View Full Version : Bad lag between Wiimote+OSC and GarageBand, please help!

05-02-2010, 06:58 PM
OSCulator is so much fun...I bought a license and my daughters and I are having a blast playing music in GarageBand with our GHWT controllers, particularly the drums. We use OSCulator on a 1 year-old Mac Mini to connect the Wiimote on the GHWT drum controller to GarageBand using MIDI. The Wii Drums Example connects just like it should, right out of the gate.

Unfortunately, there is a bad, bad lag between the drum hits and the Mac audio. When we play eighth notes at 120 beats per minute, there is a leftover eighth note that echoes after the last drum hit on the pad. I tried reading the FAQ which says:

Some settings, however, can affect the latency and jitter. In order to get the lowest latency, you will have to trade smoothing for speed. Set the smoothing at zero, and you get the raw response with no delay.

If you are using the Wiimote to trigger sounds on your computer, you should also check the size of the audio buffer, as this is the first cause of latency on computers used as synthesizer modules.

I have no idea how to "set the smoothing to zero"...there isn't anything the leaps out of the OSCulator GUI that I can find. How do I try that?

I changed the setting on GarageBand preferences to use the large audio buffer as the FAQ suggested, but it made no difference.

Could it be that my Bluetooth connection has a lot of latency? I recently worked on a project using Lego Mindstorms controlled via Bluetooth from a Mac mini and we encountered terrible lag with the lousy Bluetooth hardware on newer Macs. The Bluetooth connection on our 3 year-old Macbook was actually must faster.

Thanks in advance for any thoughts you folks have that might help!

05-02-2010, 08:29 PM
Hey Mark,

I think what you are experiencing is an effect of audio latency. When playing a percussive instrument its effects are clearly audible, but there are things you can do to improve it. I have found a nice tutorial about GarageBand and audio latency here (http://www.ehow.com/video_2375346_reduce-latency_-garageband-tutorial.html).

I should add to this tutorial that audio latency can be different from one audio interface to another. If you are using your Mac's built-in audio interface, the latency is not very good compared to other products.

In the FAQ, the latency I was referring to was the one caused by the accelerometers when you use attitude angles to modulate a sound. The smoothing parameter can be found in the Wiimote drawer, there is a section for it.

When you are using the drums there is only a very few or no processing. The Wiimote's own latency is around 10ms which should be fine for playing drums, therefore is you can feel there is a log between a hit and a note, that means the audio latency must be reduced.