Syncing, quantization? wtf

Discuss using the OSC interface to control SL

Moderator: jesse

Post Reply
tulcod
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Jan 29, 2009 5:59 pm

Syncing, quantization? wtf

Post by tulcod »

okay, so i know how to click "record" and "overbud" to record and overdub a few things. but that's pretty much it. I don't understand the real meaning of syncing, nor the meaning of quantization. What are these specifically, and how (if possible) can i use them to start and stop recording exactly when i want to, and output a "beat"? Or maybe i should use different apps for that?

jesse
Posts: 527
Joined: Sat Sep 06, 2008 9:46 am
Contact:

Re: Syncing, quantization? wtf

Post by jesse »

OK, let's start with quantization, it basically means the an operation may wait some amount of time to begin or end, so that it aligns with some specified timing. This timing may be some external timing source, or it may be related to a prespecified length you set in the parameters. Sync (in SL) is just a term that means that the loop will follow an external quantize source. Currently this is kind of confusing, as it only means anything in conjunction with a quantize setting.

A few examples: suppose you have set up SL to have 3 independent loop instances (via adding loops from the session menu). You want to be able to record freely on the first loop to set your basic time/tempo. You want to record new loops on the other two, but you want to makes sure they start and end when the first loop is.
- set 'sync to' to Loop 1
- set quantize to 'cycle'
- enable 'sync' on loops 2 and 3
Now once you record on loop 1, when you go to hit record on loops 2 or 3 they will wait until loop 1 rolls around to its start before actually starting to record. When you hit record to finish the new loop it will again wait until loop 1 rolls around. Note that your other loops can be longer than the first, they will just have lengths a multiple of loop 1's length.
If you wanted to be able to actually begin recording anytime with loops 2 or 3, but still have their lengths end up being multiples of loop 1, enable the 'rel sync' option up top.

The same principle applies when you set the 'sync to' to other things like external MIDI clock, etc. The other quantize options like '8th' allows you to quantize on smaller boundaries, but still musically meaningful. You can also change the 8th/cycle value to change how long a 'cycle' is to get different quantize increments when quantize is set to cycle.

To answer your question about starting and stopping "exactly when I want to", you need to describe what you want to do. Do you want to output MIDI clock to another app so it can sync to SL? Just enable MIDI clock output in the preferences. I'll need more details about your goals here.

tulcod
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Jan 29, 2009 5:59 pm

Re: Syncing, quantization? wtf

Post by tulcod »

okay, so that helped quite a lot already! (why isn't that info in the documentation? would be really useful for newbs)

i read up about midi clocks, and it seems like they are like a metronome for midi, right? if so, then how do i launch one of these "metronomes" and make sooperlooper use it? I'm using jack on linux.

sam_square
Posts: 58
Joined: Thu Nov 13, 2008 1:28 am
Location: phoenix, AZ
Contact:

Re: Syncing, quantization? wtf

Post by sam_square »

I don't have experience with linux, although my brother is getting a laptop going with the ubuntu studio packages.

https://wiki.ubuntu.com/UbuntuStudio/PackageList

You should be able to use a midi sequencer or DAW (digital audio workstaion) to send midi clock to sooperlooper.

The listed DAW is Ardour.

You would have to set up Ardour to output a click temp/metronome click.

The other option you could use is to create an audio loop at the tempo you would like to use that contains a metronome click or a drum beat. Then load this into SooperLooper as your first loop and sync to Loop1.

I use this technique for starting out songs in sooperlooper that need to be a certain tempo due to other software listening to sooperlooper's midi clock. The other software cannot timestretch its audio, so my tempo must be exact.

sam_square
Posts: 58
Joined: Thu Nov 13, 2008 1:28 am
Location: phoenix, AZ
Contact:

Re: Syncing, quantization? wtf

Post by sam_square »

http://essej.net/sooperlooper/doc_sync.html

It's a link at the bottom of the main documentation page - easily missed I suppose.

jesse
Posts: 527
Joined: Sat Sep 06, 2008 9:46 am
Contact:

Re: Syncing, quantization? wtf

Post by jesse »

If you are in linux, using JACK then you can use 'sync to' set to Jack/Host, and be in perfect sample accurate sync with other hosts like Ardour or hydrogen. Just makes sure you turn on the Jack transport master option in the other app.

Again, without more information about what you *want* to do with regards with apps, I can't help you more. Just describe the use case that you want? Do you want to start loops in SL and have other apps do things with that new tempo? Do you want to play along with a drumbeat from hydrogen and follow its tempo, or vice versa? Don't focus on the techicalities of each app yet, just describe what you want to do at a user level.

tulcod
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Jan 29, 2009 5:59 pm

Re: Syncing, quantization? wtf

Post by tulcod »

okay, so let's say i have a drum loop in hydrogen and want to start recording when the loop has played exactly once, then, after two loops, continue overdubbing (or maybe start overdubbing in the first place)?

jesse
Posts: 527
Joined: Sat Sep 06, 2008 9:46 am
Contact:

Re: Syncing, quantization? wtf

Post by jesse »

Enable JACK transport in hydrogen.
Set 'sync to' to JACK/host, you should see the tempo switch to whatever Hydrogen's is.
Set quantize to cycle.
Set the 8ths/cycle to something related to your drum-loop's length, if it was 4/4, setting it to 8 would let you quantize on bar boundaries, 16 would be 2-bar boundaries, etc.
Enable 'sync' on your loop

Now just hit record whenever you want it will wait until a bar boundary (or however you set 8ths/cycle), and start recording. You play your stuff until almost two loops have passed, then hit record again, it will wait until the boundary to actually finish the record, you can keep playing through. If you end the record with Overdub instead it will go immediately into overdub (after quantizing).

Now, SL is designed to be "played", it won't do things automatically unless you have something else script it by sending it commands via midi or OSC. So your notion of doing things exactly once, or after two loops, etc... won't readily be accomodated without more work. Probably that's OK, since you want to be interactive anyway, right?

tulcod
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Jan 29, 2009 5:59 pm

Re: Syncing, quantization? wtf

Post by tulcod »

jesse wrote:Enable JACK transport in hydrogen.
Set 'sync to' to JACK/host, you should see the tempo switch to whatever Hydrogen's is.
Set quantize to cycle.
Set the 8ths/cycle to something related to your drum-loop's length, if it was 4/4, setting it to 8 would let you quantize on bar boundaries, 16 would be 2-bar boundaries, etc.
Enable 'sync' on your loop

Now just hit record whenever you want it will wait until a bar boundary (or however you set 8ths/cycle), and start recording. You play your stuff until almost two loops have passed, then hit record again, it will wait until the boundary to actually finish the record, you can keep playing through. If you end the record with Overdub instead it will go immediately into overdub (after quantizing).

Now, SL is designed to be "played", it won't do things automatically unless you have something else script it by sending it commands via midi or OSC. So your notion of doing things exactly once, or after two loops, etc... won't readily be accomodated without more work. Probably that's OK, since you want to be interactive anyway, right?
actually, no, with hydrogens' jack transport being blue (i guess that's enabled, at least that's what it says in the status bar), switching sync to to jack/host doesn't tell met he tempo in sooperlooper, rather it stays 0.0 bpm. do i need to connect anything in the jack transports?

jesse
Posts: 527
Joined: Sat Sep 06, 2008 9:46 am
Contact:

Re: Syncing, quantization? wtf

Post by jesse »

You know, I think the latest hydrogen might have actually removed the ability to be the transport master.. I don't know why they did that. If you want to go the other way, where SL is the master and defines the tempo, go into SL's preferences->Latency/Misc tab and turn on JACK timebase master option. You need to have at least version 1.6.7 of SL, hopefully you have the latest.

Then whatever tempo SL shows will be reflected in hydrogen, which is probably a better way anyway, given H2 is a drum machine.

Post Reply