SFP routing in Ableton Live

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Chisel
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Post by Chisel » Tue Aug 16, 2005 10:18 pm

I'm trying to come up with an SFP project for Live, but I'm running into issues. Am I supposed to route the SFP mixer channels to ASIO destinations? The only way I can hear it in Live is through the Ext. In. audio source, but then I only get two channels. I tried adding more ASIO destinations, but Live still only shows two channels. As for MIDI, I have to route the seq midi source to the seq midi dest in SFP in order to record MIDI events in Live. But then I have to route the seq midi source to the individual SFP synths to play them. I think I'm creating a midi feedback loop this way. My ideal setup would be to have a 1:1 match between the SFP mixer and the Live mixer, with the ability to load any synth and record midi & audio into Live. Any suggestions?

Thanks,
Chisel

pseudojazzer
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Post by pseudojazzer » Wed Aug 17, 2005 5:33 am

You have to activate the asio channels in live (whether you want mono or stereo [or both!!]) - first creats an asio source in scope of how many channels you need, then activate them in live, then for each channel select Ext. out and the channel number in scope. Dunno bout you midi problem as i use a usb keyboard, but i'd imagine you link scope midi to seq midi then select an ext out for the midi channel and have it as audio going into scope.
Hope that helps

Chisel
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Post by Chisel » Wed Aug 17, 2005 10:06 am

Thanks for the help! I actually figured it out soon after I posted here. I haven't been able to split out the Ext. In the same way. I'd like to have each of the SFP synths routed to a separate audio track in Live, but it only shows 1/2 input. Also, I'm curious how you got your USB keyboard working with SFP. I actually have two USB MIDI controllers that I'd like to use in SFP also.

Thanks again,
Chisel

pseudojazzer
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Post by pseudojazzer » Wed Aug 17, 2005 4:06 pm

I would route the midi to the sfp modules/synths you want, then route that to a channel on the mixer you are using in sfp, then take either a direct out or use a bus to send it to the asio destination (live in your case) - if there is only one showing up in live its probably cos you either haven't made any more in scope or you have not activated.
The thing with the usb controllers is that the do not originate in scope - but rather in your sequencer - so you select them as a source in your sequencer - then send that signal to scope or whatever.
Cheers

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: pseudojazzer on 2005-08-17 17:07 ]</font>

Chisel
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Post by Chisel » Fri Aug 19, 2005 7:08 am

Thanks again for your help. Last night I finally came up with a solution that will work for me. I had three goals:

1) Be able to use any of my MIDI controllers (PCI or USB based) in SFP
2) Keep native VSTs in Live (they have their own DSP effects, no use wasting Pulsar's precious DSPs)
3) Route all audio to Master track in Live (in order to render to disk)

With these three goals in mind, this is the routing I came up with:

Live
----
One audio track with Audio In: Ext. IN and Audio Out: Master, Monitoring enabled (this is the SFP track - satisfies goal 3)
One or more MIDI tracks with MIDI In: ALL devices and MIDI Out: Creamware MIDI Ch.
One or more MIDI tracks with MIDI In: ALL devices and MIDI Out: Live MIDI Track hosting multitimbral VST
One MIDI track that hosts multitimbral VST and Audio OUT: Master (satisfies goal 2)

SFP
---
Pulsar II MIDI In -> Seq. MIDI Out (So Creamware MIDI shows up in Live)
Seq. MIDI In -> Pulsar Synths AND 1632 Mixer (this is the MIDI coming out of Live)
Note: By using this indirect approach to routing the MIDI signal (satisfies goal 1 - I may now use my UC33e to control the 1632 Mixer!)

ASIO Source -> Pulsar II Audio Out (So I may hear everything through my studio monitors)
Pulsar Synth Audio Outs -> 1632 Mixer channels
1632 Mixer Main Outs -> ASIO Dest. (This gets routed to the audio track in Live)

I'm typing this off the top of my head without looking at my setup so I hope I didn't miss anything. The only thing I haven't figured out yet is how to use the SFP's mastering suite on all audio and bring it back into Live for the final rendering. I'd imagine it would be easier just to render it first and master in Sound Forge. I hope this helps any newbies out there with a similar setup. I've only had the card for two days and I realize this is just one of a million possible solutions. So far it works beautifully! Any comments?

Peace /
Chisel

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garyb
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Post by garyb » Fri Aug 19, 2005 11:33 am

good job!
don't be afraid to alter it to fit any situation that mnay come up!

i would monitor audio from the scope mixer, not live....(no latency, respect to the running latency discussion....)playback or vstis would be the only audio that i'd take from live. one hint: any output can feed more than one input....

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: garyb on 2005-08-19 12:36 ]</font>

Chisel
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Post by Chisel » Fri Aug 19, 2005 4:54 pm

Thanks, garyb.

I'm trying to monitor everything from SFP, but I keep getting audio feedback loops. Basically, I need everything routed back to Live so I can render the song. I tried sending the 1632 mix out to the pulsar card and to ASIO dest. The problem is, if I try to monitor the SFP track, it creates a feedback loop. I also tried routing the 1632 mixer to Wave Dest. and recording in Sound Forge, but then I can't hear the playback because I can't connect two devices to the Pulsar2 Analog Dest unless I add another mixer? Any suggestions?

Thanks,
Chisel

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garyb
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Post by garyb » Fri Aug 19, 2005 10:05 pm

sure. turn monitoring off in live and send playback to the mixer. route your sound sources to the mixer and ALSO directly to your asio dest. no feedback loop is possible that way. direct outs on the channels are another way to do it(don't send the mix out to the asio dest). if you have the stm2448, it has direst outs AND sub group(recording) outs.

Chisel
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Post by Chisel » Sat Aug 20, 2005 1:06 am

You're a genius!! Thanks for the tip. Now I can get started makin' some serious tunes. Please check out my site if ya get a chance to hear my pre-Pulsar music :smile:

Peace Out /
Chisel

http://www.soundclick.com/chisel316

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Post by dawman » Mon Aug 22, 2005 6:05 pm

Chisel, are you using this for live performance? I am curious to see how successful this app is with Scope. I've been watching this app bloom for a while now and your success needs to be known. Cause if I were to use a second computer with a VST Host, that would be my choice with FX Teleport, or similar networking.

Chisel
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Post by Chisel » Tue Aug 23, 2005 3:17 pm

I just have a mini-studio setup on one side of our rec room (see pic on my soundclick site). I just chose Live over the other sequencers because it gives me the best workflow. I also have an MPC1000 which I use to sequence with when I don't feel like using the computer. I'm just trying to integrate SFP into all this and still have the same great workflow I had before. My only concern so far is dealing with two mixers (SFP & Live) and jumping back and forth between the two apps. I'm trying to make it as seamless as possible while taking advantage of the strengths of both programs.

Peace /
Chisel

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Post by dawman » Wed Aug 24, 2005 1:29 pm

Please try to let me know of any difficulties you might have. I agree that the workflow is much more sensible, and 4 live performance it seems like good old midi sequencing, plus audio loops without a hitch.

Chisel
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Post by Chisel » Wed Aug 24, 2005 10:46 pm

Well, tonight I was questioning whether or not I need a mixer in SFP. I mean, if I route all the modules into ASIO destinations (individual tracks in Live), why do I need a mixer in SFP? I rather use the DSP on synths & effects. Does this make sense? This way, I can keep everything in Live the way I'm use to having it.

Peace /
Chisel

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garyb
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Post by garyb » Thu Aug 25, 2005 12:47 am

you don't NEED a mixer, it's just the best place to monitor stuff......

Chisel
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Post by Chisel » Mon Aug 29, 2005 8:02 am

You are absolutely correct, garyb. After trying to route my Scope synths straight into ASIO destination channels, I experienced the latency issue you were referring to in an earlier post. So now I have all Scope synths/effects staying in SFP. My Live synth/effects are routed into SFP as well. Then rather than sending the Scope mixer back into Live, I'm sending it to WAV Destination and recording the final mix in Sound Forge. This eleviates any feedback issues. Of course I'm also sending the Scope mix out directly to the card so I get zero latency when listening to playback. Thanks again for your help. Maybe now I can finally start composing.

Peace /
Chisel

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Post by ScofieldKid » Tue Nov 08, 2005 7:58 pm

This has been a really interesting thread. It really makes you think about the signal chain. Thinking about questions like: where do I want the mixer to sit? And: where is the best place to do monitoring? And: how do I avoid feedback loops?

The first approach, Ableton as mixer:

SFP-synth -> SFP-mixer -> ASIO Dest -> Ableton Synths and Tracks -> Ableton Mixer Outputs -> ASIO Src 1/2 -> Analog Outputs

The second approach, SFP as the mixer, thus better direct monitoring:

Ableton Synths and Tracks -> ASIO Src 1..n
SFP-synth -> SFP-mixer -> MixL/R -> Analog Outputs

Then the variation of mixing in SFP and at the same time outputing individual tracks to Ableton:

SFP-Synth -> SFP-mixer + SFP-Synth -> ASIO Dest 1..n

And then even a proposal for not mixing inside SFP, and just ASIO routing:

SFP-Synth -> ASIO Dest 1..n -> Ableton Synth and Tracks -> ASIO Src 1/2 -> Analog Outputs

The idea of just doing MIDI + VST's within Ableton is pretty interesting. It would mean that your Ableton project would really just be a collection of MIDI data and VST settings. Very efficient.

The other idea that showed up here is using the WAV driver as an alternate path. That's a very handy trick as well.

Just summing up... Good stuff...

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Post by ScofieldKid » Wed Nov 09, 2005 1:08 am

And just to add one trick I noticed in MIDI with Ableton Live. In Ableton MIDI "overdubs" when in overdub mode. It also defaults to play-while-record. So you can get a wicked MIDI feedback loop when you are doing overdubs. [ Ableton's audio tracks do a replace, not an overdub. ]

My workaround for that was to use two MIDI Merger 4's in Scope. The first merger sends everything *except* Sequencer Source to Sequencer Dest. The second merger sends to the Scope synth modules.

Chisel
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Post by Chisel » Wed Nov 09, 2005 9:53 am

Since my last post from back in August, I've settled on an SFP project that I started actually using :smile: Believe it or not, it doesn't include a mixer. The reason is that Live excels at recording and manipulating audio clips. Since I only have 6 DSPs, I find myself bouncing the audio to clips and arranging them in Live. This makes the song self-contained and makes it easier to render directly in Live without having to use the WAV module to record in another app.

The gist of it is that I record MIDI sequences in Live that trigger the SFP synths which get routed to individual audio tracks in Live. Once I have the sequences just right, I record the audio clips. Then I can disable the MIDI tracks and work exclusively with the audio. Using this approach, I can make an evolving pad that takes up all 6 DSPs, bounce it to an audio clip, and repeat.

I couldn't have gotten this far without this site and its knowledgable members. THANKS! :grin:

Peace /
Chisel
http://www.soundclick.com/chisel316

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garyb
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Post by garyb » Wed Nov 09, 2005 3:19 pm

:grin:
glad it works for you. if you ever want do anything any other way, or use another piece of software, you can because you know your machine now...

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sonicstrav
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Post by sonicstrav » Sat Feb 09, 2008 6:20 am

This is an old topic but I wondered with the new implementation of external hardware routing in Live 7 - what would be the best way of using this facility in Scope?

The External Instrument device handles MIDI and audio routing and can be used to streamline the routing of hardware synths, multitimbral plug-ins and ReWire devices. The External Audio Effect device routes audio to and from user-specified ports of your audio hardware, allowing you to insert hardware effects boxes into a track's device chain. Both devices automatically compensate for any latencies introduced by audio and MIDI interfaces. (Ableton web site)

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