Live sync - how do you guys sync?


#1

Sorry to bring up this topic again (I think there are answers to this alread) but maybe we can collect Screenshots and setups here how you guys achieve the best slave or master sync with pyramid and ableton live.

Simple to setup Ableton as master or slave but having proper and stable longterm sync between several hardware and software devices can be a pain.

At the moment, ableton is the master sending sync via USB to the pYramid and from there midi and cv are distributed to other machines.

I use song sync in Ableton midi settings.

In the beginning of a session everything is sync without delay but after 10-15 minutes the output notes from pyramid need to be delayed in Ableton midi settings to be in sync - i call that sync drift for now.

This keeps on happening until I have to delay the sync output to pyramid for more than 50ms which is other than I need sync. I have to restart ableton and pyramid for starting with 0ms and proper sync again.

What does work best for you guys? Screenshots welcome

Thank you


#2

I have nothing to add to this topic, but hoping that if I post a reply I’ll get notified of changes (not sure if Bookmark will notify me).

I have timing issues (midi jitter) anytime I use USB. It’s not usually problematic, but some configurations of my rig have resulted in mind numbingly bad communication issues and excessive sync problems. (Narrowing it down possibly to the Inputs on an M-Audio MIDISport 4x4 USB interface)

I’m only sync’ing Ableton in the studio, tho - and only for temp uses to get a track together. I’m more concerned with live setups, and figuring out exactly how to lessen effects of jitter.

Also considering adding an external MIDI Clock if I had an extra $250CAD to throw at the problem. LOL

You note you’re sync’ing ‘several hardware and software devices’. Is communication between them all using MIDI THRU from the hardware devices or are you using a Router or MIDI splitter (THRU Box)? If you have several hardware devices connected, can you monitor the incoming Tempo and see if it varies? Are you using a USB to MIDI interface from the computer, do you have others you could try to use? Or are you using the Pyramid via USB connection only?

I have some heinous sync issues with Ableton to Pyramid via USB: sending 165bpm and the Pyramid thinks it’s 168.3bpm. heh It’s much less going MIDI DIN on Pyramid to MIDI DIN on another piece of hardware.


#3

EDIT to add:
Curious, have a stripped down rig (on the dining room table right now).

Pyramid as Master with Ableton Slave is getting me MUCH better results than the other way around sync’d via USB. (variation of .05bpm vs 3.0+)

This defies accepted philosophy on the subject.
Crazy


#4

Thanks for getting things started first! Will reply on your comment asap. Cheerio!


#5

Ableton and Hardware sync have never been best friends.

You note you’re sync’ing ‘several hardware and software devices’. Is communication between them all using MIDI THRU from the hardware devices or are you using a Router or MIDI splitter (THRU Box)?

I only sync pyramid to ableton with ableton as master since I had terrible timing “modulations” with ableton as slave years before (live 7).

Are you using a USB to MIDI interface from the computer…

No usb2midi - I have two RME interfaces with one midi out for the ipad - no sync going there.

…Or are you using the Pyramid via USB connection only?

I sync Pyramid to Ableton only (via usb) and all midi notes, arpeggios and other stuff is coming from Pyramid itself.

I have some heinous sync issues with Ableton to Pyramid via USB: sending 165bpm and the Pyramid thinks it’s 168.3bpm. heh It’s much less going MIDI DIN on Pyramid to MIDI DIN on another piece of hardware.

Will try the other way round as you suggested and report back then.

Thank you!


#6

I have yet to use the Pyramid for performance (going on 3 weeks or so with the Pyramid here), but in re-building some of my tracks from Ableton for performance with Pyramid + synths parallel with audio samples/slices sequenced on OT I’m having to make the Pyramid and Ableton get along sync-wise.

Today’s project is 165bpm.
Ableton as slave I get about ~.05bpm variation in tempo.
Ableton as master I get ~3.0bpm variation in tempo.
(jitter in both cases)
YMMV


#7

Looks like I should get a midi merger for being able to use midi in at pyramid for both sync from ableton via midi (rme interface) and keyboard input which is obkigatory for my workflow. I will try bot ableton as slave and midi for sync. Funny thing is that at my actual patch Pyramid is shifting forward constantly, so the longer ableton runs, the longer I have to set delay in Ableton for sync out…


#8

One thing to remember is that modern operating systems such as Windows and OSX put MIDI pretty low for CPU priority. The result of this is jittery MIDI clock and slightly delayed MIDI signals. This is why solutions such as Innerclock Systems Sync Gen II, E-RM Multiclock and MIDIClock+ exist - as well as Expert Sleepers USAMO. What they do is covert an audio signal to an external hardware device which converts it to MIDI. Audio has a much higher CPU priority and so is much more stable and accurate.

If you wish to use a software DAW as clock master, I suggest looking at one of the solutions I mentioned above. I don’t think Sync Gen is sold anymore but may be able to find one second hand. The E-RM boxes are expensive but worth it. The USAMO outputs all MIDI signals - not just MIDI clock.

As for me, before I had the Pyramid I used the Sync Gen II to sync my external gear - including three Elektron boxes and it works great. However, I’ve found Ableton Live to be good slaved to the Pyramid - which outputs very stable clock.

However, some DAWs I sometime use can’t be clock slaves - such as Cubase - in that case I have to use the Syn Gen II.


#9

Thanks for adding your piece of experience - I aimed at an ERM Multiclock once but for now I will try using live as slave via usb and post whether this works better. Cheers


#10

Thank you @auricle

[paraphrased] That is exactly the kind of info I was hoping to find: “modern OS put MIDI on low CPU priority”

The E-RM MIDIClock was suggested to me on another forum so I think I’ll pick one of those up before exploring the joys of jitter further.

Thank you again for the info!


#11

That actually doesn’t exist any more. The company folded a few years ago and a now those Sync Gens II’s are being sold for stupid prices 2nd hand; even here they cost as much as an imported E-RM Multiclock and the mkI’s are being sold for more than a MIDIClock+ cost. If you aren’t running five instruments all needing analogue sync, get one the German boxes brand new.


#12

Slaving Ableton works slightly better but I need a stable sync so I think I cannot avoid an ER-M device for proper micro timings between DAW and outer world… Update as soon as I have changed the setup.

BTW I recorded a click track triggered by pyramid clocked internally and the s result is that after one hour recording I am off beat… Another hint towards the multiclock for me?


#13

I ain’t got one and haven’t this problem yet but maybe a swynx sync box would solve it.$180 US from futureretro.


#14

The sync box could help pyramid timing being more accurate. I think for proper sync including a daw and out of the box sequencers and Synths requires something like the big er-m clock…


#15

time is a man made thing.think of a time when everything was sync for you .when did that happen and for how long.It was was’n’t long and you prolly remember when it was! maybe the first time ya got laid (not trying to be funny here) time is …it might just not be what you want it to be …sorta like outta tune os·cil·la·tor’s and life.Oh shit I went philosophical on the nature of being…fuck i promised myself…fuck!


#16

@Buzz: Of course I had stable sync from time to time - of course with the whole setup transforming/developing and adding machines the outside world got more complicated. In times when I used a DAW and the Virus TI, sync was nothing I had to worry about or even think of. I love non linear behavior of machines - that’s why I love working with the Perfourmer, my Juno and the modular case I built over the last two years. But honestly I want to have control over sync and afterwards lose control as much as I like… I am close to ordering the ER-M multiclock just for finding out whether this is improving anything. Thanks


#17

I love my Expert Sleepers Usamo. Midi and audio can be used together with absolutely no timing or delay issues. If you have a spare audio out, it’s a cheap and rock solid solution…


#18

@binaural Thanks for that one - cheapest Audio/Midi Sync solution that looks good for me!


#19

I just had a thought (look out we can smell the wood burning) on tape I would record a tempo and that did clock my synths .ya it took up a channel but then i could the guitars and voices and the drummer could use it as a metronome (as if if he could play to it too busy trying to pick up the back up singers while raiding the fridge of beers) hmm wonder if that might work with the squarp …“striping the tape” it work with a tg33,.u-110 and sequential sixtrak…wihich i still have and they work…interesting question with sync…
i’m thinking why spend money when an oldschool trick may work!
get BPM from the squarp be the clock! it has cv outs assign em to to your clock thingy on the modular and midi out to the DAW ( i don’t use DAW) .just a couple of cables…or I have totally missed the point for which i do not apologise.


#20

Buzz Maybe I was somewhat harsh towards you on that other thread. You seem to be struggling with english and come off a bit odd. Apologies. For the rest of you Erm Usamo etc are the best choice but some of us have audio interfaces that don’t have a spare out “Mackie Onyx in my case” and no way I am going back to my Motu interfaces to do this. What I have found is that higher end Usb cards can help with throughput and drift. You want one that go’s in a pcie slot and something proper like this https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1016794-REG/sonnet_usb3_4pm_e_allegro_usb_3_0_pcie.html?ap=y&c3api=1876%2C{creative}%2C{keyword}&gclid=Cj0KCQiAzrTUBRCnARIsAL0mqcyQDNQguy5Fy5QXl3qAEOcMZIr7u26TO2VRUM9R2Oc-p1i92t8-IkEaAq_tEALw_wcB cheaper cards wont help.