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When I play on my MIDI keyboard, the sound seems late or sluggish.

This problem is called latency. It occurs when a computer is either not powerful enough to process the audio events in real time, or the computer requires a reconfiguration of the audio drivers and settings. This article provides tips and possible remedies:


Apple Macintosh computers generally operate RMS software without issue. This is thanks to Apple’s use of a consistent line of higher end components. By contrast, Windows computers are much more diverse in power and configuration. Some will be great, even better than the average Mac. But many Windows PCs are designed for simpler tasks like office applications or basic home use (e.g. email, web browsing). These machines are either not setup for, or designed to run pro audio applications. While a typical model should be fine to run our software, a computer built around lower-end components may struggle. Therefore, it is essential to test the trial version of RMS software on the computers intended for performance use before requesting unlock codes, to confirm the equipment works properly. If a particular computer exhibits playback issues that can’t be resolved with third party tools or external audio equipment, then a different computer should be used.


This article mentions some third party tools that are unrelated to Realtime Music Solutions. Though we have successfully tested them in-house, we cannot guarantee they will work on every system, nor are we able to troubleshoot them in depth.

How to reduce latency:

Latency, or the delay that occurs between a played note and its audible sound, can be reduced by lowering the buffer settings in RMS Keyboards. To lower the buffer settings please do the following:


  1. Go to the Preferences window (under the RMS Keyboards menu) and make sure the “audio” tab is selected.

  2. You should now see the section called buffer size, which is set to 512 by default. Lowering this setting to 256 may decrease latency.


  1. See our article on Exclusive Mode. Enabling this may instantly resolve latency issues.

  2. Open the Preferences window (it is found in the Tools menu), and make sure the “audio” tab is selected.

  3. You should now see the section called buffer size, which is set to 512 by default. Lowering this setting to 256 may decrease latency.

Distortion, or other audio artifacts:

If lowering the buffer introduces new problems like distortion, the computer's internal sound card may be of a lower quality (see intro above). This can be resolved by either using an external audio interface, or possibly by installing the free sound driver, ASIO4ALL, which is better suited to handle the real time audio processing demands of our software (see disclaimer above). If you need assistance, we will certainly try to help. But our capacity to integrate 3rd party tools with an infinite variety of computers can only go so far. For assistance on installing, setting up, and configuring the ASIO4ALL driver, please refer to the FAQ section of their website. There are also a variety of tutorial videos available on the web. Here are some that might aid you in troubleshooting:

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