Launchpad and external MIDI sync: WTF

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Silverfish
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Launchpad and external MIDI sync: WTF

Post by Silverfish » Thu Jun 24, 2010 9:24 am

Tonight I was practicing for a gig with a friend, and we thought we'd sync our laptops and our Ableton Live sets via MIDI.

My setup: laptop, launchpad, BCR2000.
His setup: laptop, apc40, miniKorg.

My BCR2000 was sending the Master clock signal to the MIDI input on his miniKorg. Sync worked fine, UNTIL....

I switched between Session, User 1, User 2, or Mixer on the launchpad, or I moved the grid in any direction, in any increment.

This resulted in a very audible moment of slowing tempo, on both machines.

WTF is going on?
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Guff Tong
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Re: Launchpad and external MIDI sync: WTF

Post by Guff Tong » Thu Jun 24, 2010 10:36 am

what global midi channel is your BCR putting out at?

May just need to change it (Avoiding channels 1, 8 and 9 which I'm told the LP uses)

Silverfish
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Re: Launchpad and external MIDI sync: WTF

Post by Silverfish » Thu Jun 24, 2010 10:42 am

That is a great idea, and I will try it tomorrow night at practice. I will report my results.
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myxomat0515
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Re: Launchpad and external MIDI sync: WTF

Post by myxomat0515 » Thu Jun 24, 2010 4:12 pm

That might help, but from my experience, the slow-down you mentioned is just a reality we have to live with right now w/ableton. Any time Live has to "think" (aka dragging/dropping samples, changing through presets, etc.) there is a noticeable strain on any MIDI sync. I wouldn't have guessed that cycling the menus on the LP would do that though.

scientist
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Re: Launchpad and external MIDI sync: WTF

Post by scientist » Thu Jun 24, 2010 4:19 pm

it might be the back and forth of the led state information as the modes change. i built a non-m4l step sequencer that had a crazy amount of led information to transfer back and forth, and timing could go wonky (and not the kind of wonky people like these days) in a big way.

Silverfish
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Re: Launchpad and external MIDI sync: WTF

Post by Silverfish » Fri Jun 25, 2010 1:53 am

*sigh* This is really disappointing. I suppose I can't blame Ableton for the faults of a ubiquitous 25-year-old standard. I'm very reluctant to say this, but...

here's hoping Live 9 implements OSC in a very useful way.
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Tone Deft
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Re: Launchpad and external MIDI sync: WTF

Post by Tone Deft » Fri Jun 25, 2010 3:58 am

what are your system specs?
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Silverfish
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Re: Launchpad and external MIDI sync: WTF

Post by Silverfish » Fri Jun 25, 2010 9:07 am

Not very good, I'm afraid. It's a five or six year old Gateway lappy. 1.6Ghz centrino processor (off the top of my head), 1GB RAM, 5400RPM HD. I'm definitely in the market for a new machine.

However, for whatever reason, tonight was much better. We tried a few different things, and so long as I didn't push the page buttons in rapid succession, everything seemed okay.

I'll play around when I have more time and see if I can get better results.
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3dot...
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Re: Launchpad and external MIDI sync: WTF

Post by 3dot... » Fri Jun 25, 2010 9:24 am

Silverfish wrote:*sigh* This is really disappointing. I suppose I can't blame Ableton for the faults of a ubiquitous 25-year-old standard. I'm very reluctant to say this, but...

here's hoping Live 9 implements OSC in a very useful way.
how would you use osc to sync your synths ?
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Silverfish
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Re: Launchpad and external MIDI sync: WTF

Post by Silverfish » Fri Jun 25, 2010 9:50 am

Well, I suppose it would be hard to use just OSC to sync from laptop to external MIDI gear, but from laptop to laptop is a different story. If my memory serves me correctly, OSC allows for time stamping of events. However, the method used to transport these events greatly affects the accuracy.

There are some saying MIDI has just as accurate timing as OSC if you use an ethernet connection. I've never tried using an ethernet connection for that, but it's something I'll explore.
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Tone Deft
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Re: Launchpad and external MIDI sync: WTF

Post by Tone Deft » Fri Jun 25, 2010 3:27 pm

you're running a crappy computer, you don't know what OSC really is, you're blaming Live and wishing for OSC to fix this?
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Silverfish
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Re: Launchpad and external MIDI sync: WTF

Post by Silverfish » Fri Jun 25, 2010 5:34 pm

1. yes, I'm running a crappy computer. But it's still 20 years newer than MIDI, and works the same today as it did when it was considered modern.

2. I do know what OSC really is. I didn't find it necessary to write a thesis on it and how it differs from MIDI. Regardless, the end result is the same: control.

3.
I suppose I can't blame Ableton for the faults of a ubiquitous 25-year-old standard.
I'm not really blaming Ableton Live at all.

Yup, I'm totally hoping OSC can fix this. I guess it really wouldn't be MIDI sync. More like OSC sync. I don't think it's too much to ask a live performance software to fix a live performance feature that's been crippled since the early days. It's not Ableton's fault that serial protocols are prone to piling up, but can't they find something else?
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