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How do you sync drum machines and synthesizers without midi or a sequencer? Drum Machines & Samplers
Old 6th January 2010
  #1
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How do you sync drum machines and synthesizers without midi or a sequencer?

I have some drum machines- an Alesis SR16, Korg PSS-50 Super Section, Korg DDD-1, Electro Harmonix DRM-15 Digital Rhythm Matrix, and drum machines on Casiotone 501 and MT-205 keyboards. One of the hardest things I have encountered since I started playing music is getting the drum machines to play in time with the arpeggiators on my synthesizers. I have a Korg R3 and a Roland Juno-6. It is not about getting the drum machines to trigger the arpeggiators but to get the drum machines and arpeggiators to play in time with each other. I can get it close. But they tend to drift apart. Is it a matter of sitting there tweaking them until they eventually line up? Or is there a better way to do it?
Old 6th January 2010
  #2
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pr0gr4m's Avatar
In short, no. At least not with the gear you have. For them to sync up, they need to be able to "talk" to each other to keep in time. MIDI allows devices to communicate so that they can stay in time. Generally one will send MIDI data to a synth which would sync up to the incoming MIDI time code.

Some synths that have arpeggiators can sync to the MIDI time code and others do not.

I understand your problem looking at the gear that you are using. For performance, there aren't any really good solutions other than get it as close as you can.

If you are recording, you can record each instrument on it's own track and then stretch or squish parts so that they are of equal length and that may help keep them in sync.
Old 6th January 2010
  #3
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does the roland juno 6 have a clock input for the arpeggiator? you just need to feed it the right signal.. which may just be a trigger pulse and some times you can get away with sending it a pulse from a drum machine. check philip rees and kenton for devices to sync the arpeggiators to midi machines.
Old 7th January 2010
  #4
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I found a temporary solution. My Alesis SR16 triggers my Juno-6. On some beats from the SR16 I can get a decent sounding bass line from the Juno-6. Blues 2 of all things makes a pretty cool bass line, especially when I turn the bpms to around 200. For some reason the techno beats on the SR16 don't do much with the arpeggiator. But others do. I dig the drum sounds of the SR16 more when I add some distortion to them. Though I might see how it sounds with a guitar compressor on it.
Old 7th January 2010
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Acid Hazard's Avatar
Your fingers on the keys?
Old 20th June 2010
  #6
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This may or may not have been a bright idea. But it gets the job done. I tried using an old Barcus Berry microphone preamp, one with quarter inch jacks, between the drum machines and the Juno-6. Turns out that with the microphone preamp all of my drum machines trigger the Juno-6's arpeggiator. My Korg R3 also triggers it.
Old 21st June 2010
  #7
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Xero's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by rolandjuno6 View Post
This may or may not have been a bright idea. But it gets the job done. I tried using an old Barcus Berry microphone preamp, one with quarter inch jacks, between the drum machines and the Juno-6. Turns out that with the microphone preamp all of my drum machines trigger the Juno-6's arpeggiator. My Korg R3 also triggers it.
sounds like the outputs weren't giving enough juice to the juno. Are you just using the audio outputs, or the trigger outputs ? Most of the older roland drum machines have trigger-outputs which will drive a juno-6 / 60 without any preamp in between. If you're just using audio outputs, then yeah, it might not be enough juice to trigger the arpeggio. I've heard that you can use audio-outputs to trigger the arpeggio when you use a very high pitched metallic/loud samples...but yeah if using a preamp makes it work with everything, that's probably OK. I'd try to make sure you only boost it the minimal amount needed to trigger the juno, so you don't over-drive anything, but otherwise it's probably fine.
Old 22nd June 2010
  #8
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shaft9000's Avatar
 

any pulse signal over 5v should fire the Juno input.

that slider is wonky as hell, too - but w/ many other synths you can get fun stuff by "surfing the tempo knob" ....hey, if a stupid DJ can do it so can you
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