Delay comp with external sync (i have RTFM and searched!!)

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Paradigm X
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Joined: Fri Jan 01, 2010 2:41 pm

Delay comp with external sync (i have RTFM and searched!!)

Post by Paradigm X » Mon May 24, 2010 12:18 pm

Hi

Ive search this forum extensively but not come across a specific response to this.

I use an externally synced midi sequencer/synth (x0xb0x) with ableton. With low latency i can get nearly instantaneous response. However, with a few heavy/high latency plugins, A the graphics go haywire (slw updates) and MIDI clock sync is totally ruined. :evil: I can live with the graphics, but the external sync is a killer, its miles out.
Unusually high Track Delay settings or reported latencies from plugins may cause noticeable sluggishness in the software. If you are having latency-related dificulties while recording and playing back instruments, you may want to try turning off device delay compensation, however this is not normally recommended.

It doesn't happen with a simple live set with only a few audio/midi clips, so its down to the delay compensation. Ive been recording my external synced synth on a basic set then transferring to the 'mixdown' live set which is obviously less than ideal.

A bypass button should be able to fix this.

Or am i missing something? Not had Ableton long.

EDIT: Turning off delay comp does fix this but then all the processed sounds are out of sync... :lol: / :cry:

Many thanks

Ben
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Paradigm X
Posts: 69
Joined: Fri Jan 01, 2010 2:41 pm

Re: Delay comp with external sync (i have RTFM and searched!!)

Post by Paradigm X » Thu Jun 03, 2010 11:02 am

no-one?

:)
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[nis]
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Re: Delay comp with external sync (i have RTFM and searched!!)

Post by [nis] » Thu Jun 03, 2010 12:29 pm

Hi,
A the graphics go haywire (slw updates) and MIDI clock sync is totally ruined.
What does "totally ruined" mean exactly? Does the clock still run at a stable tempo, but is delayed by a certain amount of time? If so, you can fix this by setting a "MIDI clock sync delay" in the MIDI/SYNC preferences pane (you need to unfold the additional port options by clicking the arrow on the MIDI port).

If the clock is completely over the place, i.e. heavily fluctuating, then it might be possible that your CPU load is too high, so that the computer is not able to process the clock data in time. Note that Live's CPU meter doesn't show the real workload of the CPU, but rather measures the audio engine. In other words, you might get an unstable clock even though Live's CPU meter shows a comfortable load. The only thing you can do in this case is to reduce the overall CPU load by shrinking the set.

Best,
Nico
Nico Starke
Ableton Product Team

Paradigm X
Posts: 69
Joined: Fri Jan 01, 2010 2:41 pm

Re: Delay comp with external sync (i have RTFM and searched!!)

Post by Paradigm X » Thu Jun 03, 2010 1:28 pm

[nis] wrote:Hi,
A the graphics go haywire (slw updates) and MIDI clock sync is totally ruined.
What does "totally ruined" mean exactly? Does the clock still run at a stable tempo, but is delayed by a certain amount of time? If so, you can fix this by setting a "MIDI clock sync delay" in the MIDI/SYNC preferences pane (you need to unfold the additional port options by clicking the arrow on the MIDI port).

Best,
Nico
Its this. Seems steady but is well delayed (over a second, the maximum i thought you could delay by using the delay at the bottom of the midi track. Ill have a look at this. But ive just read the manual (section 28.1.4) and it seems to be specific to the port. Thats not the problem.

When i have no plugins at all sync is very tight. But as soon as i start adding plugins (UAD mainly) the latency/delay compensation throws the sync right out.

Ie delay compensation doesnt correct the midi sync. Id have to change the delay comp every time i add or remove a plugin which isnt right surely?

If i remove delay compensation, sync is fine again, but all tracks with plugins on are delayed by various amounts !arrgh!!! :mrgreen:

Ill have a play tonight but i dont think that will fix it tbh. Its more to do with how the plugin compensation works rather than a fixed problem with a specific midi device being out of sync.

I hope that makes sense :)

Thanks for your help so far. I am quite new to ableton so i may be missing something obvious. I have done a search on here and in the manual tho.

Any other suggestions?

Many thanks, ben
Q6600 : 4gb corsair : 3x 320gb seagate drive 1x 1TB WD Caviar Black : Abit AB9 Pro Mobo : Focusrite Pro 24 DSP : 1xUAD2 Quad, 1xUAD2Duo : Windows 7 x64 : Novation Remote Zero SL : Novation Launchpad : NI Komplete 5 : Cubase 5.5.1 : Ableton 8.1.5

[nis]
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Re: Delay comp with external sync (i have RTFM and searched!!)

Post by [nis] » Thu Jun 03, 2010 5:12 pm

One more question to understand the issue better: what's the routing of the audio signal of the externally synced machine? Do you route it's audio signal back into Live to monitor it through the software or do you connect it straight to an external hardware mixer?

Best,
Nico
Nico Starke
Ableton Product Team

Paradigm X
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Re: Delay comp with external sync (i have RTFM and searched!!)

Post by Paradigm X » Thu Jun 03, 2010 6:09 pm

hi its routed thru an input straight into live. No effects or compression or anything.

Thanks !

I appreciate your time.

:D

edit - i should add i have tried both a standard audio input and the external instrument device.

Cheers
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[nis]
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Re: Delay comp with external sync (i have RTFM and searched!!)

Post by [nis] » Thu Jun 03, 2010 6:51 pm

Well, that might be the problem. I assume that you try to compensate the latency by changing the track delay on the track which receives the input signal. This will not work, because what effectively happens is that you delay all other tracks. The (input) track itself will never change. Actually it's not latency-compensated at all as long as you monitor input signals, because Live deactivates the latency compensation on all tracks which are set up to receive an external input. This is to ensure the lowest possible latencies when monitoring external signals through Live.

Anyway, don't let this whole thing confuse you. Latency compensation is a comprehensive topic.

Try to use the "external instrument" device from the device browser. This will take care about the latency compensation. Load it onto a MIDI track and set it up to receive audio from your external hardware device. Make sure the track has no track delay and also set it's "MONITOR" switch to the OFF position. Then adjust the MIDI clock sync offset in Live's MIDI preferences until it runs in sync. Once you have set it up that way, adding more plugins to the set should usually not affect the clock's timing anymore.

Best,
Nico
Nico Starke
Ableton Product Team

grimleyj
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Re: Delay comp with external sync (i have RTFM and searched!!)

Post by grimleyj » Wed Apr 20, 2011 1:03 am

Apart from trial and error, is there a way to scientifically measure what this midi clock sync offset should be set to?
-grimley

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