Expert Sleepers/Silent Way with Ableton Link?

Discussion and support for Expert Sleepers' Silent Way software and hardware.

Moderators: Kent, os

Post Reply
morbank
Common Wiggler
Posts: 98
Joined: Sun Sep 15, 2019 12:08 pm
Location: California, USA

Expert Sleepers/Silent Way with Ableton Link?

Post by morbank » Sun Jan 12, 2020 8:42 pm

Hi All,

I have a 6 voice drum/percussion based modular setup and I am currently using a Polyend Poly 2 to convert MIDI sequences coming from my MacBook Pro into gates and CV (as velocity). The Poly 2 does what I need it to, but I'm not completely happy with the timing I'm getting and am wondering if I could tighten things up if I switch over from USB MIDI to Expert Sleepers/Silent Way?

For context I should mention that my sequencer setup is not ideal in that I am using an iPhone app as my main sequencer and I suspect some or all of my timing issues derive from the convoluted setup needed to sync with the app?

The reason I am using an app in the first place is because wanted to be able to use two Behringer BCF2000 (controllers with motorized faders) to control the velocity of each step of the sequence and the only sequencer I could find that worked in this configuration was the iPhone app "Quantum Sequencer" (actually a very cool sequencer). Visuals may explain this better:

A run down of my current setup:
- Quantum Sequencer iPhone app is connected to MacBook Pro via USB cable. iPhone is "Enabled" in "Audio MIDI Setup".
- Quantum Sequencer app is sending MIDI out and master clock to my MacBook Pro running Ableton Live 10. Live 10 is getting master clock from Quantum Sequencer via "Ableton Link" (over a WLAN network).
- Quantum Sequencer app is receiving MIDI data though Live 10 from both Behringer BCF2000s to update the motorized faders so that I can switch between sequencer tracks and maintain the correct fader positions.
- Quantum Sequencer MIDI data (MIDI note, Gate and Velocity) then comes out of Live 10 and into Polyend Poly 2 via a USB C to USB B cable.

As mentioned, this setup does work. However, overall I feel the timing could be tighter. And just turning the encoder knob on the Poly 2 while a sequence is playing causes severe timing issues that require turning the module off and then on again to fix.

So my questions are...

1. Could my particular setup benefit from switching from USB MIDI to Expert Sleepers/Silent Way?
2. Will Silent Way work with Ableton Link?
3. If yes to the above then what ES modules would I need? I have a UAD 2 Apollo Duo, would a ES-40 + ESX-8GT? + ESX-8CV work?

Thanks

User avatar
os
Super Deluxe Wiggler
Posts: 12419
Joined: Tue Jun 30, 2009 6:55 am
Location: UK
Contact:

Re: Expert Sleepers/Silent Way with Ableton Link?

Post by os » Mon Jan 13, 2020 3:42 am

1. Possibly. I doubt that's the main issue you're facing though.

2. Not really relevant, if you're hosting it in Live - Live works with Link, and SW gets its clock from Live.

3. If you only have an SPDIF output then yes, ES-40 + ESX-8CV is the way to go.

Could you not send the MIDI directly from the iPad to the MIDI/CV converter? That would remove one step in which timing errors could be introduced.
And just turning the encoder knob on the Poly 2 while a sequence is playing causes severe timing issues that require turning the module off and then on again to fix.
Have you asked Polyend about that? Sounds like something they would want to fix.

Also FWIW there's the FH-2: https://expert-sleepers.co.uk/fh2.html

morbank
Common Wiggler
Posts: 98
Joined: Sun Sep 15, 2019 12:08 pm
Location: California, USA

Re: Expert Sleepers/Silent Way with Ableton Link?

Post by morbank » Thu Jan 16, 2020 2:39 am

os wrote:
Mon Jan 13, 2020 3:42 am
1. Possibly. I doubt that's the main issue you're facing though.
Right. Perhaps I am just sending too much MIDI data?
os wrote:
Mon Jan 13, 2020 3:42 am
2. Not really relevant, if you're hosting it in Live - Live works with Link, and SW gets its clock from Live.
I see. That makes sense.
os wrote:
Mon Jan 13, 2020 3:42 am
3. If you only have an SPDIF output then yes, ES-40 + ESX-8CV is the way to go.
My Apollo also has ADAT out. Would that make the ES-3 another option? I need 6 gate outputs and 6 CV outputs.
os wrote:
Mon Jan 13, 2020 3:42 am
Could you not send the MIDI directly from the iPad to the MIDI/CV converter? That would remove one step in which timing errors could be introduced.
Unfortunately no as I am running software instruments in Live in sync with Quantum's sequences and recording the MIDI data from Quantum and the BCF2000 in Live as well so I need the computer in the set up.
os wrote:
Mon Jan 13, 2020 3:42 am
And just turning the encoder knob on the Poly 2 while a sequence is playing causes severe timing issues that require turning the module off and then on again to fix.
Have you asked Polyend about that? Sounds like something they would want to fix.
Not yet, but I will.
os wrote:
Mon Jan 13, 2020 3:42 am
Also FWIW there's the FH-2: https://expert-sleepers.co.uk/fh2.html
Interesting. So the FH-2 is the ES USB MIDI as well. I'd be interested to see if I have the same issues with the FH-2...

Thanks for the helpful insights

User avatar
os
Super Deluxe Wiggler
Posts: 12419
Joined: Tue Jun 30, 2009 6:55 am
Location: UK
Contact:

Re: Expert Sleepers/Silent Way with Ableton Link?

Post by os » Thu Jan 16, 2020 4:01 am

Right. Perhaps I am just sending too much MIDI data?
Perhaps, but I meant more that you have a complex setup with lots of different devices, communicating and syncing in different ways.
My Apollo also has ADAT out. Would that make the ES-3 another option?
Yes.

morbank
Common Wiggler
Posts: 98
Joined: Sun Sep 15, 2019 12:08 pm
Location: California, USA

Re: Expert Sleepers/Silent Way with Ableton Link?

Post by morbank » Thu Jan 16, 2020 10:36 am

os wrote:
Mon Jan 13, 2020 3:42 am
And just turning the encoder knob on the Poly 2 while a sequence is playing causes severe timing issues that require turning the module off and then on again to fix.
Have you asked Polyend about that? Sounds like something they would want to fix.
It appears this is the normal behavior as the manual states "When scrolling the menu items, some MIDI information can be lost. For 100% accuracy while playing, please keep Poly 2 in home screen"
os wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 4:01 am
Right. Perhaps I am just sending too much MIDI data?
Perhaps, but I meant more that you have a complex setup with lots of different devices, communicating and syncing in different ways.
I see. Right.
os wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 4:01 am
My Apollo also has ADAT out. Would that make the ES-3 another option?
Yes.
Is there any benefit to using ADAT over SPDIF?

Thanks

User avatar
os
Super Deluxe Wiggler
Posts: 12419
Joined: Tue Jun 30, 2009 6:55 am
Location: UK
Contact:

Re: Expert Sleepers/Silent Way with Ableton Link?

Post by os » Thu Jan 16, 2020 10:41 am

Is there any benefit to using ADAT over SPDIF?
More channels.

On the other hand, S/PDIF will work natively at 96kHz.

Post Reply

Return to “Expert Sleepers”