Syncing ableton and traktor over midi
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  1. #1
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    Default Syncing ableton and traktor over midi

    Hi. I'm trying to sync Ableton and Tractor over internal midi, following the instructions here:



    Traktor works fine, but the CPU usage in Ableton spikes way up above 50 when I turn on external midi, and I get choppy playback. Sometimes, the midi fluctuates pretty wildly. It's fine when not using external midi. Any suggestions?

  2. #2
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    What kind of computer are you using?

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    Macbook pro 15, core 2 duo 2.4, 8gb ram, hybrid ssd.

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    Hmm... Ok.

    Are you running anything else (including plugins in Ableton)?
    Are both softwares legitimate copies?

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    Tech Guru deevey's Avatar
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    Ableton does not work very well at all as a Midi slave, however it works "reasonably" well the other way around to send the Master Tempo to Traktor instead.

    It tends to be more reliable to use a knob to control your Ableton Tempo, and nudge buttons for when they go out of sync (which they do).

    What soundcard are you using and latency settings .. I've only ever tried running Traktors Channels into Ableton with Soundflower, so only one piece of software is using the physical sound card. Are you sharing the soundcard output between the two softwares by any chance? If so, that might be the issue.

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    deevey, I've never had an issue running Ableton as a slave with Traktor as the master. And I've also run JackRouter as a virtual soundcard to connect two programs and even then both programs acted normally. As long as its configured correctly, with his drusha's current setup there shouldn't be a problem. Either way, I think its more reliable to run Traktor to Ableton for the MIDI clock. Traktor has a built in Virtual Output that is designed to do tasks exactly like this. I'm not sure if Ableton has this so I can't definitively say that Traktor is better, but in my experience and with my knowledge of the two programs, Traktor is more reliable.

    The fact that the processor is jumping past 50% definitely makes it seem like a software problem however. There is some kind of fault happening in the programs you're running. If you take a look in the Activity Monitor is it Ableton thats using up all this power or Traktor or maybe even an Audio program?

  7. #7
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    Thanks for the advice.

    My sound card is described here:
    http://forum.djtechtools.com/showthr...068#post522068

    I'm using two of the outputs for Ableton and two for traktor, but I have the same issues when I reserve the sound card for Traktor and use my macbook audio out for Ableton.

    Quote Originally Posted by deevey View Post
    Ableton does not work very well at all as a Midi slave, however it works "reasonably" well the other way around to send the Master Tempo to Traktor instead.
    Thanks, I'll try this.

    Quote Originally Posted by deevey View Post
    It tends to be more reliable to use a knob to control your Ableton Tempo, and nudge buttons for when they go out of sync (which they do).
    In addition to midi sync, or instead of it?

    So what's the typical method of using both traktor and Ableton? Which is the master and which is the slave? Or do people just sync them up independently?

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by jaredweiss View Post
    deevey, I've never had an issue running Ableton as a slave with Traktor as the master. And I've also run JackRouter as a virtual soundcard to connect two programs and even then both programs acted normally. As long as its configured correctly, with his drusha's current setup there shouldn't be a problem. Either way, I think its more reliable to run Traktor to Ableton for the MIDI clock. Traktor has a built in Virtual Output that is designed to do tasks exactly like this. I'm not sure if Ableton has this so I can't definitively say that Traktor is better, but in my experience and with my knowledge of the two programs, Traktor is more reliable.

    The fact that the processor is jumping past 50% definitely makes it seem like a software problem however. There is some kind of fault happening in the programs you're running. If you take a look in the Activity Monitor is it Ableton thats using up all this power or Traktor or maybe even an Audio program?
    Thanks, I'll check out what's going on in the activity monitor. I am actually using Traktor's virtual output to sync.

  9. #9
    Tech Guru deevey's Avatar
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    deevey, I've never had an issue running Ableton as a slave with Traktor as the master. And I've also run JackRouter as a virtual soundcard to connect two programs and even then both programs acted normally. As long as its configured correctly, with his drusha's current setup there shouldn't be a problem. Either way, I think its more reliable to run Traktor to Ableton for the MIDI clock. Traktor has a built in Virtual Output that is designed to do tasks exactly like this. I'm not sure if Ableton has this so I can't definitively say that Traktor is better, but in my experience and with my knowledge of the two programs, Traktor is more reliable.
    Midi Drift from external sources is one of Abletons known issues....

    Worth a read...https://forum.ableton.com/viewtopic.php?t=98876

    1. Live as Master Sync Output is stable!

    With a good Midi interface Live (or any other Midi Master on the same PC) is capable of keeping Midi Sync stable, with drifts smaller than 0.10 BPM as long as (CPU) load remains below 80%. It is still useable until around 90% and then quickly drifts down to lower bpm because it cannot upkeep the constant Midi stream.

    Eventhough tempo might drop Midi Sync should still be stable with external synced gear though, even if Live's CPU meter increases well over 100%. Anyone experiencing problems with Live as Master Output Midi Sync most likely suffers from bad drivers, a bad Midi interface, short load spikes originating from some other problem source or you saturate Midi bandwidth by sending too much additional Midi data along the line.

    Also keep in mind that if you want to sync two different machines that each comes with other Audio and Midi Latencies. You need to use Sync Delay in order to get them into Sync and most of the times it can never be perfect. Which leads us to the next point...


    2. Live as Slave Sync Input is only useable with restrictions!

    When Live is running as Slave to another Midi Sync Master it does some very rough rounding on the incoming Midi Sync signal/values. Live rounds any Sync value to full BPM! Value below x.5 are rounded down to the next full digit, values above x.5 are rounded up. I.e. 127.4 BPM is rounded down to 127.00 BPM, 127.5 BPM is rounded up to 128.00 BPM.

    Whatever strange algorithm is used for that rounding it has two major drawbacks.
    The above was written for Live 7, Live 8 is a little better but the fluctuation still was way too significant (.5 to make it a reasonable option.

    In essence Live should be fine so long as your values are whole numbers, if your tempo drifts you are screwed. This pretty much my experience with it as well, Trakor would follow Abletons midi clock pretty well within about .02 bpm value. But Ableton following traktor was around the .5 - 2.5 bpm mark, certainly not good enough for beat matching or looping and was much rougher and much slower to update the value to Ableton as a slave.

    Fixing the master clock to a set BPM value on both Apps, and nudge syncing one or both together is way more reliable and stays in sync better than master/slaving midi.

    IMHO of course - there's a thread on this in the Ableton section anyhow.

    Now back to your 50% Ableton load .
    When you turn up the latency on both applications, do you still have the CPU spike and Audio issues, if so, it could be the soundcard causing the problem?
    If you make Ableton the master clock - do you still have the Problem ?
    If you do not use Midi Clock Sync, and regular settings is there any issues whatsoever ?

  10. #10
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    I think its the soundcard too. I just don't get why its happening because of the MIDI sync. This is an interesting problem.

    Thanks for the article by the way. It seems interesting and i'll give it a read. Do you know how to set up Ableton as a MIDI sync out? I'm interested to try that. I have noticed that within a set I need to sometimes adjust the sync delay within Ableton which is a pain to do.

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