MIDI sync and Ableton...Questions...Problems...Stuff...

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
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MIDI sync and Ableton...Questions...Problems...Stuff...

Post by nomadjames » Thu Mar 01, 2018 3:24 pm

Anyone who has been paying attention to the shit I post knows I've accumulated a bunch of gear over the last year. I have pretty good results with my portable, DAWless setup, where I sequence everything off of the MPC 1000.

I've been off the road for a while, and I wanted to get all this shit working with Ableton. I already know Ableton has horrible MIDI jitter, and USB over MIDI sucks, but it is what it is. I want to use all my tools at once. Biggest issue is that I had Maschine, then Push, then Push 2, and I like that shit. I particularly like realtime step sequencing, and I haven't been able to get any kind of real time, performance based flow with the MPC...Honestly I haven't been able to get any kind of flow with the MPC, but I'll give it time.

So here is the setup at home, currently:

Old ass mid 2010 MBP, Focusrite Saffire Pro 40, Behringer ADA8200 preamp connected to it. ADA8200 is set is sync master a 44.1. Focusrite and Ableton are both set at 44.1 at the moment, at low latency monitoring preset on Focusrite mix software. I ordered a second ADAT cable, and when it gets here I'll set the Focusrite as Master. I have read that Saffire Pro line is not good at MIDI. I have no actual proof of that, just an impression I got.

MIDI runs out of Focusrite, into MPC !000. MIDI out of MPC 1000 into a MIDI solutions Quadra Thru splitter. The reason why I did this: Quadra through needs power over MIDI, and the neither the focusrite nor my Maschine is capable of providing it. Quadra goes out to Monologue, Volca Kick, and Behringer Deepmind 12. The other MIDI out of the MPC is going to a Kenton MIDI/USB host which is connected to the OP-1.

I have the TR-8 connected to the computer via USB, and that is where it receives its MIDI signal.

I am controlling everything with the Push 2 and also a Arturia Keystep Pro I bought for the road, but is an absolutely brilliant piece of equipment.

The Problem is that I am getting intermittent sync problems. Sometimes its relatively on with a bit of flux...The only instrument I can actually see the tempo on is the OP-1, and I can see it is OK, sometimes...Other times its completely off. Like Ableton tempo is set at 130 and the OP-1 is fluctuating between 70-90. Sync setup in the OP-1 is correct.

I know my situation is not ideal, its a work around because I need some other equipment. The Quadra not being able to get power from interface is the problem. I was thinking about replacing that with a Kenton 5 way powered MIDI through. Or I could get a MOTU 128 or 128 XT. I'm not opposed to spending the money to get all this shit to actually work with Ableton. Other question: Will it even make any difference? The internet is conflicted on that one.

I was also thinking about getting an Expert Sleepers Usamo. The price for what it is: phenomenal. I am seeing that it's an issue to split one of those, though. I don't need absolute sample accuracy, I just need relatively accurate clock. Right now, I just like to record stuff into Ableton and edit it down later. I keep it pretty loose.

So should I put Ableton as slave? Problem with that: I couldn't trigger notes from it. i really like being able to trigger that Volca Kick from somewhere else...The note that it plays is too high, when you play a lower pitched note, that kick shines. I also do not like controlling tempo with the MPC, its a pain in the ass.

I got on the list for a Cirklon, that's like a year out. I figure the best bet would be to run a Usamo into the Cirklon, then run everything off the Cirklon. That's a ways away though. I should have enough shit around to make it worth having the Cirklon buy the time I get it.

I hope this makes sense. I am trying to make sense of all of it myself. I am surprised it actually fucking works at all.

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