MIDI Sync

How does MIDI sync work in a complex Audiobus 3 setup using several sources all being routed to a DAW?

Will the DAW provide master sync to all sources, clocking time-reflated effects like delays and tremolo?

Is it possible to make one of the sources provide master MIDI clock sync instead of the DAW?

How about when using Link to connect to Ableton Live? Will Live provide the master MIDI clock?

Comments

  • In one of the next updates we're going to enhance Link support in Audiobus 3. We believe that Link is the answer to most questions about sync on iOS. We'll have to see what we will do with MIDI clock sync - maybe that can be done with a third party MIDI app.

  • The Midi Clock sync of Loopy Hd works very weel. I only use it as a master for everything.

  • In Audiobus 2 there's no sync (for delay times., etc) between Audiobus apps. This makes it's use very limited for my compositions. I've been using it only for synth presets which don't rely on MIDI clock timing.

    The reason I asked about a choice of MIDI clock source is that some DAWs, e.g. MultiTrack don't incorporate MIDI in any form.

  • @Mickg666 said:
    In Audiobus 2 there's no sync (for delay times., etc) between Audiobus apps. This makes it's use very limited for my compositions. I've been using it only for synth presets which don't rely on MIDI clock timing.

    The reason I asked about a choice of MIDI clock source is that some DAWs, e.g. MultiTrack don't incorporate MIDI in any form.

    Send me a private message with details on your setup and I'm going to see how we can make this work for you, okay?

  • @Sebastian said:
    In one of the next updates we're going to enhance Link support in Audiobus 3. We believe that Link is the answer to most questions about sync on iOS. We'll have to see what we will do with MIDI clock sync - maybe that can be done with a third party MIDI app.

    I'm a bit confused. From my testing it seems that atleast tempo gets sent to the Aux inside audiobus is even if I change tempo in a link app. Do you mean it doesn't send the phrase start stop ? So does this mean it only really affects Aux with arps inside it ?

  • edited April 2017

    @gonekrazy3000 said:
    I'm a bit confused. From my testing it seems that atleast tempo gets sent to the Aux inside audiobus is even if I change tempo in a link app. Do you mean it doesn't send the phrase start stop ? So does this mean it only really affects Aux with arps inside it ?

    AU works differently. It gets the tempo data directly from the AU host, without having to deduce it from a stream of clock signals. So if the host has Link (in this case: Audiobus), it can communicate it to all the plugins it's hosting.

    As @Sebastian said, Link (and host-sync) are the answers to syncing on iOS. Midi clock is far from the optimal solution.

  • @Sebastian said:
    In one of the next updates we're going to enhance Link support in Audiobus 3.

    Setting the countdown for that update... ;)

    @Sebastian said:
    We believe that Link is the answer to most questions about sync on iOS.

    Oh yes! And not just on iOS.
    Together, Link and AB3 optimization are the key signs that a dev is paying attention.

  • edited April 2017

    @brambos said:

    AU works differently. It gets the tempo data directly from the AU host, without having to deduce it from a stream of clock signals. So if the host has Link (in this case: Audiobus), it can communicate it to all the plugins it's hosting.

    As @Sebastian said, Link (and host-sync) are the answers to syncing on iOS. Midi clock is far from the optimal solution.

    What I was referring to was the fact that @Sebastian mentioned in the features thread that Audiobus 3 doesn't send link status to Aux instances yet and is expected in an upcoming version. Was curious what he meant by it.

  • ;)
    I can't believe a midi app with no midi sync - this has to be addressed - it bums me out .

    I have tracks recorded with time delays on them , wow what a drag - that's all I can say .

    I wanted to use my Irig Pro midi with my T.C. Helicon VoiceLive 3 X and Roland GR33 midi guitar synth and pump it into this app - now I have to rethink it .

    These two units have it why not your app ?

    Disappointed is an understatement .

    HR

  • @Hurricane said:
    I can't believe a midi app with no midi sync - this has to be addressed - it bums me out .

    Link is preferable over MIDI sync. MIDI sync is unreliable at best on iOS because it's not a realtime operating system and timestamping is rarely implemented in CoreMIDI. Links is rock solid.

  • @brambos said:

    @Hurricane said:
    I can't believe a midi app with no midi sync - this has to be addressed - it bums me out .

    Link is preferable over MIDI sync. MIDI sync is unreliable at best on iOS because it's not a realtime operating system and timestamping is rarely implemented in CoreMIDI. Links is rock solid.

    MIDI Sync is still useful and in some cases essential

    • Hardware relies on midi clock
    • Link has a major flaw: there is no choice for master / slave , plus you can't start a sequence whenever you want because Link once started cannot reset the start point .
  • @Korakios said:

    @brambos said:

    @Hurricane said:
    I can't believe a midi app with no midi sync - this has to be addressed - it bums me out .

    Link is preferable over MIDI sync. MIDI sync is unreliable at best on iOS because it's not a realtime operating system and timestamping is rarely implemented in CoreMIDI. Links is rock solid.

    MIDI Sync is still useful and in some cases essential

    • Hardware relies on midi clock
    • Link has a major flaw: there is no choice for master / slave , plus you can't start a sequence whenever you want because Link once started cannot reset the start point .

    I'm not saying MIDI Sync is not useful. There's a reason I've jumped through elaborate hoops to get it working reasonably well in my apps. But what I'm saying is that due to the way iOS is built, it's difficult to get a solid sync, comparable to a realtime hardware MIDI sync.

  • edited June 2017

    @brambos said:

    @Korakios said:

    @brambos said:

    @Hurricane said:
    I can't believe a midi app with no midi sync - this has to be addressed - it bums me out .

    Link is preferable over MIDI sync. MIDI sync is unreliable at best on iOS because it's not a realtime operating system and timestamping is rarely implemented in CoreMIDI. Links is rock solid.

    MIDI Sync is still useful and in some cases essential

    • Hardware relies on midi clock
    • Link has a major flaw: there is no choice for master / slave , plus you can't start a sequence whenever you want because Link once started cannot reset the start point .

    I'm not saying MIDI Sync is not useful. There's a reason I've jumped through elaborate hoops to get it working reasonably well in my apps. But what I'm saying is that due to the way iOS is built, it's difficult to get a solid sync, comparable to a realtime hardware MIDI sync.

    I know :), I was trying to say that an app should have a full midi implementation ( clock, bank / preset program change , start/stop/continue etc ) beside Link .

  • edited June 2017

    @Korakios said:

    @brambos said:

    @Korakios said:

    @brambos said:

    @Hurricane said:
    I can't believe a midi app with no midi sync - this has to be addressed - it bums me out .

    Link is preferable over MIDI sync. MIDI sync is unreliable at best on iOS because it's not a realtime operating system and timestamping is rarely implemented in CoreMIDI. Links is rock solid.

    MIDI Sync is still useful and in some cases essential

    • Hardware relies on midi clock
    • Link has a major flaw: there is no choice for master / slave , plus you can't start a sequence whenever you want because Link once started cannot reset the start point .

    I'm not saying MIDI Sync is not useful. There's a reason I've jumped through elaborate hoops to get it working reasonably well in my apps. But what I'm saying is that due to the way iOS is built, it's difficult to get a solid sync, comparable to a realtime hardware MIDI sync.

    I know :), I was trying to say that an app should have a full midi implementation ( clock, bank / preset program change , start/stop/continue etc ) beside Link .

    Why if the system under it can't make it work properly?
    Link, like AB for audio in iOS, are solutions to avoid the drawbacks of hardware and old protocol with lots of issues (bottlenecks, not multicast, serial...)
    MidiHD, OSC or similar have been discussed as solutions but not enough adoption by devs make them marginal. Now Ableton (as de facto standard for live enviroments) has shared Link as open technology and most of the problems with sync has been addressed (without expend a lot of money in Artnet or similar solutions)

    What hardware users need is a Link to midi standalone box (like the missing link box was for OSC years ago) to keep their setups sync friendly.
    Asking to devs for implementing everything even when doesn't work properly is a waste of resources and source of complaints (ask Apple to improve their OS)

    Some interesting links about hardware and... link.
    http://cdm.link/2017/02/now-can-sync-ableton-link-eurorack-open-board/
    http://djtechtools.com/2016/09/26/bomebox-standalone-midi-hub-now-available/ (check the comment section where I point Bome into Link support and their answer)

  • edited June 2017

    @brambos said:

    @Korakios said:

    @brambos said:

    @Hurricane said:
    I can't believe a midi app with no midi sync - this has to be addressed - it bums me out .

    Link is preferable over MIDI sync. MIDI sync is unreliable at best on iOS because it's not a realtime operating system and timestamping is rarely implemented in CoreMIDI. Links is rock solid.

    MIDI Sync is still useful and in some cases essential

    • Hardware relies on midi clock
    • Link has a major flaw: there is no choice for master / slave , plus you can't start a sequence whenever you want because Link once started cannot reset the start point .

    I'm not saying MIDI Sync is not useful. There's a reason I've jumped through elaborate hoops to get it working reasonably well in my apps. But what I'm saying is that due to the way iOS is built, it's difficult to get a solid sync, comparable to a realtime hardware MIDI sync.

    The no master slave timing is one of links best features. ;)
    You just need to think a little different now that the steam clock is gone.
    For software link is the way to go
    It will take time before the hardware world wakes up and implements link instead of midi clock.
    The only problem I have with link is that it's sometimes not easy to save the tempo of a session, because somebody is doing non sense. So my session names usually includes the bpm.
    Things will get more obvious when audiobus has a clock, it's the only host I know that doesn't set the tempo ...

  • @brambos said:

    @Hurricane said:
    I can't believe a midi app with no midi sync - this has to be addressed - it bums me out .

    Link is preferable over MIDI sync. MIDI sync is unreliable at best on iOS because it's not a realtime operating system and timestamping is rarely implemented in CoreMIDI. Links is rock solid.

    brambos :Hello from southern Cal .
    What is Link ?
    and
    When you say rock solid- elaborate please .

    EZ :smile:

    HR

  • I am being sincere and don't want to sound like a troll . I am after solution(s) and not controversy .
    I respect all who contribute to finding the answer .

    Contrary opinions are ok , that's how things get resolved in the final :)

    Peace .

    HR

  • @Hurricane said:
    I am being sincere and don't want to sound like a troll . I am after solution(s) and not controversy .
    I respect all who contribute to finding the answer .

    Contrary opinions are ok , that's how things get resolved in the final :)

    Peace .

    HR

    Ableton Link, it's an alternative method for syncing with a free SDK that developers can add to their apps or hardware so they all sync between devices or on the same device. On iOS you might want to look into the MIDI Link Sync and Link to MIDI apps as ways to include hardware or apps that only have MIDI clock.

    Another alternative to Link which is sample accurate is IAA host sync where an IAA app has the ability to sync to the host app's tempo settings and transport controls (note NOT all IAA apps have this capability). As @brambos has already pointed out, AU apps already have this sample accurate sync to their AU host app as part of the AU standard.

  • I love Jonatan of Kymatica's take on iOS sync:
    Modern Sync Technologies
    Host sync has been available for ages on the desktop, and has been part of the Inter-App Audio technology since it came in iOS 7. It’s also how the new Audio Unit extensions in iOS 9 syncs to their hosts. The code examples in this document will show the Inter-App Audio API for host sync, which however is very similar to the new AUv3 API used by Audio Unit extensions.

    Ableton Link is a new technology by Ableton, that allows sharing a common tempo and beat grid between apps and devices. It synchronizes beat, phase and tempo but leaves the transport controls (play/stop/rewind) up to each individual app. Each app need to be started and stopped by their own, but will play in sync with the other connected apps once started.

    From a users point of view, those two technologies serve quite different purposes. While Ableton Link is great for live jamming, specifically involving multiple users and devices, it lacks a global transport control. There is also no master-slave relationship with Link. Host sync on the other hand, is a master (host) to slave (IAA node app or AU plugin) relationship, and also carries transport state. IAA nodes can also remote-control the transport of the host, and switch to the host app or even any of the other IAA node apps hosted by the same host.

    http://lijon.github.io/

  • @philowerx said:
    I love Jonatan of Kymatica's take on iOS sync:
    Modern Sync Technologies
    Host sync has been available for ages on the desktop, and has been part of the Inter-App Audio technology since it came in iOS 7. It’s also how the new Audio Unit extensions in iOS 9 syncs to their hosts. The code examples in this document will show the Inter-App Audio API for host sync, which however is very similar to the new AUv3 API used by Audio Unit extensions.

    Ableton Link is a new technology by Ableton, that allows sharing a common tempo and beat grid between apps and devices. It synchronizes beat, phase and tempo but leaves the transport controls (play/stop/rewind) up to each individual app. Each app need to be started and stopped by their own, but will play in sync with the other connected apps once started.

    From a users point of view, those two technologies serve quite different purposes. While Ableton Link is great for live jamming, specifically involving multiple users and devices, it lacks a global transport control. There is also no master-slave relationship with Link. Host sync on the other hand, is a master (host) to slave (IAA node app or AU plugin) relationship, and also carries transport state. IAA nodes can also remote-control the transport of the host, and switch to the host app or even any of the other IAA node apps hosted by the same host.

    http://lijon.github.io/

    Thanks for responding with useful info . I like the idea of reducing the size of the footprint in the recording chain
    IOS to me is the answer . Windows just can't keep up with midi and anaolog with out hiccuping - jittering and sometimes locking up .

    EZ :smile:

    Hurricane Ramon

  • @Max23 said:

    Awsome - Thanks

    HR

  • @Santosgera said:
    The Midi Clock sync of Loopy Hd works very weel. I only use it as a master for everything.

    Loopy HD is very special, under the hood, because it can smooth out the jitters in an incoming midi clock. It is the standard by which midi clock receiving should be judged. The developer has even given away the technology:

    The Spectacular Sync Engine is a standards-compliant, solid MIDI sync engine for iOS.

    It is designed to be very easy to work with, and provides precise, jitter-free MIDI clock transmission and robust, error-tolerant MIDI clock reception for your iOS app.

    Intensively unit-tested, accompanied by extensive documentation and a complete sample app, and written by one of the pioneers of iOS audio development and developer of Audiobus Michael Tyson, The Spectacular Sync Engine lets you easily add sync support without needing to worry about the details.

    It would be great to have that option in audiobus, for all the situations that can arise, when Link isn't doable.

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