How is Dubler different from converting audio to MIDI in Ableton Live?

We love Ableton – but their Audio-to-MIDI is a very different product to Dubler Studio Kit. 

First things first, Ableton audio-to-MIDI isn’t live. You have to record the audio and then post process it. With Dubler you control all samples, synths and effects in real-time.

Then there are the actual capabilities. Ableton Audio-to-MIDI pitch recognition actually works pretty well. They also take velocity information. But, that’s where the similarities end. 

With Dubler Studio Kit you can control all sorts of effects and controls using all the qualities of your voice. Pitch bend, envelope following and multidimensional CC value control. So with Ableton if you go “la la hmmm dee da da” You’d get exactly the same output as if you went “la la la la la la”. But with Dubler Studio Kit, the way you make the sound can control the qualities of the synth, selection of the synth and effects applied to the synth. Making it a far more expressive tool.

Then there is the sample triggering and selection. If you select “drums” as the output for Ableton Audio to MIDI it will attempt to break up the input into drum rack triggers, but it only does it in a basic way. It’s also limited to hihat, kick and snare. With Dubler you can accurately trigger up to 8 different samples. Our software learns your voice so it will always trigger the right sample  instead of just guessing based on frequency. 

Final thing, with Ableton audio to MIDI you have to choose— drums or melody. With Dubler Studio Kit, you can do both at the same time.

Can I use Dubler Studio Kit with my own microphone?

There are a few reasons for the Dubler USB microphone. Latency is one consideration— the audio interface that is built into our mic is low latency – which is essential for real-time use. 

There are, of course, lots of audio interfaces with low latency though, so it’s not just about that. 

It’s also about profiling the input. Our software is highly tuned and learns the voice of the user. To do that we need to have a consistent input. By building our own microphone we can optimise for the frequency response of the microphone capsule. 

This is another reason for having a USB microphone— that way we can profile not only the microphone capsule, but also ensure we control the gain structure (and any artefacts) of the audio interface. 

We aren’t in the business of trying to tie people in with locking hardware. So the microphone won’t technically be required to make the software ‘work’ – but in all reality the software won’t work well with other hardware (because it is optimised for the specific frequency response and gain structure of our microphone).

There are some other added benefits to our microphone. Being USB, it’s great for convenience or being on the road, and you don’t need a separate audio interface to use it. 

We are also working with a highly respected microphone manufacturer to produce the Dubler microphones. This enables us to choose components that especially suit vocal to MIDI translation. For example, our microphone has a built-in double shock housing to reduce any accidentally MIDI triggers resulting from handling noise.

We’re not actually locking the software to the microphone – you can plug in another mic, it just won’t work that well! 


Is Dubler just pitch to MIDI?

Pitch to MIDI is one element of what Dubler Studio Kit can do, but that’s far from everything! Dubler will live track pitch, velocity, envelope and pitch bend. Dubler is not just about the note that you sing, but the quality of the input sound. 

So, for example, you can trigger samples by beatboxing or clapping. You can also control effects and filters by changing your voice – e.g. “hmmm” vs “laaaa” vs “oohhhh”. This allows you to do things like apply a wah-wah effect using the voice or control all the parameters of a synth vocally.


Can I use something other than my voice to trigger MIDI?

Yes, it would definitely be possible to do something interesting! We’re focused on the voice, as it’s our natural tool for audio expression, but actually, there is scope to experiment with all sorts of audio inputs— including other instruments, or clicking, clapping or stamping your feet! 

In the past, we’ve played around with an acoustic guitar and tried things like using palm muting to control effects on the DAW. 

Dubler Studio Kit is a tool for creative expression, and its possibilities are limitless.

What is the latency like of Dubler Studio Kit?

For more information on latency, please see our help pages: Latency

We have frequent cycles of latency reduction— and it changes depending on your personal set-up. 

Audio latency refers to a short period of delay (usually measured in milliseconds) between when an audio signal enters and when it emerges from a system. With the Dubler Studio Kit, this will be the time between you making a note with your voice, and when you hear the sound come from your system. 

Dubler Studio Kits latency is well below the audible range, and we’ve yet to hear any complaints of it being noticeable in anyone’s workflow when Dubler Studio Kit is set-up correctly. That includes testing with a wide range of professional musicians. 

Please note, that while it’s possible to reduce latency, it’s impossible to eliminate it entirely. Because: science.