Best way to sync MIDI to external audio sources?

Want to talk about music hardware or software that doesn't include Reason?
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mbfrancis
Posts: 649
Joined: 02 Feb 2015
Location: Orange County, CA

Post 28 Mar 2024

Hello all, hopefully you can help -

I'm looking for recommendations on how to match the BPM of and external audio signal and send MIDI to Reason (and anywhere else_.

I recently got a 1980 Yamaha Electone 215D home organ, 100% analog with built in drums, bass chords and arpeggiator - super warm and vibey. I love jamming out on the organ, running it through tons of effects and playing along with another keyboard when needed. But ... I'd to have some device that hears the organ's beat, finds the exact BPM, and then exports MIDI that I could run Reason and anything else with.

I imagine it's very much like DJ beat matching but I would need it to 1) find the beat and then 2) turn off the sensor / hold it so I could still drop everything out and it would still stay in time. The Yamaha clock is very stable - I've been recording parts and then just calculating BPM from the length of 8 bars and it stays in time for 4-5 minutes.

What could do this?

* It looks like Ableton but really don't want to buy another DAW just for this
* Some DJ software or DJ mixer
* Some old 90s devices like Red Sounds micro-sync

Anyone doing anything like this now? Thanks all!
Producer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist. I make indie pop as Port Streets, 90s/shoegaze as Swooner, and Electro as Yours Mine.

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jam-s
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Location: Aachen, Germany

Post 29 Mar 2024

Why not use a MIDI or typist transcription foot pedal and map it to the tap tempo button in Reason?

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miyaru
Posts: 626
Joined: 28 Oct 2019
Location: Zaanstad, The Netherlands

Post 29 Mar 2024

Besides Reason 12.7, I have Ableton Live Suite 10. Tried a few times to use Ableton for it but it is not easy to match and quantize the beats from audio sources. You have to record it first anyway, analyze it, and then quantize it before it is useful.

Reason cannot do this, but Ableton is to expensive to use it just for that…….

Beside Ableton and Virtual DJ I would not know of any software capable of doing that.
Greetings from Miyaru.
Prodaw i7-7700, 16Gb Ram, Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 3rd gen, ESI M4U eX, Reason12, Live Suit 10, Push2, Presonus Eris E8 and Monitor Station V2, Lexicon MPX1,
Korg N1, Yamaha RM1x :thumbup:

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crimsonwarlock
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Location: Close to the Edge

Post 29 Mar 2024

Back in the days, before MIDI, we used to extract a "pulse" from audio, and then use a lot of analog trickery (read "custom-built electronics") to sync up analog synthesizers (which often had a pulse-in/gate connector).

So here's an idea: maybe you can use Audio-to-CV-Generator (https://www.reasonstudios.com/shop/rack ... dio-to-cv/) to extract a gate. The faster the gate, the more you can do with it, so preferably isolate a hi-hat or similar (that RE will help you do that). Then run the generated gate into something like PSQ-1684 (https://www.reasonstudios.com/shop/rack ... /psq-1684/) to get all kinds of triggers that you can run into whatever you like to sync up. Both REs are currently on sale, I believe, if you don't have them yet.
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Analog tape ⇒ ESQ1 sequencer board ⇒ Atari/Steinberg Pro24 ⇒ Atari/Cubase ⇒ Cakewalk Sonar ⇒ Orion Pro/Platinum ⇒ Reaper ⇒ Reason DAW.

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mbfrancis
Posts: 649
Joined: 02 Feb 2015
Location: Orange County, CA

Post 29 Mar 2024

Thanks everyone!
jam-s wrote:
29 Mar 2024
Why not use a MIDI or typist transcription foot pedal and map it to the tap tempo button in Reason?
My experience with tap tempo is that it's great for delays but for something like this where the BPM needs to be accurate to the 1000th of a beat tap tempo is too inexact and always rounds to the BPM. So something like this? https://www.disasterareadesigns.com/shop/p/micro-clock
crimsonwarlock wrote:
29 Mar 2024
Back in the days, before MIDI, we used to extract a "pulse" from audio, and then use a lot of analog trickery (read "custom-built electronics") to sync up analog synthesizers (which often had a pulse-in/gate connector).

So here's an idea: maybe you can use Audio-to-CV-Generator (https://www.reasonstudios.com/shop/rack ... dio-to-cv/) to extract a gate. The faster the gate, the more you can do with it, so preferably isolate a hi-hat or similar (that RE will help you do that). Then run the generated gate into something like PSQ-1684 (https://www.reasonstudios.com/shop/rack ... /psq-1684/) to get all kinds of triggers that you can run into whatever you like to sync up. Both REs are currently on sale, I believe, if you don't have them yet.
Right - but this just triggers things right...can I extract a MIDI clock somehow?
Producer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist. I make indie pop as Port Streets, 90s/shoegaze as Swooner, and Electro as Yours Mine.

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crimsonwarlock
Posts: 2328
Joined: 06 Nov 2021
Location: Close to the Edge

Post 29 Mar 2024

mbfrancis wrote:
29 Mar 2024
Right - but this just triggers things right...can I extract a MIDI clock somehow?
It should be possible to use a repeating gate to sync stuff inside Reason. If I'm in my studio tomorrow I'll try to find something :puf_wink:
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Analog tape ⇒ ESQ1 sequencer board ⇒ Atari/Steinberg Pro24 ⇒ Atari/Cubase ⇒ Cakewalk Sonar ⇒ Orion Pro/Platinum ⇒ Reaper ⇒ Reason DAW.

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crimsonwarlock
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Joined: 06 Nov 2021
Location: Close to the Edge

Post 30 Mar 2024

OK, so I've found only two RE sequencers that can run on incoming triggers, meaning they will step through the pattern based on incoming triggers. The first one is AS-16, which is the closest thing to early analog hardware sequencers. The second one is StepNote Recorder ||. I downloaded the trial for testing this, and now I think I need to buy it, as this topic gave me several ideas for a specific project I've been thinking about for a while now.

When you get one of these sequencers to play the root-note for your progression (with any needed timing divisions), you can then use all the available REs and players trickery in Reason to generate whatever you want in sync with your playing.

EDIT: you might need something like AutoLatch or TriGater (my favorite) to lengthen the trigger pulses, at least with StepNote recorder which seemingly doesn't have a gate-length setting.
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Analog tape ⇒ ESQ1 sequencer board ⇒ Atari/Steinberg Pro24 ⇒ Atari/Cubase ⇒ Cakewalk Sonar ⇒ Orion Pro/Platinum ⇒ Reaper ⇒ Reason DAW.

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