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MTC, MPC and DAW Drum Machines & Samplers
Old 1st January 2011
  #1
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MTC, MPC and DAW

We have recently acquired an MPC5000 and i wish to sync and run with DAW...

How do you guys work with your setups?

im curious?

Do you compose then track it all onto DAW?

Cheers
Old 1st January 2011
  #2
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1. I work the beat all in the MPC then track it into the DAW using the metronome countdown to line up the tracks.

2. MPC is master and Logic slaves to it.

3. I don't like having the MPC slaved cuz the groove goes out the window and you'd might as well just sequence it on the DAW if you did that.
Old 1st January 2011
  #3
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liotta soda's Avatar
 

MTC, MPC and DAW

Why do u line it up to metronome countdown?
Old 1st January 2011
  #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by liotta soda View Post
Why do u line it up to metronome countdown?
It's my 'lazy method'. If I made the beat on the MPC 100%, I'll more than likely just dump the beat to the DAW but in order to line up different passes of the beat, I'll use the click/metronome at the beginning as reference point. In other words: the KICK track will have a 'beep beep beep' at the beginning so I can line it up with the other ones.
Old 1st January 2011
  #5
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Thanks man!

Super kool

However a few more questions for you.....

If i was using the MPC5000 as the central hub of the writing process

how about this...


MTC, MPC and IZ RADAR with or without DAW....
Sup Guys...

Here is a NEW YEAR CHALLENGE FOR YOU if you dare ???

We have a studio setup that needs to change for the new year as the writers have changed there tools........

1-I need the tightness and drums from an MPC5000 that we have acquired....(THE NEW EDITION)
2-The "preferred" multirack in this setup is 48track radar running over AES i/o through a digital SSL console.....
3-I am running a DAW with native logic and perhaps protools with possibility of protools hd if required for timing and accuracy....
(This is mainly for editing and sound design)

I NEED TO MAKE A TIGHT SYNCED WRITING STUDIO from this setup....

Where the MPC can be the master and the slave to and from RADAR... but i can also have an offline/online (in sync) daw that i can latch onto the RADAR MPC sync setup.....

Any advice or clarity greatly appreciated

Before the MPC rocked up i was syncing Logic - RADAR and RADAR - Logic over MTC and logic i have decided just isn't that tight or accurate..... :/

HELP?

THANKS IN ADVANCE..thumbsupthumbsup

MUCH APPRECIATED THOSE WHO BOTHERED TO REPLYheh

Cheers
Old 1st January 2011
  #6
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Cicatrix's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by The MPCist View Post
1. I work the beat all in the MPC then track it into the DAW using the metronome countdown to line up the tracks.

2. MPC is master and Logic slaves to it.

3. I don't like having the MPC slaved cuz the groove goes out the window and you'd might as well just sequence it on the DAW if you did that.
I have never really been able to tell a difference in groove, or swing with either the MPC being master, or slave. I usually just go with the DAW as master. Maybe I need to listen closer.
It just seems a lot easier to use the DAW as master.
Old 1st January 2011
  #7
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You beat me to it. If you're having trouble losing your "groove" with the MPC as the slave, you're doing something wrong. DAW is simply telling your MPC when to start and stop. If your groove is lost, it's because it was never there.

Program your drums on the MPC then use your DAW as your master and sync your midi to beat clock. You may need to add a blank bar during tracking, to compensate for start delay but otherwise, you should be locked and ready to rock. You shouldn't need to realign parts after tracking. If you are...your rig is not synced properly.
Old 1st January 2011
  #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stoneface View Post

Program your drums on the MPC then use your DAW as your master and sync your midi to beat clock. You may need to add a blank bar during tracking, to compensate for start delay but otherwise, you should be locked and ready to rock. You shouldn't need to realign parts after tracking. If you are...your rig is not synced properly.
so how do i get that to work with a 48 track radar system the mpc and either logic or protools and have them sync'd tight as arseholes?
with minimal - none latency issues??

Cheers
Old 1st January 2011
  #9
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liotta soda's Avatar
 

i have the mpc 2500 synced to protools 8 with mpc as the master and when i track out the beat syncs and lines up exact with no groove changes
Old 1st January 2011
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beastie View Post
so how do i get that to work with a 48 track radar system the mpc and either logic or protools and have them sync'd tight as arseholes?
with minimal - none latency issues??

Cheers

Quote:
I NEED TO MAKE A TIGHT SYNCED WRITING STUDIO from this setup....

Where the MPC can be the master and the slave to and from RADAR... but i can also have an offline/online (in sync) daw that i can latch onto the RADAR MPC sync setup.....
Arseholes...lol...that's funny!

The simple answer is...MIDI Beat Clock

The MPC can't be slave and master at the same time. I'm sure I'm preaching to the choir. Set your DAW to send and recieve beat clock and switch the MPC's mode depending on it's usage. Then you have full flexiblity. You can utilize the MPC for master, slave or turn the sync off and control the MPC independantly, all depending on your needs. It's just setting your DAW up to understand and switching the MPC accordingly. I've never used Radar...but it's a DAW...the settings are in there somewhere. thumbsup

I hope I'm understanding your question...I'm still hungover.
Old 1st January 2011
  #11
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[QUOTE=Stoneface;6169616

I hope I'm understanding your question...I'm still hungover. [/QUOTE]

i hope my question makes sense im still hungover lol
Old 1st January 2011
  #12
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Beastie's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stoneface View Post
Arseholes...lol...that's funny!

The simple answer is...MIDI Beat Clock

The MPC can't be slave and master at the same time. I'm sure I'm preaching to the choir. Set your DAW to send and recieve beat clock and switch the MPC's mode depending on it's usage. Then you have full flexiblity. You can utilize the MPC for master, slave or turn the sync off and control the MPC independantly, all depending on your needs. It's just setting your DAW up to understand and switching the MPC accordingly. I've never used Radar...but it's a DAW...the settings are in there somewhere. thumbsup

I hope I'm understanding your question...I'm still hungover.
]

Yeah fine - but i want MPC to be master to both RADAR and a DAW tools or logic as yet to be confirmed!

and either of the other 2 to become master at any point with some minor sync changes ?????

No midi beat clock on logic or radar!
Old 2nd January 2011
  #13
Gear Guru
 
Muser's Avatar
given you have hi spec gear, you want the job done as well as possible.

The MPC5000 doesn't have SMPTE any more. but if you wanted that coming from the MPC you could always record a quality SMPTE code and transfer it to the MPC as an Audio file. then playing out of either an audio out or on the optical should be fine. the optical (might) give digital sync as well but how good the MPC master digital clock might be is unknown. this also all depends on whether the other equipment can sync to SMPTE.

you could ask DAW PLUS on GS. He's in Europe but may well be worth dealing with. with the kind of equipment you have you really want to get this operating as optimally as possible. especially if you want the possibility of sample accurate sync at any time.
Old 2nd January 2011
  #14
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It really depends on how well your DAW syncs with midi. In my experience with Ableton Live, Midi sync sucks. I tried with MTC and Beat clock. I mean, it does "sync" however the timing is off. There is definitely a latency. Therefore, I don't use it and do what MPCist suggests. I just do it the ghetto way and record all my tracks then line them up to grid manually....

I never use the MPC slaved because I also hear a difference in the groove. If you don't great. I do. I record into arrange view in ableton, edit all the tracks together, then drag to session view.
Old 2nd January 2011
  #15
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Beastie's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Muser View Post
given you have hi spec gear, you want the job done as well as possible.

The MPC5000 doesn't have SMPTE any more. but if you wanted that coming from the MPC you could always record a quality SMPTE code and transfer it to the MPC as an Audio file. then playing out of either an audio out or on the optical should be fine. the optical (might) give digital sync as well but how good the MPC master digital clock might be is unknown. this also all depends on whether the other equipment can sync to SMPTE.

you could ask DAW PLUS on GS. He's in Europe but may well be worth dealing with. with the kind of equipment you have you really want to get this operating as optimally as possible. especially if you want the possibility of sample accurate sync at any time.

MPC is tight enough on its own as far as im concerned with midi inst - well as far as compared to what i was using....

so im kool with MPC running all synths.....

if i could get the MPC to midi sync to and from RADAR and it to not drop out as it is at the mo - that would be great!

then comes the issue of gettin a DAW hooked into that chain......

previously i just had logic and radar MTC to and fro all clocked from antelope - but now i need to flip the switch on that setup!

If i could get rid of computer converter latency that would also be good...

so if i had PROTOOLS HD and s Sync i/o and a unitor would that help tighten the system?

i don't mind the idea of binning logic if its a tighter more accurate setup!

im sick of re timing everything in the DAW.....

peace
Old 2nd January 2011
  #16
I also have a 5K and in my investigations I came to the conclusion that I can achieve the tightest possible sync with the help of a little box called Innerclock Systems Sync-Lock. That's without the possibility for SMPTE.

In a nutshell: special virtual instrument (or prepared audio track) providing a clocking signal out of 2 physical outputs of your recording interface -> Sync-Lock audio ins -> tight Midi Beat Clock out of the Sync-Lock Midi out -> MPC Midi in slaved to the Sync-Lock.

The groove/swing of the MPC will not be compromised and the start times of different passes won't vary because the generated beat clock is 100% tight.

I will get one this comming week and report back how well the sync works.
Old 2nd January 2011
  #17
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Beastie's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by 0t0b0t View Post
I also have a 5K and in my investigations I came to the conclusion that I can achieve the tightest possible sync with the help of a little box called Innerclock Systems Sync-Lock. That's without the possibility for SMPTE.

In a nutshell: special virtual instrument (or prepared audio track) providing a clocking signal out of 2 physical outputs of your recording interface -> Sync-Lock audio ins -> tight Midi Beat Clock out of the Sync-Lock Midi out -> MPC Midi in slaved to the Sync-Lock.

The groove/swing of the MPC will not be compromised and the start times of different passes won't vary because the generated beat clock is 100% tight.

I will get one this comming week and report back how well the sync works.
cant the mpc be both master and slave in this setup if required?

(obviously not at the same time! )

Cheers
Old 2nd January 2011
  #18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Beastie View Post
cant the mpc be both master and slave in this setup if required?

(obviously not at the same time! )

Cheers
Not at the same time like in any other sync scenario AFAIK.

It's possible to make the 5K the master with the Sync-Lock.. you'd need to put the prepared sync track into the 5K's HD recorder and play it out into the Sync-Lock.. but that would only work in the 5K's Song Mode. Also it wouldn't work with for example Pro Tools (which I use) which doesn't sync to Midi Clock (only MTC).

However if any other DAW can be slaved to Midi Clock that would work with the limitation that the MPC 5K must be in Song Mode.

So in my scenario I will have to slave the 5K to Pro Tools. But that is the way to go for me anyways since somehow I have reliabilty problems with MTC sync and prefer Midi Clock anyway.
It also gives me the freedom to sync while the 5K is in Main Mode.
Old 2nd January 2011
  #19
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Muser's Avatar
Innerclock Systems Sync-Lock might not send MTC and it has to work as a plugin.
it's a possibility if you want to use the DAW Song Position to drive everything else.
in theory, the RADAR could still be SMPTE stripped and the MPC tell the RADAR via MMC where to start.
then the DAW locks up to the RADAR and the Innerclock Systems Sync-Lock, generates Midi Clock.
and then the MPC locks to that.

There's still a Question about whether or not certain MPC's suffer a swing problem when locked to Clock.
I would say it's entirely possible because I think the MPC swings the Tempo by altering the pulse codes in the Clock signal which, then drive the Tempo.

thats why people see moving Tempos when they lock to the MPCs Midi Clock.. that's exactly what it's doing.. swinging the Clock Tempo pulse.

Innerclock Systems Sync-Lock look like they have tried to make their plug-in generate various swings. but I haven't looked into that or seen many details.

I would think that any MPC with higher than 96ppqn might not have a problem with swing, because they might have used the higher precision to (emulate) the extra variances which the clock swings can produce. I'm not sure, there's a lot to test.

Anyhow, I wrote this earlier so this might be a long one.
Don't take anything as definitive.. I'm just trying to throw out some examples of syncing possibilities.
pro's and cons etc.

There's only 4 (maybe 5) things which can be transmitted from the MPC5000.

4 can act as a sync source for realtime operation.

some other MPCs had SMPTE but not the 5K.

Audio
MTC Midi time Code = a midi variant of SMPTE
Midi Clock = sometimes has song possition
Digital Clock = no song possition
MMC Midi Machine Control = start / stop / continue / location

MMC is for location and start stop.

so it's best often seen as a loosely precise way to tell a MASTER machine which has the
(main sync code being generated from it as either Audio/SMPTE or MTC) to
GO HERE - PLAY - STOP.

once the machine is playing, the code starts generating. either SMPTE or MTC
Hours/minutes/seconds/sub frames - usually 30fps.
(everything needs) to have the same 30fps time frame set as the base frame rate.

The other devices then pick up the SMPTE or MTC.
if it's a DAW reading a Unitor the Unitor could be reading MTC or if it has an SMPTE input,
it could be reading that Audio signal from the RADAR or MPC.

if it's the MPC generating the SMPTE as Audio then the RADAR needs to be able to Read SMPTE as well and Lock to it.

If both of those things are possible then you have both a Daw and a RADAR locked to an Audio SMPTE stream coming from the MPC.

It's more or less the same case with MTC but the RADAR is less likely to be able to lock to MTC than SMPTE. unless it has a Midi input which reads MTC.

Logic only locks to MTC now.. not Midi Clock
so only MTC or SMPTE is an option for locking.

Then there is the issue of a Digital Wordclock lock for everything from a central clock (which you have) and hopefully wont interfere with any of the above.

The thing you're trying to avoid here is anything that might interfere with the Groove swing on the MPC. sending it midi clock might interfere. MTC less chance. but the Midi cable you use for the clock signal should (only) carry MTC and MMC and or Midi Clock if you use Midi Clock FROM and MPC for some reason.

Clock is tight but Clock isn't alway that reliable at generating any song position with massive accuracy. sometimes it can be ok but I wouldn't bank on that one. other than that Midi Clock is very tight. It's good for bar accuracy but Logic have taken it out now.. probably, bar accuracy and all this Flex Time stuff made the proposition less viable for them.

My preference would be to have an SMPTE Audio signal either on the RADAR and the MPC.

For me I'd rather try to have the SMPTE in the MPC as an Audio file.
use something like a JLCooper PPS-2 SYNCHRONIZER to stripe and read that and also then send MTC or DTL Direct Time Lock to the RADAR and Logic via a Unitor with an SMPTE reader. as stated The RADAR needs to be able to lock to SMPTE or MTC. It probably can.

The main problem you'll have is when you're working in small loops on the MPC. MTC and SMPTE don't send TEMPO which Midi Clock does send.

e.g. how do you perfect a a small section or loop on an MPC when you want a DAW and RADAR to being playing out linear stretches.

This gets tricky. this is where a case for having the SMPTE on the RADAR comes in. and MTC or Midi Clock being sent from the RADAR. but the RADAR has no sense of Midi TEMPO so I'm not sure if it would be designed to send something like Midi Clock. so it will likely send MTC. in that case the question comes up ... what if the MPC is playing an 8 bar loop ??

how does starting 2 minutes in n the RADAR translate to a single 8 Bar loop .. !!

apart from the overall setup, this is the real big problem. This and central sync control while using an MPC wide open, is usually what people are really wanting to do.

It's possible but it's not going to be simple.

Innerclock Systems Sync-Lock is still a contender but whatever works only works to certain degrees and for certain applications.

The RADAR would likely not respond to Midi Clock from an Innerclock Systems Sync-Lock. as before an 8 bar loop on an MPC won't have a
value to send for two minutes in. so the MMC transports won't be able to send anything to the DAW which is outside the location range of the loop length.

so you would not be able to use the MPCs own transports as the MPC will have to be slaving. also.. can everything be comprehensively edited and manipulated under slave conditions ? because that's usually the ideal for MPC users.

a good solution to these things has been a long time coming.
Old 3rd January 2011
  #20
Gear Maniac
 

to the OP:

my setup is MPC 1k MTC synced (master) MIDI B to Audiofire 12. MIDI A to other synths.

Reaper is slaved to MPC and it hosts my vsti's. All sounds go thru the Audiofire so I don't need an additional mixer.

I tried also using Reaper as master but I didn't like the result. Maybe it has something to do with the Audiofire clock. The con of MPC as master seq is that it doesnt read/record my Yamaha SY55 mod wheel data (the mod whl controls the vsti's and hardware synths though...). Dunno if MPC 5k will record that, and if you need it.. Maybe it's even Yamaha related.

offtopic.....
I make beats also with FL9 (different setup) and the result (groove, sound) is not so 'tight' (mpc without master fx on in comparison). I use same soft synths in FL *but* I think it's not a bad thing that it sounds different. I'm still re-warming up with Fruity though.. maybe the end result will change as I improve my skills.
Old 12th January 2011
  #21
Quote:
Originally Posted by 0t0b0t View Post
I also have a 5K and in my investigations I came to the conclusion that I can achieve the tightest possible sync with the help of a little box called Innerclock Systems Sync-Lock. That's without the possibility for SMPTE.

In a nutshell: special virtual instrument (or prepared audio track) providing a clocking signal out of 2 physical outputs of your recording interface -> Sync-Lock audio ins -> tight Midi Beat Clock out of the Sync-Lock Midi out -> MPC Midi in slaved to the Sync-Lock.

The groove/swing of the MPC will not be compromised and the start times of different passes won't vary because the generated beat clock is 100% tight.

I will get one this comming week and report back how well the sync works.
Here's the promised report I wrote in another thread:

https://www.gearslutz.com/board/6210503-post4.html
Old 13th January 2011
  #22
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re

Ive been using a sync lock for a bit now and they are pretty sweet for my workflow. I have never been happy with midi sync between computers and hardware (I remeber my amiga being better but that was a long time ago). Its kind of pain to set up/calibrate/operate but worth it to me to keep things tighter. There is swing and offset variables on the plug in, but I dont really use them much. The swing on the plug is more like a roland shuffle vibe.
Old 27th October 2013
  #23
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Ok, after 6 hours of dicking around with Midi Clock and MTC, I have some fundamental questions to ask: If I'm thinking that I can set a loop/cycle point in my master DAW and have my slave follow that loop/cycle point, either by SMPTE/MTC or Midi Clock, am I crazy?

It seems like MIDI Clock simply doesn't do sequencer looping at all.

It seems like MTC *might* be able to, but instead, when the master loops, the slave stays put until the master gets back to wherever the slave was left hanging when the master looped.

I thought synchronization was supposed to be the slave following the master's transport around wherever it went.

For the sake of being thorough, here's how I did the SMPTE/MTC (took me a long time to figure out what I needed to do). I generated 4 bars of SMTPE audio from a MIDISPORT 8x8/s, recorded that into my DAW and then sent the DAW audio back out to the MIDISPORT 8x8/s, saw that the "Locked" light was on, then sent MTC out of MIDI Out 8 into Atari MIDI IN.

I'd love to know what is possible so can either match my expectations about synchronization or lower them.

If a Sync Gen can do it.....
Old 27th October 2013
  #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by initself View Post
If a Sync Gen can do it.....
I just went ahead and bought a Sync Gen once I saw the 8 bar loop in the DAW in this video:

Old 27th October 2013
  #25
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Actually, thought it through - just because this video shows the DAW looping, doesn't mean that properly applied MIDI Clock will make the other daw loop! ARGH.
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