Midi sync

Iam trying to run my digitakt to sequence with ios, any tips on how to get the tightest sync ? It feels like ive tried everything, appoholic as i am i have plenty of apps so i went trough syncing woth linktomidi, aum, audiobus, loopy,

Should i have my external gear as master or slave ?

All tips are welcome

Comments

  • Are you using Link ? If so then having the externals as slaves is probably best....the MIDI sync in latest AB should do the job, it is based on what loopy uses so should be as tight if not tighter than that.
    In general terms you should try and use the most stable clock you have....although other factors may come into play....if you want to use transport controls on the external device for example would mean using the clock on that device.

  • edited May 17

    I would use Digitakt as master and iPad as slave, simply for the convenience of being able to use the hardware transport controls.
    Groove Rider works perfectly as a MIDI Clock slave, Korg Gadget works well too, and if you want a pattern-based MIDI sequencer that follows MIDI Clock, try Genome Midi sequencer.
    Sugar Bytes Thesys is another option if you like to go wild with more experimental sequencing, and now that it can host an AU it's even more fun :smiley:
    Oh, and not to forget SB Egoist: a nice "real-time audio file slicer" that works with stereo samples and makes a groovy companion to the Digitakt.

    Want to record audio loops too?
    Loopy HD is a great looper working with external MIDI Clock, it will time-stretch audio automatically upon tempo changes.

  • This app is made specifically to get the tightest sync from external hardware.

    https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/midipace/id1451831085?mt=8

  • @BiancaNeve said:
    This app is made specifically to get the tightest sync from external hardware.

    https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/midipace/id1451831085?mt=8

    Interesting. Have you tested it?

  • @BiancaNeve said:
    This app is made specifically to get the tightest sync from external hardware.

    https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/midipace/id1451831085?mt=8

    In my experience, the majority of issues are in the receiving iOS apps, not the hardware.
    In 99 out of 100 cases, MIDI Clock sent by hardware is already rock-solid from what I have measured.

  • @rs2000 said:

    @BiancaNeve said:
    This app is made specifically to get the tightest sync from external hardware.

    https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/midipace/id1451831085?mt=8

    In my experience, the majority of issues are in the receiving iOS apps, not the hardware.
    In 99 out of 100 cases, MIDI Clock sent by hardware is already rock-solid from what I have measured.

    It depends on what the hardware is. ;)

  • Midi Clock on iOS is unstable on high CPU usage regardless the app.

  • edited May 17

    The term master/slave is deceiving with midi clock. The association is that it is better to be a master, than a slave. I suspect people new to the idea will end up making the most important/expensive piece of gear the master. The opposite is often true, it is more difficult and sophisticated to be a good slave, than a good master. The slave has to adapt to any changes in tempo, and be low latency to be able spit things out in time with the clock, as soon as it starts. Anything that has to happen ahead of the time it takes to register and process each clock tick has to be interpolated, in kind of a lookahead fashion- it’s guessing ahead of time, from the last clock ticks, when the next will be coming in.

    In particular, anything that does audio recording or playback in time with midi clock has a very hard time with midi clock, like a DAW or looper. Midi clock is just a stream of ticks, with no explicit information about tempo, so it is up to the slave to measure and decide the tempo, and when (not if) there are little variations in the stream of ticks coming in, to decide if the tempo is changing, and if so, how much. For modern audio players, changing tempo means changing the playback rate of the audio, which gets into time compression and always sounds weird/degraded. Kind of an unfortunate system, but it was invented back before digital audio was commonly used- it was made for logic driven 80’s drum machines and sequencers, where things could happen in real time as the ticks came in.

    With midi clock, I make the thing that is central, but has a hard time slaving, to be the master. Usually the thing that does the audio, like DAW or looper. Loopy is special for having a smart algorithm for following midi clock, and smoothing out the jitters, but it would still make sense to make it the master, if it was the only audio recorder in the setup. If it is a midi only sequencing setup, then there is more leeway- the master should be something with accessible transport and tempo controls. Another important feature is midi clock latency adjustment, usually in the master. You get the clock to be sent ahead of time, to compensate for the time lag it takes for the slaves to respond to the clock ticks, so that the sounds they make come out right on time with the master, rather than behind. The major DAW’s and quite a few mature iOS apps have the midi clock latency adjustment.

    Midi clock and sync between gear is the hardest technical challenge with electronic music. The other methods of sync are all better than midi clock- Ableton Link, IAA, Midi time code (MTC), Rewire, but, midi clock is the most universal, and often the only way to sync hardware together.

  • Synching is a difficult problem generally because every device has a different clock with a slightly different tick rate, and so keeping them in synch is a tough problem.

  • The fact is that there are a few solid master/slave combinations that work very well with MIDI Clock that I recommend to stick to. Like the ones I've listed.
    Hit play on the master and all slaves follow without delay. Hit stop and all slaves stop immediately.
    Ableton LINK is very convenient and the best option in a WiFi setup with any number of LINK members without a dedicated master, but it cannot replace MIDI Clock and it's not even meant to.

    Apps with audio tracks or audio loops that strive to keep in sync with the current do face the same challenge of time-stretching (or simply re-pitching, in case of Enso) at each tempo change, no matter if the clock source is based on LINK or MIDI Clock.

  • @rs2000 not to mention that Ableton Link has no idea of song position. I find this pretty surprising -- it has already gone through 3 major versions, but they still haven't included support for that, which IMHO would be pretty piece-of-cakey.

  • The MIDI clock sync in Audiobus is damn near perfect. Here is Flux:FX clocked by Audiobus...
    I left the loops in Flux:FX running for 8 hours then came back and made this video showing my Rozeta Cells sequence (hosted in AB) still lining up perfect with my loops in Flux:FX.

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