someone out there has synced Live stable to a midi-clock?

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
theque
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Post by theque » Thu Oct 09, 2008 2:00 am

i have to ask again, has anyone heard anything from ableton on this one. especially the peoples who go on ableton camp, who have a bit more insight into ableton land than the rest of us.

Machinesworking
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Post by Machinesworking » Thu Oct 09, 2008 5:45 am

This is a majuor drag for me, as I landed a killer deal on a Poly Evolver and plan on using it in live situations. My drummer is dead accurate, and he's willing to drum to sequences etc. but if it drifts, he's going to let me know. :?

ollyb303
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Post by ollyb303 » Thu Oct 09, 2008 7:46 am

I am REALLY disappointed by this. Ableton seriously need to sort this out 8O

Can't believe that the sync in an otherwise excellent program can be so poor.
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Khazul
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Post by Khazul » Thu Oct 09, 2008 8:01 am

mr.ergonomics wrote:in the meantime I think live has a real basic problem with midi clock slave because it always will affect the audio and timing due to nature of it (midi clock can't be tight as hell).
It is perfectly possible to code software to stably sync with midi and to remain absolutely tight even over midi jitters. Several hardware synth I have seem to manage it and I have lighting software that does it very well.
Nothing to see here - move along!

mr.ergonomics
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Post by mr.ergonomics » Thu Oct 09, 2008 3:32 pm

Khazul: yeah I think it's possible, but I think only with a filter function or something like that (wrote something about it in this thread). I guess you can call it jitter suppression.

just for clarification: I think one problem, besides the timing in general(!), is that every little drift from the tempo alters the audio due to audio warping.

arctic ranger
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Post by arctic ranger » Thu Oct 09, 2008 3:50 pm

Has anybody tried syncing external gear like an mpc with Logic, Cubase or whatever with live in rewire mode??

I havent been able to get my gear completely set up to test this.
But i think that will be my workaround with Live and my mpc for live stuff.
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diego vega
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Post by diego vega » Thu Oct 09, 2008 5:17 pm

I haven't been able to sync 2 live machines running together consistently, they always start to drift at some point.

Crash
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Post by Crash » Fri Oct 10, 2008 1:36 pm

According to my own tests syncing two instances of Live is not entirely possible with its current implementation of Midi Sync. You can come close, but they will keep drifting some around each other, albeit not by several BPM, but only a fraction of that.

The same restriction applies with Live being Slave to any other Sync Master.

Syncing external gear to Live as a Sync Master should well be possible and rather stable as long as you keep an eye on system load and use quality Midi interfaces/drivers.

For a detailed and lengthy report with audio examples and screenshots go here:

http://www.ableton.com/forum/viewtopic. ... highlight=

electropoet
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Post by electropoet » Fri Oct 10, 2008 7:08 pm

arctic ranger wrote:Has anybody tried syncing external gear like an mpc with Logic, Cubase or whatever with live in rewire mode??

I havent been able to get my gear completely set up to test this.
But i think that will be my workaround with Live and my mpc for live stuff.
Yes...my studio sequencer is Digital Performer and I often rewire live and reason in and all my external stuff stays in time...

Bottom line...Live sucks as a midi master if you have external hardware...there is and has never been any one size fits all description of why this should be...but in the many years I've used Live...when I try to sync external midi to it...it drifts very noticably. For live shows I just simplified and now really only use reason for synth type stuff. All other looping for me comes from acoustic sources.

One work around I did find and have successful results with was when I used live as a slave...in one set-up I had a Roger Linn adrenalinn as the master clock and live stuck with it...but better yet...all my external shit was finally in time...a biggy for me was tempo synced delays...which sounded like shoes in a dryer with live as the master.

You could certainly use a poly evolver as the master.

minimal
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Post by minimal » Sat Oct 11, 2008 11:22 am

I have a monomachine, a machinedrum and live, tried for a while to have live as a master sending clock to the two elektrons but the drifts of the clock where affecting the delays on the elektrons, they kept on drifting along with the clock rendering the delay's sound really unpleasant.
When working in arrangement view with a looped part, everytime the loop would restart the elektrons would loose the sync!
This happened with all my three midi interfaces, a midisport 2x2, the elektron tm1 and the midi of the rme multiface, known to be stable.
I started then using the monomachine as a master, sending clock to the machinedrum which sends then the clock to live, now the delays of the elektrons sounds right, and live drifts only the very first bar then it stays on time.

jlgrimes
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Post by jlgrimes » Sat Oct 11, 2008 11:48 am

I know in Sonar, it has the option where you can sync your timing to the audio clock.. Cakewalk says this is a more stable clock since audio clocks has to have a much tighter clock than midi.



I wonder if Live is still syncing stuff to a midi clock.


Is this just problems when syncing to outboard gear or sequencing in general?

I find that Live don't always has as good timing in outboard midi stuff. I think they are better now in 7 than it was in 6 though. Another thing is that swing sounds weird to me in Live (when swinging midi).

Crash
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Post by Crash » Sat Oct 11, 2008 6:03 pm

I'm testing Live's Midi Timing for our live rig at the moment. Part of my results were published in the Tips & Tricks forum (see link in my previous post).

Today I had Live running as Midi Master Clock in sync with my external hardware Korg 01/W synth for six (6!) hours stable using a RME Fireface 400!

To make the test more interesting and demanding I even had Tarekith' Performance Test running in a 64 bar loop plus a very simple one-note midi-out track running all the time. Audio Buffers were set to 128 samples and AMD Cool'n'Quiet was enabled, resulting in CPU load ranging from 30% to 65%.

When coming home after six hours the clocks were still in perfect sync to each other, both running a synchron metronom. So very obviously Live by itself is very capable of providing a Master Midi Clock (not a Slave though, see my link), at least when running on Windows XP.

I will now try around which actions in Live can make its clock get out of sync. Things like duplicating/cutting tracks come in mind. But all you people who cannot sync external gear to Live as a Master must either be having some problems with your Midi interface/drivers or CPU/system load spikes or using some function in Live that leads to serious Midi dropouts. Let's try to find out.

Tone Deft
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Post by Tone Deft » Sat Oct 11, 2008 6:09 pm

no, we're not at work while it's sync'ed up, were in the studio LISTENING to it. ;) (that's me being jealous and wishing you're wrong.)

for me it hiccups every ~20 seconds with my mpc slaved to Live.

slaved to the mpc it's better.

if you can use your patience to finds ways to break your good system and provide clues to fix others' systems we'll put you up with Olga and a kilo of blow for a week!
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Crash
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Post by Crash » Sat Oct 11, 2008 6:24 pm

If you can tell me what makes Live hickup in your enviroment I can try to reproduce it here. Unfortunately I don't have a MPC at hand.

I just did a bunch of copy/paste tracks/scenes, delete tracks, insert (Live internal) effects, turn them on/off, running Youtube and uTorrent in the background tests and everything seems quite stable. But even when I manage to play really bad on Live and produce some hickup it only takes a couple of beats until they are back in sync.

I wouldn't trust Live to be Slave to anything that changes tempo at the moment, but as long as you're using it for single songs with fixed tempo set to full number BPM it should be fine. It can be problematic with old hardware like my Korg 01/W though, because that one doesn't come with a perfect Midi Clock and can easily produce tempi like 119.8 BPM instead of full 120 BPM and Live will round those to full numbers and will thus not run in sync as a Slave.

Tone Deft
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Post by Tone Deft » Sat Oct 11, 2008 6:36 pm

I'll follow up on this later, I gotta go to work. :(
I also posted on your link in the Tips forum, will follow it here.

seriously, I was doing very basic metronome matching tests, maybe it was the sample rate, I'll try a lower one later.

I hate this bug whether it's on me or Ableton.
"Obsession is a great substitute for talent." - Steve Martin on learning the banjo

Dell Inspiron 15 7000, Live 10.1, Win10 Home, Edirol UA101, APC40, Remote SL, SPD-SX, mic, POD500HDX, JX305, Nova
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