Friday, December 29, 2006

Midi Tutorial Part 5: Sequencer to Sequencer Syncing

Note: The following article is a general outline to introduce readers to the general concepts and methods behind setting up midi. The specific details of how to setup a midi keyboard with your computer will vary depending upon the hardware and software that you use.

Sequencer --> Sequencer Syncing (using midi master/slave) This process applies to both hardware and software syncing and also includes synths (groove boxes), which contain internal synths.

1. If you want to setup multiple sequencers and have them link and trigger together you must use the master and slave option in your sequencers. If you prefer to use one sequencer and simply control the sounds of another one set up your synths the same way as you do with a hardware synth or sound module.

2. To setup up multiple sequencers you first must decide which one you want to use as your primary sequencer. This is the one which will control all other midi devices using a midi system known as master and slave. The ideology is fairly straight forward the master controls all the slave modules and all the other synths and sequencers will follow its commands.

3. This setup process is actually very simple to do. First after you decide which sequencer you want as your primary sequencer you must then go to its midi options settings. There you want too look for either the midi clock settings or for the midi master/slave settings. After you find them you want to set the midi clock for the master sequencer to either “master” or to “internal”. Different companies use different terms. This means that the tempo, start and stop information comes from this sequencer internally and it will listen only to itself.

4. After you have connected your other groove boxes are sequencers with the proper midi cable connections you then what to go to their own respective midi options screens. For setting up midi slave and master controls you do not need to worry about which midi channels the synths are on. It does not matter in this case unless you plan to control all of the synths using a single midi keyboard. In that case you must set a different midi channel for each synth. Then run the midi keyboard to the midi in on your master sequencer.

5. After you have connected all of your synths, go to their internal midi options screens. From there you want to find the midi clock section or the midi options sections much the same way you did for your master sequencer. In these settings you want to the midi clock to “slave” or “external”.

6. After this is done you should be set. Now when you press play or change the tempo on your master sequencer the other synths and sequencers will sync up to the same tempo and play with the master one.

Tips on using multiple sequencers
When you press play on your master sequencer all of your other sequencers will automatically play as well. This is important for live playing or for recording. If you do not want their patterns to play right away you will need to mute them or arrange your patterns in such a way that they play later in the song. Also if the master sequencer is playing then you cannot change the tempo of any of the slave modules, they only respond to the tempo of the master sequencer. If the master sequencer is stopped however then you can change the tempo individually of each slave sequencer.When syncing two software sequencers inside 1 computer some sequencers wont recognize another software sequencer as another midi device. When this is the case then you need to download a software midi clock or a midi yoke. If this is the case you will have to run this program as well as your two sequencers. For the midi clock settings (some sequencers only respond to midi in messages) in your sequencers you will have to set your sequencers both to slave to the midi yoke or clock. Then your tempo and start/stop commands will have to come from the midi yoke/clock program rather then one of your sequencers.To sync two soft sequencers on two computers u can do the same process and use an usb cable to send the midi clock messages to the other sequencer. The specific information on sending midi data through usb to sync up sequencers varies depending on the midi clock/yoke you are using.Another method is to use a hardware sequencer as a master sequencer, then using a midi interface slave the two software sequencers to it.

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