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Networked playback

There are various scenarios in which you may want to run Videosync on another computer than Ableton Live. Perhaps you tour with a technician who needs to monitor video equipment during the performance, or your Live Set is too heavy on the audio side to add video on the same machine as well.

In these cases you can use networked playback. This way, Ableton Live runs on one computer and Videosync on another, connected via ethernet.

Step by step guide

Connecting Videosync to Live over a network

  1. Have a copy of Videosync on both machines. On the machine that runs Ableton Live, make sure Videosync is installed by following the steps in the installer that launches automatically when Videosync and Live are run together for the first time. Once Videosync is installed, you no longer have to start Videosync on this machine.
  2. Connect both machines with an ethernet cable. macOS' network preferences (System Preferences > Network) should show you that a cable is connected. Selecting the connected interface on the computer running Ableton Live will show you the IP to enter in Videosync that runs on the other computer.
Networked Playback Mac/Mac 1
  1. On the video machine, run Videosync. In Videosync, go to Preferences, select Networking, enable 'Connect to remote Ableton Live' and enter the IP address of the computer running Ableton Live.
Networked Playback Mac/Mac 2
  1. Videosync should now be connected to Ableton Live running on the other machine. All video instruments and effects in Live should now be visible in Videosync. However, to use video clips, you need a few more steps.

Connecting Videosync on a macOS machine to Live on a Windows machine

When using Videosync on a separate macOS machine, you can also use a Windows machine to run Live instead. To make this work, the Showsync Control Surface has to be manually installed on the Windows machine.

  1. On the macOS machine that runs Videosync, open your Live User Library and look for the Remote Scripts folder. Inside you will find the folder called Videosync. Copy this folder, and paste it into the User Library on the Windows machine that runs Live.
  2. Connect both machines with an ethernet cable.
  3. Right click the network icon in the menu bar and click Network and Internet Settings.
  4. Next, click View your network properties.
Networked Playback Mac/Win 1
  1. Find the ipv4 address, shown in red.
Networked Playback Mac/Win 2
  1. On the macOS machine, run Videosync. In Videosync, go to Preferences, select Networking, enable 'Connect to remote Ableton Live' and enter the IP address of the Windows machine.
Networked Playback Mac/Win 3
  1. Videosync should now be connected to Ableton Live running on the other machine, and all the plug-ins will now be populated with tag groups and modulation parameters. When the Videosync icon color in the menubar becomes solid, you'll know Videosync is connected.

Using video clips in a remote Live

  1. If Videosync is connected to a remote Live that contains video clips, you may see an error in Videosync: "File for path ... not found". You see this error if the video files used as clips in Live do not exist on the video machine.
  2. Copy all video files you're using in your Live Set over to the video machine. Save them in a folder anywhere on your hard drive, for instance in the User Library.
  3. In the Videosync preferences, under Networking, set the File Search Path to the folder containing your copied video files. Videosync will search for the files by filename, so it's important these match on both machines. Videosync will also search for your video files in subfolders of the folder selected in Preferences.
  4. Now, every video you launch in Live will be visible in Videosync on the other machine.

Tips for networked live performances

  • Connecting computers via WIFI instead of a cable works, but the connection will be less stable, especially on large stages with a lot of electromagnetic interference from audio and lighting systems. We recommend always using a cable.
  • During networked performances, we prefer having the computer running Videosync at the side of stage, rather than in the front of house or VJ booth. In our experience, arranging a dedicated network cable between the stage and front of house is not an easy request for venues and festivals, whereas making a HDMI or DVI connection available side of stage is more common. Also, having a laptop side of stage means it is closer to the performer.

Connecting multiple Videosync computers

In some cases, you may want to have multiple machines displaying video from a single machine running Live. This is easily done by following the steps above for more than one computer. On each you enter the same IP address, of the computer running Ableton Live.

Currently, we support connecting two remote computers with Videosync to a single Live Set simultaneously. If you need to connect more, please let us know.