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#428549 - 09/02/17 02:29 PM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Need advice about digital audio timing, please
Registered: 07/12/00
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Loc: Hudson Valley & Lake George NY
Matt Finley Online   content
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I've never worried much about timing in my digital audio equipment because I just make composer demos. If I need pro quality recordings, I go into a studio. However:

Recently I took a track (.WAV file) I made from BIAB into the studio, to use along with live recording. The BIAB tempo on that track was 122 bpm. Yet when the recording engineer loaded it into ProTools, we couldn't get the BIAB track to line up fully with a click track at 122 bpm. He then measured my track at 121.896. He used the Elastic Audio function of ProTools to align my track so we could proceed. So:

Why does this happen?

I've had other difficulties of tracks wandering slightly off time at the ends of songs, but never considered it to be caused by my equipment (see my signature). I just use 44.1 and either 16 or 24-bit recording, nothing so exotic like 98 or 192 where I might expect to run into problems.

If I used a word clock accessory, like this: https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/SyncGen
would that prevent the problem?

Thanks for any advice!

ps Word clocks seem to come in all prices, with the basic one above priced at $100 but you can pay THOUSANDS! If you think I do need one and have recommendations, I'm listening.
_________________________
BIAB 2018 Win Audiophile; [& 2018 Mac UltraPak]. Software: Mixcraft, Adobe Audition, Ozone, Encore; Win 10 64 Pro. Hardware: custom i7, 16 Gb; Roland Integra-7, Focusrite 18i20(2), TCE Finalizer, Behringer X-Touch, Adam sub & monitors.

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#428567 - 09/02/17 05:05 PM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Need advice about digital audio timing, please [Re: Matt Finley]
Registered: 01/14/02
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rockstar_not Offline
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Might have something to do with SMPTE time coding

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#428569 - 09/02/17 07:04 PM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Need advice about digital audio timing, please [Re: Matt Finley]
Registered: 08/20/11
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Jim Fogle Offline
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Matt,

I'm almost 100% sure program timing ultimately is based on hardware frequency timers embedded in your computer motherboard. The timers are synced to a crystal.

The clocks you mentioned are frequently used to sync multiple pieces of hardware tied into a common music system or network. For instance if you had a computer running ProTools, automated outboard effects and sound modules as well as an automated mixing desk along with an automated light show you would want all to be synced together by a common clock.

I believe you use Sonar as well as PG Music products. I don't know if Sonar can follow an external clock but I'm reasonably sure PG Music products can't. However if Sonar can follow an external clock then render a wave file in BiaB or RealBand then import into Sonar. With Sonar referencing the computer clock does it see any drift? With Sonar referencing an external clock is there any drift?

Perhaps your computer is drifting because the power supply is weak, hotter than normal because a fan is clogged, air vent is blocked or something similar.
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#428570 - 09/02/17 07:05 PM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Need advice about digital audio timing, please [Re: Matt Finley]
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Matt Finley Online   content
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Interesting suggestion, thanks Bob. To my knowledge there is no time code in any file.

I did some checking of my equipment today (looking for time clock connections) and discovered both my Focusrite Scarlett audio interface and my Roland Integra-7 MIDI synth were set to MASTER.

Stupid on my part.

I’ll see if fixing this makes a difference. The Focusrite 18i20 provides an output of time code (but not input) so I chose that as the Master and changed the Roland to Slave. None of my other equipment has a way to specify master or slave, so I assume it coordinates time clock signals via SP/DIF. Still, I wish I understood this better.
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BIAB 2018 Win Audiophile; [& 2018 Mac UltraPak]. Software: Mixcraft, Adobe Audition, Ozone, Encore; Win 10 64 Pro. Hardware: custom i7, 16 Gb; Roland Integra-7, Focusrite 18i20(2), TCE Finalizer, Behringer X-Touch, Adam sub & monitors.

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#428574 - 09/02/17 07:54 PM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Need advice about digital audio timing, please [Re: Matt Finley]
Registered: 07/12/00
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Matt Finley Online   content
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Jim, thanks for this info. I’ll see what SONAR makes of it. I normally record BIAB files into Adobe Audition (cant render because I use a hardware MIDI synth).

Power supply runs cool and voltages check fine. But that’s a good thought.

I hope discovering my Settings error, described above, will help.
_________________________
BIAB 2018 Win Audiophile; [& 2018 Mac UltraPak]. Software: Mixcraft, Adobe Audition, Ozone, Encore; Win 10 64 Pro. Hardware: custom i7, 16 Gb; Roland Integra-7, Focusrite 18i20(2), TCE Finalizer, Behringer X-Touch, Adam sub & monitors.

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#428586 - 09/03/17 01:47 AM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Need advice about digital audio timing, please [Re: Matt Finley]
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Noel96 Offline
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Matt,

I regularly load wav files from BIAB/RB into Reaper and the tempo is always a perfect match. I haven't come across anything similar to your experience.

Was the problem consistent with both Realtracks and wavs created from MIDI tracks?

Regards,
Noel
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#428598 - 09/03/17 04:59 AM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Need advice about digital audio timing, please [Re: Matt Finley]
Registered: 11/30/07
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BlueAttitude Offline
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Could it be something going on with Adobe Audition??

The reason I mention that is because for recording my guitar parts I always use Adobe Audition V1.5, a program I've had forever but continue to use because I've never found anything better, including newer versions of Audition, for recording/editing audio. So in audition I have the BIAB WAV file and then record my guitar parts to separate WAV files.

I then import the audio WAV files of my guitar parts into reaper where I do the final mixing with all the individual BIAB files. Sometimes, but not always, the WAV file I created with audition is not in sync with the other files in the reaper project and I need to shift it around.
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#428600 - 09/03/17 06:05 AM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Need advice about digital audio timing, please [Re: Matt Finley]
Registered: 07/12/00
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Matt Finley Online   content
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Noel, I didn’t test that yet; it was just one file made from a RealTrack. Good to know you use BIAB files in a DAW and they are fine.

Dave, maybe. I also have Adobe Audition 1.5! I have version 3 also but still use 1.5, and that’s what I made my file with here. Along with BIAB, it’s my most-used audio program.

Thank you all. I’ll test a few of these ideas next time I go to the studio.

_________________________
BIAB 2018 Win Audiophile; [& 2018 Mac UltraPak]. Software: Mixcraft, Adobe Audition, Ozone, Encore; Win 10 64 Pro. Hardware: custom i7, 16 Gb; Roland Integra-7, Focusrite 18i20(2), TCE Finalizer, Behringer X-Touch, Adam sub & monitors.

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#428606 - 09/03/17 08:10 AM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Need advice about digital audio timing, please [Re: Matt Finley]
Registered: 01/14/02
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rockstar_not Offline
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Are you using SPDIf as an input into the focusrite? If so, and you have it set as the master then it's almost certain to be the culprit as it does not have a clock line like AES/EBU does as an electrical signal based digital audio hardware format. The focusrite will respond as a slave to the samples coming in on SPDIF even if they are not exactly paced at the right sample rate which can and does happen. Run the SMPTE potential interaction to ground as well. SMPTE deals in frames and PG Products used to brag about SMPTE time code compatability vs other products way back in the day.

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#428612 - 09/03/17 09:15 AM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Need advice about digital audio timing, please [Re: rockstar_not]
Registered: 08/20/11
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Jim Fogle Offline
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Matt,

Having the Focusrite set to master and Roland set to slave should help as both devices will be using the same timing clock. I think Rockstar_not is leading in the right direction with the sync code.

I did not find an option for SMPTE code but BiaB has a sync option at: "Options" > "Preferences ..." or "Ctrl + E" > "MIDI options" > "Output Sync/Start info" checkbox. The manual just states: Output Sync/Start info: Syncs Band-in-a-Box with an external sequencer.


Attachments
Midi Sync.jpg


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Jim Fogle
2018 BiaB (520) UltraPlusPak RB 2018 (Build 5)
Cakewalk by Bandlab - Sonar Home Studio - Cakewalk Music Creator 6 - Audacity - Zoom MRS-8 recorder
i3 laptop, 64bit Win 7, 8 GB ram, 480GB SSD
Music at: http://fogle622.wix.com/fogle622-audio-home

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#428629 - 09/03/17 12:14 PM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Need advice about digital audio timing, please [Re: Matt Finley]
Registered: 07/12/00
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Matt Finley Online   content
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Jim, I didn’t realize BIAB had anything to set, thanks.
EDIT: my checkbox was on, and I think it always has been; might be the default.

Scott, yes, the connection from the Integra to the Focusrite is SP/DIF. Maybe since the (MIDI only) signal is from the Integra into the Focusrite I should reverse and make the Integra the master. But I thought clock signals went both ways, so to speak, over SP/DIF. And what about audio, which has nothing to do with the Integra? That connects to the Focusrite via USB from the computer.

I discovered I have a BNC connector on the Focusrite but it’s output only. None of my other equipment has a word clock connection, so at least I answered my own question that an external word clock device won’t help me - nowhere to plug it in.


Edited by Matt Finley (09/03/17 12:45 PM)
_________________________
BIAB 2018 Win Audiophile; [& 2018 Mac UltraPak]. Software: Mixcraft, Adobe Audition, Ozone, Encore; Win 10 64 Pro. Hardware: custom i7, 16 Gb; Roland Integra-7, Focusrite 18i20(2), TCE Finalizer, Behringer X-Touch, Adam sub & monitors.

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#428671 - 09/03/17 05:11 PM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Need advice about digital audio timing, please [Re: Matt Finley]
Registered: 01/14/02
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rockstar_not Offline
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SPDIF has no clock signal independent of the audio samples. If you have a device that outputs SPDIF digital audio going into a SPDIF input and set the receiving device as a slave in the ASIO control panel, the receiving device's internal clock will be ignored and the clock is interpreted from what is being received on the SPDIF input. I have an 18i8 and this was the only way I could use the SPDIF output from the Behringer Bass V-Amp Pro in my setup. I never checked if I had weird sample rate stuff like what you are describing but I did have issues with a pop in audio now and then that I could not trace down by looking at the audio waveforms like you can usually do. I assumed it was due to slaving the 18i8 to the SPDIF. Since selling the V-Amp I have not had the issue.

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#428674 - 09/03/17 05:18 PM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Need advice about digital audio timing, please [Re: Matt Finley]
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rockstar_not Offline
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One other note: SPDIF is not bidirectional. This is why you have input and output ports on the Focusrite. If you have good old analog audio outputs on the Roland and open inputs on the Focusrite, try that signal routing instead.

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#428677 - 09/03/17 06:33 PM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Need advice about digital audio timing, please [Re: Matt Finley]
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Pipeline Offline
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I add tracks to sessions recorded with drum machines but in the DAW they are never on the money.
Realband you can adjust to so many decimal points but not Biab.
If you have different tempos in a song you create a midi click track and drag that in the DAW first.

I generated a drum track in RB @121.896bpm (Top track)
and one in Biab @122bpm (Bottom track), then dragged them into Pro Tools & Reaper set to 122bpm.
See pics below.

Can you generate up a short 32bar drum track in Biab @122bpm and upload it.


Attachments
PT_WAV_Tempo-1920.jpg

REA_WAV_Tempo-1920.jpg


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#428679 - 09/03/17 06:44 PM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Need advice about digital audio timing, please [Re: Matt Finley]
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Matt Finley Online   content
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Wow, good stuff guys, thank you. I’m digesting this.

I guess I have to decide whether I trust the clock on the Integra or the Focusrite more. If the Integra had a word clock input, I’d be all set but it doesn’t.

Scott, years ago I did experiments with my Roland Fantom XR connecting by analog versus SP/DIF and hands down, no comparison; the digital connection was much cleaner and ‘crisper’ sounding. I can try that test again.

Pipeline, your visual is very clear and much like what I experienced. I’m under a bunch of deadlines and won’t be in the studio again for 10 days. I have a lot to experiment with here before I try again.
_________________________
BIAB 2018 Win Audiophile; [& 2018 Mac UltraPak]. Software: Mixcraft, Adobe Audition, Ozone, Encore; Win 10 64 Pro. Hardware: custom i7, 16 Gb; Roland Integra-7, Focusrite 18i20(2), TCE Finalizer, Behringer X-Touch, Adam sub & monitors.

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#428681 - 09/03/17 06:48 PM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Need advice about digital audio timing, please [Re: Matt Finley]
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Matt Finley Online   content
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Scott, I had lots of clicks and pops with earlier drivers for my various Focusrite Scarlett units (at the time, a 6i6 and a 8i8; now two 18i20s one 1st and one 2nd). The clicks especially were bothersome on the start of playback. I tried their beta drivers and that made things worse so I rolled back (lots of steps to follow to do so).
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BIAB 2018 Win Audiophile; [& 2018 Mac UltraPak]. Software: Mixcraft, Adobe Audition, Ozone, Encore; Win 10 64 Pro. Hardware: custom i7, 16 Gb; Roland Integra-7, Focusrite 18i20(2), TCE Finalizer, Behringer X-Touch, Adam sub & monitors.

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#428761 - 09/04/17 02:34 PM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Need advice about digital audio timing, please [Re: Matt Finley]
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Pipeline Offline
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Originally Posted By: Matt Finley
..
Pipeline, your visual is very clear and much like what I experienced. I’m under a bunch of deadlines and won’t be in the studio again for 10 days. I have a lot to experiment with here before I try again.


When you drag a drum track from Biab to your DAW at the same tempo does it align with the beats, same as the second track the pics above.
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#429371 - 09/10/17 04:13 PM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Need advice about digital audio timing, please [Re: Matt Finley]
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I have not done most of the suggestions made here. But I did learn something that I think has derailed me: in SONAR, when you IMPORT a MIDI track, it strips out the time code, but when you OPEN the MIDI file, it keeps it.?

Stuff like this makes things interesting.
_________________________
BIAB 2018 Win Audiophile; [& 2018 Mac UltraPak]. Software: Mixcraft, Adobe Audition, Ozone, Encore; Win 10 64 Pro. Hardware: custom i7, 16 Gb; Roland Integra-7, Focusrite 18i20(2), TCE Finalizer, Behringer X-Touch, Adam sub & monitors.

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#429372 - 09/10/17 04:26 PM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Need advice about digital audio timing, please [Re: Matt Finley]
Registered: 12/27/03
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MarioD Offline
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Originally Posted By: Matt Finley
I have not done most of the suggestions made here. But I did learn something that I think has derailed me: in SONAR, when you IMPORT a MIDI track, it strips out the time code, but when you OPEN the MIDI file, it keeps it.?

Stuff like this makes things interesting.


Yes, this is true. If you import a MIDI file it will strip the file of its time code. This is so that MIDI file can use Sonar's file time code.

If you open a MIDI file in Sonar there is no preset time code so Sonar uses the MIDI file's time code.

Consequently, you have to decide which time code you want to use. Both have their places and I feel that Sonar's approach is a very good one in that you get to choose which time code to use. YMMV



Edited by MarioD (09/10/17 04:28 PM)
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