I give up, Ableton, I really do. PDC/timing/hardware issues,

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
Akshara
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Re: I give up, Ableton, I really do. PDC/timing/hardware issues,

Post by Akshara » Mon Nov 12, 2012 10:42 pm

Sage wrote:even Logic tells you not to use latency inducing plugins in the tracking stages!
Yet handles it quite well, when setup properly. I've never had a problem with timing in Logic. Sounds like the OP didn't encounter this problem in Logic either, possibly using a similar workflow I'd imagine. Wish I could say the same for the convoluted object oriented workflow. Now that drives me bonkers. But it doesn't screw up my project weeks down the road.

Do you actually know any professionals, who make a living from audio and music production, who don't know that inserting a software effect on a hardware input will create a latency in the input signal? I don't. That would be really embarrassing. I guess maybe some old school producers who have never used a computer for audio recording before might.
Sage wrote:In regards to Live, how much is it exacerbating user "error" with its own issues?
That's been the thorn that bothers me in this thread. Direct Monitoring is not "user error" and neither is tracking with high-quality synths and effects.

Sage
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Re: I give up, Ableton, I really do. PDC/timing/hardware issues,

Post by Sage » Tue Nov 13, 2012 12:35 am

Akshara wrote:That's been the thorn that bothers me in this thread. Direct Monitoring is not "user error" and neither is tracking with high-quality synths and effects.
Tracking using high-latency inducing plugins is "user error" for want of a better term and thats all I've been saying in regards to "user error". I made a mistake earlier in the thread regarding this guy's setup and moved on since that, so please catch up instead of trying to lecture me on "professionalism". If you're tracking and using high-latency inducing plugins, it will cause problems, regardless of the DAW, some may handle it better than others, but not perfect. Logic isn't perfect when tracking in this manner either, I know because I tried it earlier. Shame I don't have any hardware synths to hand to try a similar setup to the OP and see if I could get Logic to have problems.

Akshara
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Re: I give up, Ableton, I really do. PDC/timing/hardware issues,

Post by Akshara » Tue Nov 13, 2012 1:37 am

Sage wrote:Tracking using high-latency inducing plugins is "user error" for want of a better term and thats all I've been saying in regards to "user error".
Okay. I disagree. Yay.

luddy
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Re: I give up, Ableton, I really do. PDC/timing/hardware issues,

Post by luddy » Tue Nov 13, 2012 5:56 am

If you want for MIDI/audio to and from external hardware synths to be properly lined up with audio "inside" Live, you must use the External plug-in, even if you don't monitor its output. That is, even if you monitor the synth directly. Insert the plug in the MIDI track, choose some random input on your audio interface, and turn off monitoring for that track, or choose an unused audio input, or whatever. That will cause the outbound MIDI events to be lined up as if you were monitoring the synth output at that position in Live's signal flow.

That's all that can be asked. There is no such thing as "do PDC on my hardware synth" without telling Live where in its signal flow you want the hardware synth's audio output to be aligned. It doesn't have a meaning. It's very different to align the synth's audio output with the input of some latency-inducing plug-in, than it is to align it with the main outputs, etc. No one can guess where the outputs of your hardware synth are going, if you don't tell them, and that is the purpose of the External plug.

-Luddy

Machinesworking
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Re: I give up, Ableton, I really do. PDC/timing/hardware issues,

Post by Machinesworking » Tue Nov 13, 2012 6:15 am

[edit] looks like Luddy just came up with a great solution! 8)
Akshara wrote: This may be your experience and is true from your vantage point; yet the majority of situations that I have encountered which use a combination of outboard hardware and in-the-box software use some form of direct monitoring solution, at least to some degree, whether through a console or a hardware interface.
OK then, in those cases you were using some other DAW rather than Live I assume. Live has some unique hurdles when it comes to this sort of set up, and again to a degree it's asking for issues to direct monitor MIDI sequenced hardware synths while at the same time running a heavy plug in load.
That was the point of my comment about the studio which you quoted and didn't like earlier, likely due to my equally condescending tone in reply.
Not at all, I just didn't find it relevant to mention a much much more complex two computer multi dependent recording studio situation when addressing a composers issues on a single computer set up, not trying to be rude about that, but it's like arguing for a 12 cylinder economy car that seats 10 people.
Yet truly, there are situations where direct monitoring is either preferred or necessary, where software monitoring is either not possible or not desired.
Yes there are, although I'm still not seeing how it's a good thing to deal with this when it's not working?
I just got the feeling that the OP fell into this category, based on the original request and the curt rebuttals. It was actually the, "Jesus, there is no reason to post on forums..." comment which made me think this. Just had that familiar ring about it.
You've been doing a lot of assuming about the OP and his issue, and rightly so, since he still hasn't explained why he feels the need to, or has the situation where it's important to monitor his hardware outside of Live.
or me, "a <plugin which causes latency> will create latency when inserted," is one of those "obvious answer is obvious" kind of things, and comes across a bit like telling a marathon runner how to tie their shoes properly. I just presume that someone with success managing a direct monitoring solution likely falls into the marathon runner category.
Here's a news flash for you, when someone states that they wish introducing a linear phase EQ didn't mess up a single track in a DAW, it's not my duty as a reader to interpret their flat statement for euphemisms, allegory, substitutions or sarcasm content, and it's not my experience that people posting problems in forums are inherently 'marathon runners' because they are trying, or have used, a complex set up. There are plenty of people out there that come up with complex messes that they demand a solution to that refuse to do any troubleshooting or listen to any advice because they already have the answer, that "software X is fucked and unprofessional!", that the end users (besides themselves of course) are all plebs, and that misplaced advice (often given because the user doesn't flesh out their issue with enough details) is an indication of the uselessness of the forum. This thread in it's entirety is a fucking loop of this plus the usual fanboy reactions of disbelief that Live can't cover all bases and therefore the question is lame.
This is the META quagmire thread:
OP posts problem due to unique set up and a possible DAW issue.
OP never explains why they have to use this particular set up, and refuses all advice to change set up.
Without further explanations on his unique set up and why he need to do it this way, OP starts moaning about bad advice.
Users chime in that OP is "doing it wrong", defend DAW.
User chimes in that they are PRO, and that all the other users are not able to read between the lines at OPs issue, user debates everything based on the limited information they have.

Thread turns into a conversation about nothing, because it never started with much information to begin with. Fucking quagmire...... that Luddy might have just saved from being completely useless!

Akshara
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Re: I give up, Ableton, I really do. PDC/timing/hardware issues,

Post by Akshara » Tue Nov 13, 2012 6:54 am

luddy wrote:If you want for MIDI/audio to and from external hardware synths to be properly lined up with audio "inside" Live, you must use the External plug-in, even if you don't monitor its output. That is, even if you monitor the synth directly. Insert the plug in the MIDI track, choose some random input on your audio interface, and turn off monitoring for that track, or choose an unused audio input, or whatever. That will cause the outbound MIDI events to be lined up as if you were monitoring the synth output at that position in Live's signal flow.

That's all that can be asked. There is no such thing as "do PDC on my hardware synth" without telling Live where in its signal flow you want the hardware synth's audio output to be aligned. It doesn't have a meaning. It's very different to align the synth's audio output with the input of some latency-inducing plug-in, than it is to align it with the main outputs, etc. No one can guess where the outputs of your hardware synth are going, if you don't tell them, and that is the purpose of the External plug.

-Luddy
So in a situation when PDC is being applied, does inserting the External Instrument plugin in this manner remove that track's midi out of the PDC? If that being the case, this would be a genuine solution.

From what I understand, what's desired is rather "don't do PDC on my hardware synth" so that no matter what happens internally within Live, the midi being sent to the hardware is unaffected.

Akshara
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Re: I give up, Ableton, I really do. PDC/timing/hardware issues,

Post by Akshara » Tue Nov 13, 2012 7:29 am

Machinesworking wrote:You've been doing a lot of assuming about the OP and his issue, and rightly so, since he still hasn't explained why he feels the need to, or has the situation where it's important to monitor his hardware outside of Live.
Genuinely, I don't see why he needs to explain why.

In eight years with Live, both live and in the studio, thousands of hours in the program, I can count the number of times that I've monitored my outboard gear through the Live software itself on one hand. So you and I have fundamentally different workflows.

I accept that yours is a valid approach. It's not the only one.

The timing problems with Live which I experience are with Live getting out of sync with itself.

puzzlefactory
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Re: I give up, Ableton, I really do. PDC/timing/hardware issues,

Post by puzzlefactory » Tue Nov 13, 2012 8:10 am

Machinesworking wrote:There are plenty of people out there that come up with complex messes that they demand a solution to that refuse to do any troubleshooting or listen to any advice because they already have the answer, that "software X is fucked and unprofessional!", that the end users (besides themselves of course) are all plebs, and that misplaced advice (often given because the user doesn't flesh out their issue with enough details) is an indication of the uselessness of the forum. This thread in it's entirety is a fucking loop of this plus the usual fanboy reactions of disbelief that Live can't cover all bases and therefore the question is lame.

This!

In fact this should be copy and pasted onto the end of a whole bunch of threads both here and other forums. I really think this sums up the attitude of a lot of people i've seen complaining on various websites.

theophilus
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Re: I give up, Ableton, I really do. PDC/timing/hardware issues,

Post by theophilus » Tue Nov 13, 2012 12:50 pm

Akshara wrote: So in a situation when PDC is being applied, does inserting the External Instrument plugin in this manner remove that track's midi out of the PDC? If that being the case, this would be a genuine solution.

From what I understand, what's desired is rather "don't do PDC on my hardware synth" so that no matter what happens internally within Live, the midi being sent to the hardware is unaffected.
actually, i'm curious as to why pdc is being done to midi tracks at all. i would actually think that if you don't do the above (i.e. don't use external instrument, and effectively don't have any audio on that midi track) it would have no reference to align the output, so it wouldn't move it. that wouldn't necessarily make it in time - there are small delays both in the driver and on the actual midi interface - but it should be more like what he wants, i think? i don't have any hw synths anymore (though i do miss my prophet 3000 and cs15! and the chroma that still isn't working :( so have no way to test this right now.

it's hard to really guess without more details about his situation.

broc
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Re: I give up, Ableton, I really do. PDC/timing/hardware issues,

Post by broc » Tue Nov 13, 2012 1:58 pm

theophilus wrote:actually, i'm curious as to why pdc is being done to midi tracks at all.
As I've mentioned before, PDC to midi tracks is needed in Live 8 because M4L midi devices introduce some latency for technical reasons, namely a buffering scheme to ensure glitch-free data streaming of audio and midi between Live and Max.

theophilus
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Re: I give up, Ableton, I really do. PDC/timing/hardware issues,

Post by theophilus » Tue Nov 13, 2012 2:23 pm

broc wrote:
theophilus wrote:actually, i'm curious as to why pdc is being done to midi tracks at all.
As I've mentioned before, PDC to midi tracks is needed in Live 8 because M4L midi devices introduce some latency for technical reasons, namely a buffering scheme to ensure glitch-free data streaming of audio and midi between Live and Max.
that makes sense when there is an audio device (either effect or synth) at the end of the chain that the m4l device is driving. but pure midi tracks? what do you align it to?

broc
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Re: I give up, Ableton, I really do. PDC/timing/hardware issues,

Post by broc » Tue Nov 13, 2012 4:17 pm

theophilus wrote:
broc wrote:
theophilus wrote:actually, i'm curious as to why pdc is being done to midi tracks at all.
As I've mentioned before, PDC to midi tracks is needed in Live 8 because M4L midi devices introduce some latency for technical reasons, namely a buffering scheme to ensure glitch-free data streaming of audio and midi between Live and Max.
that makes sense when there is an audio device (either effect or synth) at the end of the chain that the m4l device is driving. but pure midi tracks? what do you align it to?
I guess that pure midi tracks are aligned by assuming a dummy instrument at the end. Unfortunately there is no official documentation about this, not even about the simple fact that all M4L devices introduce latency depending on Live's audio buffer size.

gisela-idol
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Re: I give up, Ableton, I really do. PDC/timing/hardware issues,

Post by gisela-idol » Tue Nov 13, 2012 7:33 pm

My main problem with the delay compensations is when midi an audio are recordet together, and you playback that midi, the events triggered by this midi are not in time and there is no setting that can compensate for that.

You allways have to shift the midi playback manually to make ist fit.

It would feel way more intelligent designed when the program would at leat allow to set a fixed Offset that deals with that. Or just automatically sees into it, and adjusts for plugins or external midi.

So in ideal when you play a rimshot on the keyboard, the midi and audio will appear in sync along the timeline but the midi output will be delayed automatically to match audio and midi incl. all Processing delays.

The user only needs to set fixed delay for the midi device to adjust for Interface delays and listening position.

So what you hear is what you get. In the graphical representation and the acoustical output. With precission, just like a taperecording just with graphical edit possebility. As live is now its not especially accurate when it comes to catching a performance.

Sampleprecise automation would than be just a side fx of a tight time relation of the program.
Now the eventplacement is rather uncorelated. The graphics some ms in that Direktion.. The midi output dependend on the Instrument, and audio somewhere inbetween.

What hurts is that the available offset possibilitys somehow contradict each other, so that no user setting can achieve a proper timeallignment..

That other daws are not perfect either shouldnt be an excuse to work towards a daw that really catches and replays Events as the artist had intended and not makes its own music you have to correct manually after every recording. Thats a steampunk daw handling somehow.

Hermanus
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Re: I give up, Ableton, I really do. PDC/timing/hardware issues,

Post by Hermanus » Tue Nov 13, 2012 7:56 pm

Some old trick here,

depending on which instrument you will use but let's try several and go.
Choose an instrument, record something [or compose it with pencil in the clip's window]

ARM the record button for the track and play your loop
Then disARM and play.
With some instruments [maybe with arpeggiators too] it will play desync.

In such cases, leave the record ARMED for the involved track and no problem.

vinz89
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Re: I give up, Ableton, I really do. PDC/timing/hardware issues,

Post by vinz89 » Tue Nov 13, 2012 8:27 pm

My main problem with the delay compensations is when midi an audio are recordet together, and you playback that midi, the events triggered by this midi are not in time and there is no setting that can compensate for that.

You allways have to shift the midi playback manually to make ist fit.
Well, the thing is, you'll get perfect sync when monitoring on the audio track is set to off... the downside is, you don't monitor the incoming sound from within live as you record this way...

to get a perfect sync and hear what you play or sequence, you have to
- set a negative amount in the midi track delay corresponding to your overall latency (input+output)
- be sure you have the "reduce latency when monitoring" option enabled

Not so complicated...

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