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Digital Subscriptions > MusicTech > Ableton Live 2017 > Using Ableton Link to synchronise your computers and iOS devices

Using Ableton Link to synchronise your computers and iOS devices

Ableton Link is the smoothest, easiest, possible way to get your iOS music apps and Ableton Live talking to each other. Martin Delaney demonstrates how to do it – and thankfully, it’s brilliantly simple…

After years of forcing us to be locked away at home, the world of music tech is finally getting more social. These days, we’re more likely to take our precious music gear out of the house/ studio, and meet with our fellow musicians; the ability to create music with our phones and tablets only adds to this. However, one issue that arises when electronic-music people get together is synchronisation – getting all of the associated gadgets to play in time together. Traditionally, we’ve had methods for dealing with this, such as ReWire and MIDI Sync, but on days where we don’t want to carry too many interfaces and cables with us, but we still want to sync tightly, we need a clean solution, and that’s where Ableton Link comes in. This is a method of synchronisation that’s built into Ableton Live 9, and works over a Wi-Fi network or an ethernet cable. Outside the computer (and Link is cross-platform), Link is also available for iOS and Android developers (DAW developers too, it’s already made it to Reason and Serato DJ), so suddenly we can include iPhones and iPads into our setups, in a reasonably seamless fashion. The setup doesn’t even have to include Live, or any computer at all: Link works perfectly well between iOS devices.

There are many Link-enabled music apps available, although I have two favourites, the first being TweakyBeat, a fantastic bleepy beat-making app that never fails to make great sounds, and has the advantage of being free; if you haven’t got that already, get it now! To configure TweakyBeat for Link, tap the little ‘i’ at the bottom right of the screen, then ‘Link and MIDI’ at the top on the next page that appears, then tap the red words ‘Ableton Link’. You then see the Ableton Link page, where you can turn Link itself on and off, and choose to receive in-app notifications when other apps join or leave the session.

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About MusicTech

Ableton Live can truly become the hub of your music making set-up whatever you use, be it hardware, iOS or software. We have tutorials to help you make the most of it in any situation plus features on freeware, mastering and mobile music making. WORKSHOPS: Making the most of the Sine wave - Create with this versatile wave Integrate Live with your iOS devices - for control and music Attack, Decay, Sustain, Release - what ADSR can do for you INTERVIEWS: Highasakite Stoni Apothek