Combining hardware and software in a DAW

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szurcio
KVRian
792 posts since 25 Nov, 2005

Post Sun Dec 08, 2019 8:20 am

Do you experience MIDI sync problems (or any other potential problems) when sequencing hardware synths and hardware drum machines in a DAW? I love the hands-on aspect and sound of analog hardware (also: no CPU taxing) but I'm concerned about problems that may arise when sequencing everything ITB. (Right now I'm sequencing 2 external synths in Novation Circuit but it's more limited compared to sequencing on a computer). I can imagine it will become even more complicated (sync/clock-wise) when I want to combine hardware with softsynths... Any solutions/advice for less headache? (and I would prefer not to spend thousands of dollars on something like Sequentix Cirklon)

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RichieWitch
KVRian
609 posts since 15 Jun, 2015

Re: Combining hardware and software in a DAW

Post Sun Dec 08, 2019 4:11 pm

I can't speak for every DAW, but I'm using Ableton Live and a MOTU MIDI Express XT, along with seven hardware synthesizers, and two pieces of MIDI-controllable outboard gear. My keyboard skills are just passable, so after I make my best attempt at whatever musical idea I have in mind, and then let Live sequence everything after I've tweaked it. Never had a problem as long as I had all settings correct in Live. I've used several of the smaller MOTU MIDI hubs too, all with excellent results.

kritikon
KVRAF
5117 posts since 24 May, 2002 from Tutukaka, New Zealand

Re: Combining hardware and software in a DAW

Post Thu Dec 12, 2019 12:11 pm

I used to have a reasonably large hw setup back in the day, and it was never a problem syncing stuff together even with old versions of sw. Should be even less so with newer gear. Some older midi analogues, when midi was a new thing, used to be troublesome to edit via midi - eg Juno 106s used sysex to edit, which sends huge amounts of midi data and causes delays, but anything from the last 20 yrs or so are far easier midi-wise. Also, long midi chains potentially cause delays, but I used to have up to 11 units in a chain and only my OSCar ever had an issue...and that was only dependent on where it was in the chain. Mostly all you use is midi notes, program changes, and some mod wheels etc via midi, and that won't cause you any problems.

I noticed some midi gear only has midi in/out, which could be a problem, as you need thru as well...but most outs also serve as midi thru, so it's just poor labelling. TBH if you have any midi issues mixing hw and sw together, it's likely to be old collectable hw, not newer stuff.

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thecontrolcentre
KVRAF
25687 posts since 27 Jul, 2005 from the wilds of wanny

Re: Combining hardware and software in a DAW

Post Thu Dec 12, 2019 12:26 pm

szurcio wrote:
Sun Dec 08, 2019 8:20 am
Do you experience MIDI sync problems (or any other potential problems) when sequencing hardware synths and hardware drum machines in a DAW?
Nope

szurcio
KVRian
792 posts since 25 Nov, 2005

Re: Combining hardware and software in a DAW

Post Thu Dec 12, 2019 12:52 pm

OK - what about external hardware sequencers (like Circuit)? Again, as far as timing and sync with the DAW's own clock.

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Distorted Horizon
KVRAF
2999 posts since 17 Jan, 2017 from Planet of cats

Re: Combining hardware and software in a DAW

Post Thu Dec 12, 2019 2:10 pm

4 hw synths and midi kb connected with usb. No issues.

Well when I record something, I need to nudge the recorded audio file backwards a bit since the timing has a slight delay that seems impossible to "fix".

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RichieWitch
KVRian
609 posts since 15 Jun, 2015

Re: Combining hardware and software in a DAW

Post Thu Dec 12, 2019 5:36 pm

szurcio wrote:
Thu Dec 12, 2019 12:52 pm
OK - what about external hardware sequencers (like Circuit)? Again, as far as timing and sync with the DAW's own clock.
Yeah, I have a Novation Circuit. Definitely no issues there.

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