Locking two laptops together via MIDI controller

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
nz
Posts: 262
Joined: Thu Nov 20, 2003 2:19 pm
Location: Cleveland, Ohio

Locking two laptops together via MIDI controller

Post by nz » Wed Oct 06, 2010 4:21 am

Hi,

I just watched the video of Gary Long who does the production for American Idol (among other shows) while using Live. At 3:00 is the part I am asking about.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a3TWKUjiUJA

My band triggers tracks, but it has been a haphazard experience because of sync issues. I would love to use Ableton Live with a controller and trigger clips on two laptops at the same time via MIDI...one as the main and the other as the redundant back up.

How could this be accomplished using a MIDI controller? I would need to send MIDI commands to two discrete systems so they start, end and are controlled exactly at the same time. Make sense?

Would anyone be so kind as to sort me out on this?

Thanks so much!
MacBook Pro/Mac Mini
Ableton Live 10

kotzer
Posts: 29
Joined: Wed Jul 21, 2004 9:14 am

Re: Locking two laptops together via MIDI controller

Post by kotzer » Wed Oct 06, 2010 1:11 pm

a simple question

but possible with ableton?
for all I know midi timing is too unstable for this...
but i hope i am disinformed..

so anyone?
any way of linking two laptops without an external smpte clock

3phase
Posts: 4648
Joined: Fri Sep 26, 2003 3:29 am
Contact:

Re: Locking two laptops together via MIDI controller

Post by 3phase » Wed Oct 06, 2010 1:22 pm

nz wrote:Hi,

I just watched the video of Gary Long who does the production for American Idol (among other shows) while using Live. At 3:00 is the part I am asking about.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a3TWKUjiUJA

My band triggers tracks, but it has been a haphazard experience because of sync issues. I would love to use Ableton Live with a controller and trigger clips on two laptops at the same time via MIDI...one as the main and the other as the redundant back up.

How could this be accomplished using a MIDI controller? I would need to send MIDI commands to two discrete systems so they start, end and are controlled exactly at the same time. Make sense?

Would anyone be so kind as to sort me out on this?

Thanks so much!

that is another one of abletons sync issue.. it starts when it wants..ther is no predictable start offset so booth units will allwas be out of sync.. only accidently it might be right...


you might use timecode form an extrenak controler that is able to generate some.. but there is a bug in the smpte input to so it wont start corectly on certain offsets..so choose one offset that works..

than you should be fine aslong the time code dont drops..in case it drops the clips go balsitic in the moment it reenters..

live´s syncing is screwed in all aspects..

thats a pretty horrible state the program is in in that regard and i encourage you to write them directly regarding your problems and to vote in my poll..

the best thing..now the clock out is screwe aswell because of the mfl inntegration.. at least when you use the clockport for remote feedback aswell.

there are reasons i am so loud about the syncissues.. thats the first time we have problems in all depertments of syncing..

calling ableton the FIAT of Daw´s was a self fullfilling prophecy.. they are realing aiming to reach that goal
mac book 2,16 ghz 4(3)gb ram, Os 10.62, fireface 400,

agent314
Posts: 1447
Joined: Wed Apr 07, 2010 3:07 am

Re: Locking two laptops together via MIDI controller

Post by agent314 » Wed Oct 06, 2010 2:44 pm

Honest question for 3phase

If Live is such a time-wobbly piece of shit, why do you keep using it? And posting dozens of messages every day on their forum?

3phase
Posts: 4648
Joined: Fri Sep 26, 2003 3:29 am
Contact:

Re: Locking two laptops together via MIDI controller

Post by 3phase » Wed Oct 06, 2010 2:50 pm

agent314 wrote:Honest question for 3phase

If Live is such a time-wobbly piece of shit, why do you keep using it? And posting dozens of messages every day on their forum?

because ive dozents of gigabyte of date from the last 8 years made with that program that cant be accesed with any other daw ?

however..when l9 gets another bad piece of rubish like l8 i am defently off..

actually the tendency in the moment looks stragly that ableton hasnt leared a thing with theire live 8 debakle..

also all this strange politics like the rectified rainers program.. appears like graspig straws ..

i guess we are dealing alleady with a sinking ship here
mac book 2,16 ghz 4(3)gb ram, Os 10.62, fireface 400,

3phase
Posts: 4648
Joined: Fri Sep 26, 2003 3:29 am
Contact:

Re: Locking two laptops together via MIDI controller

Post by 3phase » Wed Oct 06, 2010 2:51 pm

i would prefer a syncing one..
mac book 2,16 ghz 4(3)gb ram, Os 10.62, fireface 400,

agent314
Posts: 1447
Joined: Wed Apr 07, 2010 3:07 am

Re: Locking two laptops together via MIDI controller

Post by agent314 » Wed Oct 06, 2010 2:52 pm

So spend all of 2 or 3 days off the forum, converting all of your Live files to Logic or Cubase or whatever other DAW you'd prefer, sell your license and jump ship.

+1 for the syncing ship quip. :D

nz
Posts: 262
Joined: Thu Nov 20, 2003 2:19 pm
Location: Cleveland, Ohio

Re: Locking two laptops together via MIDI controller

Post by nz » Wed Oct 06, 2010 3:19 pm

To stay on topic...

:D

If the timing is so bad how can it be used for highly critical situations like American Idol where there is no room for errors or glitches?
MacBook Pro/Mac Mini
Ableton Live 10

3phase
Posts: 4648
Joined: Fri Sep 26, 2003 3:29 am
Contact:

Re: Locking two laptops together via MIDI controller

Post by 3phase » Wed Oct 06, 2010 3:26 pm

nz wrote:To stay on topic...

:D

If the timing is so bad how can it be used for highly critical situations like American Idol where there is no room for errors or glitches?

american idol critical? probably they use it to play in some arteficial applause..

problems are only there when you want to sync rhytmical musical events.. in the worst case with an other ableton live laptop..

and when ther wouldnt be room for errors or glitches they woulndt use live..at least not L8

with l7 you ca run in timecode sync in arrange view on a pretty stable base.. its just not alowed the the timcode drops while you are in session mode,,

the timcode generators in tv stations usually never drop..

its another situation wehn you get the timecode from another daw on stage that might need a restart to get the midi clock devices resynced..

another missing feature.. only way to resync external clocksalves is to restart.. so that cat be done when timecode is running anyway..

so at least for musicans that need midi clock on stage timecode syncing theire ableton live laptops is no option..
mac book 2,16 ghz 4(3)gb ram, Os 10.62, fireface 400,

tchan
Posts: 48
Joined: Wed Mar 10, 2010 9:21 pm
Location: Toronto, Canada

Re: Locking two laptops together via MIDI controller

Post by tchan » Wed Oct 06, 2010 4:03 pm

@nz

if you're using mac laptops onstage, you can use core midi to sync laptops via wifi. one laptop contains the master live session while the other is the slave. enable EXT sync (option in live's preferences panel) on the slave. start live set on master and the beat clock on both laptops should be in sync.

here's an indepth article on how to setup a core midi network:

http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/jul05/a ... /tiger.htm

not sure how you can control both laptops with one MIDI controller but hopefully this is a start ;-)

Trent
Posts: 96
Joined: Fri Sep 04, 2009 7:49 pm
Location: Smithville, TN, USA
Contact:

Re: Locking two laptops together via MIDI controller

Post by Trent » Wed Oct 06, 2010 4:27 pm

tchan wrote:not sure how you can control both laptops with one MIDI controller but hopefully this is a start ;-)
You'd need two midi interfaces but you could use midi though to the second interface. And your in business. Then just build a switch for the audio and your set!

Although it would have been nice if they went more in detail about his setup.

oddstep
Posts: 1732
Joined: Tue Feb 12, 2008 9:47 pm
Location: Plymouth the great

Re: Locking two laptops together via MIDI controller

Post by oddstep » Wed Oct 06, 2010 7:03 pm

i have syncced two laptops via midi... using a padkontrol or the midi thru on a korg ms2000. A lot depends on the computers and soundcards you are working with. With some really flaky setups its a nightmare, with stable well managed computers its reliable... for me. My guess is a lot comes down to midi drivers, cpu load and computer stability. This is all with fairly low end gear, so its not about cash, just about viewing the computer and liveset as an instrument that will need to be tuned to perform well.

kristoffer1989
Posts: 576
Joined: Thu Jan 03, 2008 8:24 am

Re: Locking two laptops together via MIDI controller

Post by kristoffer1989 » Thu Oct 07, 2010 1:05 pm

they are not synced. he just triggers them with the same controller. This works really great actually. just ckeck out 3.40 when he switches between them!
Kristoffer Lislegaard
Myspace - Soundcloud - Vimeo

nz
Posts: 262
Joined: Thu Nov 20, 2003 2:19 pm
Location: Cleveland, Ohio

Re: Locking two laptops together via MIDI controller

Post by nz » Thu Oct 07, 2010 1:16 pm

So in that he is just starting both computers at the same time with a MIDI interface, how would the setup work?

Controller out to a MIDI interface>two MIDI outs of the interface to MIDI ins of each laptop (this could be a dedicated MIDI interface or it could be something like, say, a Presonus Firebox with MIDI in)>Press play and go (taking into account setting up each version of Live to trigger the correct scenes/clips).

Could it be that easy?

Do you think there would be a "drift" between the two computers?
MacBook Pro/Mac Mini
Ableton Live 10

transology
Posts: 102
Joined: Sun Jan 13, 2008 4:01 am
Location: Montreal, Canada

Re: Locking two laptops together via MIDI controller

Post by transology » Thu Oct 07, 2010 3:39 pm

Exactly !! Use a REAL MIDI interface for your two laptops and a real midi control that launch NOTE on your scenes. Et voila ! OK. You will need to split your midi OUT of the controller. A gizmo of about 40$ to back your ass !

kristoffer1989 wrote:they are not synced. he just triggers them with the same controller. This works really great actually. just ckeck out 3.40 when he switches between them!
OS X - L8

Post Reply