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Re: [AUDITORY] MIDI Drum Pads: Delay and temporal resolution
In 2006 at FXpansion, we made measurements of different drum module's
latencies as part of an investigation into why certain users were
experiencing bad latency with their e-drum kits when using our BFD range
of drum software.
We found that Roland TD-20s were quite slow - it seems their
propitiatory COSM modelling of impacts added 1-2 ms, even for MIDI-only
event output; positional information was sent before the note onset in
the form of MIDI CC messages - each 3-byte MIDI message adds 1ms - and
some pads were sending 2-3 MIDI CC messages (hihats in particular!). The
TD20 of the time had no USB MIDI option.
A Yamaha DTX kit by contrast had less pre-processing of impacts, a USB
connection for MIDI, and less MIDI CC positional information, which I
think you could switch off too - this made the Yamaha "brains" about 3-4
ms faster to get a MIDI Note to the sequencer or instrument on your
Our audio devices tended to be high end, such as RME Firefaces with 64
sample buffers (~1.5ms @ 44.1kHz).
Considering that ~6ms is the border of average human timing discernment,
we found "rhythmically highly trained" subjects, like drummers, were
capable of being put off by the TD-20's lag, despite being the highest
priced kit in the market. We hassled Roland for many years to at least
add a MIDI USB connection...
On 18/06/2013 7:09 PM, Andre Holzapfel wrote:
we will have a paper in this years SMC conference related to the
acquisition of tapping data using software implemented at INESC TEC in
We did an experiment to determine the overall latency when using a
MIDI interface (Roland Handsonic HPD-10) connected through a
Digidesign USB sound card to a 2012 iMac. The obtained latency was
17ms. I do not know how much you can gain by using more high end
interfaces, but I would agree with the previous response, that it is
very unlikely to get even close to sub-millisecond accuracy using MIDI.
Please let me know about your further investigations, contact me if
you like to obtain the paper in advance.
Quoting Benjamin Schultz <benjamin.schultz@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>:
Dear Auditory List,
I am currently looking at purchasing a MIDI Drum Pad for experimental
research involving finger tapping. There appears to be very little
information regarding how much of a time delay there is between the
pads being tapped and the sound being produced (via external MIDI
devices or the drum pad's internal sequencer).
I'm looking to have the smallest time delay possible (sub-millisecond
would be ideal). Does anyone have any advice about the best device to
use and what kinds of time delays I should expect from the device?
Their unit of pulses per quarter note does not appear to be very
Dr. Benjamin G. Schultz
Sequence Production Lab
Stewart Biology Building
1205 Dr. Penfield Ave., Montreal H3A 1B1
Montreal, Quebec H3A 1B1
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