Midi playback function > How to synchronise Ableton with the drummer

Hello there,
Thanks to your help, I’m almost able to have my rackspaces ans variations change during the songs of a new album I’m about to record, without touching knobs. I’d really like to do this during the recording.
The fact is that the drummer is launching some samples with his SPD.
We could use the same playback timings etc but how to synchronise “the moment we push play” ?
Thanks in advance and have a great evening

SPD MIDI out > MIDI interface > GP
Just “catch” the MIDI START /STOP messages, GP will START/STOP playing :wink:

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What is SPD?

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think so :wink:

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Maybe this device can help

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Thanks man ! What if I’m already using midi from a keyboard to the interface ?

  • You can daisy chain MIDI (although I’m not a fan of that in a Live situation)
  • Get another MIDI interface
  • Get a merger box - attention here to a good quality one…
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Thank you keyman :slight_smile:

How do I “catch” the midi start stop messages ?

Have a look here:

Let’s go to the beginning:
The title says “How to synchronize Ableton with the drummer”,
but I have the feeling it should be
“How to synchronize the drummer with Ableton” :wink:
=> Change the Drummer

Now more serious: Do you want to start/stop Ableton Live by the Drummer?


Ahahaha ! Thank you, and sorry !!
Yes that would be perfect.
But it’s ok if i’m starting the tune too. I mean if it’s me that push starts.
The most important being that we have the same beggining and same tempo so that he can have his samples, and me my “GP CONTROL” midi track in Ableton controlling my variations.

OK, in my bands I am startin Ableton Live via my Midi Controller.
The Midi Controller starts the global playhead and with LINK enabled the tempo in Ableton Live gives the tempo to Gig Performer.
The drummer gets a click track sent from Ableton Live, so he should be in sync with Ableton Live.

you can also let the drummer start Loops and Samples, but this should trigger clips in Ableton Live.
So you would have a click track wich is running and the drummer can trigger clips which then automatically start with the next beat (for example).
This start you can define in Ableton Live (net 4 bars, next 2 bars, next bar, next beat, next 1/8 or totally free).

to make it easy in the beginning:
In ABleton Live on Midi Mapping Mode you can map your Controller to start/stop clips etc.

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Thank you very much !
And how can I do so that the drummer ear the click ?

I think it will be easier if the drummer starts the song and that he has his own click (and spd sound).
It would be great if when I or he presses start, both of our engines start …
Sorry for the bad explanations !

In Ableton Live you can enable a click an route it to a physical out of your Audio Interface.
Or you use a Cowbell Sample and let it loop and the output of the track you can route to a physical out.

You know Murphy?
Which Engine is the master?
One Engine will be fast than the other…

Yes but the drummer needs to ear his SPD when he plays, if he only has the click that wont work.

Then let him buy a small mixer where he can mix the output of the SPD and Ableton.

In my bands whe use a Allen&Heath Mixer
All my plabacks from Ableton and my Live sounds are sent as a stereo signal to the mixer.
The Click Track is sent to a separate Mono channel in the Mixer.

Each Musician uses in Ear and can make his own Monitor Mix.

Sometimes I am using a 4th Channel just to control the musicians to indicate when for example the
refrain starts: It is a sample which says “1 2 3 4”

or in Bavarian “oans zwoa drei Gsuffa” :wink: