The Voice of the Octagon: Morning Monsters from Karagod

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How To MIDI Sync Ableton Live on Two Macs

The Voice of the Octagon uses Ableton Live and two synced Macs to make our music. Getting our rig up and running isn’t too difficult but it is a lot of steps. We haven’t been able to find a detailed tutorial, so we thought we’d make one ourselves. Here’s how we do it:

On the computer that will be the MIDI master

  1. Click on System Preferences in the Apple menu.
    step-1-preferences

  2. From the System Preference menu, choose “Network”.
    step-2-preferences-network

  3. Click on the little + at the bottom of the list of services. Create a new service, and name it something you’ll recognize.
    step-3.1-new-service

    step-3.2-new-service-name

  4. From the Airport menu, Click on “Create Network”
  5. “Create a Computer-to-Computer Network”. Name it something recognizable.
    step-5-create-new-network

  6. in Finder, open Applications > Utilities > Audio MIDI setup.
    step-6-audio-midi-setup

  7. From the “MIDI Devices” menu, choose “Network”.
    step-7-audi-midi-network

  8. Click on the + under the “My Sessions” window. You should see a session in the session window, probably called “Session 1”.
    step-8-my-sessions

  9. Change the “Bonjour Name” field to something memorable.
  10. Open Ableton Live and Go to “MIDI Sync” in the Preferences menu.
  11. In the Midi Ports section, next to “Output” click “Sync” on so that it turns yellow.
    step-11-ableton-midi-sync

  12. If you start Live, you should see a blinking orange square at top left that keeps time with the selected tempo.
    step-12-start-ableton-live

On the computer that will be the MIDI slave

  1. Join the network you just created on step 5 above.
  2. in Finder, open Applications > Utilities > Audio MIDI setup.
  3. From the “MIDI Devices” menu, choose “Network”.
  4. Click on the + under the “My Sessions” window. You should see a session in the session window, probably called “Session 1”.
  5. Choose the same Bonjour Name in the Directory section that you made in step 9 above. Click “Connect”.
  6. Open Ableton Live and Go to “MIDI Sync” in the Preferences menu.
  7. In the Midi Ports section, next to “Input” click “Sync” on so that it turns yellow.
    step-2-7-ableton-midi-sync

  8. Click on the “EXT” at top left in Live. The master machine should now control the tempo on the slave machine.
    step-2-8-ableton-ext