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Educational Software Thread, Sibelius 5 - tuning latency in Technical; Goto this post http://www.edugeek.net/forums/educat...tml#post200984 Im just setting up Sibelius 5 for the new music suite. Brand new Intel E6550 with ...
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    Sibelius 5 - tuning latency

    Goto this post Sibelius 5 - tuning latency



    Im just setting up Sibelius 5 for the new music suite. Brand new Intel E6550 with 2gb ram etc etc so no problem there.

    I have installed Asio4All which drops latencies by a fair bit. I installed the demo of Propellerheads Reason to test out the latency and its fine, i mean i can tell its there but only because im used to my rather expensive setup at home. To the kids it will be more than adiquate.

    Now why if Reason is fine is it that Sibelius has a noticable latency? Ive messed around in the settings, and the latency is reported as around 10ms but it just isnt, its probably around 30ms. My collegue even noticed the latency as he could hear it between my hitting the key and the sound coming out (so its not as though its me being picky, as he isnt even playing the keyboard and hes picking up on it)

    Beisdes all that, WTF are all the settings about with ancient MIDI sounds and stuff? I dunno, am i missing something here even though i know how to use every other professional music program going? The sounds just dont sound anywhere near as good as Reasons (and reason isnt particulaly good). All i seem to be able to select is the MS SW Synth but surerly it should be using its own engine, but tbh it cant be as it doesnt sound like amstrad midi. Arrrg, give me Cubase any day! lol

    Anyone any suggestions?
    Last edited by j17sparky; 14th November 2008 at 10:34 AM.

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    Tell you what though, its the most bizarre "production" software ive used. It certainly isnt easy for a non-techy person to get going properly, which afaik is half of its selling point of being easy to use for music teachers

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    Please share your solution so others with this problem can benifit.

    Ben

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    The thing i couldnt get my head around is what each part of sibelius actually does and how it interacts. On its default install it simply uses MS midi sounds which are bad to say the least. For some reason the latency i was experiancing was due to these, although you would have thought that since an Acorn from back in the day could play them with little latency then so can a new PC - i was wrong.

    Basically how it works is;

    Sibelius - think of this as an interface which controls things underneath, sort of like PhpMyAdmin is to MySQL. Sibelius itself can only handle basic midi noises.

    Kontact Player - think of this in the same way as you would a VSTi in other music programs. In basic terms it is just a sampler. This is the part which plays the sounds. The sibelius interface passes the midi notes onto Kontact player which is turn uses the samples in the library to pass sounds on to the sound card.

    Sibelius Sound Essentials - this is your sample library which Kontact player uses to make sounds which sound like real instruments.

    Sound card driver - This is the main stumbling point. It needs to be set up correctly! If it isnt then the sounds will be distorted or the latency too high. Ill keep it simple here;
    all you want to be changing is the sample buffer. If the sample buffer is too high then the sounds will sound right but te latency will be too high for live performace (if you are only using a mouse to compose then this isnt a problem).
    If the buffer size is too low then the computer will not be able to process the sounds quick enough, resulting in distortion or even no sound. Your Realtek HD/etc audio drivers will be present here, IMO change them to Asio4all (below)

    ASIO4ALL - Universal ASIO Driver - Asio is the industry standard audio driver for MS OSs. As we all know WDM drivers are poo and even in normal PC use you sometimes get nasty clicks and noises. Now imagine how much more work your PC is doing while actually creating music rather than just playing it. As you can (hopefully) imagine this makes the sound drivers a very important factor in music production.
    Asio4all is a universal asio driver and is very very good. If you experiance problems with latency or distortion i would deffinatly recommend giving it a shot. But saying that id recommend it for any non-proaudio card. (Pro-audio cards have their own asio drivers which is part of the reason they cost so much). Asio4all has decreased our Realtek HD soundcards latency from 90ms to 13ms. Anything below 20ms is said to be unaudiable to the untrained ear.


    How it all fits together; (excuse the drawing, i used paint.net rather than Dia/visio/etc )




    Now to change all of this you need to go to Play -> Playback Devices (or something along those lines). On the first tab in the "Default" profile you need to remove of the MS SW synth and add the Kontact player.
    Then you need to click on the button at the bottom (called Audio output or something like that) and select your audio driver. If using Asio4all then select it here.
    Next you need to set up the Buffer Size (also on the driver select page). The default settings for Asio4all should be fine but if you want to tweak then this is where you do it. You may need to restart Sibelius after adjusting audio settings.

    Id recommend starting at 512 samples and working from there. If it all sounds fine but you want less latency then decrease the samples to 256 (i doubt you will get lower than this). If it sounds distorted then go to 1024 samples - imo this is the highest number of samples you can have without it approaching unusable latency.

    Now next time you start a project it should start using the Sample library rather than the Midi noises.
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    Last edited by j17sparky; 6th June 2008 at 08:15 PM.

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    I've given up with Sibelius, I installed ver 5 and the latency is so bad I think there should be a warning on the box. In fact I think having the nerve to charge for a product thats already expensive is pure theft in my book.
    We have wasted money looking into this, trying different sound cards, keyboards etc. No matter what you chuck at it the latency is ALWAYS there.
    I'll try the few things you have suggested at some point but quite frankly I am sick of the product at the moment so it can wait.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mattx View Post
    I've given up with Sibelius, I installed ver 5 and the latency is so bad I think there should be a warning on the box. In fact I think having the nerve to charge for a product thats already expensive is pure theft in my book.
    We have wasted money looking into this, trying different sound cards, keyboards etc. No matter what you chuck at it the latency is ALWAYS there.
    I'll try the few things you have suggested at some point but quite frankly I am sick of the product at the moment so it can wait.
    I double checked the latency differance once i installed Asio4all.

    Without asio4all = 90ms
    With asio4all = 13ms

    The untrained ear is said to not be able to notice latencies of less than 20ms



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