Using B-Keeper in Live

Questions and discussion about building and using Max for Live devices
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Tekhed66
Posts: 53
Joined: Sat May 24, 2014 3:21 pm

Using B-Keeper in Live

Post by Tekhed66 » Sat Aug 13, 2016 2:56 am

Does ANYONE here use B-Keeper to sync real drums with Live?

This is the M4L device that came out before Beatseeker.

If you do, can you please post here? ... I desperately need to ask a setup question (the device is correctly installed but all of a sudden the response is TERRIBLE to the point that the device is unusable)

Thanks for your help.

RadioOnMars
Posts: 36
Joined: Tue Oct 13, 2015 9:06 am

Re: Using B-Keeper in Live

Post by RadioOnMars » Tue Aug 16, 2016 2:52 pm

if you have a question, I could probably answer. In terms of setting up, I would just ignore most of the 'expert panel', but you definitely want to check you have decent parameter settings (just adjust the 'response' dial to a fairly high number).

Tekhed66
Posts: 53
Joined: Sat May 24, 2014 3:21 pm

Re: Using B-Keeper in Live

Post by Tekhed66 » Thu Aug 18, 2016 5:32 am

Hi RadioOnMars

wow... I felt as if I was the last person on earth using that device...

I'm not sure what the problem is ... My band has been using the device for about 6 months and it's generally been pretty good ... not 100% accurate but very close and quite usable (especially on faster songs). We were using B-Keeper to 'play' extra percussion and keyboard sequencers for various songs.

Our bass player left a couple of months ago so I've had to program a midi bass line in Live and then use that to play a bass synth via Live's external instrument ... latency issues aside, it's been OK ... it needed a bit of tweaking to get everything to synch up correctly and then all was well(ish). The songs were generally around the 120 to 150bpm mark.

A few weeks ago we learnt a slow song at that was 90 to 100bpm and B-Keeper just kept getting slower and slower... no matter what our real drummer did, B-Keeper just kept dragging us down with it. I am getting a strong and clear signal from the drummer who is using an electronic kit (we take a sniff from his kick and snare ... no mics... all digital).

I tried tweaking the 'expert' panel parameters but just made a hash of it ... no improvement at all ... last week we decided to rehearse the faster stuff again and B-keeper just couldn't respond in time.... everything it controlled fell further and further out of synch ... we decided to play a song all the way through and by the time of the middle 8, it was a full bar out of step.

The worst thing is, last week we auditioned a new bass player and wanted to wow him with our cleverness (!!!???!!!) ... we fired up Live and launched into the song and B-Keeper just lost the plot... we looked (and sounded) like a bunch of complete knobs.

What I want to know (here are my questions by the way ... sorry for the lengthy intro and ramble):
- What settings do I need in B-keeper to get a best/most accurate response times?
- Are there some parameters I can ignore / are there some that are important?
- What latency should I be trying to achieve in Live? (it's currently 256 samples ... does latency matter?)
- What do all of those cryptic setting in the expert panel mean anyway?????
- If anyone is successfully using this device in a live setting, what are your settings in both LIVE and B-KEEPER?

I am still tinkering around with it but I'm rapidly approaching the point of desperation... I'm almost ready and willing to make deals with the Devil, sacrifice my children, take a vow of poverty AND chastity, etc etc etc... whatever it takes to get this M4L device to work accurately in front of a LIVE AUDIENCE once again!!! aaarrgghhhhh!!!!!

any help would be FAN-TAS-TIC!!!

Venetian
Posts: 47
Joined: Sat Jul 21, 2007 4:55 pm
Location: London
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Re: Using B-Keeper in Live

Post by Venetian » Thu Aug 18, 2016 8:39 am

It sounds like you changed some of the settings on that panel. If you set response to say 0.7, the other dials all move, keep them that way. If you post settings I can suggest. But they save with a live set. If you download from GitHub you could check the original settings.
You may have a latency issue. Drummer hits, how is his audio heard? Directly?
What buffer size are you using?
How is the set working to click?

Tekhed66
Posts: 53
Joined: Sat May 24, 2014 3:21 pm

Re: Using B-Keeper in Live

Post by Tekhed66 » Thu Aug 18, 2016 2:29 pm

Hi A.R.

I've been playing around for a few hours with a drum machine and have jagged a workable B-Keeper setup.

My settings are as follows:
Response Settings: response 0.8 / headroom 0.19
Auto threshold: speed 0.43 / room 0.26
Window Response: expand 0.85 / contract 0.8
Tempo and Phase: alpha 0.94 / beta 0.83 / gamma 0.15
Mover 0.82
Learn Weights 0.12
catch up 4
Ableton offset 0
Start Latency 0

LIVE settings: 128 samples, input latency 5.17ms, output latency 4.94ms, overall latency 10.1ms

I know I changed something because up until now, B-keeper was working like a charm ... really surprisingly well in fact. I have no idea what changed in Live and trying to work out a solution was just working blind as the parameter functions were too cryptic.

I'm tweaking all of this by using a drum machine but I don't expect difficulties with our live drummer ... he plays an electronic kit and we take an electronic signal (not audio) from the snare/kick and route that to Live. It's really clean and strong with no leak/cross-triggering. The M4L device is getting its tempo directly/internally from Live.

If you can make any corrections/suggestions to my parameter settings then please go ahead ... I don't know what I've changed to make it start behaving. Funny thing is that I've also managed to get Beatseeker to start working ... this was a problem for me ages ago and I found more success using B-Keeper so I stuck with that.

Before you go, can you please tell me what the following B-Keeper displays mean:
1. there is a small window marked "Latency" sitting between the round 'click' and 'ext' display. What is this latency display showing and what value should be here?
2. there is a small grey box to the lower right of the Snare window. The values in this display keep changing with the beat. What is this display showing?

thanks and kind regards

RadioOnMars
Posts: 36
Joined: Tue Oct 13, 2015 9:06 am

Re: Using B-Keeper in Live

Post by RadioOnMars » Mon Aug 22, 2016 8:47 am

Those settings are all fine. Main thing is, not zero. Only adjust response value. Ignore the reset.

Latency refers to the latency between getting a click input and processing a kick drum audio signal and getting an event in. There are two ways to run B-Keeper.
1. Internal Click, which is pretty easy, you just keep it as is, and it watches Live to know where the bar and beats are.
2. External Click. You route Lives metronome out a soundcard output and back in so it goes through the same signal chain your mic does.
I don't think it's too much of an issue. If your buffersize is relatively low there's not much latency on the drum signal. So I would suggest a value between 0 and 10. This for an internal click, for external it would be zero as the idea is that it's cancelling all routing latency.
If you want to test this kind of thing, route a drum from Live back as input. You find it starts to slow down slightly. Putting a latency setting will stop that.

The small grey box shows the hit strength (onset detection value) of the snare. Your setting Snare (main) will trigger for values above the threshold. Put auto-threshold on. It adjusts to the loudest hits that way. The intro is for the sticks before it starts. The idea is you trigger Live to start with a count-in on the stickes. Hence the 0, 1, 2, 3, 4 (how many?) and sticks/fixed for tempo (measured off sticks/ same as Live set).

Tekhed66
Posts: 53
Joined: Sat May 24, 2014 3:21 pm

Re: Using B-Keeper in Live

Post by Tekhed66 » Mon Aug 22, 2016 10:43 pm

RadioOnMars wrote:Those settings are all fine. Main thing is, not zero. Only adjust response value. Ignore the reset.

Latency refers to the latency between getting a click input and processing a kick drum audio signal and getting an event in. There are two ways to run B-Keeper.
1. Internal Click, which is pretty easy, you just keep it as is, and it watches Live to know where the bar and beats are.
2. External Click. You route Lives metronome out a soundcard output and back in so it goes through the same signal chain your mic does.
I don't think it's too much of an issue. If your buffersize is relatively low there's not much latency on the drum signal. So I would suggest a value between 0 and 10. This for an internal click, for external it would be zero as the idea is that it's cancelling all routing latency.
If you want to test this kind of thing, route a drum from Live back as input. You find it starts to slow down slightly. Putting a latency setting will stop that.

The small grey box shows the hit strength (onset detection value) of the snare. Your setting Snare (main) will trigger for values above the threshold. Put auto-threshold on. It adjusts to the loudest hits that way. The intro is for the sticks before it starts. The idea is you trigger Live to start with a count-in on the stickes. Hence the 0, 1, 2, 3, 4 (how many?) and sticks/fixed for tempo (measured off sticks/ same as Live set).
Yep .. got it ... I was mainly concerned about having to tweak all of the other parameters in addition to the Response value ... if i can just ignore the rest, I'm happy with that.

I've tried reducing the overall latency and that seems to have helped ... I've had the pleasure of high latency before and it's a bit of a sod ... if the Live sets handle running at 128 samples or less then I think it will be OK. We're running the internal click option as we've run out of ports on the soundcard to consider using the external click... no biggie... The count in option is very handy though we've found it best if you set it to a count-in of '1' rather than '4' ... just get it up and running and use Live to set the initial tempo .. it seems to be a bit hit or miss with a 4 click count in so our drummer just gets things going with a slight rim-shot tap and then starts drumming on the beat.

Anyway, thanks very much for explaining the best way to set it up... as I said before, when it works, its really rock solid and we've been really impressed and happy with it ... I don't know why it lost the plot but I suspect it had something to do with Live's preferences and blind tweaking with B-Keeper.

As a final thing, I was programming a new song for our band to learn the other day and loaded both B-Keeper and Beatseeker into the set to see/hear if one was better than the other. The song is in 6/8 and I discovered that Beatseeker only likes 4/4 while B-Keeper had no problems... are there any plans for a Beatseeker v2.0 that works for other time signatures?

cheers and thanks again :)

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