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#1338414 - 01/01/10 12:31 PM Issues with recording MIDI files from a DP  
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Something that I noticed from my recent escapades in recording was that the MIDI files weren't exactly how I played them. There were inaccuracies in the rhythm that I know were not there when I played them. Notes would be too close together or too far apart, making running 16ths sound uneven. I would then have to Quantize things in hopes of fixing most of them, and manually moving notes to their proper place if the quantization didn't help.

I've compared the results of midi recordings vs. audio recordings, so I know that it wasn't just errors in my playing that I didn't pick up on when playing them. I know that can happen, but this was extreme. My initial thoughts are that on a DP, the onset of sound is at a different point than on an acoustic. With an acoustic, for example, the onset of sound occurs when the key is completely depressed to the keybed, and no sooner. On a DP, however, I'm thinking that this point of sound may happen sooner. Either that, or the MIDI registers the sound sooner than when the key is all the way down.

Has anyone had this happen? Is it a known flaw in MIDI? I always thought the quantize option was for people who didn't play accurately and so I felt like I was cheating a bit when I would have to use this, but I realize that the recording wasn't actually how I played it to begin with, so it was returning it to where it should be.


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#1338426 - 01/01/10 12:48 PM Re: Issues with recording MIDI files from a DP [Re: Morodiene]  
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Can you give information about:
- What piano?
- What type of MIDI connection?
- What type of computer?
- What type of MIDI capture program?

I don't do MIDI captures very often (tried it just a couple of times when I bought my piano just to see if it worked). But it worked fine. In my case:
- Yamaha CLP240
- USB connection
- Windows laptop
- "Red Dot Forever" MIDI capture software
I had no problems with the capture at all.

Conversely, when using Pianoteq software (to translate the incoming MIDI to piano sound), I had latency issues. It was hard/annoying to play (because of the latency). But all notes were (apparently) delayed by the same amount. So a listener would not notice. The notes played at the proper pace.

What is your setup?

#1338438 - 01/01/10 01:13 PM Re: Issues with recording MIDI files from a DP [Re: MacMacMac]  
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-FP-7
-USB connection
-Window/Vista PC
-Reaper

Getting this to work was relatively easy. I was not recording the MIDI with the VST due to the annoying latency, but added the VST (Ivory) after the MIDI capture.


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#1338440 - 01/01/10 01:16 PM Re: Issues with recording MIDI files from a DP [Re: Morodiene]  
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Make sure that you don't have quantize enabled when you make the MIDI recording.

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#1338446 - 01/01/10 01:28 PM Re: Issues with recording MIDI files from a DP [Re: Melodialworks Music]  
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As far as I can tell, the Quantize only happens if I select that after making the recording. I couldn't find a place where that could be a default setting for making recording, so I'm pretty sure it wasn't on.


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#1338449 - 01/01/10 01:33 PM Re: Issues with recording MIDI files from a DP [Re: Morodiene]  
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What ppq setting are you using?

#1338456 - 01/01/10 01:49 PM Re: Issues with recording MIDI files from a DP [Re: Melodialworks Music]  
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What's ppq and do you have any idea where in Reaper I'd find it? I looked in the Preferences but didn't see this there. Is there perhaps another name for it?


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#1338504 - 01/01/10 02:57 PM Re: Issues with recording MIDI files from a DP [Re: Morodiene]  
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Morodiene,

Here is the Reaper User Guide (for version 3.16).

http://www.reaper.fm/userguide/ReaperUserGuide316.pdf

The settings to quantize input notes are on page 231. (12.15 Input Quantization)

You do not want Quantize track MIDI recording or Quantize notes-off checked.

See if these settings help.

MIDI is not a perfect recording method, but the differences between what you play and what you record should be almost imperceptible.

Rich


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#1338511 - 01/01/10 03:04 PM Re: Issues with recording MIDI files from a DP [Re: DragonPianoPlayer]  
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I'm not familiar with Reaper. (I use Cubase).

You could also try searching your doc on MIDI resolution, timebase.

From Wikapedia:

PPQ (Pulses Per Quarter note) is the smallest unit of time used for sequencing note and automation events in the MIDI standard. Most MIDI sequencers allow the number of PPQ to be varied for more or less temporal resolution depending on the needs of the performer.
If there are too few PPQ any performance recorded into the MIDI sequencer may sound artificial (being quantised by the Pulse rate) or lose subtle variations in timing that gives music a 'human' feeling. Generally 96 PPQ is sufficient to capture enough temporal variation. Although some musicians like to work with PPQs around 960 or more.
PPQ is a relative measure of time since it is the tempo of the MIDI sequence, set in Beats Per Minute BPM, that defines the length of a quarter note (in seconds) and so the duration of 1 Pulse (or 'tick' as it is sometimes known to programmers).


#1338535 - 01/01/10 04:20 PM Re: Issues with recording MIDI files from a DP [Re: Morodiene]  
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Originally Posted by Morodiene
Is it a known flaw in MIDI? I always thought the quantize option was for people who didn't play accurately and so I felt like I was cheating


There are to kinds of "quantize".

The first one depends on you software and the over-all accuracy of your system. The recorder runs a clock that counts ticks. The number starts at zero and goes on forever. Any time you play a note, or raise a key that action gets tagged with the current "tick number". If the ticks occur at 10 per second you get horrible time accuracy. At 1000 per second it's better. Also some systems are just poor at counting and the ticks have un-even intervals. Every action is tagged with the tick number so you want very fast and even counting. Some systems are just poor at this, Windows Vista on an under powered computer is not ideal for this task but maybe you can set the counting speed faster? It might be called any number of things but set the number up. A common standard is "960" per quarter note. This allows 1/16th notes to be accurate to about one part per hundred (or about 1% error) which might be undetectable. This process is where your real-time laying is "quanitized" to ticks.


The other kind of "quantize" is the one you might have been thinking of. This is simple, the software simply rounds the "tick number" of each note so that each number falls on the nearest 1/16th or 1/32nd note.

Your problem is certainly with the first kind of quantize

#1339016 - 01/02/10 06:23 AM Re: Issues with recording MIDI files from a DP [Re: ChrisA]  
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I can't comment on Windows because I don't use it. But I doubt that the problem is a fundamental problem with MIDI -- set up properly it does allow for a higher level of timing precision than most (probably all) human ears can discriminate. More likely, as Chris A says, either your software is set up so that it is quantizing note on/off events as they are recorded, or there are inherent timing inaccuracies caused either by the operating system or input drivers.

#1339045 - 01/02/10 08:05 AM Re: Issues with recording MIDI files from a DP [Re: kevinb]  
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I am not familiar with either Reaper or Windows but many Midi timing issues can be solved by setting the internal clock of the instrument from the DAW software.


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Disclosure : I am professionally associated with Arturia but my sentiments are my own only.
#1339425 - 01/02/10 07:50 PM Re: Issues with recording MIDI files from a DP [Re: ChrisA]  
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This might be a little bit of topic but can someone explain to me when you would choose MIDI connection and when you would go with USB setup.

Thank you


Andrew
#1339462 - 01/02/10 08:52 PM Re: Issues with recording MIDI files from a DP [Re: surgtech]  
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Originally Posted by surgtech
This might be a little bit of topic but can someone explain to me when you would choose MIDI connection and when you would go with USB setup.
Since most PCs have a USB port but no MIDI port, it's convenient to just connect the piano USB port to the computer USB port (assuming your piano has USB).

If your piano does not have USB, you can connect its MIDI port to the computer's USB using a MIDI-to-USB adapter (about $40).

If you add a MIDI-capable sound card (about $80 and up) to your computer, you can connect the piano MIDI directly to the computer MIDI port.

#1339488 - 01/02/10 09:27 PM Re: Issues with recording MIDI files from a DP [Re: MacMacMac]  
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OK. So, MIDI and USB can be used interchangeably?

My piano Roland RD 700SX has both ports. I would like to use some kind of soft pianos (Ivory, Pianoteq, etc.) with it. When I tried to connect trial version of Pianoteq 3.5 using USB connection,it says that there is no MIDI output selected and I won't be able to hear it.

What do I do next?

Last edited by surgtech; 01/02/10 09:36 PM.

Andrew
#1339501 - 01/02/10 09:55 PM Re: Issues with recording MIDI files from a DP [Re: surgtech]  
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Have you installed the Roland MIDI driver?

#1339504 - 01/02/10 09:59 PM Re: Issues with recording MIDI files from a DP [Re: Melodialworks Music]  
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I installed Roland's driver, not sure how to install Roland's MIDI driver though

Last edited by surgtech; 01/02/10 10:01 PM.

Andrew
#1339515 - 01/02/10 10:23 PM Re: Issues with recording MIDI files from a DP [Re: surgtech]  
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I think we're talking about the same thing. (I'm working from memory here). Are you trying to use Pianoteq stand alone or within a host, such as Cubase? In either case you need to point to (select) the appropriate inputs and outputs.

Lawrence

#1339517 - 01/02/10 10:29 PM Re: Issues with recording MIDI files from a DP [Re: Melodialworks Music]  
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Pianoteq stand alone


Andrew
#1339518 - 01/02/10 10:33 PM Re: Issues with recording MIDI files from a DP [Re: Melodialworks Music]  
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I'm having almost the same problem so if anyone could give me any input, I'd appreciate it. My DP is the Clavinova CLP-270. I recorded a MIDI file directly on the piano. It plays fine there. However, when I transfer the MIDI over to my PC, it has the exact same problem with the timing as described in the original post.

#1339556 - 01/03/10 12:04 AM Re: Issues with recording MIDI files from a DP [Re: EdenResident]  
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well, i can't comment on the software or your hardware setup.

Aside from the standard midi speed being a little slow by today's standards,
causing 10 note chords to come across a little sequentially instead of instantly,
well, midi isn't the problem.

It's usually the software sequencer or (very rarely) the midi driver you're using.
Try swapping out reaper and swapping in that red dot sequencer.
Or maybe even mine:)

Just keep swappin stuff out and in till you get what you want.
That's what we big time computer programmers do.
Keep bangin' our heads against the wall till a miracle happens laugh


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#1339562 - 01/03/10 12:22 AM Re: Issues with recording MIDI files from a DP [Re: surgtech]  
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Originally Posted by surgtech
I tried to connect trial version of Pianoteq 3.5 using USB connection,it says that there is no MIDI output selected and I won't be able to hear it.


You might be using a Windows PC. If so, I think they require some midi and some special low latency audio drivers too.

#1339771 - 01/03/10 12:39 PM Re: Issues with recording MIDI files from a DP [Re: EdenResident]  
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Originally Posted by EdenResident
I'm having almost the same problem so if anyone could give me any input, I'd appreciate it. My DP is the Clavinova CLP-270. I recorded a MIDI file directly on the piano. It plays fine there. However, when I transfer the MIDI over to my PC, it has the exact same problem with the timing as described in the original post.

Yay someone else has my problem! I'm not going insane! smile


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#1339780 - 01/03/10 12:44 PM Re: Issues with recording MIDI files from a DP [Re: surgtech]  
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Originally Posted by surgtech
OK. So, MIDI and USB can be used interchangeably?

My piano Roland RD 700SX has both ports. I would like to use some kind of soft pianos (Ivory, Pianoteq, etc.) with it. When I tried to connect trial version of Pianoteq 3.5 using USB connection,it says that there is no MIDI output selected and I won't be able to hear it.

What do I do next?

I was having this trouble to. I attribute it to Vista being dumb. Have you tried installing asio4all driver? http://www.asio4all.com/

I think that will help your problem. After installing the driver (and reboot just to be sure) go under File/MIDI/Audio setup, and select Audio type: ASIO. The Asio4all driver should be working, but you can test it. I twas a little flakey in Vista, especially if I was using another program previously that used that driver.


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#1339782 - 01/03/10 12:45 PM Re: Issues with recording MIDI files from a DP [Re: DragonPianoPlayer]  
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Originally Posted by DragonPianoPlayer
Morodiene,

Here is the Reaper User Guide (for version 3.16).

http://www.reaper.fm/userguide/ReaperUserGuide316.pdf

The settings to quantize input notes are on page 231. (12.15 Input Quantization)

You do not want Quantize track MIDI recording or Quantize notes-off checked.

See if these settings help.

MIDI is not a perfect recording method, but the differences between what you play and what you record should be almost imperceptible.

Rich


As far as I can tell, this is all stuff selected after you have recorded (or at least that's what I did when I discovered the recording was off). I can't find any place where you set quantization prior to recording, and I know I did not do this before recording the MIDI.


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#1339796 - 01/03/10 01:05 PM Re: Issues with recording MIDI files from a DP [Re: Morodiene]  
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Morodiene,

Take one of your projects, make the changes I suggested, delete any MIDI or Audio data in the tracks (keep the tracks there, just delete the data), and save it as a new project.

When you want to start recording, open the blank project, do a save as to your new file name, make sure the right tracks are armed and proceed from there.

You probably want more than one start up project - one for just piano and one for piano and voice.

I had to do this when I started with Reaper because it was hard to remember what settings I needed to make in a blank project.

Rich

Last edited by DragonPianoPlayer; 01/03/10 01:05 PM.

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#1339800 - 01/03/10 01:09 PM Re: Issues with recording MIDI files from a DP [Re: surgtech]  
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Originally Posted by surgtech
When I tried to connect trial version of Pianoteq 3.5 using USB connection,it says that there is no MIDI output selected and I won't be able to hear it.

What do I do next?


In Pianoteq; near the top right hand corner, select "Options", then select "Devices".

In the Device pane, you can set Pianoteq up for your device - I suggest "Listen to all midi inputs". If your device is ASIO, then use that. I get by with a latency of 7.1 ms (buffer size 312), but my sound card has native ASIO (the manufacturer provides ASIO with the card). ASIO generally provides better latency.

If you're still having problems, e-mail the Pianoteq people (Modartt), and ask - they are very knowledgeable and helpful.

Glenn

#1339802 - 01/03/10 01:10 PM Re: Issues with recording MIDI files from a DP [Re: ChrisA]  
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Originally Posted by ChrisA
Originally Posted by Morodiene
Is it a known flaw in MIDI? I always thought the quantize option was for people who didn't play accurately and so I felt like I was cheating


There are to kinds of "quantize".

The first one depends on you software and the over-all accuracy of your system. The recorder runs a clock that counts ticks. The number starts at zero and goes on forever. Any time you play a note, or raise a key that action gets tagged with the current "tick number". If the ticks occur at 10 per second you get horrible time accuracy. At 1000 per second it's better. Also some systems are just poor at counting and the ticks have un-even intervals. Every action is tagged with the tick number so you want very fast and even counting. Some systems are just poor at this, Windows Vista on an under powered computer is not ideal for this task but maybe you can set the counting speed faster? It might be called any number of things but set the number up. A common standard is "960" per quarter note. This allows 1/16th notes to be accurate to about one part per hundred (or about 1% error) which might be undetectable. This process is where your real-time laying is "quanitized" to ticks.


The other kind of "quantize" is the one you might have been thinking of. This is simple, the software simply rounds the "tick number" of each note so that each number falls on the nearest 1/16th or 1/32nd note.

Your problem is certainly with the first kind of quantize

This is set at 960 per quarter note as the default setting.

I will try to duplicate the problem while simultaneously recording the audio so that you can hear the difference and post it on here. My DP is now back at the studio, so I'll have to get things set up over there and it may take a little while.

Thanks everyone!


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#1339846 - 01/03/10 02:07 PM Re: Issues with recording MIDI files from a DP [Re: Morodiene]  
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You might have problems like that if you're generating and playing audio while trying to record midi on a system not optimized to do that. Particularly if the midi and audio don't reside on an integrated soundboard together. I get best results using midi cables to an integrated usb or firewire sound device like Tascam or RME. Rather than connecting a usb-to-keyboard cable directly to usb port built into a laptop. If you must use the direct usb connection, try keeping it simple and play amplifying only the sound coming out of the keyboard's own audio jacks so the laptop does nothing but record midi while you play. Also pay careful attention to the laptop's power-save settings... some settings will switch to a lower cpu clock to save power. And make sure background processes like indexing are disabled. Here's an optimization guide: http://www.audioforums.com/windows-vista-optimization.php

Howard



#1340091 - 01/03/10 07:14 PM Re: Issues with recording MIDI files from a DP [Re: Morodiene]  
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What do I do next? [/quote]
I was having this trouble to. I attribute it to Vista being dumb. Have you tried installing asio4all driver? http://www.asio4all.com/

I think that will help your problem. After installing the driver (and reboot just to be sure) go under File/MIDI/Audio setup, and select Audio type: ASIO. The Asio4all driver should be working, but you can test it. I twas a little flakey in Vista, especially if I was using another program previously that used that driver. [/quote]

asio4all solved the problem with latency, however I noticed a reduced quality in sound. If I select only ASIO I get no
sound. If I choose DIRECT SOUND I get a better sound only with latency.
Another issue that I'm having is that the sound is coming out of my PC instead from my Audio/MIDI inteface TASCAM US-122. I get some kind of horrible noise form the headphone output on the interface.

Last edited by surgtech; 01/03/10 07:17 PM.

Andrew
#1340141 - 01/03/10 09:10 PM Re: Issues with recording MIDI files from a DP [Re: surgtech]  
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Andrew:

Please go to:

http://www.forum-pianoteq.com/

register, and ask (or send a help message to Modartt).

Knowing your setup, they'll be able to help you quickly.

Glenn

#1340159 - 01/03/10 09:50 PM Re: Issues with recording MIDI files from a DP [Re: Glenn NK]  
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I think I figured it out. I had the sample size set too high in Cubase (2048), which caused the timing/latency problem. I dropped it down to 960 and the MIDI sounds smoother but now crackling starts. Oh well, another problem to tackle.

#1340220 - 01/04/10 12:31 AM Re: Issues with recording MIDI files from a DP [Re: hv]  
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Morodiene Offline
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Morodiene  Offline
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Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 16,110
Boynton Beach, FL
Originally Posted by hv
You might have problems like that if you're generating and playing audio while trying to record midi on a system not optimized to do that. Particularly if the midi and audio don't reside on an integrated soundboard together. I get best results using midi cables to an integrated usb or firewire sound device like Tascam or RME. Rather than connecting a usb-to-keyboard cable directly to usb port built into a laptop. If you must use the direct usb connection, try keeping it simple and play amplifying only the sound coming out of the keyboard's own audio jacks so the laptop does nothing but record midi while you play. Also pay careful attention to the laptop's power-save settings... some settings will switch to a lower cpu clock to save power. And make sure background processes like indexing are disabled. Here's an optimization guide: http://www.audioforums.com/windows-vista-optimization.php

Howard



I am using USB cables rather than MIDI to USB. Just for the record, I was not trying to use Ivory sounds while playing. I just stuck with the basic piano sound on the FP-7, then when I rendered the MIDI to mp3, I added the Ivory sounds. What are the models of the Tascam or RME items you referred to?

I was using my PC rather than a laptop, but I have 2 GB of RAM and it's a relatively new machine. Not super powered or anything, but I think enough to handle it.

I will check the optimization for the CPU, however, as I think you may be right on that. I know when I would use Ivory my CPU was almost non-stop, so perhaps there's the issue right there. Thanks!


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#1340409 - 01/04/10 10:21 AM Re: Issues with recording MIDI files from a DP [Re: Morodiene]  
Joined: Feb 2006
Posts: 166
setchman Offline
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setchman  Offline
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Joined: Feb 2006
Posts: 166
Originally Posted by Morodiene
I was using my PC rather than a laptop, but I have 2 GB of RAM and it's a relatively new machine. Not super powered or anything, but I think enough to handle it.

I will check the optimization for the CPU, however, as I think you may be right on that. I know when I would use Ivory my CPU was almost non-stop, so perhaps there's the issue right there. Thanks!

Morodiene,

I've been using an older system with Reaper and Ivory and have not been experiencing the issues you're having. If you think it might help, I'd be willing to test out one of your Reaper projects on my computer and see if I can replicate any of the issues you're having.

I realize that since our systems aren't identical I probably wouldn't be able to isolate your problem down to a single issue but, if your Reaper project works fine on another machine, you could at least focus your attention on another area of your system. It could very well be that there's an issue within your OS or possibly an audio driver problem.

Reaper has always worked very well for me "out-of-the-box". In all the time that I've been using Reaper I've never once had to make any adjustments to the quantinization settings to get my recordings to play back properly, whether I'm playing back MIDI files on my keyboard or playing virtual instruments. Just let me know if you think that might be useful. I'd only need your ".RPP" file.


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