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 Forum index » Clavia Nord Modular » G2 FAQ
G2 midi clock Sync with Live
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Max S



Joined: Sep 11, 2006
Posts: 1
Location: Sweden

PostPosted: Sat Sep 30, 2006 1:20 am    Post subject: G2 midi clock Sync with Live
Subject description: Midi clock is all over the place
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When i send midi clock from my ableton Live, the tempo my G2 recives is fluctuatin from plus 20 to minus 20 from the tempo set in Live. makes tempo sync in delays almost unusable. Any idea to stabilaze the clock.
(by the way what a wounderful machine this is..!!)
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slave to this



Joined: Oct 23, 2005
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Location: nyc
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 30, 2006 1:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I don't think you are going to find a way to stabalize the clock perfectly. Some people have tried using the g2 as the master to get better results, and apparently that is the best solution until either clavia or ableton come up with a better one.
It is sort of odd that you are getting that big of a drift in your clock...usually i only notice + or - 3 or 4 here and there. what kind of computer/midi interface are you using?

james
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W.T.



Joined: Jul 11, 2004
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 30, 2006 3:22 pm    Post subject: Re: G2 midi clock Sync with Live
Subject description: Midi clock is all over the place
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Max S wrote:
When i send midi clock from my ableton Live, the tempo my G2 recives is fluctuatin from plus 20 to minus 20 from the tempo set in Live. makes tempo sync in delays almost unusable. Any idea to stabilaze the clock.
(by the way what a wounderful machine this is..!!)


same here.
very irritating!
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jksuperstar



Joined: Aug 20, 2004
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 30, 2006 6:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

2 ways to change the stability of the clock: either get windows to support a completely preemptive and low irq latency kernel, or get ableton to support linux which has these things available to it. The problem is not necessarily ableton's complete fault, it's that fact that windows (and OSX) are not real time operating systems, so there's no guarantee of 1 thread of software running exactly when it wants to.

The G2, on the other hand, is running realtime, and will generate a much better master clock, as will almost any other "hardware" device.

The problem for the G2, is that it doesn't know when the clock speed is changing. Also, it's taking clocks in at 24xquarter note rate (that's the midi standard), and generating a BPM number out of it, for display. If each midi clock is jittering around at +/- 4ms (my guess, based on Windows response rates), the G2 only knows about that last 1/24th of a beat. And probably extrapolates that (ie- x24) out to a full BPM rate. So the error is getting multiplied, *just for your display*. Worse, it's only updating the display a few times per second, so your only seeing more or less random samples of what the 1/24 clock period happened to be, including jitter. On average, the MIDI clock coming out of Live is probably the rate you want, but at each 1/24 bpm clock, it jitters around. So, the display probably looks worse than the overall clock actually is.

But I still use the G2 as the master, and would recommend the same.
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Blue Hell
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 30, 2006 6:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

jksuperstar wrote:
The problem for the G2, is [...]


There is a choice to be made, either respond to clock changes fast or be stable even when the clock jitters. Maybe a user choice would be pleasant, neither one nor other seems to be good always. Would be interesting to know about how the G2 syncs compared to other devices both for steady and for fast changing midi clocks.

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Jan
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jksuperstar



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PostPosted: Sat Sep 30, 2006 7:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I'd think the best method is to record some audio from the G2...maybe pulses, and see how much they jitter. Then you can decide to ignore the G2 display, and pay attention to the software, or not use the software clock.
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zobomix



Joined: Feb 07, 2006
Posts: 12
Location: Italy

PostPosted: Mon Jan 29, 2007 8:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I am getting really frustrated with midi clock jitters on software sequencers. I tried Live, DP, and PT and I can clearly tell that the drifting is there. I usually program drums on my hardware sampler, resample the result, and import it as audio. Then, I use beat detective in PT to adjust grid and feel. Still, arpeggios are off and so on. I am getting an MPC soon so that I won't have to deal with this jitter thing anymore.
jksuperstar ~ thanks for explaining what's the reason for the jitter. If I want to go the Linux way, what program should I use? I guess the problem is also finding drivers for midi interfaces. Thanks. Very Happy

(hope I didn't hijack the thread Shocked )
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Baubie



Joined: Feb 05, 2007
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Location: New Jersey

PostPosted: Mon Feb 05, 2007 4:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

zobomix wrote:
I am getting really frustrated with midi clock jitters on software sequencers...I am getting an MPC soon so that I won't have to deal with this jitter thing anymore.


The MPC idea sounds awfully enticing for me too, considering that before I bought my laptop, I had a hard time choosing between the MPC or Live.
But I spent a whole year consumed with the learning curve of the DAW and also learning to maintain my first real computer. So it wouldn't make sense for me to ditch out. I've successfully trouble-shot a handful of things during the past year, so I just kept telling myself I'll figure this MIDI clock thing out once and for all when I'm ready to perform again. Now that the time has come, I feel dis-illusioned. I'm about live performance sequencing and less of a studio guy, so I need that clock.

I guess these are my only two options:

Switch to windows and hope that this works for me like it did for this guy:
http://www.ableton.com/forum/topic-57480.html

or take the 100% sure shot and go with the MPC

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deknow



Joined: Sep 15, 2004
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Location: Leominster, MA (USA)
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 06, 2007 12:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

2 things worth thinking about:

1. almost any hardware device will deliver better clock than a pc (as jan said). i often bring an old 707, running a blank pattern (see below), as a clock. i like the 707 because it has a dedicated tempo knob (not buttons). more recently, i tend to bring the evolver for clock, as it's smaller....but just bring any hardware device, split the signal, and send clock to everything that needs clock.

2. midi is serial, it only deals with one message at a time. if you are sending a lot of data (esp. controller data) on the same midi cable as clock, you are going to have less of a chance of the clock "ticks" being read at the proper time. you will have the best luck using a hardware device sending NOTHING BUT MIDI CLOCK to everything in paralel, and do not use midi through.

if you do the above (and you can pick up an old mmt8 or something for $50), you will solve your problem.

deknow
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Baubie



Joined: Feb 05, 2007
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Location: New Jersey

PostPosted: Tue Feb 06, 2007 1:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

deknow wrote:

1. almost any hardware device will deliver better clock than a pc (as jan said). i often bring an old 707....but just bring any hardware device, split the signal, and send clock to everything that needs clock.

2. midi is serial, it only deals with one message at a time. if you are sending a lot of data (esp. controller data) on the same midi cable as clock..


Hi deknow,
Yours is the only good news I've heard in a while. I just happen to own both a 707 and an MMT-8. That was my primary sequencer before I crossed over, and it almost never missed a beat in three years.
I did try slaving Live 5 to MMT-8 quite some time ago as a last resort, after failed attempts to sync the Alesis via Live. The results were even worse.
But I shall try again the way you just mentioned with only the clock signal.
Also, back then I had a large number of samples set for my buffer under the audio options. Even tho I recently tried again with a low setting to no avail, I only tried it with Live as the master, not vice versa.
I'll get back to you later on, with hopefully some good news, and a new best friend. Razz

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deknow



Joined: Sep 15, 2004
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 06, 2007 1:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

...the midi interface may have some bearing here as well. if live won't sync to an mmt8 sending only clock (all "tracks" off, but sequencer running), then it won't sync to anything.

deknow
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zobomix



Joined: Feb 07, 2006
Posts: 12
Location: Italy

PostPosted: Tue Feb 06, 2007 3:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I'll try sending clock through a dedicated device, that makes absolute sense. I am very much DAW oriented so to me switching to an MPC is harder because I like to stare at the monitor Shocked . Nevertheless, I am willing to trade that for accurate midi clock.
I really dig Live but it doesn't like to receive clock from any source.
Baubie - I couldn't open the link but are you referring to the thread by EddieJ about using midiox as a virtual midi patchbay? If so, there are similar applications for mac. You don't have to switch to windowz.
I mostly use PT and that's as bad as Live for midi clocking with the added feature that PT can't receive any clock. Nice. Evil or Very Mad
I am switching to Logic and follow what deknow suggested (software slaved to hardware clock). But with an MPC, I wouldn't have to go through all this Very Happy
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jksuperstar



Joined: Aug 20, 2004
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 06, 2007 10:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

A friend & I are working on a USB thumb device that spits out a very accurate MIDI clock. We're still a good 2 months from something solid, and reproducible, and don't write windows code, so it'd only use the standard drivers (meaning for windows users, only 1 app could access the clock without resorting to MIDIYoke or similar). Anyway, would anyone else find this thing useful? Of course, MIDI clock wouldn't be the only thing it's capable of...but I won't say any details about the rest yet.

As for Linux programs, you can check out the "Linux" subforum. a few good starting places are listed there.
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Baubie



Joined: Feb 05, 2007
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 06, 2007 11:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

DUDES!!! (Zobomix and Deknow),
I have successfully synced Live to my MMT-8! I have simply followed what Deknow recommended. And just to make sure, I ran the sequencer for a half-hour, with no MIDI drifting. It added 15 more to my CPU meter, but I suppose that's to be expected. But I eventually found comfortable settings(buffer, CPU threshhold, MIDI delay). Even when I was spiking the CPU meter, and causing the audio to crackle, the DAW still never missed a beat! Even with tempo changes. Well, only with extreme retarding of the tempo. (I wasn't being practical). But it smoothly snaps back anyway, I was quite shocked.
Yes Zobo, I was referring to the thread started by Eddie. I'm glad to hear they make similar stuff for mac, cause I was wondering that too. Please send me links. Well, I'm really glad for these options, cause the last thing I wanna do is buy more gear, or switch platforms. I'm tired of trouble-shooting. I'm ready to make the most of what I got! Thanks a million Deknow. You got me back in my niche. Now I can't wait to try it with the 707! So glad I can use the 606 again too!

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deknow



Joined: Sep 15, 2004
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 07, 2007 1:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

jk, that sounds like a great device! i barely use the computer for music, but being able to provide a stable midi clock on a laptop is really important. i expect even using the computer midi out to send other devices clock would work fine (although some "direct midi clock out" from the usb device might be tighter).

deknow
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Scott M2



Joined: Jul 26, 2003
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Location: Toronto, Canada

PostPosted: Wed Feb 07, 2007 7:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

jksuperstar wrote:
A friend & I are working on a USB thumb device that spits out a very accurate MIDI clock. We're still a good 2 months from something solid, and reproducible, and don't write windows code, so it'd only use the standard drivers (meaning for windows users, only 1 app could access the clock without resorting to MIDIYoke or similar). Anyway, would anyone else find this thing useful? Of course, MIDI clock wouldn't be the only thing it's capable of...but I won't say any details about the rest yet.


That sounds like a VERY handy item to me and I'd sacrifice a USB port for that!
(I do use a PC though - If it comes up in Bidule it could be workable though.)

I'd encourage the incorporation of standard Rolandish start and stop Realtime Sysex commands that can have buttons (controllers) set to control them. Some way to have Song Position Pointers to show the bar lines would be great for devices that can respond to those - like Nord Modular G1s or Novation Novas. Good luck with the project.
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cappy2112



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PostPosted: Thu Feb 08, 2007 12:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Baubie wrote:
zobomix wrote:
I am getting really frustrated with midi clock jitters on software sequencers...I am getting an MPC soon so that I won't have to deal with this jitter thing anymore.


http://www.ableton.com/forum/topic-57480.html



Wouldn't it be more straightforward to use MidiYoke- from the same website, if all you need is a "multi port midi hub/repeater"?
http://www.midiox.com/myoke.htm

Midiyoke supports up to 8 soft ports, so you can redirect one apps output to 8 others.
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zobomix



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PostPosted: Thu Feb 08, 2007 5:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I am on a mac so I can't use midiyoke but I am using midipipe. I don't have a hardware sequencer so I can't test if it works. Just thinking, though, can you use the sequencer of the G2 to send song start position? I am still green on the G2. Live does receive MTC from my motu microexpress through Clockworks but I can't test the midi beat clock. I'm on Live 5.
JK - your idea is good. Any chance it's gonna work on OSX? Razz
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jksuperstar



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PostPosted: Thu Feb 08, 2007 8:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Quote:
JK - your idea is good. Any chance it's gonna work on OSX?


Well, I'm not looking into coding drivers, so we're trying to make it a simple audio class device, which is specified by the MIDI spec....and so Windows, Linux, and OSX all have built-in drivers. Much like you plug in a mouse, and it just works. We don't want to do anything special to make things proprietary.

MIDI is covered under Audio-class devices in the USB spec. So don't look more into that end of it!
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