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Does anyone sync with a DAW?

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I am thinking of eventually going DAWless, all hardware, but in the meantime does anyone use Deluge with software like Ableton and if so how did they sort out stable MIDI clock and audio latency? I currently do not have an external mixer or external FX, just what I have software.

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    chvadchvad Brooklyn, NY

    I sync to both Reaper and Ableton via midi regularly and have had nothing but tight sync.

    www.controlledbleeding.com | www.chvad.com

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    MPrinsenMPrinsen Netherlands

    Me too wih fl studio

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    jbone1313jbone1313 Tucson, Arizona, USA
    edited May 16

    Bad news:

    • If you MIDI sync to a DAW you will have jitter, which is not a huge problem (to me).
    • If you MIDI sync with Ableton, then Ableton will not latency compensate your slaved machine. So, as the latency of your set increases, the more out of time your slaved machine will be. Try it! Add like ten compressors to a track with the lookahead set to 10ms in each one. Notice how bad your sync is. That is a huge deal (to me).

    Good news:

    • The Deluge has a clock input. That means that you can sync with audio instead of MIDI. If you send the audio clock out of an Ableton External Audio Effect, it will be latency compensated and jitter-free. You can roll your own clock pulses with Abelton's Samper, or you can use a third-party plug-in. Expert Sleepers has one. Here's a free one: http://www.shaduzlabs.com/blog/24/a-free-plugin-for-all-your-clock-needs.html. All you need is a free output on a sound card to send the clock pulses.

    The fact that the Deluge can be synced with an audio clock is HUGE. All modern rhythm machines SHOULD have that option.

    Post edited by jbone1313 on
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    HolidayHoliday Canada

    So essentially it works like the Innerclock, Expert Sleepers, ERM, etc. Takes audio pulses as an audio sync with your MIDI, correct? Love to see a video of this. Would save me the cost of a dedicated sync box.

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    jbone1313jbone1313 Tucson, Arizona, USA
    edited May 17

    I have not tested this. People say the audio clock sync works. I'm not sure whether it passes the audio clock to the MIDI port. But if it does, then, yes, I think you get a free Innerclock with the price of admission.

    Post edited by jbone1313 on
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    jbone1313jbone1313 Tucson, Arizona, USA

    Update. I just tried testing this on my system, and from what I can tell, Deluge does not pass the clock when it is slaved to the audio clock. But, the Deluge does sync great to the audio clock.

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    HolidayHoliday Canada

    From my knowledge it's getting an external sequencer to sync perfect with Ableton (I suppose hardware LFOs would also fall in that category) with Ableton as master. The Deluge's MIDI out should send sequences data based on that clock. So from Ableton through Deluge and out to external synth or even back into Ableton.

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    HolidayHoliday Canada

    @jbone1313 said:
    Update. I just tried testing this on my system, and from what I can tell, Deluge does not pass the clock when it is slaved to the audio clock. But, the Deluge does sync great to the audio clock.

    Can anyone else confirm that with audio clock in the sync is not transmitted out via MIDI?

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    VondragonnogginVondragonnoggin California, USA

    I can confirm it passes clock messages with midi THRU set to ON when slaved to a clock source into midi IN of the Deluge.

    I just did this setting my keyboard to 120bpm into Deluge midi IN, then Deluge midi OUT to my Spectralis 2. Again, Deluge set to midi THRU on. I hit start on my keyboard and it started both my Spectralis 2 and the Deluge at 120 BPM and they are both hard set on song to 160 BPM respectively. Both devices played at 120 BPM with keyboard clock overriding hard set BPM.

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    HolidayHoliday Canada

    Cool. How about audio clock in? The same? Basically I want to know if I need a USAMO or something like E-RM MIDIClock or MultiClock for sample accurate sync.

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    .

    @chvad said:
    I sync to both Reaper and Ableton via midi regularly and have had nothing but tight sync.

    Cool, I'm just getting my head around reaper and my Deluge for that matter. How do you set it up? Thanks.

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    VondragonnogginVondragonnoggin California, USA

    Not sure about audio pulses. I use midi to cv converters for modular gear. Doepfer dark link or Blue Lantern converters.

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    jbone1313jbone1313 Tucson, Arizona, USA
    edited May 21

    As I mentioned above, my testing showed that Deluge does not pass the MIDI clock to the MIDI out port when syncing as a slave via audio clock.

    I guess it makes sense that it would not, as it might require some extra programming to translate the audio clock to the MIDI clock, whereas, presumably, passing MIDI clock to the MIDI out port might be easier. But, that's speculation.

    I am pretty sure I had my test setup correctly, but it is possible I made a mistake.

    IMO, this would be a nice to have feature (as it would be like getting a free InnerClock with your Deluge purchase), but not at the expense of the more important stuff.

    Post edited by jbone1313 on
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    VondragonnogginVondragonnoggin California, USA

    I really should try this with my Minilogue and Novation Circuit for a quick test. I believe my Minilogue has pulse clock out so I could slave the Deluge to it and see if it passes midi clock the the Novation Circuit. I’ll set it up tonight and test (just as another confirmation to your findings), but it could very well have been an oversight in the build to not pass midi clock when slaved to audio clock.

    Maybe they’ll address it in a future update though. I’m impressed with this company’s responsiveness compared to some other companies.

    Seems a lot of manufacturers like the cricket response.

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    VondragonnogginVondragonnoggin California, USA
    edited May 21

    I just re-read the manual and it is very specific in stating it can not output midi clock if slaved to trigger pulse.

    Maybe a future update will change that.

    In the meantime if you must have that feature, one of these Kenton sync boxes should do the trick - https://www.midi-store.com/Kenton-SYNC-5-p/sku44979.htm?gclid=EAIaIQobChMI1qbK5YKX2wIVjPhkCh2ZLQs6EAQYAyABEgKHnvD_BwE

    Post edited by Vondragonnoggin on
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    HolidayHoliday Canada

    Hopefully it can be addressed in a future update. The Kenton box wouldn't work as you still need to convert audio sync pulses to MIDI. Essentially using a hardware sequencer with a DAW you want sample accurate sync, so that means at the very least USAMO at $200 and the Deluge takes clock via MIDI sync not audio sync so it can then pass the clock THRU. Better option would be the E-RM Multiclock but then you are spending $700 over the cost of the Deluge. If the Deluge acted as a converter that would be optimal.

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    VondragonnogginVondragonnoggin California, USA
    edited May 21

    $139

    https://vintageking.com/expert-sleepers-usamo?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIyLXbzJqX2wIVCNtkCh1V0g2JEAQYBSABEgJQk_D_BwE

    I see what your sayin though. I thought originally that’s what the Kenton did. My bad

    Post edited by Vondragonnoggin on
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    jbone1313jbone1313 Tucson, Arizona, USA
    edited May 21

    I use the Expert Sleepers ESX-8MD for all my machines. To me, it is the best of all of them. You get 8 MIDI out ports. In addition to clock, it also sends note and CC data - all jitter free.

    Since, AFAIK, MIDI is a serial protocol, the more channels you use and the more data you send on each channel increases the jitter. So, for example, if you're using one port, with like 10 channels, and sending data to 10 different synths, your MIDI might jitter a lot more than if you were using only one channel.

    Again, MIDI is serial, so only one message can be sent at any one point in time. So, with the ESX-8MD, you could, in theory, use one port per device and avoid or at least mitigate the aforementioned jitter issues.

    Another good option is the Ladik M-330.

    Post edited by jbone1313 on
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    jbone1313jbone1313 Tucson, Arizona, USA

    To add on to the above, if you are using your Deluge to sequence a bunch of synths and send MIDI clock, there is a good chance stuff is going to wobble, since again, MIDI is serial. How much wobble? Who knows? Does it matter to you? Who knows. Your ears will guide you.

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    HolidayHoliday Canada

    So the ESX-8MD is relatively cheap but I assume you need a small case and power supply? If the Deluge was able to receive audio sync and send out midi clock then as far as any possible jitter between Deluge and external synths could be corrected with a relatively inexpensive E-RM MidiClock or even cheaper a MidiGAL.

    Frankly it's a headache that computers and hardware sequencers do not play nice.

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    HolidayHoliday Canada

    I do have a Mio 4 which could possible alleviate congestion.

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    jbone1313jbone1313 Tucson, Arizona, USA

    @Holiday

    Yes - you would need a small case and power supply. And another ES module. Worth it though.

    RE "If the Deluge was able to receive audio sync and send out midi clock then as far as any possible jitter between Deluge and external synths could be corrected with a relatively inexpensive E-RM MidiClock or even cheaper a MidiGAL."

    In that case, you would, if it did work, already get a jitter-free clock. So, you would not need to add other devices downstream.

    BUT, jitter would be added if you start sending a ton of MIDI notes and stuff out of the MIDI port along with clock, since again, MIDI is serial. For something like a clock, which relies on precise timing, this is a bigger problem. If you start adding a bunch of notes and stuff, then the clock will be disturbed. Again, whether and how much that matters is a matter of personal taste I reckon.

    Adding downstream devices won't help, because, again MIDI is serial.

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    HolidayHoliday Canada

    @jbone1313 said:
    @Holiday

    Yes - you would need a small case and power supply. And another ES module. Worth it though.

    RE "If the Deluge was able to receive audio sync and send out midi clock then as far as any possible jitter between Deluge and external synths could be corrected with a relatively inexpensive E-RM MidiClock or even cheaper a MidiGAL."

    In that case, you would, if it did work, already get a jitter-free clock. So, you would not need to add other devices downstream.

    BUT, jitter would be added if you start sending a ton of MIDI notes and stuff out of the MIDI port along with clock, since again, MIDI is serial. For something like a clock, which relies on precise timing, this is a bigger problem. If you start adding a bunch of notes and stuff, then the clock will be disturbed. Again, whether and how much that matters is a matter of personal taste I reckon.

    Adding downstream devices won't help, because, again MIDI is serial.

    So let's say Deluge can receive audio sync and send MIDI out on 1 port, 16 channels. At what point do you think jitter would be introduced? 9 or more channels of MIDI data? I get it that ideally you have DAW as master, audio synced to an external audio sync box that then converts audio sync to MIDI, Sync box then sends out MIDI data on different ports per hardware device (Deluge, keyboards, drum machine, etc.). I assume that is how your set up works. 1 port of 16 channels per device. I'm just trying to find the cheapest solution. By the way, what would the other ES module be?

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    HolidayHoliday Canada

    Also I do have a Mio 4 that's currently gathering dust which perhaps can be part of the solution as it has 48 ports.

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    VondragonnogginVondragonnoggin California, USA

    @jbone1313 said:
    To add on to the above, if you are using your Deluge to sequence a bunch of synths and send MIDI clock, there is a good chance stuff is going to wobble, since again, MIDI is serial. How much wobble? Who knows? Does it matter to you? Who knows. Your ears will guide you.

    Would be really interesting if they could throw the option of a separate 16 channels out the usb and be able to use a little breakout box for combined 32 channel operation. If you kept a combo of some internal synth tracks, kit tracks, and a few external midi tracks per midi out ports, timing should stay tight. Active thru boxes or short cable runs with passive thru boxes would help too.

    My MV8800 has A and B outs and I try to keep some gear on A and some on B plus use the 16 pads on sample tracks that are internal or multisample instruments the MV plays internally. Timing is tight.

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    jbone1313jbone1313 Tucson, Arizona, USA

    @Holiday - Any time you have two or more MIDI events occurring at the same time, one will be off. They cannot occur at the same time.

    Now, we should not lose our minds about all this.

    For me personally, I don’t worry about the little bits of jitter described above. By far the worst is the crap jitter output by computers/DAWs. That is intolerable. A single sync box is good enough for me, although the ESX-8MD is nice.

    I would imagine if you’re syncing a slave to the Deluge and firing a ton of MIDI notes, things might wobble a bit. But, I really don’t know. And, I won’t worry about it until I hear it. It would be easy to test though.

    To answer your question, the other ES module is the ES-40. I think one other one they make will will work (ES-5), but I use the ES-40. At first it was a mind-bender figuring it all out, but it all made sense after some fiddling. And, the maker of the ES modules is really cool and helpful.

    I obsessed about all this clock stuff for a while. But, once I had a good sync to my DAW, I don’t worry about the rest.

    I’ll add that the reason I want to sync to a DAW is it unlocks all the power of the computer and plugins and gives a “best of both worlds” to the hardware.

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    HolidayHoliday Canada

    Well so far I've heard good things about people using various audio sync boxes/converters like E-RM and Innerclock between DAW and hardware. I don't think I'll be using more than 6-7 pieces of hardware gear. If Synthstrom can update the software so that the Deluge converts incoming audio pulse to clock to MIDI clock out then that would be huge, as jbone1313 said it's like a free Innerclock with your Deluge. Barring that seems the cheapest most flexible option is the E-RM Multiclock.

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