Clocking modular from Ableton Live

Any experiences with clocking your modular rig with Ableton Live? I’m looking for convenient ways to sync my sequences and triggers with the BPM within the live set. Been trying out a couple of different approaches, some more successful than others. Had most luck by creating a track with a very short and loud hi-hat sample or click pulses etc - then sending this out via a DC coupled output to the modular. I just find it a little tricky and time consuming setting it up each time, and sometimes it doesn’t really feel too stable either. I’ve doing this quite a bit with the Arturia Keystep, and very often it seems like the signal is actually too hot for the sync in on the Keystep. The metronome clock in Ableton itself don’t seem to do the trick too well either, or am I doing something wrong?

I haven’t really had the time to experiment to much with this yet, but I desire to clock my Ansible by, or sync it with, the BPM of my live set in Ableton Live. The idea is to be able to run re:mix in m4l and have that synced with my sequencers run by Kria on my modular set up. So for all I know the clock in on Ansible is easy to sync?

Any tips or experiences with this? I would love to be able to switch using my Grid between sample processing in Ableton Live and running Kria with my modular, and having the two synced up : - ) It may be note worthy that I got an ES-8 in my rack, so I can easily send stuff from Ableton to my modules and vice versa.

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Have you tried setting up a template project or default setting?

I use the clock section of this with my dc coupled output:

http://spektroaudio.com/cv-toolkit-mini

Built in div/mult

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If you have an es-8 I would use silentway to send triggers. I have a es-1 through 7(all the modules) and I built a template so it loads with clock, clocked lfos, multiple cv and envelopes, dc offsets connected to the knobs on push, two drum racks. Etc.
If you just need a master clock set up a trigger and save a template with the trigger plugin and a series of clips with notes for 1/8, 1/16, 1/32 notes. I find that works great for me.

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I’ve been using the clock module here with dc-coupled outputs of my soundcard

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i either use the mother 32’s midi>cv and send sync from ableton (the swing on the m32 is really nice), or send a trigger sample from an ableton drum rack to an amp (i use ears) to get it to modular level.

but i’m probably going to drop all that and to what @shellfritsch just suggested, thanks for the link!

I’ve had good luck with the clock impulse sample that Make Noise posted a few years ago. I made a Simpler preset with it so I can just drop it on a track when I need it. That said, I’ve had better luck with the Expert Sleepers solution @michael_matos mentioned.

Swynx Future Retro could also work for what you are trying to do. I got it for syncing my modular to Elektron boxes. Other external boxes like the Doepfer MSY2 might work but I’m not 100% sure.
There are a couple other options if you have space for modules in your case like the Erica Synths Midi to Clock module.

I can’t find the pulse wave file on the makenoise site so I uploaded it below.

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@kirklandish Yeah, I’ve made a couple of different templates actually, but often seem to overwrite them by accident, so that’s kind of a drag… I wish there was a easier way to have templates ready in Live. Maybe there is? I’ve saved preferences in the default of course, so every time I open a new live set it is set up to record the 6 inputs from my aggregated device set up.

@shellfritsch Thank you, I’ll be sure to check this out asap. Sounds like a very good approach : - )

@madeofoak I’ve actually also been trying a somewhat similar approach with my Keystep, syncing that up with Ableton via USB. Thing is I’ve been having some trouble with some kind of ground loop noise with that solution, so I ditched the USB connection pretty fast. The CV ToolKit solution does sound like a good approach!

@michael_matos I had actually forgotten the whole Silent Way package by now! I had so much trouble setting up voice control with my Push that I just had enough of it. But then again I had great fun with the LFOs and stuff. Going to try to set up something similar asap! Thanks : - )

@rdfm Thanks for the link! A lot of good options now!

@jzed Thank you for the upload! I’m going to try the Silent Way and the CV ToolKit for now, but having this as a back up as well.

I just have a Silent Way clock in my Ableton template. Whenever I fire up my system I just patch that clock out from my ES-8 into my system. Couldnt be easier! I especially like that is has offset to compensate for latency.

Nice! This do sound really efficient and nice, can’t believe I didn’t think of it. Can’t wait to give it a go when I get home from work!

I also used to use CV Toolkit too but Silent Way is far superior. Highly recommend it!

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Awesome! When I come to think about it, it may be that I actually got both CV tool kit AND Silent Way installed on my studio computer. I just apparently haven’t got to know the plugins too well. Thanks for great advice!

If you’ve got/when you get Ableton Live 10, I’ve got a handful of free max for live devices for working with my modular rig. One of them is cv clock output.

You can find link to download all of them on my website: danielrdehaan.com/devices

Enjoy!

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Nice @danielrdehaan ! I’ve pre-ordered it and will try out the beta this coming week. I’m pretty sure I’ve been using one of your M4L devices for midi to CV with my Push actually. Super stuff! : - )

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Been using the Silent Way approach the last couple of days with great success! Saved it into my template. Going to experiment more with the clocked/synced LFOs and stuff too : - )

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I’ve got a few small Modular cases which I only get out one at a time (not much space and I like the creative restriction). Some have umidi which seems to work fine, although I always find it really difficult to set ableton’s sync delay just right (any tips?), and I just ordered an sq-1 for the others. I hope it works ok for sending triggers from midi clock/ midi notes, and really hope that it doesn’t have the usb ground noise that I’ve experienced with other solutions. Anyone know if it’s possible/safe to clip ground on usb the way you might with a balanced audio cable or lift the ground on power stuff?

Hi! I’ve been using the trigger in SW to clock my modular, but that one doesn’t have the offset function. Other than that it works really great, but I would like to have it synced in with the projects bpm.
I guess you’re using the sync patch/plugin? I don’t quite get how to use it. It seems like it is sending a rather constant voltage. Any tips on how to set it up?

Check this out. I’ve not used the device itself but the toolkit is available for download and you could simply use it with some sort of amplifier. The device itself seems like a simple clock conditioner. A logic module could probably do the same.

http://www.bastl-instruments.com/instruments/klik/

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Yeah I use the sync plugin but I do remember it took some tweaking to get it right. Don’t remember exactly what I had to do to get it to work because it just sits in my template all ready to go now. I can send a screenshot of my settings next time I’m at the computer. Try tweaking the settings while monitoring the clock until it seems right!

Ah yes, I would really appreciate a screenshot of your settings! : - ) Will give it another spin asap, but I couldn’t quite figure it out yesterday. Thanks!