The Midronome Module - Ableton Link + Bluetooth + Beat Detection

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Simon
Posts: 251
Joined: 09 Jan 2022, 22:08

The Midronome Module - Ableton Link + Bluetooth + Beat Detection

Post by Simon »

Soooo... everybody seems to be dying for that Ableton Link integration - let's talk about it! :D

I've been giving it A LOT of thought. Without doing major changes to both the case, the interface, basically the whole hardware - it will not work since it needs both WiFi and a decent interface to select the WiFi, write the password, etc.

So here is my solution: a module! Basically a small plastic dongle that is connected to the device, either over USB (then it would power the Midronome as well), or via audio sync (same that is used to link multiple Midronomes together).
It will accept a computer keyboard (maybe even via bluetooth) and with a small screen so you can select the WiFi and write the password.
Then it will send and receive Ableton Link commands from/to the Midronome.

What do you guys think? :D

/Simon
n4Sphere
Posts: 65
Joined: 16 Mar 2022, 23:21

Re: The FAMOUS Ableton Link feature

Post by n4Sphere »

such dongle would be a nice addon for post campaign. if the audio port would be used, do you loose the audio inout clock than? same for the usb port.
Simon
Posts: 251
Joined: 09 Jan 2022, 22:08

Re: The FAMOUS Ableton Link feature

Post by Simon »

No the audio port used would be the audio out - so you will lose the metronome that's true. If it uses the USB we won't lose anyting ;)
Simon
Posts: 251
Joined: 09 Jan 2022, 22:08

The Midronome Module - Ableton Link + Bluetooth + Beat Detection

Post by Simon »

Hi all

I've been giving this a bit more thoughts, and I think a module would really work. The Module will have WiFi (for Ableton Link), Bluetooth (for configuration and control), and an audio input (6.35mm TRS balanced mono) to perform beat detection / tempo following. It will be very thin, plastic, and will clip itself on the side of the Midronome.

I have been talking about it with a more experienced electronics engineer, and we decided together it would be much better to have a specific connexion between the module on the Midronome.

What does that mean for you users?
  • More efficient (faster) communication between the module and the device
  • The module will not use the USB or the audio port - i.e. the "basic" functions of the device are unchanged
  • In the future, the possibility to make your own modules (that is gonna to be SO GREAT)
  • It would also mean that to install the module you would need to remove the back plate (the red one), clip the module on, and connect it to the main board. Obviously without putting your hands all over the electronics.
n4Sphere
Posts: 65
Joined: 16 Mar 2022, 23:21

Re: The Midronome Module - Ableton Link + Bluetooth + Beat Detection

Post by n4Sphere »

great news simon.
n4Sphere
Posts: 65
Joined: 16 Mar 2022, 23:21

Re: The Midronome Module - Ableton Link + Bluetooth + Beat Detection

Post by n4Sphere »

again a cool picture :) i thought the module will be inside the midronome. but this way it is even cooler. and maybe more modules could be swaped. i have no clue what else could be made 🤣
n4Sphere
Posts: 65
Joined: 16 Mar 2022, 23:21

Re: The Midronome Module - Ableton Link + Bluetooth + Beat Detection

Post by n4Sphere »

regarding the beat detection. i can connect an audio cable from my dj mixer to the module and see than the bpm right?
Simon
Posts: 251
Joined: 09 Jan 2022, 22:08

Re: The Midronome Module - Ableton Link + Bluetooth + Beat Detection

Post by Simon »

Not exactly - the Midronome will internally detect the *exact* tempo and adjust so things are in time. But it will show a "rounded" version of this tempo.

For example say the detected tempo is 126.1465372346 bpm, the device will run actually at that tempo but the display will show 126.
pieterv1
Posts: 4
Joined: 12 Aug 2022, 01:30

Re: The Midronome Module - Ableton Link + Bluetooth + Beat Detection

Post by pieterv1 »

Will this module create its own hotspot then?
I'd suggest to also include an ethernet port which will always be more reliable and could come in handy when you forget the Wi-fi credentials or something ;)

A wired network will always just work. Of course for iPad or iPhone, you'd still need a wireless router or use the built-in Wi-Fi of the dongle.

I haven't used Ableton Link too often. Does the tempo control work in both ways? Eg. you can change the tempo both on computer OR the Midronome and the other device will follow?
Last edited by pieterv1 on 12 Aug 2022, 09:48, edited 1 time in total.
Simon
Posts: 251
Joined: 09 Jan 2022, 22:08

Re: The Midronome Module - Ableton Link + Bluetooth + Beat Detection

Post by Simon »

Yes exactly, that's the best feature of Link, that you can contorl the tempo both ways. Everybody becomes the master as soon as they change the tempo.
I guess that's also where the name "Link" comes from, showing a two-way control ;)

As for Ethernet, it will be a lot of work and will require extra hardware (so price will go up). I personally do not think it adds much as the key point with Link is to be able to join and start playing quickly. Also I do not know how reliable Link is anyways in terms of timing precision, so if you want strong reliability and precision, I would still suggest to use the basic functionalities of the Midronome ;)

But like all other functionalities - I'm all ears, we can see how many people want it ;)
HDGMax
Posts: 3
Joined: 19 Nov 2022, 12:00

Re: The Midronome Module - Ableton Link + Bluetooth + Beat Detection

Post by HDGMax »

Ethernet is safer for live sets. WiFi is not always reliable. But Wifi also has its advantages.
Maybe develop 2 dongles? Or a cheap WiFi only version and a more expensive one with WiFi and Ethernet?
Simon
Posts: 251
Joined: 09 Jan 2022, 22:08

Re: The Midronome Module - Ableton Link + Bluetooth + Beat Detection

Post by Simon »

That's an interesting debate! Because I did not think Ableton Link is really designed for Live use? ... WiFi is not only unreliable but also the way Link syncs things, the fact everybody is a master - it is all about making things easy which is super important (and amazingly done) for a quick jam or quick recording/creative session. Which is the reason why I think it will be a great add to the Midronome.

But once the music is written/recorded/done, and you want to perform Live, then you need something reliable, and in my musician's opinion Link does not do that, whether on WiFi or not. (but you know what does? a stable and jitter-free MIDI Clock... :D )

Again - just my opinion, I'd love to hear it if someone can argue otherwise ;)
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