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MTC slaving Ableton to Pro Tools on separate machines

Posted: Mon Feb 24, 2014 8:27 pm
by DrFaye
Hey all, so I spent several hours last night trying to sync pro tools and ableton via MTC with no luck. I was wondering if anyone here has any experience doing so?

A little background on what I am trying to do: I work at a pro recording studio here in Chicago, and at said studio I am sadly not able to install ableton on our main rigs (I don't want to use up my personal licenses, and the studio is very much a pro tools only studio). So rewire isn't an option.

Ideally, I would like to take the MTC coming from the Pro Tools Sync I/O, plug that into my RME babyface midi in port, then set ableton to external sync. Then I would be using my babyface as a means of sending and receiving audio to and from the pro tools rig. I can't think of any other solution for being able to jam with a pro tools session in tempo (and with the band hooked up to the session).

I'm fairly certain I followed the correct steps in setting this up in both ableton and pro tools, and it was receiving the blinking messages indicating external sync info. However, when I engage external sync, ableton will blink clips like it's about to launch, but it never happens. I just get stuck on bar 1 beat 1 with flashing clips.

We tried 29.97fps and 30fps. No luck.

Any help would be much appreciated, thanks for reading.

Re: MTC slaving Ableton to Pro Tools on separate machines

Posted: Tue Feb 25, 2014 11:08 am
by luddy
Former Chicagoan here. Go Cubbies. :D

It's been a while since I did this, but I never had much luck with Live as a slave.

The best sync I ever got by far was by recording a track of SMPTE/LTC as audio and playing it out of a dedicated out on my audio interface. Into the LTC input of PT or whatever and bob's your uncle. Rock solid, almost sample accurate lockup. Treat Live like a tape deck! [edit: just to be clear, in this setup Live is the master and is unknowingly sending timecode as audio to an interface that can lock up to LTC. This kind of setup won't work if you have to manage the transport from PT I'm afraid.]

I wrote a piece of software to generate the audio LTC but if you have something that can generate it, you can simply record it from 0:00:00.00 as audio. Watch the voltage level on the LTC out if you do this, it's a bit hotter than ordinary audio, but manageable with input trim or pad or something.

Just an idea to give you another option...


Re: MTC slaving Ableton to Pro Tools on separate machines

Posted: Wed Feb 26, 2014 12:26 pm
by DrFaye
Great idea Luddy, will definitely give this a try, thanks!