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 Post subject: Mainstage + Live using Soundflower latency problem
PostPosted: Sun Jan 10, 2010 6:37 pm 

Joined: Fri Jan 16, 2009 11:28 pm
Posts: 293
Location: United States
Anyone using these 2 together successfully?

I'd like to use Mainstage for the amps and effects, and maybe some of Logic's instruments, but I really prefer Live for everything else (wish I could just open up Mainstages amps in Live, but I digress).
I've got a configuration that's *almost* working, but I'm getting a latency from Soundflower that's driving me nuts.

**Rewire is not an option for me due to Mainstage always having to be Master.**

Here's how I've got things setup:

AUDIO:

Guitar >>> Apogee GIO >>> Mainstage >>> Input set to GIO, Output set to Soundflower 2ch Buffer at 64 samples, 44.1khz

Live 8.1.1 >>> Input set to Soundflower 2ch, Output set to GIO Buffer at 64 samples, 44.1khz

MIDI: Clock sent from Live to Mainstage through IAC bus. Midi clips also sent to trigger instruments in Mainstage through IAC.


So, everything seems to be working for the most part. The audio from my guitar in Mainstage comes in fine, and is *almost* perfectly synced with Live's tempo. I can send midi to Mainstage and trigger instruments no problem. Mainstage seems to be receiving the clock correctly, as tempo changes follow Live, beat synced delay seems to be following Live's clock, etc.

However, there's 2 major latency problems that I can't suss out.

1.) When using the config described above, everything works well, except that there is a slight latency from Mainstage's audio coming back into Live. It's not much, and I might even be able to live with it.

The problem is that it seems like the amount of latency fluctuates.
I've tried adjusting track delays for audio tracks in Live that are fed by Mainstage, can't quite nail it.
Also tried adjusting track delay for the midi tracks that are sending data to Mainstage from Live, and again, pretty damn close, but not there. Just when it seems like I've got everything synced, things drift a bit.

Additionally, I tried this with the respective buffers set at 128 samples to see if that helped, but it's the same.


2.) Ideally, what I'd like to do is have GUITAR >>> GIO >>> Mainstage >>> Out to soundflower.
Then, use an aggregate device of DUET + Soundflower 2ch in Live.
This would allow me to use the GIO's input for the Guitar feeding Mainstage, then Looping, etc. in Live while have both of the Duet's inputs available to use in Live.

I tried this setup and it kind of worked, except the latency fluctuation is WAY more drastic, and completely unusable. I know this is probably because of the Duet aggregation bullshit, but I really hope I'm just missing the final piece of the puzzle here.


Any suggestions?
Thanks

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 Post subject: Re: Mainstage + Live using Soundflower latency problem
PostPosted: Sun Jan 10, 2010 10:36 pm 

Joined: Sat Dec 21, 2002 2:18 am
Posts: 6087
Location: Auckland New Zealand
Could it be something to do with a differing CPU load of your various Mainstage instruments and FX. Perhaps some of the more "convolution-y" fx are not able to run with their latency right down? The fact that your latency is fluctuating might suggest this. Can you make a "plain vanilla" Mainstage set containg just a few "light" instuments/fx and see if you can get consistancy. That might suggest that some of the Logic "glamour" fx are more hungry than others. At least it might prove that thats where the problem lies (or not).

Just spitballing here - hope this helps...

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 Post subject: Re: Mainstage + Live using Soundflower latency problem
PostPosted: Sun Jan 10, 2010 11:05 pm 

Joined: Fri Jan 16, 2009 11:28 pm
Posts: 293
Location: United States
Hmmmm... Didn't think about that! Answers like that are exactly why I posted this :)

I'll try a few different sets in Mainstage to see if anything is conclusive. If it IS just the heavy hitting Logic instruments, then I just won't use them, as I'm mainly wanting to use the Guitar Amp Pro stuff.
Jack OS X may be an option too, I wasn't able to get anything going with that before, but I'll have a go at it again when time permits.

I'll post back here with results.
Thanks again!

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 Post subject: Re: Mainstage + Live using Soundflower latency problem
PostPosted: Sun Jan 10, 2010 11:57 pm 

Joined: Mon Jun 11, 2007 9:52 pm
Posts: 2871
Location: Aotearoa New Zealand
The only time i have done this i got the best results by running mainstage on one computer and live on another and then hard wired the two together and used midi over lan to sync them. If you don't have two computers, but you do have a sound card with a pair of ins and outs that you don't need, try running cables from the unused outs to the ins you have assigned to live on the soundcard, then assign the in/outs to mainstage.

For example;

If your sound card has 8 in and 8 outs.
Live is using out 1/2 and in 1/2 3/4 5/6.
Disable in 7/8, and out 3/4 5/6 7/8 in the live preferences.

In mainstage select the same sound card.
In the input of the channel you are using select 7/8.
In the out put of MS master track select 3/4.

On your sound card cable together the out puts from 3/4 to the inputs of 1/2.

If i have thought this through properly you should get a signal from MS into live.
It will still have latency, but probably not has big as when you are using SF.
Although you might have to play with buffer settings.

Give it a shot any ways... :wink:

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 Post subject: Re: Mainstage + Live using Soundflower latency problem
PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2010 12:07 am 

Joined: Fri Jan 16, 2009 11:28 pm
Posts: 293
Location: United States
Homebelly wrote:
The only time i have done this i got the best results by running mainstage on one computer and live on another and then hard wired the two together and used midi over lan to sync them. If you don't have two computers, but you do have a sound card with a pair of ins and outs that you don't need, try running cables from the unused outs to the ins you have assigned to live on the soundcard, then assign the in/outs to mainstage.

For example;

If your sound card has 8 in and 8 outs.
Live is using out 1/2 and in 1/2 3/4 5/6.
Disable in 7/8, and out 3/4 5/6 7/8 in the live preferences.

In mainstage select the same sound card.
In the input of the channel you are using select 7/8.
In the out put of MS master track select 3/4.

On your sound card cable together the out puts from 3/4 to the inputs of 1/2.

If i have thought this through properly you should get a signal from MS into live.
It will still have latency, but probably not has big as when you are using SF.
Although you might have to play with buffer settings.

Give it a shot any ways... :wink:


I thought about doing this before, but I'd rather not use two computers.
I have an older macbook lying around, so I could do it, but I'd like to keep everything in one comp. My souncards are Apogee Duet (2-in,2-out) and GIO (1-in,2-out), so I don't have much to spare on ins and outs.

I'll think about it though, thanks for the input!

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 Post subject: Re: Mainstage + Live using Soundflower latency problem
PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2010 12:12 am 

Joined: Sat Dec 21, 2002 2:18 am
Posts: 6087
Location: Auckland New Zealand
Another thing, there are many threads with folks complaining that Live's MIDI clock output is not always stable. So could you also try A: Running with and empty Live Set as your master tempo source, so that Live's internal CPU load is minimal and stable - see if that makes a difference. or B: run an external MIDI clock source into both apps from outside the computer (an old drum machine or something) and see if that makes a difference. I've always found Live's chasing of MIDI clock to be stable.


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 Post subject: Re: Mainstage + Live using Soundflower latency problem
PostPosted: Wed Jan 13, 2010 1:57 am 

Joined: Sun Mar 16, 2008 11:48 pm
Posts: 140
Location: Florida, USA
I have been using these 2 apps together on stage for a while, and struggling to find the best way to run them both on the same computer. I play keys (mostly Mainstage instruments) and loop everything in Live with a MIDI foot controller and APC40. I have been getting audio to Live by running two sound card outputs to a set of inputs as Homebelly mentioned. This has worked pretty solid. I have been messing with Soundflower to see if I can do away with this, but am getting some sound glitches that makes it unusable for me.

I'm also trying to use the IAC driver to send Live's MIDI tracks/clips to trigger Mainstage patches. This works great... except I can not get program changes to work. I have success maybe 5% of the time when launching a clip with a program change.

I have both applications' buffer set to 64 samples, and am experiencing very negligible latency. But of course I use mostly soft-synths and have gotten used to it at this point.


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