How can I synchronize two Mac laptops with Live so a friend and I can perform together?

There are some hard-to-follow tutorials on the web about this but we need a straightforward, simple document to follow that can help set this up.


merges 6 years ago | 0 comments

10 answers

  • [mlp] Ableton staff
    24 answers
    74 votes received
    20 votes

    I tried this with a friend once and it worked great. My solution assumes you and your collaborator are using OS X with wireless network cards, and that you are using Live 8.2.2.


    1. Create a wireless network

    • from System Preferences select 'Network'
    • click the '+' sign at the bottom left of the network interface list
    • select 'AirPort' from the 'Interface' drop-down menu, and give it a name such as 'Network for Live collaboration', then click 'Create'
    • back in the Network panel, select 'Create Network...'
    • give the network a unique name and click 'OK' (although not required, you should probably also select the 'Require Password' checkbox and give a suitable password)


    2. Setup the MIDI host

    • start-up Audio MIDI Setup (/Applications/Utilities/Audio MIDI
    • click the 'Window' menu and select 'Show MIDI Window'
    • double-click the 'Network' icon
    • under the 'My Sessions' section click the '+' button
    • click the checkbox beside the session 'Session 1'
    • note the name in the field labeled 'Bonjour name' in the panel to the right of 'My Sessions'
    • make sure 'Anyone' is selected from the 'Who may connect to me:' drop-down menu below the 'Directory' listing


    3. Setup the MIDI slave

    • connect to the wireless network you created earlier on the second computer
    • open 'Audio MIDI Setup'
    • under 'My Sessions' click the '+' button
    • check the checkbox beside the session 'Session 1'
    • in the 'Directory' section you should see the name in the 'Bonjour name' text field you saw on the first computer
    • select the name from the 'Directory' listing then click the 'Connect' button below the section


    4. Setup Live to sync over the network

    • start Live
    • from the preferences select the 'MIDI Sync' tab
    • ensure 'Sync' is set to 'On' for 'Input' on the slave computer, and 'On' for 'Output' for the master computer

    Now starting and stopping your Live set on the master computer should synch with the slave machine.

    6 years ago | 2 comments
  • mikestjean
    3 answers
    11 votes received
    5 votes

    Is anyone else having the 'arrangement position' of the slave restart back to 1.1.1 when they start their Master timeline position anywhere past 1024.1.1 ? Or more accurately 1024.4.4


    This is really confusing and messing up my ability to sync two hour-long live sets .. what am I doing wrong?



    5 years ago | 0 comments
  • Ubik
    1 answer
    4 votes received
    4 votes

    A simpler way to do this :

    1. Connect both soundcardS with a midi cable. On the master computer, the cable will be connected to the midi out port, on the slave computer to the midi in port.

    2. Go to the preferences of ableton live, go to the midi sync tab and find your soundcard in the midi ports section :

    3. On the master check sync on the output

    4. On the slave check sync on the input

         Leave the midi clock on song

    5. Check the "EXT" button (on the left of the tap tempo button) on the slave computer.

    6. Press play on the master, the slave should follow.


    If you want to sync over lan :

    via wifi : use matt solution

    via ethernet : you can use ipmidi (free software for mac osx), the configuration in live's preferences stay the same except that you don't check the sync button on your soundcard but right to the ipMidi entry in the list.

    6 years ago | 1 comment
  • Ableton_Support Ableton staff
    20 answers
    154 votes received
    4 votes
    6 months ago | 0 comments
  • kaimuse
    2 answers
    2 votes received
    2 votes

    The master/slave MIDI cable approach has worked fine in live gig situations for me and the vocalist I work with sometimes. (I bought a second little MIDI i/O box for her end which sits on a separate USB port from her soundcard, but it should be possible to use the MIDI ports present on a soundcard if it has them.) Her Ableton (for live vocal FX) is the master clock, and mine the slave, along with some hardware I use (multiport MIDI outs to them on my end) including a Tenori-on and some Kaoss Pads, all set as slaves too.. You do need to look out for looping settings, jumping to bar such-and-such, etc. and be sure to set the slave back to bar 001 first before the master presses start if you want it to start from there. 

    6 years ago | 0 comments
  • BangAndO
    1 answer
    2 votes received
    2 votes

    @ matt.patey


    Thanks for this solution that works very well.

    But we still have got a problem..

    We would like to use it for a Live set and we would like to know if it is possible to send the audio of the slave computer Master to the other computer ?

    6 years ago | 1 comment
  • Tarekith
    8 answers
    33 votes received
    1 vote

    If you both have MIDI interfaces, the simplest way is to just set up one Live session to be the MIDI Clock Master, and the other to be MIDI Clock Slave.  In Live's MIDI Preferences, make sure Sync Out and Remote Out are turned on for the Master Session, and Sync In and Remote In are turned on for the Slave Session.

    6 years ago | 0 comments
  • YILA
    1 answer
    1 vote received
    1 vote

    i've tried via the ethernet and it goes out of sync so badly, even if when i tried to compensate with tle latency setups, goes out of sync, what is wrong? 

    1 year ago | 1 comment
    1 answer
    0 votes received
    0 votes


    Thanks a lot for response it was very helpful I did it and got the sync of both computer but when I hit play in the Master the BPM value of the Slave start jumping to other values! Do you know what might be going on?

    5 years ago | 3 comments
  • Kyotee
    3 answers
    -2 votes received
    -4 votes

    just connect an audio out channel from your slave´s audio interface to an audio in of your master´s audio interface and route the input to any channel you want in your master`s liveset. Only prob might be the latency when you use them in sync while getting slaves audio back to the master. Depends on what you want to do... 

    5 years ago | 0 comments

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