Recording latency w/ MIDI sync- USB audio vs analog audio

Hey everyone,

Just wanted to get a discussion going about recording tracks into the DAW. I’ve been experimenting with both USB audio and analog audio.

Once the S2400 is MIDI sync’d with Ableton via USB:

  • Analog audio recording- I get nice tight timing as seen here however the signal is significantly lower, and the signal-to-noise ratio is way worse.
  • USB audio recording- I get nice loud audio signal, but the timing has much worse latency as can be seen here.

Analog audio is seemingly fine on some channels, others give me lots of noise. I’d imagine this could be due to my cable, but I’m recording one channel vs the next with the same main stereo output, and the same input on my audio interface.

It’s not the samples themselves- they’re all coming from a high quality sample pack.

I’ve tried adjusting the MIDI latency -10ms on the S2400 and sometimes it records on beat, but other times it lags by an entire 1/32nd note.

Anyone know if there’s a way to get the USB audio sync to be tighter?

Latency is not really an issue in Ableton, right? You can just compensate the recorded material and everything is spot on?

Lag is a different subject however. At least when you use it in terms of jitter.

I mean yeah, I can realign in Ableton but it sort of ruins the natural swing and timing of the S2400. I don’t mind doing that to a few odd hits, but time aligning every track isn’t ideal.

I can highlight them all and adjust the clip start, but often times the S2400 takes a second to “catch up” to Ableton meaning the first kick/hat/clap might be a bit behind the grid.

To be clear, this is not a problem exclusive to the S2400- most hardware drum machines and sequencers deal with a bit of timing delay. Some DAW’s and hardware deal with it better than others.

I was a bit surprised to see the delay compensation not doing all that much in Ableton, but there is the chance I’m not doing it correctly.

You are right about the catch up, that’s a general issue. Just add an empty pattern in front of your song.

I don’t understand you here. You should apply the same track delay to every track to align it in the grid. Or are the separate tracks shifting???

Are you sure you are using these:


??

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I sync to the daw using this:

I went through months of hair-pulling trying to get tight sync to Logic. There are a few boxes like this that convert audio pulses to sample accurate midi clock. Set it up and never think about it again.

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I was actually using the delay compensation in the MIDI window in preferences but I’ll try using the track delays instead. Also the extra bar in front is a great workaround.

Overall it’s not too big of a deal. In fact, I’m starting to think that the S2400 parts lagging just a bit behind everything else in Ableton is giving my songs a bit of extra flavor so I may just leave it.

Sort of having the snare ahead of the rest of the drums makes it feel rushed and exciting, having the drums and bass parts lagging a bit makes it feel… I dunno… just extra groovy. Time aligning things makes it feel more static lol