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Midi Syncing 2 Laptops

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Midi Syncing 2 Laptops

Postby Juno60 on Sun Oct 27, 2002 3:14 pm

Hi there,
Just wondering what the best way to master/slave sync 2 laptops together. Me and a friend of mine did some experiments last night with 2 midi interfaces and a PowerBookG3 master running Ableton Live and a Toshiba Laptop Slave running AudioMulch. Audiomulch SORT of recieved the temp information from Live, but certainly not perfectly. And adjusting the buffer helped, but the sound was craaaapy.
I assume the first step would be 2 update our sound cards/midi cards. We're thinking of getting one of those Hammerfall RME external soundcards - would it make the most sence to use it with the Slave Toshiba? Or is the problem most likely a combo of both sound cards?
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Postby Tweak on Mon Oct 28, 2002 2:34 am

Try to sync up using midi time code. That data travels down the midi cable and is the same whether made on a mac or PC. It has nothing to do with the soundcard or audio interface. If there is a problem it is more likely to lie within the application itself--so look for any MTC configuration options.
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Postby Juno60 on Mon Oct 28, 2002 12:45 pm

thanks for the reply!

Midi latency issues have nothing to do with your computer's sound card? I thought I remember reading about the Hammerfall and it saying "lowest midi latency ever!" or something like that. And people on message boards are always talking about the best card for their midi controllers for lo-latency. No?

So the best set up would be:
PowerBook with the software (Ableton Live, in this case) set to master usb'd to midi interface 1. Midi interface 1 "out", to midi interface 2 "in", and midi interface 2 USB'd to the Toshiba, running AudioMulch set to slave tempo. This is what we had and the tempo in AudioMulch was jumping around very quickly. You're thinking the problem is in one of the 2 aps?

I was hoping that there was a way to send Midi timecode info via firewire and bypassing the interfaces. I figured this might be possible since my Oxygen8 can send midi threw fire to my PowerBook without an interface, I thought, why can't another laptop send the same info to it?
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Postby Tweak on Tue Oct 29, 2002 2:51 am

When people talk about latency and midi they are talking about the response of a soft synth to a midi signal. The soft synth uses the audio interface, hence they are really talking about how fast the audio interface responds to a trigger event, not how fast the midi data gets there. My studio 101 article goes into this in detail.

The Midi data goes out of the computer to external synths-- out the midi port-- is at issue for time code. Never touches the audio interface. In many applications you can choose the midi port MTC goes out, or you can send it to all ports. The thing is to send it to an actual hardware port. Then plug a MIDI cable. not usb, not firewire, from that port to the next computer's hardware midi in. (which is the "slave").
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Postby Juno60 on Tue Oct 29, 2002 11:55 am

Thanks again! I thought I was quite learned in Midi - but apparently not!
So, in order to connect the 2 laptops via midi, I can bypass midi interfaces and just connect them threw hardware ports that are designated to send/recieve midi time code info? Do I have that right? If so, since neither laptop has the actual 5 prong midi connection, I would need some kind of midi cable that has serial ports on both ends? Thanks for your patience!
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Postby Tweak on Wed Oct 30, 2002 12:48 am

Using a MIDI interface port is fine, but before it seemed like you were talking about audio interfaces. No, a serial to midi cable is not going to work. You are probably thinking of the joystick to midi cable--those do work if you don't have a midi interface and do have a joystick port on your soundcard. Dedicated midi interfaces are better, just don't mix them up with audio interfaces (or soundcards) which are a totally different beast. To confuse matters further, some cards and audio interfaces do have midi ports on them. But that does not mean they are the same thing. One has to clearly know the difference between the midi system and the audio system to get off the ground.
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Postby adamf on Mon Dec 02, 2002 9:42 am

On this note...

I have a Mac running pro tools LE and my PC running Reason and Acid. They both have midi interfaces (Mac midiman 4x4 and PC m-audio 2096 card) but I'd like to have PT run Reason as a Master and pipe the audio from the PC back in to my Mac. Is this possible? I'm not that good with midi stuff...anyone done this or have an idea?

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Postby Tweak on Mon Dec 02, 2002 4:19 pm

Yes. Possible. Explore the midi sync options and midi time code--all connected by midi cables.
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