Sync Setup Hapax

@thetechnobear @verstaerker thanks for your input. I really appreciate it. I think you’re right, if I can’t hear it then just leave it be, it’s fine when I’m jamming and everything sounds right. My main issue is when I come to record into Ableton, things are not always tight and I have to adjust the audio which is just a pain for me. Is there another way to get around that? Should I just focus on the latency compensation side of things within Ableton?

It’s the recording process which I’m struggling to find a pain free workflow for, having a to realign audio on multiple tracks just kills my flow

i can totally imagine that realigning audio for several tracks is no fun and can destroy any creativity

as i described, i believe a Multiclock can be the tool that helps you … but you have to think about the Midirouting…

but even with a Multiclock i have to say i’m usually not multitrack-recording… thats overall to much work for me… i have all my machines setup so they play nicely together and -if i want -in sync with Live

the problem can be to listen to recorded material and additional tracks that you play Live in sync… i usually avoid that or figure out proper latency settings in Live.
I’m doing this not often… so i cant tell how to set this up

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I think you’ve answered your own question :wink:

personally, having lost a lot of time, trying to perfect setups - Ive come to realise I should try to focus on the ‘pain points’.
there’s no such thing as a perfect setup, and even if you get it right today… it’ll probably break one month later… so its not worth spending too much time or $ on.

of course, ymmv, esp if your a pro doing this 15 hours a day !
(its then easier to justify both the time and $ investment)

@thetechnobear Yes, I think you’re right. I think I’ve found a solution that’s stable enough, I am getting some minor inconsistencies (1-2ms) in the audio through some of my HW but, overall it seems pretty good. I have just used the Hardware latency compensation to bring everything back in when recording and it seems to do the trick. I’m also using the midi clock sync delay to align Abletons internal clock with the outside world and that seems to be pretty stable too. I can’t really justify spending £500 to get rid of 2ms of movement! It’s all a bit of a minefield as you say and it’s never going to be perfect, I just need to concentrate on how it sounds and enjoy the process. Thanks for all your advice. I absolutely love the Hapax, it’s really opened up my creativity and I’m still finding new little tricks that it can do. It’s a great bit of kit.
Thanks again

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Personally I think the ERM multiclock is the most important thing in any electronic studio using outboard midi stuff with any DAW.

Buy one, set it up and don’t think about sync issues ever again.

As noted above you can use it for sending note data as well as the clock. But if you needed more options then Midi Solutions merge boxes are cheap or at the other end of the scale you can buy something like a Mio XL and get anything routed to anything.

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I don’t disagree they are very good at what they do, so it seems. However, I am now getting stable results using the compensation settings in Live. Although midi merge boxes are cheap singularly, I’d have to get one for every device (8 devices) as Hapax is sending all of my note data, nothing is coming from Ableton other than clock; or get a full midi interface like the Mio or MRCC. Either one of these solutions, along with the ERM starts to add up (£1000+) and I can’t justify that for the sake of 1-2ms movement that I can’t hear.

NO way. These are forbidden! Never ever use one of those. Please!
They have no PSU and so they drain the needed power from the Midi-cable… wich is against the specs of Midi. Midi requires some power so that the opto-couplers work. If tose doesn’t get enough power your midi connections becomes unreliable.
It can work, but especially with several devices connected this becomes a “wheel of fortune”

By something from Kenton or the gear i mentioned earlier.

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if it would really jitter with 1-2ms you would hear it… thats a random shifting with every event.
As every Mididevice smoothens that out you get more like a soft , slow, subtle variation … the actual jitter should be way lower

Maybe my understanding of “jitter” is not correct as I’m certainly no expert. When I record audio, I am looking at the transients, some are bang on the grid, some drift off ever so slightly (1-2ms) and then often come back in line. As I use swing and other random timings in my productions, it’s not noticeable to me

would mind sharing an example?
As you point out correctly, it depends of course on the music if this is noticeable

jitter is indeed randomness in the ticks…
but if it causes trouble is down to its distribution and min/max variation.
a serial protocol like midi (esp. usb!) will always have some micro jitter…
but better setups systems/os will tend to be less, and it’s likely ‘average out’ (hence distribution)

the problem with all this, is some (incl me ;)) people get too ‘into the details’, and this comes from our ability to ‘zoom in’ to beyond where we can really hear (in photography, its called ‘pixel peeking’ :wink: )

we are talking 1-2ms here? - a 1/128 note @ 120bpm is around 15 ms !
(irc, sound will take 3ms to travel 1 meter… so even stereo placement get affected by this)

of course pros are concerned with this…
why? because it sounds off grid?.. no… few would hear this…
rather, it’s because it can cause phasing (in some signals), and some other audible issues. (e.g sidechains)

(note: if your delay compensation isn’t also spot on, thats going to also cause similar issues)

again… it really depends on your music style, taste and how much time you want to invest in it.

this is not dismissing the issue, for some its important, but for others it may not be…
thats why, as with most of music tech… it comes down to using ears rather than eyes :laughing:

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Looking at the ERM website it does state it can use the Midi input to merge clock and midi data. So the need for an extra midi router would become redundant? So all midi data could be sent from the Hapax (note and transport only) then distributed, along with the clock signal to each device via the midi outs of the ERM. I would have to use one Midi Thru box as I have 8 devices and there’s only 4 outs. Am I on the right page?

yes thats all correct… i have to admit that i never used the feature. If i find some time tonight, i’ll give it a try

@verstaerker thanks man, appreciate it. If I can solve it with one box I could be swayed to invest , especially if I can pick one up used…

yes that works as expected

you can route any incoming midi channel to any outgoing port/channel

This should work okay for 8 synths … unless you send lots of CC-Automation . That could simply overload the midi-protocol

@verstaerker thanks for trying this out. I think I’m going to give it a go. Things seem pretty tight when monitoring but, when I come to record, I’m getting very varied results. One minute it’s fine, the next I have to start adjusting compensation settings again to get it to record “on grid”. I really don’t want this hassle. I know I will still have to use these compensation settings, or I could use the shift function on the ERM to bring things in line when recording? I’m hoping that once set, it shouldn’t have to then move with this set up? Regarding CC, I only really send PC to the Elektron boxes, the Digitone does get cc automation and the Minilogue XD gets CC data too so I’m hoping it should have more than enough bandwidth to cope with that

this sounds really weird … as if the source of the problem is something else. But impossible for me to tell .
Of course you can use the shift function of the Multiclock… but thats nothing i regularly change. Only when i have a new synth or sequence a synth in a different way. Set and forget usually.

depending on the amount of CC this can already be a lot. You have to know that Midi is a serial protocol … one thing gets send after the next.
You have to try and see.
I wouldn’t be completely surprised if the strange changing timing behavior you’re describing comes from the fact that you sending to much data.
In an ideal world each synth would have its own port … no thrus

And yes , i know Midi is not easy. It’s a very old protocol. If Midi 2.0 ever gets more widely adapted things will get better.

@verstaerker so I’ve just started setting this up and already having an absolute nightmare…timing wise, I have got the Analog Rtym in time with Ableton and Audio is recording on grid. I can’t however sequence the AR using Hapax and the utilising the midi mapping function…no notes are playing

can you generally not sequence the AR with the Hapax or just not thru the Multiclock?
If yes, doublecheck if you made the mapping correctly.
The needs to be the correct Midichannel for In and Out selected and the checkbox set for for the port the AR is on

Or maybe test if both Midicables are working.

Ok, so I’ve got this element sorted… everything is connected and sequencing well. With no plug-ins on my audio channels (which I record to) I can get consistent results. As soon as I add a plug-in, I’m back to where I was yesterday trying to adjust the settings to bring it in line. Am I doing something fundamentally wrong?

I think I’m getting somewhere…

I have used the External Audio Effect to send the clock, I have also turned on “reduce latency when monitoring” and now I am very close, with some minor adjustments on the External Instruments HW latency, I have a steady timing regardless of whether I add plug-ins…not sure which one of those changes made the difference but, for now, it’s right and audio is bang on the grid! :pray::pray:

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