Author Topic: Midi timing and old school Os's  (Read 1888 times)

Offline damo-blak

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Midi timing and old school Os's
« on: June 27, 2021, 09:41:32 AM »
If you are running a fairly complicated midi setup you can quite
quickly run into timing problems,these are built into midi to a certain
extent, throw in lots of controller data too and you could hit problems,
using multiple channels/ports does help but still an old protocol,it has flaws.

Now all this taken into account does not excuse sloppy midi timing
when there is little data traveling over your cables,
the problem is Jitter.I started out making music on
the Atari ST,it had built in midi and very smooth operation,
when you connected to your synths or drum machine it was tight
and midi sounded precise,also had an Amiga and the midi
interface for that was just the same,tight and smooth operation
when triggering midi devices.

I eventually moved over to pc and used an early version of Cubase,
i did notice that the midi interface an ISA-Roland mpu-401 was not quite as tight.
The midi was still very good,but there was a small difference between
using the Atari ST and the PC.This was offset by the PC been able to sequence
at a higher tempo without timing problems (140 BPM)so I stuck with it as the Atari
couldn't output the data fast enough when things got complex at higher bpm.

Later I got hold of a Steinberg Midex 8 with the LTB system for tighter midi output/input,
with cubase it worked well on my windows machine,in fact it was pretty good.
It was the best I had had midi running with my sound modules/keys under a PC.

later still I got an Emagic AMT8 for my mac,that was also pretty good,but still I seemed to get better
results with the Midex 8 and cubase,the Amt8 was running under OSX and the longer the daw was running
I would get slightly off timing.Hardware sequencers work well for midi but nothing beats
having the notes up on the big screen in my opinion!.

The modern stuff im using like logic X and Ableton 10 on new Os's do seem to suffer a certain level
of midi jitter,where as older cubase and logic 9 do not as much on my systems,
but back in time we must go for better midi I think.

Cant help wondering if serial connected midi would be best,using an old Os like Os9
should work really well tho for midi,I have heard that its midi output is low
on jitter,I have not done extensive testing but plan to test it a bit over the next few weeks.
Now im not a scientific guy,I just check things with my own perceptions,
can tell when something sounds off.

I could easy pickup an atari ST,but want 8 outs for my many sound modules/samplers,
plus the Hardisk recording options of VST.Some of my friends are still using Atari ST's
for midi,but cant go that far back myself:-)

How do you find Os9 when it comes to midi?

« Last Edit: June 27, 2021, 10:05:20 AM by damo-blak »

Offline IIO

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Re: Midi timing and old school Os's
« Reply #1 on: June 27, 2021, 11:29:12 AM »
if jitter is an issue for you but bandwith, too, then you should mix serial and USB and use the serial interfaces for devices like drummachines and/or for MTC and USB for synths.
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Offline w3sl33

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Re: Midi timing and old school Os's
« Reply #2 on: July 03, 2021, 05:46:36 AM »
I'm dealing with the same issues. I have 2 MTP/AV one USB and one serial. I network them. For me I am having a problem with the serial MTP running in OS X Panther for Pro Tools. I use a keyspan pro pci serial card. Works well with OS9 Pro Tools. I can't get it working with OS X Pro Tools even though I'm told it works fine. Tried the Beta drivers from Stealth/Griffin. No luck. Anyone using serial and OS X or the Keyspan serial and OS X? Timing is much better than USB with the key span and serial on OS9. Very tight and fast no matter how much midi data.


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