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For those looking at sync solutions with a DAW, a list of current options.

1
HolidayHoliday Canada
edited June 10 in General

Since I've been researching sync options as I already have much invested in VSTs but now wanting to go hybrid I thought I'd share my findings.

Sample accurate sync with DAW (DAW as master) choices:

DC coupled Audio Interface + Expert Sleepers USAMO + iConnectivity or other relative MIDI router/hub.
This probably the cheapest solution if you already have an audio interface that is DC coupled and want sample accurate sync between hardware and DAW. The USAMO only has one MIDI out hence the MIDI router/hub. You split the clock signal out to all your external gear, like the Deluge. Only issue is any latency induced from your MIDI router/hub to your external gear and whatever latency is induced from the Deluge to any external gear connected to it.

Expert Sleepers ES-40 + ESX-8MD + doepfer mini case
8 separate outs means you can clock 8 devices direct. You can also expand with more ESX-8MD modules up to I think 40.

E-RM Multiclock
4 outs of either MIDI, DIN or Analogue all of which can be turned on/off at the push of a button, can be it's own master for hardware only setups. MIDI router/merger, manual shift and shuffle, LFO.

Innerclock Systems - Sync Gen Pro II
5 DIN + 5 MIDI as well as TRS analog variable division arp trigger output.

Links:

http://www.expert-sleepers.co.uk/hardware.html
https://www.e-rm.de/
https://innerclocksystems.com/

Post edited by Holiday on

Comments

  • 1
    jbone1313jbone1313 Tucson, Arizona, USA

    IIRC, a DC coupled interface is not necessary to send clock pulses. I do it from my RME UFX all the time. I would think that would work for the USAMO.

    I use the ESX-8MD. It’s the best IMO.

    If you buy one of these devices, be prepared to invest some time, especially if you’re using Ableton. It’s challenging.

    Pro-tip: If using Ableton, you will need to send your audio clock stream out of Ableton’s External Audio Effect, as that is the only way to get the clock stream to be latency compensated. It does work well though.

    If you are syncing a device like the Deluge which also sends MIDI, and if you want to sequence Ableton, you may need to add a negative track delay to a track receiving the MIDI, and then receive that in the final track.

    Basically, be prepared to do a lot of tests to check the accuracy.

    Syncing to DAWs is a PAIN. But it’s worth it. Being able to record your hardware through software effects and monitor is GREAT.

    Finally, if you only want to sync your Deluge, you only need an audio interface and a spare output and a clock pulse to send to Deluge’s audio clock input. You can roll your own with a sampler, or use a plugin like Silent Way sync.

    I spent about 100 hours figuring this stuff out.

    Happy syncing.

  • 0
    jbone1313jbone1313 Tucson, Arizona, USA

    ERM has a clock shift on the hardware. Expert Sleepers is in the software plugin. IIRC, clock shifting requires a preroll, which sucks.

    The solution is to use the effect thing I mentioned above if you’re using Ableton. Then you have no need to shift anything.

    Basically, Ableton made their External Audio Effect latency compensated so that you can use external hardware effects and have them be in time. You are leveraging that same thing for your clock.

    Don’t think you can manually compensate your stuff either. The latency changes a lot depending on what plugins your using.

  • 1
    HolidayHoliday Canada

    With the E-RM Multiclock you do get the cool feature of MIDI swinging on whatever output on the fly as well as add a lil lag or speed up the timing. There's a cool full demo here:

  • 0
    jbone1313jbone1313 Tucson, Arizona, USA

    @Holiday - You can do all of that with Expert Sleepers. I'm not trying to sell you anything, but I think you should know what the options are. If you are curious, download the Expert Sleepers Silent Way manual. Check out the options on the "Sync" and "ES-4" plugins.

  • 0
    HolidayHoliday Canada

    Yeah I'm leaning towards the Expert Sleepers set up as I can get a good price on it. However I am also looking at the E-RM Multiclock as it also works standalone if I ever manage to go all hardware.

  • 0
    jbone1313jbone1313 Tucson, Arizona, USA

    If you go all hardware, why would you need something like this?

  • 0
    HolidayHoliday Canada

    I mean if one day I can afford an all hardware set up and want to insure rock solid timing something like the E-Rm Multiclock or MidiClock would be handy. Mind you some hardware samplers are known to have rock solid sync like the MPCs. Don't know about the Deluge yet I haven't purchased yet. Eventually I'd like to go all hardware but that's a big investment and meanwhile I have tons of VSTs synths and FX processors already.

  • 0
    jbone1313jbone1313 Tucson, Arizona, USA

    In my experience, most hardware machines I've dealt with have had more than satisfactory timing and very low levels of jitter. The only thing that bugs me (and I am picky) is the crap clocks that come out of DAWs. So, for me, I would not buy one of these devices if I were not syncing to a DAW.

  • 0
    HolidayHoliday Canada

    Yeah cool, Just trying to source the Doeper mini case.

  • 0
    mbangmbang Gothenburg, Sweden

    I´ve been using the Innerclock solution to make sure my daw and machines lined up properly and it works brilliant. A little troublesome for me at first since i somehow missed the point that i had to have a couple of extra outputs from my sound card, to generate clock pulses from, but since i had ordered a new soundcard i didn´t have to wait long until i had a solution that worked. Clock with this is tight as ****.
    Since then i´m not using my daw anymore, only Deluge and the sync box sits in the corner and weeps silently..

  • 0

    I can tell you all that the erm multi clock works well in my setup it has 4 midi outs and an a audio clock out I've been using it for about 3 years now with reaper :)

    I'm trey from the uk I'm totally blind with cerebral palsy, I make music with hardware and reaper on Mac os10.

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