Friday, November 30, 2007

Ableton live sync

Last night I tried for several hours to use an ethernet or airport network connection to synchronise Ableton live using MIDI clock either between a MacBook (OS X 10.4) and a Celeron Desktop (XP SP2) machine or a MacBook and an iMac G5 (OS X 10.2). I ran into too many problems...

  • The networking component of my MacBook was not operating properly. I had to upgrade to 10.4.11 for it to even see the other computer.
  • The most recent versions of the NetSend / NetReceive objects for Max/MSP 4.6 do not seem to connect to anything. Ever. From my MacBook. Every connection i have tried to make has failed, even to the localhost.
  • The MacBook and the iMac could not see each other using iMIDI.
  • The ethernet card on the PC was not being recognised and an appropriate driver could not be found.
In the end, i just connected a MIDI interface to both machines and ran MIDI clock between the two. The sync works really well. I will leave the ethernet / networked version until i have access to two computers running OS X 10.4...


Luke said...

Hi Seb

for hackers, I used multicasting through the maxhole object after also finding the netsend / receive objects problematic.

Although the maxhole object is pretty basic, you can switch which ports you are transmitting on to address multiple machines. As you know, I did have some problems with standalones on intel macs though (although the using the imac as the central hub worked fine when running in max).

Maybe this would work?


Sebastian Tomczak said...

I reckon the current netsend / receive objects for intel macs are not just problematic but just do not work properly.

Anyway, for the stability of using what is essentially a MIDI hardware-based network, i am happy to go down the current route for the purposes of Live sync. I want to have all three computer synced together really tightly - and with the price of MIDI interfaces starting at $15 or so, you really can't go wrong. If I did use some sort of max abstraction in between Live on both ends of a network connection, i reckon the PC might have some timing issues (it is not a great machine!).

But... the mxj maxhole class looks good for other uses too.

Sebastian Tomczak said...

Hey Luke, i tried out the maxhole object - works great! thanks

Luke said...

excellent! I found it worked really well & was easy to use too.

Justin said...

could you dumb down the process of time syncing two computers running ableton live via ethernet cable for me? That would be awesome.

Sebastian Tomczak said...

Hi Justin,
The answer will depend on which operating system you are using.

Are you on OS X 10.4 and above?



Sebastian Tomczak said...

Justin, you might like to look at this: