Ableton to Eurorack

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ncoded
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Ableton to Eurorack

Post by ncoded » Thu Feb 21, 2019 1:32 pm

Just been reading around the forums and seeing alot of people have been having headaches getting stuff to sync up with Ableton.

I was planning to buy a Erica Synths Black MIDI CV v2 Module because I want to sync my modules as Ableton is my final production tool.

Thoughts?
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andybizarre
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Post by andybizarre » Thu Feb 21, 2019 1:45 pm

If you want rock-stable sync, you need to sync via audio signal. You`ll need a DC-coupled audio interface, a channel to spare and a y-splitter cable for this. Then you could load a single square waveform into Simpler, draw your clock signal into a MIDI clip and send it to the sound card output. Or use Reaktor Blocks and the like.

MIDI, and especially USB-MIDI on Windows, is notorious to introduce jitter. Audio signals won`t, or to a much lesser degree. Once I witnessed the tightness of an audio-derived clock, I never have used MIDI clock again.

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Afturmath
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Post by Afturmath » Thu Feb 21, 2019 1:55 pm

First and foremost, you will need to monitor ALL audio through Ableton. Ableton has both user-configurable and automatic delay compensation mechanisms. The big one you can't configure is that Ableton will delay all audio in the session by the time of the most-latent plugin in the session. That means if you use heavy processing plugins, the overall audio from Ableton can be delayed by many tens of milliseconds. That hit me particularly hard using the UAD-2 Ampex ATR-102 tape machine and finding out my entire Ableton session was delayed by >4400 samples.

Start by running through the built-in Live lesson on delay compensation if you haven't already. This will correct your audio interface delay so additional delay/latency compensation you apply later is based on actual hardware/bus delay and not a mix of the 2.

Add a MIDI and separate audio track. Setup an external instrument device on the MIDI track with MIDI to the appropriate device and channel for your MIDI-to-CV interface, and bring the audio back to that external instrument device from the correct channel on the audio interface. Add a MIDI clip to fire a 1/16 note gate (any pitch) on every quarter note for 1 bar. Set the "audio out to" on the Ableton MIDI track to the newly-created audio track instead of "Master". Arm record on the audio channel.

Patch the gate out of your MIDI-to-CV to a VCA CV and an oscillator to the audio input of the VCA. Patch the VCA output to your outs module or audio interface or however you patch it, and get your levels/attenuators tuned so a 5V (check this in the MIDI-to-CV interface manual) gate will open the VCA to an audible but not clipping level.

Now press record in Ableton and start the MIDI clip. Adjust the hardware latency on the external instrument device and negative track delay on the MIDI track in tiny increments until the note records on-grid in the audio channel. You may need to apply the same combined (track + hardware) delay time to the MIDI OUT sync offset in Live's MIDI preferences to get the "clock" out to also sync on grid.

Good luck! It took me ages, but I now have 5 synced MIDI-to-CV interfaces.

Edit: I also agree with the andybizarre above about audio sync. There are several MIDI sync devices to eliminate MIDI jitter and provide sample-accurate sync timing, such as the E-RM Multiclock, Innerclock Sync Gen II, Expert Sleepers USAMO, etc.
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ncoded
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Post by ncoded » Thu Feb 21, 2019 2:02 pm

Thanks for the advice guys. Bit of a headache it seems. My audio interface is not DC-coupled :(

Gunna follow your tips Afturmath. Fingers crossed lol
"With every thought word and deed, each individual sets forth influence in their surroundings which is subject to no barriers and reaches every level of creation"

".....its our responsibility to uplift the consciousness of the ENTIRE fucking world......" Saul Williams, DJ Krust tune

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theflyingfridge
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Post by theflyingfridge » Thu Feb 21, 2019 2:21 pm

Two words:

Expert

Sleepers

:tu:

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Post by Vokx » Thu Feb 21, 2019 2:49 pm

Yeah. Expert Sleepers in combination with Silent Way is absolutely rock solid here. A bit tricky to set up, but once set up it works like a charm.

I have an ES-3 and ES-6 combo connected via ADAT to my sound card and an ES-5 and two ES-8GT expanders for 24 trigger outs. 16 triggers are mapped to a drum rack in Ableton and 8 are for various sync signals like 24ppqn, run, reset, 16th notes, triplets etc. Sequencing triggers and gates via the Push 2 is awesome.

And of course it also feeds 6 channels of Eurorack audio to Ableton. And I have set up 6 output channels as 3 x MIDI to CV/Gate.

Great stuff...

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vibralux
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Post by vibralux » Thu Feb 21, 2019 4:36 pm

+10000 on ES stuff. I am running ES-8 in ADAT mode (not as audio interface)
and Ableton is sending audio clock and start/stop info thru Silent Way. Solid as rock. Recently I have been experimenting with FH-2 and it also seems to work great with sync via USB. Check it out here

[video][/video]

[video][/video]
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Post by The Junglechrist » Fri Feb 22, 2019 2:01 am

I have always used my Analog Four CV out to sync my modular to Live and never had problems. I had the A4 before starting modular so it was easy, it might be an overkill investment just for syncing purposes :razz:
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ncoded
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Post by ncoded » Fri Feb 22, 2019 2:15 am

OK I'm guessing ES is the way to go. I understand that DC-coupled syncing will be better.

On a budget tho so.....

What is the simplest module to get to sync Ableton. TBH just want CLK/run/reset/etc and maybe two seperate gate and note CVs (tho I could live with one)

I have a Behringer U-Phoria UMC1820 USB/MIDI Interface.

Cheers
"With every thought word and deed, each individual sets forth influence in their surroundings which is subject to no barriers and reaches every level of creation"

".....its our responsibility to uplift the consciousness of the ENTIRE fucking world......" Saul Williams, DJ Krust tune

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ncoded
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Post by ncoded » Fri Feb 22, 2019 2:26 am

Expert Sleepers ES-3 MK4?????
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".....its our responsibility to uplift the consciousness of the ENTIRE fucking world......" Saul Williams, DJ Krust tune

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Post by morrison23usa » Fri Feb 22, 2019 2:32 am

Yup. Big ups for the ES-3 MK4. Using it with Ableton via an ensemble audio interface and it works GREAT. Tried a lot of other stuff that did NOT work nearly as well.

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ncoded
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Post by ncoded » Fri Feb 22, 2019 2:38 am

:banana: :banana: :banana: :banana: :banana:

Silent Way too?
"With every thought word and deed, each individual sets forth influence in their surroundings which is subject to no barriers and reaches every level of creation"

".....its our responsibility to uplift the consciousness of the ENTIRE fucking world......" Saul Williams, DJ Krust tune

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GoneCaving
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Post by GoneCaving » Fri Feb 22, 2019 3:48 am

ncoded wrote: Silent Way too?
Definitely. Clock sync, pitch control over VCOs that aren't well calibrated over multiple octaves, LFOs, random,....

What's not to like? :sb:

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Post by Pailo » Fri Feb 22, 2019 11:49 am

I had ES and silent way and went with the Polyend Poly.(also use yarns)

Just didn't have as cool of an experience I guess, and
wanted MIDI ability so I wasn't always tethered to the
CPU. Sometimes the OT drives, and other times OPZ does, sometimes
Ableton Live and Push 2.

So maybe you want to ask yourself is Ableton all you want to sync
it with. If yes Expert Sleepers is awesome. If you have other gear
then Midi is also important.

Just ask yourself that too.

Poly still allows CV with Velocity and Modulation on each channel
but is different than the Silent Way Pack.

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Post by BlackMarbleFelix » Fri Feb 22, 2019 2:39 pm

I think reaktor blocks is better than silent way for using with es3 and its a lot more flexible.

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Post by noeticsound » Fri Feb 22, 2019 6:08 pm

I'm using an ES-3/6 combo alongside an Intellijel µMIDI to connect the modular to Ableton. The µMIDI has dedicated clock, reset, and run outputs, and I'm content to use them for sync. I use the ES almost exclusively for CV. (Because of the admittedly marginal DC offsets, I prefer to use different solutions for audio).

I'm well aware that the timing of MIDI signals isn't sample-accurate, but it's plenty tight for me. My music tends to be quite rhythmically complex (lots of Afro-Latin, jazz, funk, and hip-hop influenced grooves) but not necessarily as rhythmically exacting as techno and other genres where synthesis plays a prominent role. A few milliseconds early or late isn't gonna kill me but would be unlistenable to many.

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Post by TemplarK » Fri Feb 22, 2019 6:56 pm

Expert Sleepers 3 is the best module actually. Taking audio from DAW to Modular levels with no fuss great DAC and also audio tight clocking + more. One of best modular purchases i've made if your wanting to run Abelton with a modular (or any other DAW) I cant reccomend enough like others are saying!

Well worth entry cost which is hugely reasonable!

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Post by The Grump » Sat Feb 23, 2019 10:23 pm

What about Silent Way and a Disting mk4?

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Post by Tenderosa » Sun Feb 24, 2019 3:04 am

Your question up there about simplest sync option? A cvpal from mutable instruments. Used it to sync Ableton Live and in studio for years no problem. As afturmath says all audio must go through ableton so the delay compensation can do its thing.
I’ve moved on to a more fully featured option in the fh- 2 from expert sleepers but all through Live the same, rock solid.

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ncoded
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Post by ncoded » Sun Mar 17, 2019 5:21 am

So in the end I went with purchasing Reaktor 6. Glad about my choice. The program is sick.
"With every thought word and deed, each individual sets forth influence in their surroundings which is subject to no barriers and reaches every level of creation"

".....its our responsibility to uplift the consciousness of the ENTIRE fucking world......" Saul Williams, DJ Krust tune

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Stab Frenzy
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Post by Stab Frenzy » Sun Mar 17, 2019 6:37 pm

Just for future reference for anyone looking for a similar solution, you don’t need a DC coupled audio interface for clock or sync, those signals are pulses which are as AC as any old square wave. You only need DC coupling for CVs and long Gates. :tu:

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Post by geremyf » Sun Mar 17, 2019 8:53 pm

No discussion of the ES-8? I'd like to make a small portable system. I have ableton suite on a surface pro (which works unexpectedly well) and would like a single 84-90hp row of modular. I was planning on getting an ES-8 to pass CV out of ableton and to route audio back in. I really prefer not to use Silent Way or Reaktor, but Max4Live. I believe I will want an ES-5 expander though...

I'm a bit nervous because I'm betting Os is about to release an ES-8mk2 with USB-C port. No, I haven't seen or heard this mentioned anywhere, it is just an assumption based on his constant innovation of his products.

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Post by ersatzplanet » Mon Mar 18, 2019 1:03 pm

There is the Missing Link from Circuit Happy allows using Ableton Link with a modular. This allows syncing to computers using Ableton or any other program that uses Ableton Sync, iOS programs that use it, or any tablet or phone program that uses it -

[video][/video]

- http://circuithappy.com
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Re:

Post by soon_come » Tue Jan 14, 2020 4:30 pm

Stab Frenzy wrote:
Sun Mar 17, 2019 6:37 pm
Just for future reference for anyone looking for a similar solution, you don’t need a DC coupled audio interface for clock or sync, those signals are pulses which are as AC as any old square wave. You only need DC coupling for CVs and long Gates. :tu:
This is absolutely true, and people on a budget should take note.

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Re: Ableton to Eurorack

Post by msboude » Tue Jan 14, 2020 6:24 pm

I recorded one quick tick sound from my DFAM, then cut it up and lined it up and broke it down into all time divisions. I run that out from an open output on my interface into the doepfer a-142-1. I can now choose any time division. Works great!

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