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Teach me about MIDI clocks

 
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Freddy V-C
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PostPosted: Sun May 13, 2018 11:59 pm    Post subject: Teach me about MIDI clocks Reply with quote

I'm wanting to improve our setup for the sequenced elements in Thank's live set. At the moment we have an Arturia Microbrute which plays all the sequenced elements, our drummer wears headphones with just the Microbrute coming through, so he stays in sync and everyone else follows him. It works pretty well, but it limits what we can do with the sequencer because the 'one' always has to be really obvious for Jack to keep up with what's happening.

I'm aware of the concept of MIDI clocks, but I know almost nothing about them. My thinking is that if we control the tempo of the Microbrute with a clock, we can send a click to Jack's headphones instead of the synth, which means we can do some more syncopated/irregular synth parts. Plus the tempo control on the actual synth itself is pretty imprecise, so it would be nice to have more consistent control over that.

SOOO... how would this work? Where can I find a nice, affordable MIDI clock? Do we need a separate click generator or can the clock do that natively?
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gusman2x
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PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2018 6:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

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BearBoy
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PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2018 7:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Can't you Sync a drum machine (didn't you have a Boss one?) with the synth? Then route the audio from the drum machine to your drummer's headphones.

You might have to mess around with which device is the master and which is the slave. If you use the drum machine as the master then you'll be able to set the BPM precisely.

I there are a few people on here who know lots about MIDI so hopefully one of them will be able to help.
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I'm just going to smash it in with a hammer and hope it works. Tone is all in the fingers anyway.
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Freddy V-C
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PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2018 7:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had a cheapo Boss Dr Rhythm one a couple of years ago, aye. But it broke unfortunately and I ended up giving it away. Not sure if the guy I gave it to ever managed to get it fixed.
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BearBoy
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PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2018 7:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You open to the idea of having a laptop on stage with you?
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I love how this place is basic as fuck.

ekwatts wrote:
I'm just going to smash it in with a hammer and hope it works. Tone is all in the fingers anyway.
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Freddy V-C
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PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2018 9:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not completely opposed to a laptop, but would prefer not to if we can avoid it.

This looks like it might do the trick: Boss DB-90

I think it would be a case of the Microbrute controlling the speed of the metronome (rather than the other way around, which would be better) but this seems to be the cheapest metronome I can find with any kind of MIDI syncing capabilities.

Does this seem like a viable solution? Any better/cheaper suggestions?
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Fakir Mustache
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PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2018 9:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Freddy V-C wrote:
Not completely opposed to a laptop, but would prefer not to if we can avoid it.

This looks like it might do the trick: Boss DB-90

I think it would be a case of the Microbrute controlling the speed of the metronome (rather than the other way around, which would be better) but this seems to be the cheapest metronome I can find with any kind of MIDI syncing capabilities.

Does this seem like a viable solution? Any better/cheaper suggestions?

Have you even noticed that both devices have MIDI inputs and neither has a MIDI output?
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Freddy V-C
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PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2018 9:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nope. But that's an extremely helpful way of phrasing it. Thanks, dickhead.
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Freddy V-C
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PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2018 9:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's almost as if I'm someone who's relatively new to MIDI syncing and created a thread specifically to learn more about it.
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BearBoy
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PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2018 10:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The MicroBrute does MIDI out over USB so you could use a converter.

TBH though Freddy I'd look for a cheap second hand drum machine (maybe a Boss DR-550 or Alesis SR-16). Would be more versatile than a fancy metronome. Zoom also used to make some cheap ones but I'm not familiar with them

Another alternative might be to try something with a phone/tablet app (and something like THIS)?
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Fran wrote:
I love how this place is basic as fuck.

ekwatts wrote:
I'm just going to smash it in with a hammer and hope it works. Tone is all in the fingers anyway.
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Freddy V-C
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PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2018 10:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

BearBoy wrote:
The MicroBrute does MIDI out over USB so you could use a converter.


Cheers, good to know!

BearBoy wrote:
TBH though Freddy I'd look for a cheap second hand drum machine (maybe a Boss DR-550 or Alesis SR-16). Would be more versatile than a fancy metronome. Zoom also used to make some cheap ones but I'm not familiar with them


The machine I had before was a DR-550. That was a bit of a frustrating situation because I spent two weeks teaching myself how to use it, and then the first time I brought it to band practice it just shat itself, and I never managed to get it up and running again. If you tried to get it to play any pattern it would just play every sound simultaneously, sounded like a drummer falling down the stairs. So I'm reluctant to get hold of another one in case the same thing happens again.

What would be the benefit of using a cheap drum machine rather than a dedicated metronome? At the moment we're not planning to use any programmed drums.

BearBoy wrote:
Another alternative might be to try something with a phone/tablet app?


I suppose I'd be wary of this for the same reason I'm wary of using a laptop, I want all the gear for the band to be self-contained. If my phone/laptop/whatever shit the bed in my day to day life then I wouldn't want it to affect the band as well. Plus it just isn't much fun playing with computers in a live context, at least not in my experience.
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BearBoy
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PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2018 10:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Freddy V-C wrote:
The machine I had before was a DR-550........So I'm reluctant to get hold of another one in case the same thing happens again.


I think you probably just got unlucky. Boss stuff is generally pretty reliable and I've got a DR-550 I've had since 1991 ( Shocked ) which still works perfectly. Understand your caution though.

Freddy V-C wrote:
What would be the benefit of using a cheap drum machine rather than a dedicated metronome? At the moment we're not planning to use any programmed drums.


If you only want something for this specific purpose then there probably isn't any additional benefit (except possibly greater MIDI flexibility). I just meant it would be more versatile if you thought you might have a use for it beyond getting a click track to your drummer.

Freddy V-C wrote:
BearBoy wrote:
Another alternative might be to try something with a phone/tablet app?


I suppose I'd be wary of this for the same reason I'm wary of using a laptop, I want all the gear for the band to be self-contained. If my phone/laptop/whatever shit the bed in my day to day life then I wouldn't want it to affect the band as well. Plus it just isn't much fun playing with computers in a live context, at least not in my experience.


Yeah, understand that.
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Fran wrote:
I love how this place is basic as fuck.

ekwatts wrote:
I'm just going to smash it in with a hammer and hope it works. Tone is all in the fingers anyway.
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gusman2x
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PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2018 10:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry to ask question Freddo when you're asking questions yourself, however:

Are you using the microbrut to play just the arpeggiator onstage, or pre-recorded samples/sequences with different tempos and sounds?
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Freddy V-C
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PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2018 11:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

No need to apologise!

I think it's the Minibrute which has an arpeggiator? Although I'm not 100% confident about the difference between an arpeggiator and a sequencer.

The Microbrute has a step sequencer, and the drummer plays along with pre-programmed sequences. There's three songs in the live set where the sequence is looped for the whole track, and then we've got one where it gets retriggered every couple of bars because of weird time signature nonsense.

Sounds like this.

I'm not sure if that answers your question, haha...
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Fakir Mustache
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PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2018 12:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Freddy V-C wrote:
Nope. But that's an extremely helpful way of phrasing it. Thanks, dickhead.

fuck off!
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but not now, in 4 days


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by the way, the Boss DR-550 also only has a MIDI in, you need a DR-660 or 770 or 202.
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