Help syncing A Motu midiexpress XT to live

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DJChronoTheory
Posts: 9
Joined: Fri Jan 01, 2010 6:40 pm

Help syncing A Motu midiexpress XT to live

Post by DJChronoTheory » Sat Jul 05, 2014 9:11 pm

I just got an midiExpress XT yesterday and I am trying to get it to sync to ableton. I did search the forum and haven't really found an answer that works. I am getting the erratic BPM being sent to my Gear. The set up is my macbook pro running ableton Live to the midiexpressXt and the Gear attached to it in order is a Roland TB3, Novation UltraNova, Roland TR-8, Novation Bass Station 2, roland System 1 and a RC505 loop think. when I use all the presets except direct the BPM goes all over the place. When I look at the global menu on the ultranova, the counter looks like its just cycling thru numbers. When I use I use direct the BPM is stable and correct. With this preset I can only use one midi in since the others are disable. Can anyone help me with this dilemma. Thanks again for the help!!!

fragmentated
Posts: 184
Joined: Sat Aug 19, 2006 3:52 pm

Re: Help syncing A Motu midiexpress XT to live

Post by fragmentated » Sat Jul 05, 2014 11:08 pm

Not exactly sure what's going on but erratic BPM sounds like midi clocks are getting spit out and combined and spit out some more causing some midi loops.

First off - with the XT there are two groups of presets. The factory ones which are pre-wired and the user ones which can be freely routed using the clockworks software from Motu. I never use the factory presets - only the user bank.

Not knowing what you are trying to do I am not sure how I can guide you. I am guessing you want to send midi clock and notes from Ableton so that everything is in sync and maybe midi in from the Ultranove/BS/System 1 so you can use them as keyboards/controller in Ableton.

I would start with an empty user preset on the XT unless you have a need to internally route your instruments to each other on the XT.

In Ableton go to Midi preferences and make sure your connections are right. Only enable inputs (track column) that have things attached that you want to send midi info into Live. For the outputs (track column) I would select them all allowing you to send midi notes from to all the XT outputs. You also need to enable only one of the sync outputs (sync column). I usually choose the all cables sync output but choosing just one of the eight will work too. If you choose more than one sync output on the XT here midi clock goes crazy. It ends up doubling the clock and will not be workable.

Give it a try and let me know how it works out. If you're still having troubles I'll try to help the best I can.

DJChronoTheory
Posts: 9
Joined: Fri Jan 01, 2010 6:40 pm

Re: Help syncing A Motu midiexpress XT to live

Post by DJChronoTheory » Sat Jul 05, 2014 11:55 pm

thanks I will give it ago when I get home. I just want a basic setup for now. I want to send and receive notes to ableton from all my gear and sync the bpm using ableton. I also wanted to try a second setup where if I wanted to jam without my laptop I just wanted to sync everything to the TR-8.

fragmentated
Posts: 184
Joined: Sat Aug 19, 2006 3:52 pm

Re: Help syncing A Motu midiexpress XT to live

Post by fragmentated » Sun Jul 06, 2014 12:00 am

Sounds good. I did forget to mention though - Make sure your connected devices are not send midi clock on their outs either - that could cause a mess too as that would get jumbled with the clock Ableton is trying to send out. Standalone you'd only want one device sending clock (TR-8 as you mentioned) making sure that all others are set to receive it.

DJChronoTheory
Posts: 9
Joined: Fri Jan 01, 2010 6:40 pm

Re: Help syncing A Motu midiexpress XT to live

Post by DJChronoTheory » Sun Jul 06, 2014 12:46 am

let me double check I know the novation stuff I can not to send. the new Roland stuff I am not sure. If I can't is there another way to keep the clock info from transmitting?

DJChronoTheory
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Joined: Fri Jan 01, 2010 6:40 pm

Re: Help syncing A Motu midiexpress XT to live

Post by DJChronoTheory » Sun Jul 06, 2014 1:05 am

All the roland stuff says

MIDI
clock source

If MIDI clock is being input to the MIDI IN connector or the USB
port, the TR-8’s tempo will automatically synchronize to MIDI
clock (default).
* If MIDI clock is being simultaneously input from the MIDI
IN connector and from the USB port, the USB port takes
priority

so since I only have 1 in and out should I turn off the midi thru?

pinkpaint
Posts: 173
Joined: Tue Sep 06, 2011 3:14 am

Re: Help syncing A Motu midiexpress XT to live

Post by pinkpaint » Sun Jul 06, 2014 1:18 am

havent even read your post but i got the same midi interface in my studio. We had all sorts of syncing problems and tried all sorts of solutions NOTHING WORKED. Then someone suggested plugging it into a USB 2.0 Bus, because our iMac had USB 3.0 installed, we plugged the motu express xt into the USB 2.0 Bus and all problems went away. Hope this helps.

EDIT: read your post above is irrelevant.

Have you installed the Clockworks software?

DJChronoTheory
Posts: 9
Joined: Fri Jan 01, 2010 6:40 pm

Re: Help syncing A Motu midiexpress XT to live

Post by DJChronoTheory » Sun Jul 06, 2014 1:23 am

yeah installed the clockworks and make sure I had the updated firmware and stuff. my Macbook pro only has usb2. I haven't tried my mac mini since it has usb3.

pinkpaint
Posts: 173
Joined: Tue Sep 06, 2011 3:14 am

Re: Help syncing A Motu midiexpress XT to live

Post by pinkpaint » Sun Jul 06, 2014 1:25 am

Are you familiar with how to run the Clockworks software? Try some presets out for the time being to see if anything works.

pinkpaint
Posts: 173
Joined: Tue Sep 06, 2011 3:14 am

Re: Help syncing A Motu midiexpress XT to live

Post by pinkpaint » Sun Jul 06, 2014 1:29 am

Sorry again, my above posts are irrelevant, something is wrong in your Midi Clocking signal flow. From either the end of ableton being a slave to a master device or some other craziness.

DJChronoTheory
Posts: 9
Joined: Fri Jan 01, 2010 6:40 pm

Re: Help syncing A Motu midiexpress XT to live

Post by DJChronoTheory » Sun Jul 06, 2014 1:30 am

tried them all and I get the same results except the direct patch but it only allows midi port 1 to send midi info to ableton. I am going to try what fragmentated mention. Maybe I have ableton set up incorrectly.
fragmentated wrote:Not exactly sure what's going on but erratic BPM sounds like midi clocks are getting spit out and combined and spit out some more causing some midi loops.

First off - with the XT there are two groups of presets. The factory ones which are pre-wired and the user ones which can be freely routed using the clockworks software from Motu. I never use the factory presets - only the user bank.

Not knowing what you are trying to do I am not sure how I can guide you. I am guessing you want to send midi clock and notes from Ableton so that everything is in sync and maybe midi in from the Ultranove/BS/System 1 so you can use them as keyboards/controller in Ableton.

I would start with an empty user preset on the XT unless you have a need to internally route your instruments to each other on the XT.

In Ableton go to Midi preferences and make sure your connections are right. Only enable inputs (track column) that have things attached that you want to send midi info into Live. For the outputs (track column) I would select them all allowing you to send midi notes from to all the XT outputs. You also need to enable only one of the sync outputs (sync column). I usually choose the all cables sync output but choosing just one of the eight will work too. If you choose more than one sync output on the XT here midi clock goes crazy. It ends up doubling the clock and will not be workable.

Give it a try and let me know how it works out. If you're still having troubles I'll try to help the best I can.
do I need to make sure the midi thru on my gear is turned off. my novation stuff I can specify them not to send any clock info but the aira doesnt have that option.

fragmentated
Posts: 184
Joined: Sat Aug 19, 2006 3:52 pm

Re: Help syncing A Motu midiexpress XT to live

Post by fragmentated » Sun Jul 06, 2014 1:58 am

DJChronoTheory wrote:All the roland stuff says

MIDI
clock source

If MIDI clock is being input to the MIDI IN connector or the USB
port, the TR-8’s tempo will automatically synchronize to MIDI
clock (default).
* If MIDI clock is being simultaneously input from the MIDI
IN connector and from the USB port, the USB port takes
priority

so since I only have 1 in and out should I turn off the midi thru?
A quick look at the TR manual I would say yes turn off through as they call it. That way the clock from Ableton is not being sent to the TR then back out the out port in the XT. That would most likely cause a problem.

I would say the best bet is to unplug everything from the XT and start with only the TR-8. Make sure it starts and stops with Ableton and syncs to the tempo. Follow the method still I described above. Connect one piece at a time making sure everything is still working correctly. That should be the easiest way to trouble shoot it.

Yes, you need to make sure that none of your gear is transmitting midi clock from their out ports back into the XT. That would cause weird problems and feedback loops if you are sending clock out from Ableton.

DJChronoTheory
Posts: 9
Joined: Fri Jan 01, 2010 6:40 pm

Re: Help syncing A Motu midiexpress XT to live

Post by DJChronoTheory » Sun Jul 06, 2014 2:17 am

sounds good thanks for all the help. I went to my local guitar center and sam ash at both place told me they didnt know that units like the midi express existed or they had no idea where to begin since they have never seen one in person.

DJChronoTheory
Posts: 9
Joined: Fri Jan 01, 2010 6:40 pm

Re: Help syncing A Motu midiexpress XT to live

Post by DJChronoTheory » Sun Jul 06, 2014 11:18 pm

Thanks, it looks like I am almost there. The BPM was constant but my tr8 and tb3 were not getting the start message from ableton to run their sequences. Any Ideas.

DJChronoTheory
Posts: 9
Joined: Fri Jan 01, 2010 6:40 pm

Re: Help syncing A Motu midiexpress XT to live

Post by DJChronoTheory » Sun Aug 03, 2014 1:13 am

I finally got it to work. After a small vacation I tried it again. I set up ableton like you all advised me. When the tr8 and tb3 sequencers were not starting or playing I had to enable the midi thru back on. Then I went to clock works and muted the beat clock there on the aira units and just like that I go everything sync perfect!!! Finally I can play. Thanks everyone for the help!!!

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