DJing: How can I ensure that my clips/metronome never go out of sync?

So, over the past few months, I've been practicing DJing using Ableton Live 9 Suite, and slowly piecing together my performance session template, and every now and then, after transitioning through several tracks in a session, the clip I am triggering will do so either too early or too late, or something happens where suddenly the metronome is offset by a click or two.

I honestly can't describe this occurrence any better than I did, and I can't seem to recreate always seems to happen when I least expect it, or when I'm really getting into the mix...absolutely maddening!

This wouldn't really be a problem as I don't NEED the metronome to DJ, but when Ableton's host metronome/tempo/time signature is offset, it results in all of my clips triggering at the wrong times which is really annoying!

I usually keep my quantization to 1 bar, although I've tried using quarter note and I find that I'll still randomly run into this problem.

All of my clips are properly warped—they play from start to finish without missing a beat...and I'm positive it's not a matter of me counting wrong...what could possibly be going wrong, here?

CPU load doesn't really go past 10%...using 44100 sample rate with buffer size of 512 samples.

My session template is four audio "deck" tracks, each with Utility > Effects Rack (modified version of ill.Gates') > Tarekith EQ3.8 > modified version of ill.Gates' "juicy" fader. Four corresponding MIDI tracks between each so I can implement lights later. A track for 1 shots on one side that I don't currently use.

Hope you guys can help me out—this has been extremely discouraging!


Heinzerdaust 3 years ago | 0 comments

5 answers

  • Amebastudio
    3 answers
    3 votes received
    1 vote

    I also have this problem and I can tell you why this is happening. I already sent mails to Ableton regarding this issue.

    So the problem is due to "Re-enable automation button". And it happens because when you click the button thinking that it will only reset automation to your defaults it is also changing the Time Signature meaning that if you're working in 1BAR as I'm too and you have songs with odd signatures like 6/8 for example. When you launch a scene that has BPM and Signature predefined values you'll see that the "Re-enable automation button" lights up. What this is doing also that many people don't notice is changing your grid too (Turn the metronome ON and see it happening) and adding break points in the arrangement view. The result of this is that because your grid has now changed and there is time consistency between Live's Session Clips and Live's main transport, when you launch a scene that is supposed to be at the predefined Time Signature you've set before instead it is launching it with the default Signature because during your live performance you've at least pressed the "re-enable automation" once. 


    The only (almost) workaround is using Clypxh but since it also doesn't have an option for re-enabling automation without changing the signature too, you have to use the "[ ] SIG" command. But even this is not ideal because Clyphx commands are somehow independent of Live's API meaning that in this specific case the command will change the Signature but not restart the position to the first beat of the new Signature because there's a 100ms delay in all Clyphx commands, as said in the manual. And in this case because we're talking about synchronization and not just Signature changes timing is essential.

    The best way to see that this is what happens is to have your metronome activated. 

    If it's ON you'll see that when you do this you're metronome keeps on sync but gets offgrid.


    I still don't know how there are so many users of Live in the world and so many few can't understand why this is so important and could even change the way you make music.

    With this option you could have all your songs in a single project, every song with a different Time Signature and changing from parts of different songs without ever needing to press the main Stop transport.

    Above this you could have Ciyphx responsible for the transitions of one track to another with a different Time Signature without getting offsync.


    This is why Ableton should have at least have the option to NOT mess with Time Signature unless told to. The "Re-Enable automation" button should only do this even when having launch options on Scenes.


    2 years ago | 0 comments
  • afalden
    2 answers
    2 votes received
    1 vote

    I have the same problem , I ve spent soon much time trying to figure it out ...glad to know im not the only one ..though it still sucks

    2 years ago | 0 comments
  • WorshipBatterie
    1 answer
    1 vote received
    1 vote

    This seems to be due to the fact that when launching a scene, we can launch all clips at the same time with the Master Play button in the last scene to the right (hope you know what I'm referring to) however, launching from that play button does not restart the global count in Live.  Still, our clips have been quantized to whatever beat we choose and therefore they should only launch in those beats.  Yet we still have this problem where our tracks will launch on random beats from Lives count... And it does seem to be quite random, as some tracks will wait for the down beat of 1 before launching, and some will literally take a 1 bar count from say, the down beat of 3 and therefore launch on the 3 of the next bar... 

    The only solution I've found to work around this issue is to simply stop Live's count as well as the tracks before launching the next scene. It's not a good solution-- it works, but for a program such as this, Live should not be having these kinds of issues. I'm sure there is a reasonable explanation though, besides what Amebastudio mentioned; even if you don't touch the Automation button, changing time signatures automatically activates it. These kinds of things just shouldn't happen in a program of this quality and caliber.. I hope that I find the proper solution-- if there is one...

    2 years ago | 0 comments
  • tanpianoman
    1 answer
    1 vote received
    1 vote

    This issue is maddening...the fact that it isn't fixed a year later is very disappointing. The solution/workaround that I have found is to keep everything 4/4, and have different click tracks that fit the time signature you need.

    For example, if you have a song that is in 3/4 100 BPM, change the tempo to 100 * 4 / 3= 133.33 bpm, change the grid to 1/1Triplet grid and draw in the notes. This is the only way I have found to avoid the time signature automation.

    1 year ago | 0 comments
  • hannsu
    1 answer
    0 votes received
    0 votes

    I'm having the same issues in our live set! Really wanna know what it is. Sometimes all goes well and sometimes everything gets out of time! Help please!

    3 years ago | 1 comment

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