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How to Sync 3 Mac Laptops?

I'm trying to figure out how to have 3 MacBooks all running Ableton Live and synced up so the tempo, play/stop, scene selection etc. are all synced up. Also of course having audio from the first laptop sending to the next.

I think I've figured out the audio part but how do I get Ableton on each laptop to be synced with midi clock and also have my Novation Launchpad be able to launch the same scene on all of the laptops?

Thank you!


  • edited October 2015
    I'm not a Live user, but syncing with MIDI clock just means routing MIDI between them, telling one to send MIDI clock, and telling the other two to lock to it. And the Launchpad just has to be routed to all three.

    When I'm back in my studio I'll try to generate a screen dump for you.
  • Thank you so much!

    One more thing.

    In Ableton Live, I want to be able to have audio coming in through my audio interface and have audio coming in from another laptop. Is there some way to have more than one audio input device in Ableton Live?
  • Actually I just realized that my TC Impact Twin has two firewire connections. So hopefully I could have the first laptop in the chain to have the TC Impact Twin as an audio input and the last laptop in the chain to have the TC Impact Twin as the output. All I need is some more cables.
  • Anyone want to help me out? I'm dying to get this working :|
  • Weird. I posted the other day but it never made it. Sorry about that.

    Okay, first the audio. You should be able to daisychain the two FW devices, as long as they're not bus-powered. Go into Audio MIDI Setup and set them up as an aggregate device. Live will see one compound interface.

    By the way, you can get powered FireWire hubs if you ever have more FW devices than inputs.

    Will be back about MIDI shortly....
  • Okay, so the MIDI routing in iConnectMIDI4+ is easy.

    Let's start with the default setup in iConfig: Device -> Restore To Factory Defaults.

    I'm assuming the MacBook in USB Device jack 1 (USB D1) is your MIDI clock master, and the other two USB Device jacks are your slaves.

    Go to the MIDI Port Routing tab, and take a look at USB 1 Device jack 1 in the lefthand Ports column. Those are your MIDI sources. If you click on USB 2 and USB 3, you'll see that they have MIDI Port 5 enabled in the Port Routes (Destinations) matrix to the right.

    That means the Live instances running on MacBooks in USB D 2 and USB D3 have to be set to listen to MIDI port 5, which is an internal 16-channel MIDI port. If you want to use other ports instead, just enable them by clicking in the matrix.

    Now to get the Launchpad to trigger scenes. That means you want all its commands to be cloned and sent to all three computers. Right? If not, the plot will thicken and you'll have to get into filtering out what you don't want... which you can do in the iConnectMIDI4+ as long as they're standard MIDI controllers (and I don't know whether they are).

    I'm afraid you're on your own with that. But the routing is simple.

    Is it connected to the USB Host jack? If so, the process is the same as routing clock: select the USB Host jack with the Launchpad as the source in the MIDI Port Routing tab. You'll see that it's routed to Ports 7 in all three USB D jacks, so Live on those two machines has to listen to Port 7 (unless you change the port routing).

    If the Launchpad is connected directly to a MacBook USB port, you'll have to route it to the other two machines via Live. I'm afraid I can't help you with that either.
  • Filtering MIDI continuous controllers works the same way. Just select the MIDI Port Filters tab in iConfig and disable what you don't want.

    But hopefully you won't have to do that.
  • Oh, I left out an important point: if the Launchpad is USB MIDI Class-Compliant, you can connect it to the iConnectMIDI4+ Host port and it'll work.

    If it requires a driver, then it's not C-C and you have to connect it to the Mac.
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