, have a look at the various RME interfaces.



On 27.10.2022 14:21, oliver wrote:
> michael strohmann wrote:
>> HI,
>> what’s your strategies to reduce midi latency ?
>> in an installation setting i’m triggering samples from an e-drum 
>> (roland pad, millenium midi module) and the latency a get with the 
>> settigs below is 114 ms between trigger and sound.
>> delay(msec): 50 ms
>> Block Size: 256
>> if i go any lower i get “resyncing audio” filling up the pd-window 
>> and occasional glitches up to a frozen pd…
>> occasionaly after a restart the latency is even closer to 250ms.
>> i am running this on a fairly decent gamer pc under windows 10 with 
>> the esi Gigaport HD+ audio interface
> Hi, usually midi interfaces have little to no latencies, or at least 
> they are most likely not your bottleneck. you have to use an ASIO 
> driver to get real low latencies on windows systems, or ALSA on Linux. 
> It won't work with the standard audio driver (MMIO).
> For the Gigaport, i think there is an extra ASIO driver for download, 
> but "usually" you will be better off with the ASIO4ALL driver (that 
> would even work for your internal audiocard) - at least that's my 
> experience with this soundcard on a windows machine.
> Having said that, i'm not sure that the "Gigaport HD+" really supports 
> low latencies at all. I used it once in an installation and remember 
> that i had to use a higher amount of PD's audio delay (= soundcard 
> buffer = overall latency) than with other soundcards, maybe a 
> trade-off for the 8 channels.
> Do you need all of them ? (I guess so ...)
> Anyway, try the internal soundcard first and see how low you can get 
> without hickups or clicks. to really test latencies i always use a 
> test setup like this:
> [0.5, 0 1000(
> |
> [line~]   [noise~]
> |          |
> [*~        ]
> | \
> [dac~]
> where the midi trigger fires the message box. use your phone recorder 
> to measure the "real life" latency between drum pad hit and noise woosh.
> just for the record: i'm using a similar setup on an old acer netbook 
> with UBUNTU and an old MAYA44USB card and getting very low latencies 
> (less than 10ms) using ALSA drivers (PD blocksize 64, PD delay: 8)
> i'm pretty sure that it's not your hardware that's lacking, but that 
> you have to use a dedicated audio driver (ASIO or ALSA)
> best
> Oliver
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