Syncing Clock and Audio between Live and VCV - step by step

I posted this as an answer in another thread but I think its useful enough and will be easier to find if it is a post on its own. If admins don’t agree, please feel free to delete…

This is a (Mac) method for syncing clock and transport between Live and VCV using CV Tools in Live to generate a 24ppqn Clock and run trigger and Blackhole to send that Clock and Run to Live as well as to receive 16 channels of audio back from VCV.

Here it is step by step in detail with pictures…

  1. Create an aggregate device (Using Audi Midi Setup application) with built in output (or your interface if you have one) which you will use for monitoring and Blackhole which you will use for sending signals between Live and VCV. This gives a device with 18 outs and 16 ins

  1. In Live audio preferences, set your input device to Blackhole and your output device to your aggregated device (I called mine Built in + Blackhole)

  1. Configure your input settings - how you configure these is up to you - I set up the first 8 inputs as mono and the second 8 as stereo

  1. Configure your output settings - Here I have outputs 1&2 as stereo (for monitoring) and outputs 3&4 (which are for the clock and transport) as both mono and stereo (reason for that in a moment). You can configure more outputs here if you want to send other audio from Live to VCV for processing.

  1. In Live, create an audio track and add the CV Clock out device. Set is as below - 24ppqn and use External out 3 for Clock and External out 4 for the run trigger (this is why we need 3&4 as mono).

CV clock settings

  1. Configure the track settings as below so that the clock device outputs to External Outs 3 & 4 (this is why we need outputs 3&4 as stereo too).

  1. In VCV, set Blackhole as your device in Audio-16 module. Connect the “From Device” jack 1 to the BPM input of Clocked. Set the 'From Device jack 2 to the Run input of Clocked.

  1. Click the Mode + button on Clocked until it says P24

That’s it - Live and VCV should be perfectly synced and VCV transport is controlled from Live.


the stellare modular link module might be usedful too when trying to sync ableton live and vcv - it uses the ableton link protocol over a network:

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I’m afraid I haven’t had any luck with the Link module at all. I can’t get the stop/start transport feature working and while I can get the clock working it is very jittery like midi clock. By that I mean for a 120BPM tempo in Live, the BPM display in Clocked will flicker anywhere between 118 and 123 BPM.

With the 24PPQN audio pulse clock sync is rock solid with no jitter at all.

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Thanks for this tutorial. Works like a charm for me in combination with Bridge.

The information is very helpful. It would be cool if this thread was fixed or a separate section with recommendations was created - it would be cool. Otherwise, this topic will be lost.

Why do you use outputs “1 & 2” from device on audio-16 module if you were sending it with 3/4?

I’m still having some trouble getting those outputs to send signal to Clocked

Old tutorial but…

Reason is that output device in Ableton was an aggregated device of "Built In (2 ch.) + Blackhole (16ch.)

So as far as Ableton output is concerned, outputs 1&2 go to the built output and channels 3&4 go to the first 2 channels of Blackhole’s 16.

In VCV I was just using the Blackhole device in Audio 16, and therefore I’m receiving on channels 1&2 from that.

Hopefully that’s clear.