Best workflow for exporting synchronized audio from Ableton + movie from TD?

I’m sure this must be covered somewhere but haven’t been able to find the answer.

I’m using the tdableton package to generate visuals from Ableton midi. I want to export a video with the sound and graphics synchronized. I’m using the Movie File Out TOP but can’t figure out how to capture the audio. Is this possible, or if not, what’s the best workaround?


If you want it to be real time, you’ll need to pipe the audio into TD from ableton. This can be acheived a variety of different ways, highest fidelity/low latency I’ve found is probably an audio card like the UAD Apollo’s console mixer. If you don’t want to use external hardware, Voicemeeter is a good option for sending it via a virtual audio card and piping it into touch. of course, all options will introduce some amount of latency. I’d consider recording it all and then manually lining it up in post with premiere or similar.

of course if you want to make sure TD drops zero frames, rendering it offline is the move. this gets really tricky when using another piece of realtime software like ableton; you might consider rendering the audio and midi from your Ableton performance, and then bringing them both into touch to render your video with the realtime flag off. This obviously doesn’t work if its a live performance, but if you have the luxury of post production, its the cleanest result you’ll get with no frames dropped

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Thanks for the response! Rendering offline separately and combining with post-processing is what I have been doing, I wondered if there were other (simpler) options. Good to know.

Hello, I often use Audinate Dante Via to pipe multichannel sound from Ableton Live to TD to produce visuals from sound, with no audible latency. When I need to record visual and sound, I use moviefileout Top with audio recording without problems.

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Great, thanks for the tips!

Easiest for me has been video-capture the output with a separate device. If I’m working with just one computer I’ve generally just rendered separately and combine in post-processing, as you have.

I am at the exact same point here. I don’t have the fastest computer, so I am losing a lot of frames just recording the video and then losing sync completely with the music. I could add them together after, but I am losing sync. Is there a way around? Like… leave the frames behind and just jump to the “right one”? Or maybe a better way to render? I am using the movieout top.

Are you able to not drop frames if you turn off the audio in Live? That should free up some power. If you can’t record the video without dropping frames I’m not sure what I’d do. It might be a drive access thing I guess. If you are saving to a hard disk that you are also playing samples from, that might do something.

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Hey Ivan, thanks for the reply. I figured a way out!

I recorded a liveset of 40 minutes with my phone and then I am compositing it with reactive objects and feedback with TD. I guess I can’t turn the audio off. Anyway, the biggest problem was frames being dropped in the movie in TOP. I guess I made it work changing a parameter in the TOP, the “frame timeout strategy” to “best playback”. I also used OBS to capture the output window. It worked fine, I guess OBS changes the color a bit? I don’t know, I’m gonna dive into it in an hour and check, but I guess it is working well now!

I am not sure if the Frame Timeout Strategy or OBS did the trick, any clue on that?

I haven’t messed with Frame Timeout strategy but the OBS method is a good one.

To use OBS to capture the top-out window in combination with sound from ableton might be the best strategy if you want to get the most performance out of your system and only have one machine.
The issue, is that ableton is not the “slimest” program itself and will claim a certain percentage of your availabe processing power, mainly from the CPU. (only certain VSTs use GPU afaik, but its rather rare.)
Depending on the amount of tracks, sample rate, VSTs, etc. this will build up.

OBS is also using a certain amount of your performance. Here it depends on the encoder you use, whether it will consume CPU or GPU.

I would recommend to use the performance monitor in TD to optimize your patch, in combination with your system task manager. run your setup and watch what processes use how much of your CPU/GPU/RAM.

i would argue that the better idea is to have independent machines for TD and Ableton;
synch can be done with midi or osc.

If you want to avoid using OBS you can use external hardware recorders, like atomos or blackmagic devices f.e. These usually have HDMI inputs for video(+audio) and XLR connectors for stereo audio.

hope that helps.

I still think the easiest is to get an external HDMI capture device. They are only around $100 and will save a lot of headaches.

Hi Jacques, I guess you are doing this with two different computer, as you use dante via ?
Am I right ?
I’m moving from a single unique computer world to a two computers one.

Ableton => midi (rtpmidi over network) + sound (Dante via) TO TouchDesigner seems very fine.

Actually, I noticed that for “no latency”, listening the sound on the TD destination machine could be my way to go EVEN IF I initially wanted to listen to it at the closer point according to my source (computer with Ableton). But that way, the latency is moved to another place (between me and the sound computer) which is, in my case, very ok.

Recordiong with Movie File Out TOP using this setup can guarantee no latency too, as far as I tested today.

Hello Julien,
When I want to record audio, I use mainly one computer. With Dante Via, you can route your audio from one app to other internaly but also from computer to computer.
I also use another technic, I have an old sound card (M-Audio FW 26-26) still working on my W10 new computer (thank to TB3 hub with Firewire) and I use an adat link to provide 8 digital sound loop with no latency. So I can route audio from any app and direct it inside TD to record image and sound.
With separate computers (mainly sound on Mac with Ableton Live or Logic Pro and visual on Windows with TD), I output sound from the mac with Dante Virtual Sound Card and receive it on Windows with Dante Via. Working with 16 x 48khz/24 bits channels with no latency on 1Gb ethernet link.
Have a nice day, Jacques


Merci Jacques!!
Considering computer performance for decent fps, I needed a new computer and I got one especially for TD. Actually, it seems to be powerful enough to run audio and visuals, but I wanted to take benefits from still having my 5 yo macbook for running the sound, as it is still very enough for it.

Do you use your two computer setup for recording too ?
I mean, in case of realtime required, do you record to Movie File Out TOP with the sound coming from the other computer through sound card ? Or through Dante Via ?

The second option SEEMS (still running tests right now) very nice as even if there is a latency for midi + audio flowing into ethernet cables and Dante via, both got same kind of latency and when I record directly in TD, everything seems tightly synced.

I never mesured latency with Dante between computers but I use it only to build audioreactive visuals, so latency is not so critical.

Yes I almost only do it too.
Having that new computer gives room and breath to me for also recording things (which I wasn’t really doing before as fps was too low when I was both running the generative visuals AND recording on the same computer). was barely ok for live performance but not for recording.

were done that way, on one computer only.

But my project STRUCTURE got issues on one computer only:

All visuals audioreactive, done with Max 8.
Not even decently captured for reasons I mentioned above.

Wait, you’re Julien Bayle!? You made the site with all the remote script info, right?

Brother, you made TDAbleton possible!



yes I am, and I did the midi remote stuff.
but that’s not a big deal, but I know a lot of people used it.

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