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How to sync 2 incoming USB audio streams in Ableton.
Old 6 days ago
  #1
Gear Head
How to sync 2 incoming USB audio streams in Ableton.

I currently have setup my workflow as following:

- Elektron Digitone audio via USB multitrack to 4 seperate audio tracks in Ableton. Overbridge engine settings set to 64 bitrate and speed to the fastest setting. Everything works great without glitches and problems. The Elektron settings page show around 7 a 8 ms total latency.

- 2 mono synths and 1 drum computer connected to my Focusrite scarlet 18i20. Audio via USB to Ableton in seperate audio tracks. Interface set to 41000 + 64 samplerate… Also works perfectly like always, no glitches or problems. Ableton settings show total latency of 7 ms.

- Digitone is the master and the synths and drumcomputer are slaved to the clock from the Digitone. MIDI DIN cable going out the Digitone into a midi hub and from to the machines. I sequence the two synths with the Digitone sequencer.

So 2 USB cables delivering multitrack audio to Ableton. Individualy they work perfect but the huge problem here is that they are slightly off in timing when played together. The audio from my audio interface (synths, drumcomputer) is coming in earlier then the audio from the Digitone which makes is difficult to play my drumcomputer and synths together with the Digitone. I use a Kick drum from the digitone and a snare from my drumcomputer but it’s very obvious that they are off by maybe 10 to 20 ms…
My first reaction was to set my audio interface samplerate higher so that the audio coming in is delayed a bit more but it’s still coming in way to early when set to 128. I cannot set the Digitone faster because it is already set to the fastest setting and lowest samplerate.

Important to know: I use Ableton only as a recorder, there is nog midi data going out from ableton or any other clock or sync data. there is ONLY audio coming in from 2 USB sources at the same time.

What is the best way to allign the two incoming USB audio sources ??? I tried the tempo nudge on the Digitone but that's obviously not gonna work because it also nudges the slaved machines offcourse.... Only way I got it to work is if I use the analog outputs of the Digitone into my Audio interface, because then I only have 1 Audio usb source going into Ableton but I need the seperate Digitone channels for processing... pls help
Old 6 days ago
  #2
Lives for gear
 
Simonator's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by GZHN89 View Post
Digitone is the master and the synths and drumcomputer are slaved to the clock from the Digitone.
Quote:
Originally Posted by GZHN89 View Post
Important to know: I use Ableton only as a recorder, there is no midi data going out from ableton or any other clock or sync data.
My *guess* is that this is where the problems are coming from.

* Firstly, I'd ensure that Ableton preferences are set with *only* the Focusrite as the audio device (ie you have not got an 'aggregate audio device' set up, including the Elektron (this is unnecessary for Overbridge function and will cause timing problems).

* Secondly, I'd do a test by ditching the Elektron clock and running things from Ableton. Even if this won't work for your desired workflow, I think it's worth testing for troubleshooting. I suspect it will work fine. If so, can you work in this way?

* How about if you try your existing set-up/workflow but without the clock signal at all?

* How about if you make the Focusrite the clock master and slave the Elektron to that?
Old 6 days ago
  #3
Lives for gear
 
tehlord's Avatar
 

Use the external instrument plugin on the input channels of the mono synths and utilise the channel delay function at the bottom to line up the interface audio with the digitone audio.
Old 6 days ago
  #4
Gear Head
Quote:
Originally Posted by tehlord View Post
Use the external instrument plugin on the input channels of the mono synths and utilise the channel delay function at the bottom to line up the interface audio with the digitone audio.
This is ONLY doable if Ableton is the masterclock AND delay compensation is turned on. Both is not an option because I want to use the Digitone as master and use Ableton purely as an recording device..
Old 6 days ago
  #5
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tehlord's Avatar
 

Use track delay on the audio channels then.
Old 6 days ago
  #6
Gear Head
Quote:
Originally Posted by Simonator View Post
My *guess* is that this is where the problems are coming from.

* Firstly, I'd ensure that Ableton preferences are set with *only* the Focusrite as the audio device (ie you have not got an 'aggregate audio device' set up, including the Elektron (this is unnecessary for Overbridge function and will cause timing problems).

* Secondly, I'd do a test by ditching the Elektron clock and running things from Ableton. Even if this won't work for your desired workflow, I think it's worth testing for troubleshooting. I suspect it will work fine. If so, can you work in this way?

* How about if you try your existing set-up/workflow but without the clock signal at all?

* How about if you make the Focusrite the clock master and slave the Elektron to that?
- Focusrite is the only audio device in Ableton, no aggregated devices. I'm using the Overbridge VST to send the audio to 4 different ableton tracks.

- If I set Ableton as masterclock, it still sends clock/transport to the Digitone which in turn sends sequence data and clock to my synths and drumcomputer. so nothing changes there.

I'm guessing that it has nothing to do with clock/sync or midi data, because when I used the digitone analog outputs via my focusrite to Ableton in stead of the USB audio, everything worked like a charm. The sync and midi data is all perfect. The problem seems to be the fact that there are 2 different USB audio sources going into my system which are not coming into my pc at the same exact time but with a slight delay in the digitone signal... the focusrite is faster.. So changing the clock source is gonna deliver the same problems.

edit: It would be awesome if there was a function to delay the incoming signal from the focusrite..
Old 6 days ago
  #7
Gear Head
Quote:
Originally Posted by tehlord View Post
Use track delay on the audio channels then.
Is there a delay function for the audio channels?? where exactly?
Old 6 days ago
  #8
Lives for gear
 
tehlord's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by GZHN89 View Post
Is there a delay function for the audio channels?? where exactly?
Look over on the bottom right of the Ableton Live UI either in session or arrangement view. There's a small 'D' button that's probably greyed out. Click that and you'll be able to set ms track delay (plus or minus) per channel.
Old 6 days ago
  #9
Gear Head
Quote:
Originally Posted by tehlord View Post
Look over on the bottom right of the Ableton Live UI either in session or arrangement view. There's a small 'D' button that's probably greyed out. Click that and you'll be able to set ms track delay (plus or minus) per channel.
Nice, thanks for the tip. I will definitely check this out when I'm home
Old 6 days ago
  #10
Lives for gear
 

Ableton's track delays require Delay Compensation to be switched on.
Old 6 days ago
  #11
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monomer's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by GZHN89 View Post
I currently have setup my workflow as following:

- Elektron Digitone audio via USB multitrack to 4 seperate audio tracks in Ableton. Overbridge engine settings set to 64 bitrate and speed to the fastest setting. Everything works great without glitches and problems. The Elektron settings page show around 7 a 8 ms total latency.

- 2 mono synths and 1 drum computer connected to my Focusrite scarlet 18i20. Audio via USB to Ableton in seperate audio tracks. Interface set to 41000 + 64 samplerate… Also works perfectly like always, no glitches or problems. Ableton settings show total latency of 7 ms.

- Digitone is the master and the synths and drumcomputer are slaved to the clock from the Digitone. MIDI DIN cable going out the Digitone into a midi hub and from to the machines. I sequence the two synths with the Digitone sequencer.

So 2 USB cables delivering multitrack audio to Ableton. Individualy they work perfect but the huge problem here is that they are slightly off in timing when played together. The audio from my audio interface (synths, drumcomputer) is coming in earlier then the audio from the Digitone which makes is difficult to play my drumcomputer and synths together with the Digitone. I use a Kick drum from the digitone and a snare from my drumcomputer but it’s very obvious that they are off by maybe 10 to 20 ms…
My first reaction was to set my audio interface samplerate higher so that the audio coming in is delayed a bit more but it’s still coming in way to early when set to 128. I cannot set the Digitone faster because it is already set to the fastest setting and lowest samplerate.

Important to know: I use Ableton only as a recorder, there is nog midi data going out from ableton or any other clock or sync data. there is ONLY audio coming in from 2 USB sources at the same time.

What is the best way to allign the two incoming USB audio sources ??? I tried the tempo nudge on the Digitone but that's obviously not gonna work because it also nudges the slaved machines offcourse.... Only way I got it to work is if I use the analog outputs of the Digitone into my Audio interface, because then I only have 1 Audio usb source going into Ableton but I need the seperate Digitone channels for processing... pls help
This is exactly why i never used overbridge.
To make overbridge work they basically have to build is sick amounts of latency. And this screws up all the time relations in the DAW. Live monitoring of audio inputs is broken for me, for instance.

My experience tells me you won't be able to fix this properly.
One way to sortof fix it is by having overbridge use a pre-clock, so a time reference that is a little backwards so that once the sound comes out of overbridge it is sync with the DAW (instead of the DAW dealing with the latency of overbridge). But this creates other problems like overbridge needing some 'catch up' time when you start playing or recording.

So, basically, if you're not on a particular workflow overbridge will mess things up.
Old 6 days ago
  #12
Gear Head
Quote:
Originally Posted by monomer View Post
This is exactly why i never used overbridge.
To make overbridge work they basically have to build is sick amounts of latency. And this screws up all the time relations in the DAW. Live monitoring of audio inputs is broken for me, for instance.

My experience tells me you won't be able to fix this properly.
One way to sortof fix it is by having overbridge use a pre-clock, so a time reference that is a little backwards so that once the sound comes out of overbridge it is sync with the DAW (instead of the DAW dealing with the latency of overbridge). But this creates other problems like overbridge needing some 'catch up' time when you start playing or recording.

So, basically, if you're not on a particular workflow overbridge will mess things up.
I was afraid of this. I'm having latency and workflow problems for years now.... trying to incorporate hardware with software. Only solution is to go 100% hardware or 100% analog...

The only particular workflow I'm after is using Ableton as a multitrack mixer/recorder for al my hardware..with one condition: Multitrack the 4 Digitone outputs in stead of the Digitone as 1 stereo input. Individual analog outputs on the Digitone would fix this problem buts that's not an option!
Old 6 days ago
  #13
Lives for gear
 
monomer's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by GZHN89 View Post
The only particular workflow I'm after is using Ableton as a multitrack mixer/recorder for al my hardware..with one condition: Multitrack the 4 Digitone outputs in stead of the Digitone as 1 stereo input. Individual analog outputs on the Digitone would fix this problem buts that's not an option!
Yeah, that's what i have. I bought a (cheap) 8 channel ADAT DAC for my rytm and just do it over audio instead of overbridge.
But you can't do that with the digitone. :(
Old 6 days ago
  #14
Gear Head
Quote:
Originally Posted by monomer View Post
Yeah, that's what i have. I bought a (cheap) 8 channel ADAT DAC for my rytm and just do it over audio instead of overbridge.
But you can't do that with the digitone. :(
Maybe if they release a Digitone mk2 :(
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