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Irregular beats and latency

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RickC

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Irregular beats and latency

PostFri Jan 21, 2022 4:23 pm

I recently made a recording, and the beats were very irregular.
I know that there is latency in my system: I'm using the Direct Sound driver. What I think is happening is shifting mental focus from hands to ears and back, adding and subtracting the latency irregularly. I've tried recording with no stops drawn, and the beat is regular. With very soft stops, its not too bad.
Yes, the simple fix is to repair/replace my Behringer FCA610 sound card and virtually eliminate latency. But in the real pipe organ world, there is often a lot of latency - I remember years ago having learned a difficult page of music at home (Artisan, at the time) and proudly took it to my teacher at church. I couldn't play it at all - it just felt wrong. Had to relearn it on that organ, and most of the pipework was within 50 feet of the console!
So, how can one learn to deal with some latency, and keep a regular, musical beat? Any ideas, or techniques?
Thanks
Rick
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dhm

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Re: Irregular beats and latency

PostFri Jan 21, 2022 5:03 pm

If you have the Behringer FCA610, why are you using Direct Sound, when it has its own ASIO driver?
ASIO gives lower latency and better audio.
Am I missing something?
Douglas Henn-Macrae
Authorized Hauptwerk Reseller
http://www.midi-organs.eu
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mnailor

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Re: Irregular beats and latency

PostFri Jan 21, 2022 5:12 pm

Since the FCA610 needs repair, maybe ASIO4ALL would work with your sound card instead of Direct Sound.

Sorry, I can't answer the real question about how to practice for delay.

One trick would be to fix your uncontrollable delay, then add software like Bome MIDI Translator where you can control how many milliseconds of delay to insert before Hauptwerk receives your note on and off messages. You could set that for the distance you really need to practice, at about 1 ft per millisecond. Check the speed of sound at your elevation.
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Sk8london

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Re: Irregular beats and latency

PostThu Jan 27, 2022 9:19 am

You "just" have to learn to play a piece by pressing the correct keys but without waiting to hear the result to get confirmation that you pressed the keys.

I say "just", but of course this is not easy to do, especially for beginners or amateurs and takes lots of practice and proficiency.

It gets a bit easier as you become really proficient at the keyboard, or so I am being told (I certainly have no such abilities).

It certainly is useful to learn as you may encounter instruments with delay in different settings. Consider any cathedral which may have more than one organ playable from one console, or have divisions placed in different parts of the building and thus not strictly sounding at the same time from where the organist sits.

I am friends with one cathedral organist who once invited me to organ loft for some award and anniversary ceremony which was to conclude with Bach's Passacgalia and Fuge. And while the awards were being given out my friend sat at the organ console, away from everyone sight, and, with the organ turned off, was practicing some tricky passages and making final adjustments to fingering. Without hearing a single note, he knew in his mind straight away when he got something wrong on the keyboard and would practice this place and make whatever corrections he needed.

If you can do that, then you can play with latency. That's what you need to work towards. But I would describe this as a level of musicianship, not a skill as such.
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Hoofdwerk

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Re: Irregular beats and latency

PostThu Jan 27, 2022 12:45 pm

Sk8london wrote:You "just" have to learn to play a piece by pressing the correct keys but without waiting to hear the result to get confirmation that you pressed the keys.

I say "just", but of course this is not easy to do, especially for beginners or amateurs and takes lots of practice and proficiency.


An extreme example of this is at St. John the Divine, NYC. There, the epic State Trumpet is hundreds of feet from the console located in the front (the room is 601ft long in total). Here's a video of what it's like at the console in an improvisation by Bruce Neswick back when he was there as organist in 2010: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=suq9rtyQfZ4. Of course it sounds totally different in the center of the space; the State Trumpet is overpowering as you get closer to the rear of the nave, but nearly two American football fields away it sounds more tame. At 1000ft/s, the sound takes over a half-second to reach you after you have depressed the keys.
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Sk8london

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Re: Irregular beats and latency

PostTue Feb 01, 2022 5:17 pm

Or, in the UK, the Anglican cathedral in Liverpool which has a Trumpet Millitaire stop at 50" pressure high up in the central tower above the central space in the nave, some 175ft up. While from the mobile console the in the central space the delay is not too bad, I think Ian Tracey himself said from the fixed console under the organ in the Quire it's something like 1.5s that the sound is delayed.

Often used as a solo voice in a piece (i.e. David Johnson's Trumpet Tune) you really have to be able to play not relying on aural feedback as your solo voice is going to 1.5s late late compared to your accompaniament. And the casual listener in the nave would not know any different and just marvel at the sound of that trumpet. However if you sit towards the front of the nave, you can (if you know a bit about music) aleady hear a bit of delay courtesy of the distance.

It's doable and I think it all just comes to really practcing a lot to learn it. And if you are "forced" into having to deal with such a situation, I think the learning will accelerate a bit.

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