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ableton live and monomachine: can anyone get in PERFECT sync

Posted: Sun Mar 06, 2011 8:31 am
by tonnu
hi all,

i'm just coming back to music production and trying once again to slave my monomachine with ableton. i'm using live 8.2.1 on PC (winXP) with ultralite and novation zero sl mk ii as MIDI interfaces. i have other gears attached to midi thru of the monomachine as well.

for the life of me i CANNOT get the monomachine to sync even remotely tight with ableton. when using the zero sl mk ii as the MIDI interface, the timing is HORRIBLE, the first beats are glitchy, and the sync is bad. when i switch to use the ultralite, the sync is slightly better--at least the first beats dont fck up--but still the sync is wayyy off.

i tried recording 1/8 hats for 8 measures and compare the first 4 with the last 4 on two separate audio tracks panned left & right and the sound is way off--audible even to my untrained and non-beat savvy ears.

so, any solutions to this? tried track delay--doesn't work. tried delay compensation for the individual MIDI channels, doesn't work.

is the problem the MIDI interface? if i were to get a dedicated USB MIDI box would it be better?

is it windows? if i get the new mbp will this help?

is it background processes? which should I switch off?

thanks all. it is really demoralizing to not be able to make the music when you want to. although i have a largely hardware setup, i don't have a drum machine so i really need this to work with ableton so that i can lay beats in there. SUCKS BIG TIME :(

thanks guys!

Re: ableton live and monomachine: can anyone get in PERFECT sync

Posted: Sun Mar 06, 2011 9:07 am
by 3phase
thats likely a pc problem because clockout is the only sync diziplin life can do and isnt inferior to other daw┬┤s..

i am no windows user but you need optimistaion for background processes flag on..
but ther might be many other reasons too


when you want to have tight midi go mac..even when you get it working it never will be really tight..+/- 2 ms midi clock wobble s what you have to expect on a windows machine...
or you get one of theese audio to midi sync devices..they give perfect midi sync clock via an audio stream... and are especially recomended for pc users..while the benefits on a mac are little,.. but still recocgnizeable.. but more like a smell..on a pc its a different song somhow..

Re: ableton live and monomachine: can anyone get in PERFECT sync

Posted: Sun Mar 06, 2011 2:37 pm
by tonnu
don't think it's the simple matter of mac vs pc though as i had the same problem when i used my macbook!
i know that other ppl have this same problem: how do you deal with this? i know that mnm and ableton is quite a popular combo, so please, tell me how you guys work with it!
i will definitely look at the midi interface you were talking about though.
but if i get a normal but dedicated midi / usb interface will this help?
also, any tips on optimizing background processes?

Thanks!

Re: ableton live and monomachine: can anyone get in PERFECT sync

Posted: Sun Mar 06, 2011 3:24 pm
by Tarekith
Double checked that you have both the MnM to follow midi clock, and Live to send it to the right midi port? Seems obvious, but I've seen people miss the obvious before too.

Re: ableton live and monomachine: can anyone get in PERFECT sync

Posted: Sun Mar 06, 2011 3:41 pm
by tonnu
it syncs and receives transport
BUT it syncs badly :cry:

Re: ableton live and monomachine: can anyone get in PERFECT sync

Posted: Sun Mar 06, 2011 3:50 pm
by ark
Elektron recommends that when you use their devices together with a computer, you use the Elektron box as the sync master.

Various people have claimed that it is difficult to get accurate midi sync between Ableton and external devices. Ableton claims that this is a property of computer MIDI implementations, because the device drivers impose delays that are not always easy to predict, and that these problems plague all music software, not just Live.

innerclocksystems sells hardware/software combinations that they claim can make MIDI sync much more accurate between hardware and software.

I haven't personally investigated these problems, so I don't know how much I believe these various claims. However, it does seem to me that there is room for improvement in Live's MIDI sync handling, because they still don't have tap tempo working right.

Re: ableton live and monomachine: can anyone get in PERFECT sync

Posted: Sun Mar 06, 2011 4:45 pm
by tonnu
thanks $499 for something that's supposed to work out of the box seems crazy though

tarekith, i've seen you around often on elektron-users ... care to share your syncing secrets?

Re: ableton live and monomachine: can anyone get in PERFECT sync

Posted: Sun Mar 06, 2011 5:37 pm
by massenmedium
Have you tried experimenting with different settings for MIDI in live - i.e. DirectMusic / MME and Song / Pattern modes? Uwually DirectMusic and Song mode is best I think but it will vary for different interfaces, hardware and applications.

Is the problem akin to jitter (shaky timing) or latency (a consistent offset)?

Anyway - it is a tricky one and not always going to work well. I've found some improvement when using a small hardware sequencer (a QY70) to receive the clock from the computer and transmit clock to other synths kind of like a DIY dedicated clock generator. I mean MIDI sync to hardware in general, not using a monomachine here.

Optimisation for background processes - again, this may or may not help. In XP the option is in Control Panel / Syetem / Advanced / Performance.

Re: ableton live and monomachine: can anyone get in PERFECT sync

Posted: Sun Mar 06, 2011 6:50 pm
by Tarekith
tonnu wrote:thanks $499 for something that's supposed to work out of the box seems crazy though

tarekith, i've seen you around often on elektron-users ... care to share your syncing secrets?
Not sure I really have any secrets to share. While I usually use the TM-1 midi interface with my Elektrons, I've also used an Ultralite for a long time, and a RME FF400. For me it generally works fine right out of the box with any of those, though very rarely I do get some tiny fluctations when syncing to Live (but not Logic FWIW). Nothing that really messes up my workflow.

I'd suggest unplugging the Novation for now, just to rule out something else perhaps contributing to the issue. Some people have had good luck making the Elektrons the master and slaving Live to them, but for me using Live as the master usually works fine.

Re: ableton live and monomachine: can anyone get in PERFECT sync

Posted: Mon Mar 07, 2011 6:59 pm
by tonnu
thx. just realized that i haven't upgraded mnm's FW in a long while. will do so and see if there's any improvements.

i'm surprised though ... i thought it's a BIG problem many ppl have :(

Re: ableton live and monomachine: can anyone get in PERFECT sync

Posted: Wed Mar 09, 2011 4:30 pm
by 4am
tonnu wrote:thx. just realized that i haven't upgraded mnm's FW in a long while. will do so and see if there's any improvements.

i'm surprised though ... i thought it's a BIG problem many ppl have :(
also had this problem for a long time
upgrading the firmware solved the issue for me

Re: ableton live and monomachine: can anyone get in PERFECT sync

Posted: Wed Mar 09, 2011 4:39 pm
by ark
I tried syncing a Monomachine to Live. I couldn't get perfect sync all the time, but it was pretty good. I found I had to adjust Live's delay setting to get the sync at all reasonable.

Re: ableton live and monomachine: can anyone get in PERFECT sync

Posted: Wed Mar 09, 2011 4:53 pm
by Tone Deft
there's always, "1... 2... 3... 4..." hit PLAY!!

my $0.02.

or "1... 2... 3... 1... 2... 3... 4... 5... 1... 2... GO!" for you jazz weirdos. ;)

Re: ableton live and monomachine: can anyone get in PERFECT sync

Posted: Wed Mar 09, 2011 6:11 pm
by yellow
I don't have a monomachine but a machinedrum. And it's almost impossible to get it propper synced to Live. If it's in sync and i put for example NastyDLA in one return track the sync would be fucked up.

Re: ableton live and monomachine: can anyone get in PERFECT sync

Posted: Wed Mar 09, 2011 11:58 pm
by Dayaoute
I think I had the same problem when I started using my Machinedrum with Live.

If not done yet, try this:

1. Make sure the sound output of the Monomachine is on direct monitoring. This can be set up in your Ultralite soft Cuemix Fx or directly with the knobs of the soundcard (good luck with the knobs, though).

2. Whenever you want to record audio from your Monomachine into live, do not forget to switch monitoring to "off" on your audio track in Live.


Just my 2cents but this solved my sync problems.