Studio Synth Setup Help

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
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RippleEffect
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Nov 07, 2019 3:26 pm

Studio Synth Setup Help

Post by RippleEffect » Thu Nov 07, 2019 3:33 pm

Heya amigos,

I run a legit copy of Ableton 10 and my iPad runs Korg Gadget DAW using the Link feature for my music.

I have been researching Synths to add for the quantum soundscapes and soft ambient textures, and I really like what I hear from the Blofeld 49 key Synth by Waldorf.

(Runner up in the synth search was the Korg Radias)

Basically I can't find the information I'm looking for on exactly how to synchronize the BPM on the Blofeld synth if I were to purchase it to my track in Ableton's DAW

I know I can adjust the warp markers and approximate, but I like catching loops, automating them, and recording them into the mix.
I want to buy the blofeld, but don't want to end up with something I can't figure out how to synchronize to the midi clock of the techno/house music I am making.

I have tried googling many pages and reading other forum topics, and even browsed the manual of the synth but it doesn't seem super apparent.

Is it something I set up in preferences like when I set up the Akai APC?

It sure would be nice to have these sounds in my studio, but...hopefully it can be achieved :o :o

Thanks in advance for any words you decide to write out to help me!

pottering
Posts: 722
Joined: Sat Dec 06, 2014 4:41 am

Re: Studio Synth Setup Help

Post by pottering » Thu Nov 07, 2019 5:23 pm

That synth probably doesn't have Ableton Sync (not aware of any hardware synth that uses Link), that's how it is usually done with MIDI:

https://help.ableton.com/hc/en-us/artic ... with-MIDI-

https://help.ableton.com/hc/en-us/artic ... e-via-MIDI

TLW
Posts: 340
Joined: Thu Aug 23, 2018 2:37 am

Re: Studio Synth Setup Help

Post by TLW » Thu Nov 07, 2019 6:44 pm

The Blofeld can sound very good but it's not bug-free, though the latest operating system, 1.25, seems to be reported as pretty much OK. You might find this (long) thread useful, especially the later pages.
https://www.gearslutz.com/board/electro ... st12559950

I've a couple of Waldorf synths, a microQ and a Pulse II. Waldorf synths have a very distinctive sound, but they're not famous for entirely bug-free operating systems. Then again, few synth manufacturers are.

As for syncing a synth to Live all you need to do is go into MIDI preferences, select in the outputs section whichever MIDI port the synth is attached to and enable the "sync" button. If you want to record MIDI sent from the synth enable the "track" button in the MIDI input section as well. Don't enable the sync option in the MIDI inputs unless you want to sync Live to a clock sent by a synth or sequencer, which you probably don't want to happen. Unless you have a specific reason for doing that, of course.
Live 10.1 Suite, M4L, 2014/15 MacBook Pro 15.3” Retina i7, OS Mojave 10.14.5. RME UFX, assorted synths, guitars and stuff.

RippleEffect
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Nov 07, 2019 3:26 pm

Re: Studio Synth Setup Help

Post by RippleEffect » Thu Nov 07, 2019 6:53 pm

TLW wrote:
Thu Nov 07, 2019 6:44 pm
The Blofeld can sound very good but it's not bug-free, though the latest operating system, 1.25, seems to be reported as pretty much OK. You might find this (long) thread useful, especially the later pages.
https://www.gearslutz.com/board/electro ... st12559950

I've a couple of Waldorf synths, a microQ and a Pulse II. Waldorf synths have a very distinctive sound, but they're not famous for entirely bug-free operating systems. Then again, few synth manufacturers are.

As for syncing a synth to Live all you need to do is go into MIDI preferences, select in the outputs section whichever MIDI port the synth is attached to and enable the "sync" button. If you want to record MIDI sent from the synth enable the "track" button in the MIDI input section as well. Don't enable the sync option in the MIDI inputs unless you want to sync Live to a clock sent by a synth or sequencer, which you probably don't want to happen. Unless you have a specific reason for doing that, of course.
OK, this is a lot of information to wrap my mind around but I am trying to absorb it..

So in effect, it shouldn't be that difficult besides just plugging in the USB to the laptop usb, and Ableton reads it?
Then I can set the tempo to match the project in the synth
and adjust the latency in the preferences.
so that way I can easily synchronize my tracks

Right?

I was thinking at first I was going to be using 1/4" cables to send it into my audio drivers L/R inputs from the synth audio output...

Thanks for this info TLW

I am using a Scarlett FocusRite 2i
So.. I don't see any midi in or out on this audio card...

I produce tracks by sending iPad version Korg Gadget into input 1/2 in Ableton and my Scarlett focus rite receives the audio from the iPad.

It syncs via link, and I can't quite get it to sync perfectly to the bar, but I can still recorded as many parts as I want using the gadgets in the Korg Gadget DAW, and they all synchronize through ear, but not matched up to the bar in the software.

So I create the whole track slightly like slightly delayed, but when it's read back through it adjusts it.

I'm still hovering the purchase button and doing research on this because it sounds so elegant.
If I can get it to sync to what I am doing this would be perfect.

TLW
Posts: 340
Joined: Thu Aug 23, 2018 2:37 am

Re: Studio Synth Setup Help

Post by TLW » Sat Nov 09, 2019 6:14 am

RippleEffect wrote:
Thu Nov 07, 2019 6:53 pm
I was thinking at first I was going to be using 1/4" cables to send it into my audio drivers L/R inputs from the synth audio output...
The audio outputs on the synth will need connecting to your interface. Audio is not MIDI, they are two completely different things. The audio from the synth will be recorded into an audio track with its input set to whichever interface connections the Blofeld’s audio outputs are connected to.

The Blofeld has a USB port but that is only for MIDI, not audio. It shouldn’t need any drivers and so long as the Blofeld is switched on it should appear in Live’s MIDI preferences as input and output ports.

MIDI sync. Link will not work on a Blofeld (or any other hardware synth as far as I can recall).

You need to set Live’s preferences so the MIDI input from the synth is set to “track on” and the sync and control surface boxes should be left switched off. The MIDI output settings should be set to “track on” with sync switched on. That should make it possible to sync the Blofeld’s LFOs, effects and arpeggiator to Live’s temp setting. To do that you need to set the Blofeld’s clock setting to “USB”, or “automatic” usually works if the synth has that option. I’ve not read the Blokeys manual so don’t know the exact menu entries but it will be in there somewhere.

I’d also suggest that when using live you switch the synth to “local off” and set the monitoring switch on it’s live MIDI track to “in”. That means the synth won’t play anything until the MIDI sent when you play has been echoed back to the synth from Live. Otherwise you are likely to get problems such as notes being repeated as the synth reacts to the keyboard/knobs then a few milliseconds later reacts to the MIDI being echoed from Live.

Not strictly on topic, but if you’re using a Mac Core Audio/MIDI has a useful way to connect an iPad via USB so that you can directly record it’s audio output and send and receive MIDI to/from it without having to plug it in to an audio interface, while still being able to use the interface’s inputs for other things. I’m happy to explain how but I’ll spare you the explanation if you’re using a PC.
Live 10.1 Suite, M4L, 2014/15 MacBook Pro 15.3” Retina i7, OS Mojave 10.14.5. RME UFX, assorted synths, guitars and stuff.

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