MIDI setup for a n00b...

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by Olithar, Jan 26, 2012.

  1. Olithar

    Olithar Member

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    OK. I've started running Reaper and Ableton live and am working on putting some clicks and some loops together. Easy enough.

    My question comes here: I'll be running my MacBook Pro via an M-Audio Axiom 49. I'm planning on getting a Timeline, which is MIDI controllable. How would I go about making the time parameters of the Timeline slave to Ableton or Reaper, or vicea versa, so that if I start a click with the Axiom on the MacBook, my Timeline goes to that tempo, or if I tap a tempo on the Timeline, the MacBook sets its metronome to that?

    I'm new to all of this. Sorry if the answer is obvious.

    -Naal
     
  2. Olithar

    Olithar Member

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  3. Iggster

    Iggster Member

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    I don't have a timeline, but I have a eventide timefactor. see if you can set the MIDI clock to receive ableton on the timeline, and the MIDI clock on the timeline send (assuming the timeline has a midi out) back to your midi interface and to ableton. make sure everything is on the right midi channel so they can talk to each other.

    you probably need to activate midi clock for both in a systems menu.
     
  4. tibbon

    tibbon Member

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    Getting tempo to slave bi-directionally is going to be hard, if not damn near difficult. You need to choose which you want (slave from pedal, or slave from computer). I'd slave from the computer. Just too much "bad" can happen to a pedal on-stage imho and its harder to have redundancy setup there.

    However, if someone smarter than me has a way of doing bi-directional tempo control over midi, let me know. You could do it with other workaround methods (iphone tap tempo controlling live, etc) but you're still having one master.

    Controlling the timeline from the computer should be trivial. Just set it as midi slave, set the channel, and then make sure Ableton is outputting midi clock. Done. Animate any parameters as needed.
     
  5. feralchild

    feralchild Member

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    I agree with this. You need to pick a master source for MIDI clock signals, tap your tempo into one place and have everything else obey. However slaving to the computer may not be the best option for everyone, let me explain...

    I use a PitchFactor, TimeFactor, 2880 and ProChop all with MIDI sync. I have experimented with Ableton, slaving one to the other, etc. In the end I chose to not include Ableton in the MIDI sync chain. Most of the time I use the PitchFactor as my clock source, and the 3 other pedals are slaved to it. If I need Ableton to be the same tempo for some reason, I just type it in.

    As a clock source, the PitchFactor is reliable and stable, and unlike other MIDI devices/software, it sends clock info CONSTANTLY (it doesn't need to be playing). When slaving the PF to Ableton I had to use the Clock Filter, because the PF was seeing Ableton as an unstable clock source. There are 2 reasons why this might be happening: 1) a computer occasionally stutters, for example if the CPU gets taxed too hard, and might not fire MIDI clock signals at precisely the right time, and 2) Ableton allows tempos down to a hundredth of a BPM, and the Pitchfactor (and possibly other pedals) only recognizes integer values. So in my experience, the PF is a more stable clock source for other pedals than Ableton is.

    It should be noted that I don't often use Ableton's looping features, I just use it to control Reason and to handle multitrack recording. If you plan to use Ableton for live looping/sequencing you will probably need it to be the sync master.

    If you do this, remember that with Ableton, it's only going to send MIDI clock when the timeline is in a PLAY state. So tapping a new tempo into Ableton won't update the tempo on your pedal(s) until you press play (or unless it's already playing).

    Also know that when Ableton is slaved, you can't access the transport controls. You'll need to send the PLAY REC STOP commands from the MIDI master. So don't slave it to something that can't send those commands. (This is why I ultimately just disconnected it, except those few occasions when I feel like letting Ableton take the lead).

    Long story short, if Ableton is synced with my guitar rig, then it is always the master. But most of the time it's not synced to my rig, it just works alongside it.

    Hope that helps.
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2012
  6. nrvana8775

    nrvana8775 Member

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    Does the timeline even send tap information out? Why not just get a momentary switch, then lock that to the tap tempo function of ableton? You might also run into an issue of having the taps rounded off. AFAIK, the timeline will say "120.3 bpm," ableton will read "120.43,", which then spits out " 120.72" to your other pedals. It's very likely that not everything will have the same bpm as what you tapped in the timeline.

    Why not just use ableton as the master? Like everyone else said, you'll need to choose one as the master source.

    Ableton:
    Set up a new midi track, no midi input, output to channel nine of your midi interface. Set up a blank clip, hit play. Now you're synced. If you want to do pc/cc changes, go into the clip envelope and and mess with the program/sub-bank options. I think sub-banks are 0 and 1 (a/b), and program changes the patch (0-50, then the duplicates).
     
  7. Olithar

    Olithar Member

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    This is what I was wondering. Thanks. Any more info would be appreciated.
     

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