Multiple MIDI Clock Destinations

Have any feature requests? No promise they'll get to Reason Studios, but you can still discuss them here.
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chimp_spanner
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Joined: 06 Mar 2015

Post 25 Apr 2022

As in the title. I’m working with an increasing amount of hardware these days (just got a Neutron, TR-6S, Deepmind 12, Microfreak) and in Live I’m able to send MIDI clock to all of them. In Reason I can only send to one. I’d *much* rather sequence, record and process my hardware in Reason. It’s the natural environment to do it in. But I’m literally having to work in Live right now.

On the same note, anyone know a way around this? Like a program I can use as an alternative to Reason as the clock master to send to multiple 5-pin and USB MIDI destinations?

*Edit: also I’m aware MIDI thru exists! But not all my synths have it. Volcas, for example, don’t. Also I don’t want to have to configure every device I put in/take out of the chain to talk to everything else.

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selig
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Post 25 Apr 2022

I'm baffled why this is not an option already, as there doesn't seem to be any technical reason why it's not possible and more of us need this every day.

That said, I finally found a way to deal with this in MY setup, though I'm sure it won't translate to all setups.
I send clock to my SL mkIII via USB, which then sends it to Peak, MiniBrute 2s, HydraSynth, and Eurorack via MIDI and CV (I only need one "thru" for this to work, and that is only needed because I recently added the HydraSynth to my setup). Peak and MiniBrute both are also connected to Reason via USB, which is how I send notes to them. And luckily they both can select any source as clock independent from the note source.

But I still would prefer sending clock to each device directly from Reason, so despite having a workaround I still support this feature request 100%!
Selig Audio, LLC

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DaveyG
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Post 25 Apr 2022

Yeah, it is an odd omission. I can't imagine it's that hard to implement.

In the past I have experimented with sending MIDI clock to one synth and then using the sync connector on the synth to pass on the clock to other synths. Unless all your synths by the same manufacturer this can quickly turn into a proper ball ache as you grapple with signal levels/polarity and with the different ways of expressing the clock rate divider: 1PPS, 2PPQ, 24PPQN, 2 per step etc

It's really easy to end up with one synth running at twice or half the speed of the others and sometimes the sync output only runs when that synth is playing a sequencer or arp.

So, yes, much easier to do it all with MIDI.

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chimp_spanner
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Post 25 Apr 2022

selig wrote:
25 Apr 2022
I'm baffled why this is not an option already, as there doesn't seem to be any technical reason why it's not possible and more of us need this every day.

That said, I finally found a way to deal with this in MY setup, though I'm sure it won't translate to all setups.
I send clock to my SL mkIII via USB, which then sends it to Peak, MiniBrute 2s, HydraSynth, and Eurorack via MIDI and CV (I only need one "thru" for this to work, and that is only needed because I recently added the HydraSynth to my setup). Peak and MiniBrute both are also connected to Reason via USB, which is how I send notes to them. And luckily they both can select any source as clock independent from the note source.

But I still would prefer sending clock to each device directly from Reason, so despite having a workaround I still support this feature request 100%!
How is the HydraSynth btw? I'm probably not gonna buy anything big for a while but it's definitely a curious/intriguing one for me.

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chimp_spanner
Posts: 2800
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Post 25 Apr 2022

DaveyG wrote:
25 Apr 2022
Yeah, it is an odd omission. I can't imagine it's that hard to implement.

In the past I have experimented with sending MIDI clock to one synth and then using the sync connector on the synth to pass on the clock to other synths. Unless all your synths by the same manufacturer this can quickly turn into a proper ball ache as you grapple with signal levels/polarity and with the different ways of expressing the clock rate divider: 1PPS, 2PPQ, 24PPQN, 2 per step etc

It's really easy to end up with one synth running at twice or half the speed of the others and sometimes the sync output only runs when that synth is playing a sequencer or arp.

So, yes, much easier to do it all with MIDI.
Yeah I tried just doing this between one Volca and the Microfreak and it was just impossible. Either everything was playing at the wrong division, or it would only advance the sequencer on one when a note was triggered on the other. Just all around ball-ache.

Live implements this really well, and I like the ability to offset each sync destination by its own value too. Pity I don't like much else about Live haha. I'm just gonna have to learn to love it in the meantime.

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mimidancer
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Post 25 Apr 2022

chimp_spanner wrote:
25 Apr 2022
As in the title. I’m working with an increasing amount of hardware these days (just got a Neutron, TR-6S, Deepmind 12, Microfreak) and in Live I’m able to send MIDI clock to all of them. In Reason I can only send to one. I’d *much* rather sequence, record and process my hardware in Reason. It’s the natural environment to do it in. But I’m literally having to work in Live right now.

On the same note, anyone know a way around this? Like a program I can use as an alternative to Reason as the clock master to send to multiple 5-pin and USB MIDI destinations?

*Edit: also I’m aware MIDI thru exists! But not all my synths have it. Volcas, for example, don’t. Also I don’t want to have to configure every device I put in/take out of the chain to talk to everything else.
I am not saying it cannot be done, but please hear me out. The issue of sending out multiple clocks is latency. compensating for latency with one device is easy, but when the devices have different latency it becomes more challenging. This leads to an increased risk of train wrecks. I recommend a hardware solution. Let the splitter receive clock then distribute it your devices. Currently, I sync my BeatStep Pro, TS 10, Microfreak, Polybrute, metropolix, Crave, Polyend Poly 2m, system-8, TR-8. It is inexpensive and works well.

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chimp_spanner
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Post 25 Apr 2022

mimidancer wrote:
25 Apr 2022
chimp_spanner wrote:
25 Apr 2022
As in the title. I’m working with an increasing amount of hardware these days (just got a Neutron, TR-6S, Deepmind 12, Microfreak) and in Live I’m able to send MIDI clock to all of them. In Reason I can only send to one. I’d *much* rather sequence, record and process my hardware in Reason. It’s the natural environment to do it in. But I’m literally having to work in Live right now.

On the same note, anyone know a way around this? Like a program I can use as an alternative to Reason as the clock master to send to multiple 5-pin and USB MIDI destinations?

*Edit: also I’m aware MIDI thru exists! But not all my synths have it. Volcas, for example, don’t. Also I don’t want to have to configure every device I put in/take out of the chain to talk to everything else.
I am not saying it cannot be done, but please hear me out. The issue of sending out multiple clocks is latency. compensating for latency with one device is easy, but when the devices have different latency it becomes more challenging. This leads to an increased risk of train wrecks. I recommend a hardware solution. Let the splitter receive clock then distribute it your devices. Currently, I sync my BeatStep Pro, TS 10, Microfreak, Polybrute, metropolix, Crave, Polyend Poly 2m, system-8, TR-8. It is inexpensive and works well.
I can definitely see how it has the potential to cause problems but yeah, as in my reply above, Live seems to have it sussed out. Each clock destination has its own MIDI offset setting. So if one device is 10ms out, another 14, another isn't out of time at all, no problem. That's how I'd imagine it working. I have considered hardware, but the problem then becomes cabling. Any kind of splitter will probably only output 5-pin, so some devices might need 3 cables connected instead of 2 (or 1 if they're bus-powered). It's already quickly turning into spaghetti back there haha.

Jealous you have the Polyend btw!! It's on the wishlist for sure.

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mimidancer
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Post 25 Apr 2022

chimp_spanner wrote:
25 Apr 2022
mimidancer wrote:
25 Apr 2022


I am not saying it cannot be done, but please hear me out. The issue of sending out multiple clocks is latency. compensating for latency with one device is easy, but when the devices have different latency it becomes more challenging. This leads to an increased risk of train wrecks. I recommend a hardware solution. Let the splitter receive clock then distribute it your devices. Currently, I sync my BeatStep Pro, TS 10, Microfreak, Polybrute, metropolix, Crave, Polyend Poly 2m, system-8, TR-8. It is inexpensive and works well.
I can definitely see how it has the potential to cause problems but yeah, as in my reply above, Live seems to have it sussed out. Each clock destination has its own MIDI offset setting. So if one device is 10ms out, another 14, another isn't out of time at all, no problem. That's how I'd imagine it working. I have considered hardware, but the problem then becomes cabling. Any kind of splitter will probably only output 5-pin, so some devices might need 3 cables connected instead of 2 (or 1 if they're bus-powered). It's already quickly turning into spaghetti back there haha.

Jealous you have the Polyend btw!! It's on the wishlist for sure.
I have Live but rarely use it. But i have tried syncing in the software before and I had issues. I am not the only one. That is why I like one clock to rule them all. https://forum.ableton.com/viewtopic.php?t=238800

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jam-s
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Location: Aachen, Germany

Post 25 Apr 2022

If you're in Aachen, come and visit us at the Voidspace. ... Pool's closed due to corona.

Studio67
Posts: 20
Joined: 04 Oct 2017

Post 26 Apr 2022

Use midi pipe! Create a virtual midi merge port and connect als hardware to midi pipe.
http://www.subtlesoft.square7.net/MidiPipe.html

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friday
Posts: 330
Joined: 17 Jan 2015

Post 27 Apr 2022

I solved this problem with "RK-006 Portable USB MIDI/Gate Hub"

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Re8et
Posts: 1170
Joined: 14 Nov 2016

Post 27 Apr 2022

chimp_spanner wrote:
25 Apr 2022
As in the title. I’m working with an increasing amount of hardware these days (just got a Neutron, TR-6S, Deepmind 12, Microfreak) and in Live I’m able to send MIDI clock to all of them. In Reason I can only send to one. I’d *much* rather sequence, record and process my hardware in Reason. It’s the natural environment to do it in. But I’m literally having to work in Live right now.

On the same note, anyone know a way around this? Like a program I can use as an alternative to Reason as the clock master to send to multiple 5-pin and USB MIDI destinations?

*Edit: also I’m aware MIDI thru exists! But not all my synths have it. Volcas, for example, don’t. Also I don’t want to have to configure every device I put in/take out of the chain to talk to everything else.
You can send analog midi clcok as many as you have analog DC coupled out! clock
I posted a LFO to mid analog out clock combi a while ago!

Reposted for convenience: viewtopic.php?f=8&t=7527807

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Re8et
Posts: 1170
Joined: 14 Nov 2016

Post 27 Apr 2022

selig wrote:
25 Apr 2022
I'm baffled why this is not an option already, as there doesn't seem to be any technical reason why it's not possible and more of us need this every day.

That said, I finally found a way to deal with this in MY setup, though I'm sure it won't translate to all setups.
I send clock to my SL mkIII via USB, which then sends it to Peak, MiniBrute 2s, HydraSynth, and Eurorack via MIDI and CV (I only need one "thru" for this to work, and that is only needed because I recently added the HydraSynth to my setup). Peak and MiniBrute both are also connected to Reason via USB, which is how I send notes to them. And luckily they both can select any source as clock independent from the note source.

But I still would prefer sending clock to each device directly from Reason, so despite having a workaround I still support this feature request 100%!
This?
viewtopic.php?f=8&t=7527807

User avatar
selig
RE Developer
Posts: 10150
Joined: 15 Jan 2015
Location: The NorthWoods, CT, USA

Post 27 Apr 2022

Re8et wrote:
27 Apr 2022
selig wrote:
25 Apr 2022
I'm baffled why this is not an option already, as there doesn't seem to be any technical reason why it's not possible and more of us need this every day.

That said, I finally found a way to deal with this in MY setup, though I'm sure it won't translate to all setups.
I send clock to my SL mkIII via USB, which then sends it to Peak, MiniBrute 2s, HydraSynth, and Eurorack via MIDI and CV (I only need one "thru" for this to work, and that is only needed because I recently added the HydraSynth to my setup). Peak and MiniBrute both are also connected to Reason via USB, which is how I send notes to them. And luckily they both can select any source as clock independent from the note source.

But I still would prefer sending clock to each device directly from Reason, so despite having a workaround I still support this feature request 100%!
This?
viewtopic.php?f=8&t=7527807
?
All I see is a link to a download… no explanation of what it is or what it does!
Selig Audio, LLC

User avatar
Re8et
Posts: 1170
Joined: 14 Nov 2016

Post 30 Apr 2022

selig wrote:
27 Apr 2022
Re8et wrote:
27 Apr 2022


This?
viewtopic.php?f=8&t=7527807
?
All I see is a link to a download… no explanation of what it is or what it does!
It converts, or rescale, lfos, to the digital voltage for Midi clock. So it's basically an analog signal with digital properties.
If fed to a midi input, it will be read as midi clock signal.
Yeah, sorry for the crude explanation or lack of intelligible instuctions.

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selig
RE Developer
Posts: 10150
Joined: 15 Jan 2015
Location: The NorthWoods, CT, USA

Post 30 Apr 2022

Re8et wrote:
30 Apr 2022
selig wrote:
27 Apr 2022

?
All I see is a link to a download… no explanation of what it is or what it does!
It converts, or rescale, lfos, to the digital voltage for Midi clock. So it's basically an analog signal with digital properties.
If fed to a midi input, it will be read as midi clock signal.
Yeah, sorry for the crude explanation or lack of intelligible instuctions.
Wow, that’s super clever but sounds a bit complicated, connection wise (converting audio outputs to MIDI connectors, right?). Plus, how does it handle position messages in cases where you start playback between bar lines etc.? Still, impressive workaround to be sure!
Selig Audio, LLC

User avatar
Re8et
Posts: 1170
Joined: 14 Nov 2016

Post 01 May 2022

selig wrote:
30 Apr 2022
Re8et wrote:
30 Apr 2022


It converts, or rescale, lfos, to the digital voltage for Midi clock. So it's basically an analog signal with digital properties.
If fed to a midi input, it will be read as midi clock signal.
Yeah, sorry for the crude explanation or lack of intelligible instuctions.
Wow, that’s super clever but sounds a bit complicated, connection wise (converting audio outputs to MIDI connectors, right?). Plus, how does it handle position messages in cases where you start playback between bar lines etc.? Still, impressive workaround to be sure!

Retro-engineered a midi signal with virtual audio and midi ox. No such thing as start and stop messages... Theoretically it could be possible, I haven't used it in a long time.
Perhaps I might have a look on it again to find out if it's possible to include other messages as well. Doubt it with stock devices... :lightbulb:
rd.png
https://retrokits.com/rk006/
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