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PCM80 / Midi issue Reverb/Delay Processors (HW)
Old 22nd January 2019
  #1
Gear Nut
 

PCM80 / Midi issue

Hi guys,

I have a PCM80 hooked up digitally via SPDIF to PTHD (nothing on the analogue I/O) - I'm feeding it midi timecode in order to allow tempo sync of delay/pre-delay, but it's behaving erratically...

It is definitely receiving midi information, but every time I hit play it locks to a random arbitrary value that has no relation to the actual bpm of the host session. This value changes every time I stop/start. Other devices hooked up to midi timecode are syncing correctly. I've checked cables/all the basic stuff (and tempo sync is set correctly in the settings afaik), so I think there must be an issue with the unit itself. Does anyone have any ideas what the issue could be and how to go about getting it fixed?

I fear I might be tapping tempo for the long haul

Thanks in advance,

Tom.
Old 22nd January 2019
  #2
Lives for gear
Sounds like it's running on it's own clock. Any way to shut the clock off on the unit?
Old 22nd January 2019
  #3
Lives for gear
 

The Lexicon is probably reacting on the start/stop midi messages, sent from the midi transmitting device.
Check into "midi filters".

Success.
Old 25th January 2019
  #4
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Prodba View Post
The Lexicon is probably reacting on the start/stop midi messages, sent from the midi transmitting device.
Check into "midi filters".

Success.
Hi, thanks for this - I don't think the PCM80 has any midi filters. Surely MTC is its own protocol and is separate from cc/other midi messages? In Pro Tools I can only filter incoming signals not outgoing, and can only turn MTC on/off for connected devices. Could you please elaborate?

The tempo is definitely set to clock externally.

Thanks guys,

Tom.
Old 25th January 2019
  #5
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by TommyFullzy View Post
Hi, thanks for this - I don't think the PCM80 has any midi filters. Surely MTC is its own protocol and is separate from cc/other midi messages? In Pro Tools I can only filter incoming signals not outgoing, and can only turn MTC on/off for connected devices. Could you please elaborate?

The tempo is definitely set to clock externally.

Thanks guys,

Tom.
Hi Tom,

Sorry for not being clear; I meant that you needed to place a midi filter(ing device) in front of the PCM80, between PT and the Lexicon (they're available both hardware as software), and that you should look into these midi filtering devices.


I remember once having one midi slave device freezing up and behaving weird every time I pressed play/stop on the master midi device.
Placing a simple cheap "Philip Rees little 2M" MIDI Merge Units from Phil Rees merger box, that I happened to have laying around, inbetween solved the problem; the Philip Rees apparently served as a filter in my case.

I was just in luck to have this box laying around and that it did the trick, but if you have to purchase a device, you need to find out what messages are sent when start/stop is pressed, so you can look for an appropriate midi filter device.



If PT has a "midi monitor" function and you can loop the midi from PT midi out to PT midi in, you could check what are the messages that are transmitted when pressing "play" and "stop".


Here are just a few midi filters that I found in a quick search:

Midi Filter Select version 1.4 by Takadimi on maxforlive.com

Anatek Pocket Filter - MusiX CH

MIDI-Filter

Miditech Midi Thru 4 / Filter - Distribuitor semnal MIDI - SoundCreation

There are a lot more and one is certain to be the solution for your problem.

Hope this helped.

Success.
Old 27th January 2019
  #6
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by TommyFullzy View Post
- I don't think the PCM80 has any midi filters.
Now I think of it; the PCM80 does have some MIDI options.
Did you try setting these MIDI parameters?
- "MIDI Receive" from "OMNI" to the specific MIDI channel.
- "MIDI Pgm Change" to "Off".
- "MIDI SYSEX" to "Receive Off".
Old 27th January 2019
  #7
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Prodba View Post
Now I think of it; the PCM80 does have some MIDI options.
Did you try setting these MIDI parameters?
- "MIDI Receive" from "OMNI" to the specific MIDI channel.
- "MIDI Pgm Change" to "Off".
- "MIDI SYSEX" to "Receive Off".
Hi,

thanks for your replies!

I've had a search and a play for a while with this today.

The unit is connected to its own port on an AMT8, no midi transport control commands (or any other events) are being sent. I just tried designating a particular channel, but it made no difference (and really shouldn't). Similarly, the midi options on the unit have been turned off as you suggested, but the unit supports PGM change and SysEx anyway so if it was functioning correctly it should not affect the clocking.

RE: midi filtering - it is my understanding that the midi clock information is sent separately from regular midi event messages, so I don't understand how the PCM80 would allow start/stop commands - or anything other than Midi clock - to affect the clock/tempo?

My search of the filtering software (and hardware) seems to reinforce this... I can't find anything offering to separate Midi clock from anything else.

I guess I could just try buying the box you suggested and see what happens.

I'm thinking the unit might have a fault.

T
Old 27th January 2019
  #8
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by TommyFullzy View Post
Hi,

thanks for your replies!

I've had a search and a play for a while with this today.

The unit is connected to its own port on an AMT8, no midi transport control commands (or any other events) are being sent. I just tried designating a particular channel, but it made no difference (and really shouldn't). Similarly, the midi options on the unit have been turned off as you suggested, but the unit supports PGM change and SysEx anyway so if it was functioning correctly it should not affect the clocking.

RE: midi filtering - it is my understanding that the midi clock information is sent separately from regular midi event messages, so I don't understand how the PCM80 would allow start/stop commands - or anything other than Midi clock - to affect the clock/tempo?

My search of the filtering software (and hardware) seems to reinforce this... I can't find anything offering to separate Midi clock from anything else.

I guess I could just try buying the box you suggested and see what happens.

I'm thinking the unit might have a fault.

T
Too bad the midi options did not solve the issue.

The midi filters are supposed to block certain midi messages and let only the desired ones pass through.

I sadly do not even remember between which pieces of equipment I had this issue, but I do recall that there was some SYSEX data being sent every time I'd press start/stop, that would freeze up the receiving gear.

I would hate to have put you up to buying this Philip Reese and it turns out not to work in your case.

If you can bring up the patience before spending money on anything, I can set up one of my PCm (90)s on midi and try to replicate your situation, although I do not work with PT.
It may take me 2 days to get around to doing this experiment.
Old 27th January 2019
  #9
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Prodba View Post
Too bad the midi options did not solve the issue.

The midi filters are supposed to block certain midi messages and let only the desired ones pass through.

I sadly do not even remember between which pieces of equipment I had this issue, but I do recall that there was some SYSEX data being sent every time I'd press start/stop, that would freeze up the receiving gear.

I would hate to have put you up to buying this Philip Reese and it turns out not to work in your case.

If you can bring up the patience before spending money on anything, I can set up one of my PCm (90)s on midi and try to replicate your situation, although I do not work with PT.
It may take me 2 days to get around to doing this experiment.
Hey thanks for this, it would be much appreciated!

I actually just stumbled across this post:

Midi Beat Clock trouble with Pro Tools | Recording

Interesting - it could be that the bpm is being multiplied somehow due to the settings as described, I will delve into this tomorrow and post back if I can fix the issue!

Thanks.
Old 29th January 2019
  #10
Lives for gear
 

I connected a PCM 90 to an old drumcomputer/sequencer and the tempo started to change to arbitrary values when start or stop/continue were pressed; 40, 56, 41, 46, 45, 40, etc.

In the manual (page 5-7) it says something about that (dynamic MIDI patch sources); it doesn't mention the eratic changes, though.

I couldn't yet find a second midi cable so quick to place the Philip Rees inbetween to see if that would solve the issue.

UPDATE:
The sequencer/drumcomputer does send the correct tempo to the PCM when "start" is pressed.
Only when "stop" is pressed the tempo changes to an arbitrary value; however, whenever "start/play" is pressed, the tempo jumps to the correct value again.
The Philip Rees does not change this.

I also tested with a hardware recorder and programmed a few tempo changes.
Here the tempos were okay most of the time, but the PCM 90 would shortly jump to a different value, before settling on the correct tempo change.
In this setup, the start/stop commands worked fine, but pressing "zero return" would cause the Lexicon to go to an arbitrary value.
The Philip Rees did not help here either.

This unfortunately does not give you a solution for the problem, but at least you now know that your PCM 80 is not faulty and hopefully it points you in the right direction; DO CHECK PAGE 5-7!!

Success.

Last edited by Prodba; 29th January 2019 at 09:23 PM.. Reason: Update
Old 4th February 2019
  #11
Gear Nut
 

Hi, thanks for this!

That is interesting to know - mine is currently unplugged while the studio is being upgraded, as soon as I have it put back together I will post my findings...

Thanks for discounting the external box as a means of a fix at any rate! Thanks so much for your help!

Tom,.
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