Trying to understand syncing DAW/Midronome/Ext Hardware

Any questions about the Midronome
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MLaf
Posts: 53
Joined: 08 Aug 2022, 21:42

Trying to understand syncing DAW/Midronome/Ext Hardware

Post by MLaf »

I'm just trying to understand the options for synchronizing a DAW, Midronome, and external hardware.

Since the Midronome is going to have the most stable clock it would probably make most sense to have this as the primary (right?). And I do use two of the DAW's that allow for being synced externally (Bitwig and Reason) so I know that part is possible.

Therefore, the DAW and External hardware would be synchronized to the Midronome. In this case, what are the options for getting the DAW to sync to the Midronome? Is it via USB or DIN MIDI or are both an option? Is one option more accurate than another?

Then the external hardware would also be connected to the Midronome? Or to the DAW through your computers MIDI IO?

My goal is to be able to track audio from external hardware that have sequencers (eg Octatrack, td-3, etc) into a DAW to be arranged and I don't want to need to mess around with nudging stuff and correcting timing.
Simon
Posts: 876
Joined: 09 Jan 2022, 22:08

Re: Trying to understand syncing DAW/Midronome/Ext Hardware

Post by Simon »

Hi Mlaf :)

Unfortunately you will *always* have to mess around with nudging stuff if you want your stuff to be exactly on the grid. There is just no avoiding it since each device will have a different latency, and some devices might even not follow the clock very well (that's much less probable though).

But the Midronome can make it easier for you, so you can do all the nudging before you press record, and it will record on the grid. Then next time you record the same gear you will have the setup already prepared. BUT - there are some limitations:
* Right now there is no hardware clock shifting on the Midronome, so you cannot shift each device independently (this is a potential future feature - which is highly requested and I think will come soon)
* The precision is still all depending on the DAW sending the audio sync track, which is based on your DAW's sample clock. The Midronome can only be as precise as the clock it receives from the DAW - but luckily for you usually DAWs are pretty decent at sending audio precisely (I mean this is what they are literally designed for...)

Apologies if this is a bit technical.

To answer your questions, you can set it up two different ways:

-> Midronome is master
----> sends clock to MIDI devices via its two DIN-MIDI
----> sends clock to Ableton/Reason via USB-MIDI
----> sends other clocks (analog) and/or metronome to devices/musicians

or you can use what I call "DAW Sync" between the DAW and the Midronome which is tighter than USB-MIDI (see comparison here: https://youtu.be/-T7KW3hfvDI )
In this case:
-> DAW is the master
----> Midronome syncs to the DAW using the audio sync signal sent by the DAW
--------> Then Midronome sends clock to MIDI devices via its two DIN-MIDI
--------> And other clocks/metronome to whatever needs it
----> In this mode you can adjust the position of the sync track to compensate for the latency => this will "shift" all your hardware devices

In both cases your hardware devices receive the MIDI Clock from the Midronome.

Let me know if this is not clear :)
MLaf
Posts: 53
Joined: 08 Aug 2022, 21:42

Re: Trying to understand syncing DAW/Midronome/Ext Hardware

Post by MLaf »

Thank you Simon.

So you're saying the most accurate solution is the DAW sync, okay.

I'm still a bit fuzzy on the details on what needs to be pressed when for this to work.

Press play on DAW, press play on Midronome? Or does the Midronome listen to MIDI Start/Stop messages? The video you linked to showing DAW Sync wasn't entirely clear as you moved a bit quickly in the end when you were on the subject. I wasn't able to see what was pressed when.
Simon
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Joined: 09 Jan 2022, 22:08

Re: Trying to understand syncing DAW/Midronome/Ext Hardware

Post by Simon »

MLaf wrote: 27 Mar 2023, 19:04 Press play on DAW, press play on Midronome? Or does the Midronome listen to MIDI Start/Stop messages?
The Midronome does listen to MIDI Start/stop messages sent over the USB, which will have the same effect as pressing on the Play button on the device (then, on the next bar, the device will send itself MIDI Start/stop to the devices which are connected to it).

My apologies if it is not very clear - I'm an inventor, not an influencer and not very good at making videos ha ha :D Hopefully now that I have some stock I can send a bunch to some youtubers that will make much better videos than I did ;)

I am not sure if this is much clearer, but I also show it on the video manual: https://youtu.be/hkw9dmLfkZQ?t=656

Either way I think it will make much more sense when you have the device in front of you, it's really not that complicated :)

But I can see a good and updated video demonstrating the DAW sync would be nice :)

Simon
troymcclure
Posts: 3
Joined: 25 Apr 2023, 22:00

Re: Trying to understand syncing DAW/Midronome/Ext Hardware

Post by troymcclure »

how is this any different to usb midi? while it might not jitter as much, does it not inherit the same bad timing if start is sent over usb instead of being merged into the audio stream? i mean the point is to get midi equipment tighly onto the daw grid. how is this going to work if the starting command for the devices is sent over usb with a different timing than the audio coming from the daw?
Simon
Posts: 876
Joined: 09 Jan 2022, 22:08

Re: Trying to understand syncing DAW/Midronome/Ext Hardware

Post by Simon »

He he, glad you asked! :D

Thing is, the MIDI Start command does not matter (much), all it says is "start on the next MIDI Clock tick". So it can (almost) be sent anytime between two ticks. What matters are the MIDI Clock ticks, and these are precisely generated from the Audio sync signal ;)
troymcclure
Posts: 3
Joined: 25 Apr 2023, 22:00

Re: Trying to understand syncing DAW/Midronome/Ext Hardware

Post by troymcclure »

makes sense, thank you for your quick reply!
Adam LADN
Posts: 1
Joined: 10 Aug 2023, 12:22

Re: Trying to understand syncing DAW/Midronome/Ext Hardware

Post by Adam LADN »

Hey mate

It sounds like you have the same dilemma I had. The Midronome has been an absolute game changer for me. I have over 20 different synths and pedals all routed into 2 x MioXL’s connected together via RTP. I route everything in the Mio software to receive midi clock from the Midronome. It has been so much fun being able to sync a heap of external hardware. Next is recording into Ableton. That is my next challenge.
My gear list:
Arturia Polybrute
Waldorf Iridium Desktop
ASM Hydrasynth
Behringer Deepmind 12
Moog Minitaur
Arturia Drumbrute Impact
Novation 61SL mk3 Controller
Korg Monologue
Roland Jupiter Xm
Korg Wavestate
Akai Force
Yamaha PSR S975
Arturia Keystep
Arturia Beatstep
Hologram Microcosm
Cosmos
Strymon Mobius/Time/Big Sky
Boss RC 505
Then I also have a heap of semi modular gear that I haven’t used with the Midronome….yet.
Like I said it has been a lot of fun syncing this all up.
lanewood
Posts: 1
Joined: 11 Aug 2023, 10:41

Re: Trying to understand syncing DAW/Midronome/Ext Hardware

Post by lanewood »

Same Here! All is magically locked together like never before
-Matrix Brute
-Poly Brute
-Poly D
-Mono Poly
-SUB 37
-Odyssey
-TD-3
-RD-8
All clocked perfectly to my DAW, so much fun!

BUT I cant make AKAI FORCE follow, not sure if that is possible...

(Oh and the Midronome felt down from my desk, landed on a glass full of water that was sitting on the speaker that I use for Click. Midronome on the floor and the glass did follow all over the Midronome! Now it only outputs 7/8 clock ! Just kidding, works all good after drying it)
wget--user
Posts: 4
Joined: 31 Jul 2023, 12:13

Re: Trying to understand syncing DAW/Midronome/Ext Hardware

Post by wget--user »

Ehat i would like to know, how does the recording of external instruments look like in the daw. Is it possible to get a recording with sample starting exactly on 1.1 bar, all the instruments tightly synced when recorded and thise recordings in tight sample accurate sync with midi driven external synths?
besbin
Posts: 4
Joined: 18 Feb 2024, 03:06

Re: Trying to understand syncing DAW/Midronome/Ext Hardware

Post by besbin »

so... a clock taking the route of daw>midronome>hardware is more stable than just daw>hardware?
Simon
Posts: 876
Joined: 09 Jan 2022, 22:08

Re: Trying to understand syncing DAW/Midronome/Ext Hardware

Post by Simon »

besbin wrote: 18 Feb 2024, 03:14 so... a clock taking the route of daw>midronome>hardware is more stable than just daw>hardware?
Ha ha that does go against natural judgement indeed :D :lol:

The key point is the first line. If I call 1, 2 and 3 the communication lines:

Code: Select all

daw ---> midronome ---> hardware
 1---^          2---^

daw ---> hardware
 3---^       
Then 3 is the biggest issue, that's just terribly not precise. 2 does not add any imprecision because it's DIN-MIDI or Analog, and the Midronome is extremely good at converting 1 into 2 without adding any jitter or latency at all (that's kind of the whole point of the device).

And 1 is still the weakest point (much much better than 3 though), but get ready for Firmware 3.0 which will improve that by a ton! :D

I hope that nerdy explanation makes sense ;)

Cheers
Simon
besbin
Posts: 4
Joined: 18 Feb 2024, 03:06

Re: Trying to understand syncing DAW/Midronome/Ext Hardware

Post by besbin »

but all the jitter is still happening between the daw and midronome? so the midronome stabilizes it? also confused on why midi would be better over din vs usb.
Simon
Posts: 876
Joined: 09 Jan 2022, 22:08

Re: Trying to understand syncing DAW/Midronome/Ext Hardware

Post by Simon »

besbin wrote: 18 Feb 2024, 18:06 but all the jitter is still happening between the daw and midronome? so the midronome stabilizes it?
Well no that's the point, the Midronome uses the audio clock as a reference, so the only jitter it gets is the audio clock's jitter (which is usually very low ) +/- 0.5 samples. When you sync stuff directly from your DAW it does not use audio but MIDI Clock over USB, which is much less precise.

I mean I'm a huge advocate of "if you don't need it don't get it". And if you do have issues syncing, well you don't need to understand why it's more precise or how it works, you can simply trust the many people who say it solved their sync issues and hope it will solve yours as well :)
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