Ableton Link Transport Sync Problem (Missing Start/Stop Sync in Renoise)

When attempting to Link Renoise and Pro Tools over the local network the link is recognized by both but the Renoise transport doesn’t engage when I engage the Pro Tools transport. If I engage the Renoise transport first the expected Link induced countoff happens but Pro Tools doesn’t budge.

I tried Renoise on a third computer in the network as a test and got the same result.

Investigating further, I opened Bitwig on one of the machines. Two Links appear in each of the three DAWs and Bitwig and Pro Tools engage with each other as expected, transports synced, but Renoise does not engage.

I feel like I’m probably missing a simple setting in Renoise? Any help is greatly appreciated!

Oh, and all of these are running on Windows 10.

Edit: I also tried this on my home setup with Bitwig and Renoise both on the same laptop. They “see” each other and both show 1 link but I can’t figure out any way to get the transports to sync.

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Could be possible that Renoise currently doesn’t support Start / Stop via Link, yet. Didn’t find any option to enable this. Bitwig and Ableton have an option to enable / disable this.

That would definitely explain why it doesn’t work, and also the hidden setting that I can’t find.

Link looks different in Pro Tools in that it’s embedded in the transport but you are correct, “Start/ stop” has to be enabled on top of Link being enabled or there’s no sync.

Ableton Link is, unlike ReWire or Midi Clock, a very loose sync method. In it’s core it only syncs tempo and beat/bars (even looser, Ableton often refers to it as simply “phase”).

So it’s by design not syncronizing sequencer time lines, but only tempo and basic timing.

So there is no way to sync sequence positions, but a later update then indeed added start/stop syncronization. We’ve skipped this for now for two reasons: I wasn’t sure how many people will make use of Ableton Link at all. And I always imagined this to be a helpful aid to loosely jam with others in the same network. Not as a replacement for ReWire or MIDI clock. It wasn’t made for that.

But of course having start/stop sync by default disabled, but just having the option to enable it, indeed will be nice. We’ll try to get that into a future update, when we see that there’s demand for it.


Thanks for the detailed response, taktik! Also, thanks for all you do. Your dedication and hard work are appreciated!

I suppose I’m one who has been using Link as a semi-replacement for Rewire despite the lack of MIDI/ audio functionality. I address those aspects in other ways. The one great advantage I’ve found with Link over Rewire is being able to loosely sync DAWs on separate workstations. So, for what it’s worth, if you added start/ stop functionality, I would likely make use of it but, as you pointed out, there are other ways to achieve similar results. I just like the simplicity of Link.

Thanks again!

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Thanks for your amazing work @taktik. Renoise is easily my favourite piece of software…

I’d love to see start stop synchronisation too though!

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It is a shame that rewire was dropped though, right , let’s be honest?. Now we have to use 3 separate technologies - iac bus, inter app audio routing and ableton link - to replicate what rewire does. Each of them is subject to their own interpretation of latency which sounds to me like a constant source of headache. I know Rewire had its warts. Sorry I don’t wish to be negative; perhaps I’m just not seeing the upsides yet!

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Yes. You are absolutely right. But, Cakewalk by bandlab is still using the Rewire protocol. I use it a lot with Renoise.

That will be the new standard in software development. The CEOs (a bunch of vacuum cleaner representatives who are explaining life to phds) are firing the old farts in every team.

Propellerhead only dropped it once they’d stuffed Reason into a vst/au plugin, and it wasn’t an ongoing business concern for them.

There should be an open standard for this already. Something not reliant on companies with objectives. Well Ableton Link is, sort of, but that doesn’t do anything other than loose sync, audio and midi are left to the others. Propellerhead had an opportunity to open up the tech to the wider community ages ago, but chose not to.

Why in 2022 we don’t have a robust cross-platform solution? …Or, maybe it’s already staring me in the face? Please tell me if so and I’ll happily eat my hat :slight_smile: (I know Linux users have Jack, maybe that’s it?)

ps. I look back through my posts across 20 odd years in various music software forums and it seems I have something of an obsession with this topic. :rofl:

that’ll be me soon @Lockdown

I just bought Renoise an hour ago because I read that the new version had Ableton Link… It does not seem to synch up properly. Total bummer as it renders the software unusable for my purposes… So yeah, I’m a new customer who just bought the software because of Ableton Link, so there is demand… I am not sure what to do now that I realize the software probably wont work for me… (Rewire is discontinued)). Let me know if there is anything I can do (link works well with all of my other DAWs). I am trying to make jungle breaks as I produce in Ableton, and Rendux seems a bit hindered in not allowing use of the full tracker. Thanks.

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I’ve not tried with Live, but linking to my iphone (running some apps) and Reaper (after some fiddling) seems to work nicely also piping audio into Reaper with Blackhole.

Glad I put in some effort; there may be a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel. Note that the start/stop transport is not enabled (yet) for Renoise, but you can manually do it.

@mcbman does it follow the tempo correctly, just starting at an offset beat? you can adjust in the Audio settings until it aligns better to the clock.

My intent was to use renoise to create drum patterns which I would be previewing with a track in ableton that would be constantly starting and stopping unfortunately, so manual adjustment would not be an option.

I would definitely use it. Host all my vst plugins in Bitwig, do my sequencing in Renoise, connect them with blue cat connector, and use the transport sync to print my midi to Bitwig when I’m done

I’m sure they will add it soon, welcome to the renoise family!

Would rewire not work?

I tried to download rewire a year ago and it doesn’t seem to exist anymore. Also Ableton 11 does not support rewire as it is discontinued.

I ended up buying the Polyend Tracker. It’s pretty dope!

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Ableton 11 still supports rewire it is just disabled by default and you have to manually re enable it