Synfire & DAW (Ableton Live)

Learn how to synchronize Synfire with Ableton Live using Drones and how export your composed music with drag & drop.

The music sample used in this video is absolutely random - Synfire fits any style.

Hint: Enjoy HD resolution by picking it from the cogwheel icon at the bottom of the player. Then double-click on the image to go full-screen, or visit YouTube to use their large wide-screen playback mode.

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blacksun's picture
blacksun
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Last seen 2 hours 36 min ago

When you get time can you make a video or even just an explanation on how to use synfire with the native ableton instruments? A the moment I using the virtual midi cables rather than a drone, but not sure if this is the best thing to do. Btw this video is great for ableton, synfire and vsti integration, I'd somehow forgotten the transport setting in live.
Thanks

andre's picture
andre
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Last seen 1 hour 24 min ago

You should be able to use the built-in Ableton instruments through a MIDI Drone (be sure you use the VST Drone. AudioUnit does not support MIDI output). Make the Ableton instrument listen to the output of that drone ("MIDI From" menu).

For whatver reason though, I could not get the instrument to respond yet (works fine in Reaper, so the drone is not the issue here). I'm not very familiar with Live, perhaps you can find out?

blacksun's picture
blacksun
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Last seen 2 hours 36 min ago

Ive tried putting a video on youtube of using Ableton Live instruments with drones.

Its only a quick test containing one drone so still have a couple of things to test/work out:

 

Clicking a clip record button didnt wait for synfire to start playing, so had to start synfire looping then capture a full loop and trim afterwards. However arrangement view worked perfectly as expected.

I only captured the start of the song in clip mode so I dont know if the clip will be recorded at a time equal to the position in the synfire track thats set to loop.

I only used one Drone and one synfire track, there doesnt appear to be a way to tell a midi track which channel to get the notes from, you can only select the midi track with the drone and then the drone vst. This may mean that a separate drone is required for each Ableton live instrument.

 

Sorry about the poor audio quality, it recorded via the mic in the laptop. The video quality is set to mobile quality so its pretty poor but the video was fuzzy in imovie anyway and I couldnt work out how to change its quality.

 

http://youtu.be/jmSm0X6adzA

 

let me know if there is some other way or place of posting it in the Synfire site.

 

andre's picture
andre
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Last seen 1 hour 24 min ago

You can use the "youtube" tag plus the video's id.

Thanks a lot for taking the time to make that video. Great quality. The easiest way to export small clips to Live, by the way, is by drag & drop from the MIDI drone. I will eliminate pressing the "Export" button with the next update. Then a simple drag will do it at any time.

suprimigean's picture
suprimigean
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Last seen 2 months 1 week ago

I don't know if anybody else has an issue with Live like me but most of the times when I play sounds from Synfire instead of Local or Merged mode from Live I get a feedback sound. At the beginning it made me crazy and the only way that I found to correct it was switching presets from the synth or sampler (by the way it happens with every plugin or almost everyone, especially those who can have an annoying feedback like a distorted guitar or bass) but at the end that solution doesn't work for every plugin or case so the only permanent solution that I found is to switch the sample buffer size. It`s a fast solution but I can easily do it 10 times per hour if I tried to work from Synfire instead of Live so it's pretty annoying.

I tried every setting in Synfire; from the Audio and Midi Settings or Input or Global Sounds Rack or Instruments details but I didn't manage to solve it.

Please help.

G

blacksun's picture
blacksun
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Last seen 2 hours 36 min ago

Not sure if you are talking about audio distortion or more like a midi feedback loop?

I've had issues with intermittant audio distortion caused by sound card drivers and this happened without synfire being in the loop.

The midi feedback loop sounds different, there are options for midi through in synfire, you could try turning that off. 

The drones normally work as merged devices unless you export the midi contents to the track when they turn into local mode (and ignore synfire). Check out your routing in synfire, it can get a bit messy especially if you are using the drones as midi drones.

Im still hoping andre releases a midi only drone (ie vst midi effect) as then that can just be dropped into an ableton midi track before any instruments avoiding the need to route midi to other tracks from the drone (which we have to do if we want midi drones to drive ableton native instruments or multi-timberal instruments).

Sorry should have asked, are you using midi drones or drones that host vst instruments?

suprimigean's picture
suprimigean
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Last seen 2 months 1 week ago

Thanks for replying Blacksun

That kind of dropping midi drone would be very useful and easy for sure.

I have tried before to turn off midi through but I never eliminated this feedback, also some other settings like midi input in Global Rack or Reseting CC in sound selection or Manual Mix or Always Send Articulation, etc. I have tried everything so far.

The sound is more like a sustain or midi pedal hold. You play Synfire as a remote or merged drone and it is everything ok until you pause it, then drones keep sounding like if it were an audio feedback.

I don't believe that the drivers are bad especially because when I`m using drones as Local mode they work perfectly so I actually can work very good with Synfire if I just drag and drop the midi files from drones all the time, and as I said the is no problem at all meanwhile I don't try to work on Synfire directly because the Sustain, Feedback or Midi Pedal Hold remains. BTW I`m using Universal Audio Apollo 8p, Twin, and Sattelite. Working like this is time-consuming and would be much more useful to work directly on Synfire instead of having the need to be dragging and dropping all the time before being able to listen to changes.

andre's picture
andre
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Last seen 1 hour 24 min ago

The MIDI data exported with drag & drop is 100% identical to that being played by Synfire real-time. So, if there is a different result, this might be the DAW forcing a reset of the sustain pedal after stop (IIRC, Synfire also does so, but will double check now). I never observed this yet, but this might be because you won't notice it much with sounds that typically use a sustain pedal (like piano). If this is the case, it will be a quick & easy fix with next update.

andre's picture
andre
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Last seen 1 hour 24 min ago

Synfire does reset sustain pedal, mod wheel and a few other CCs on transport stop.

If the pedal still remains down after stop, the DAW might have stopped sending render calls to the Drone, so the reset messages could not be delivered to the guest plugin anymore. Usually a DAW keeps sending render calls non-stop, whether the transport moves or not. But possibly Live has some mode to optimize CPU load or something, which disables a plugin when not used (i.e. transport is stopped and no external MIDI coming in).

If you can disable this mode somehow (if there is one), that might help. Or try doing without sustain pedal as a workaround.

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