i havent posted on here for a long time, life got in the way, but i wanted to share this as it may help anyone trying to sequence a modular from Ableton, and who is having problems with midi, and save them a lot frustration.
I have two live rigs, one all analogue and totally improvisational but too big for most venues and a lot of hardwork to transport / set-up etc. and another compact rig which is half analogue modular and half DAW based.
My problems started when i was trying to clock my analogue sequencers in the modular from Ableton. I assumed a midi to analogue clock converter would do the job, but i hadnt counted on midi being pretty much useless at this task. I'd never had any problem using midi before in the digital domain, but midi clock is basically too inaccurate and sloppy to sync an analogue sequencer. Innerclock Systems make hyper accurate devices but they are also hyper expensive.
I had a custom module made by Graham Hinton called the Gearbox which is now in general production; http://hinton-instruments.co.uk/paprod/modular/gearbox/
the original intention of this was to sync my external midi effects (hardware reverbs etc ) to my all analogue rig, and it performs the task amazingly well, but it is also capable of working the other way round, the only problem being the midi deficiences mentioned above. The analogue clock wavers about and never feels in perfect sync. This is not the fault of The Gearbox, only the inaccuracy of Midi-Clock.
So Graham suggested i use an audio sync signal, and abandon midi-clock altogether. He had been working closely with Wavtones who produce free downloadable wave files which are highly accurate for sync; http://www.wavtones.com/functiongenerator.php
So you stick this into an audio track in Ableton and send it through an output on your soundcard to the Gearbox.
The only problem i encountered here was that if there is the slightest glitch or audio dropout, it is interpretted by the Gearbox as an extra or missing pulse and the sync goes out.
So you need a totally clean signal.
Easier said than done with Windows 7 / Ableton 9 running a Native Intruments interface.
even though there was no audible glitches, there must have been microscopic glitches happneing that threw out the clock. I confirmed this by recoding the audio clock back into my soundcard, and sure enough there were random, infrequent, tiny imperceptible dropouts happening.
After weeks of frustration and long tech support threads, i finally achieved a clean signal with an ASIO4all driver.http://www.asio4all.com/
So now its all running perfectly, and worth all the effort.
I would advise anyone using Windows 7 /8 etc. and a NI interface (or certain other interfaces) to install the ASIO4all drivers if you having glitch/dropout problems with Ableton.
I hope this is some help to anyone wanting to sync up their analogue sequencers in their modular to Ableton without spending megabucks. The Gearbox isnt cheap, but its a custom made product, and as far as i can tell one of the cheapest options out there.