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 Post subject: Trouble recording external synth in sync.
PostPosted: Wed Dec 02, 2009 5:51 am 

Joined: Tue Jan 16, 2007 8:35 am
Posts: 504
Just sent this to the abe's, but was wondering if anyone here could help me out.

I'm having some sync problems recording audio from a external synth. Hopefully you can help me trouble shoot this a bit.

System specs

-Live 8.1
-In/Out Sample Rate 44,100, Buffer Size 128, Input latency 3.88 ms, Output Latency 3.90 ms, Driver Error Comp -7.00 ms, Overall Latency 0.78
-MacBook Pro 5,4, OS 10.5.7, 2.53 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 4GB Memory

-Energy Saver Settings:
CPU Sleep - Never
Display Sleep - Never
Hard Drive Sleep, Wake for Ethernet, and Automatic Brightness Reduction, are all unchecked.

-Firewire Interface:
Motu ultralite MK3, Firmware 1.0.5

-Outboard Synth:
Moog little Phatty Stage II, OS. 2.105

Ok my problem is this. I'm sequencing the little phatty via an Ext. Instrument Rack with the native Ableton compressor receiving an input from a kick drum. When I monitor the Ext Instrument track set to auto, it plays fine (in time). When I add an audio track into the session view and monitor the LP it's out of sync each time the note hits. i.e. the note hits about 1/8 of a messure before it should.

I can get by this by freezing the Ext Instrument track and dragging the clip into an audio track, although I have to delete the sidechain compressor for that to work. But the real problem comes up as when bouncing the track via Freeze Track, I have to do all of my LP parameter tweaks with only the synth playing and I can't hear the rest of the tracks. Usually if there is a timing issue I would just realign the start point of the recorded track to get it in time, but I have the LFO of the LP moding the filter cutoff at 1/8 dotted sync. So it makes it a real bitch to warp, also time stretching a bass patch doesn't yield great results for the lower end frequencies.

The only workaround I have found is to set the Driver error compensation to about 49.8 ms delay. Doing that plays both tracks almost in sync, but I can't get the recording to sound the same as how it sounds coming into the Ext Instrument Track.
Also the audio track that is receiving input from the same source has a copy/paste compressor from the External instrument track. But even with all sidechains deleted and the lfo not modulating the filter cutoff on the Little Phatty I still have a timing issue with the audio track playing the synth ahead of the beat. Also the sequence isn't complex at all, it's just two notes, two measures each in one clip.

Also if you made it to the end of this post here's a bonus youtube track to enjoy.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8mm_lnHVz4U


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 Post subject: Re: Trouble recording external synth in sync.
PostPosted: Wed Dec 02, 2009 5:26 pm 

Joined: Mon Oct 02, 2006 5:19 pm
Posts: 23576
Location: SF, CA
did you set the clock delay in the midi preferences?

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oddstep wrote:
I agree with all of this. I'm just bored of writing "its music, just listen and trust your judgement"


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 Post subject: Re: Trouble recording external synth in sync.
PostPosted: Fri Dec 04, 2009 6:35 am 

Joined: Tue Jan 16, 2007 8:35 am
Posts: 504
didn't think about that. :roll: i can't try that out though until i get back home in a few weeks. I kinda blows my mind about the timing between the two tracks though..

i can have the same input on two different tracks. one being external insturment plugin, and two being an audio track set to record and auto monitor. when just played/monitored in realtime or recording they are two differnt syncs. with either set to solo, both, or solo. sorry just can't wrap my head around it


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 Post subject: Re: Trouble recording external synth in sync.
PostPosted: Fri Dec 04, 2009 10:58 am 

Joined: Thu Dec 18, 2008 3:02 am
Posts: 205
Location: Rome, Italy
just guessing, but have you tried instead to play with the "track delay" setting? it's the second-last button in the lower right (just over the crossfade one)..maybe with that you can make these two tracks you mentioned play in sync by compensating one of them..not sure though i never had the need to use it!

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 Post subject: Re: Trouble recording external synth in sync.
PostPosted: Sat Dec 05, 2009 12:58 am 

Joined: Tue Jan 16, 2007 8:35 am
Posts: 504
NPC wrote:
just guessing, but have you tried instead to play with the "track delay" setting? it's the second-last button in the lower right (just over the crossfade one)..maybe with that you can make these two tracks you mentioned play in sync by compensating one of them..not sure though i never had the need to use it!



Yeah, it tried that one, couldn't get it to sync just right. If it was just a pad sound i would have warped the sucker already and called it a day. can't try anything though right now. i have work out of state for the next few weeks, so i'm a bit f'ed in the a. :x

thanks for the suggestions so far though.


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 Post subject: Re: Trouble recording external synth in sync.
PostPosted: Sat Dec 05, 2009 3:08 am 

Joined: Wed Jun 23, 2004 9:30 pm
Posts: 10442
Location: Seattle
Been troubleshooting MIDI sync issues lately, so a few goodies from tech support.

Quote:
If you re-record the audio signal into Live, make sure that you set the "MONITOR" switch to "OFF". In this case, Live will automatically remove the input latency from the recorded audio file, provided that the "driver error compensation" has been correctly set up (in the audio preferences pane).

This might solve it, crossing my fingers for you. :)
Worth doing the driver error compensation test btw, but MOTU drivers on macs are reliable as hell, only been coding for macs since 84! 8O


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 Post subject: Re: Trouble recording external synth in sync.
PostPosted: Sat Dec 05, 2009 1:45 pm 

Joined: Mon Jun 08, 2009 8:04 am
Posts: 66
Location: Oxfordshire, UK
I've had this problem too using Live 5, I just upgraded to 8 so I'm hoping that when I get round to properly exploring it there will be something to make my life a bit easier!

The way I got around it using 5 was to use the track delay function as already mentioned to get it in time whilst playing back. It's not 100% accurate but you can get it to sound acceptable whilst you are working.

Then when I had arranged the track and I was ready to commit, I recorded the external synth as audio and made sure there was a note hitting on the start of the bar. I then zoomed into the recorded audio as far as I could and moved the audio so that the very first transient was placed at the start of the bar.

Again, this isnt 100% accurate, but it's accurate enough and to my ears it sounds fine.

Hope this helps..?!


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 Post subject: Re: Trouble recording external synth in sync.
PostPosted: Sat Dec 05, 2009 2:43 pm 

Joined: Mon Apr 02, 2007 2:35 am
Posts: 713
Location: London, UK
Machinesworking wrote:
Worth doing the driver error compensation test btw, but MOTU drivers on macs are reliable as hell, only been coding for macs since 84! 8O


Yeah, true, just found that the delay on my Motu is 67 samples. i had to export the audio file into an external editor to read off a sample accurate value, but it now records absolutely spot on with monitor turned off. Should have done that ages ago. Glad i read this post and carried out the lesson. Well worth it.


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