Old 06-10-2017, 06:25 AM   #1
Sven
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Default Record MIDI tempo from external gear

Hi,

I am using external synths and drum machines to jam and I am just using reaper to record all the outputs on separate tracks, but I would also like to record all the tempo changes so that it is easy to sync overdubs, to make cuts and editing at beats and to sync all VST delays (both during recording the live sessions and for adding effects later).
I have looked around, but have not managed to find how to do this.

My gear do not output LTC, MTC or SPP information. It just send MIDI realtime sync events and start stop messages from the drum sequencer.

Is it possible to record tempo changes to the master track in Reaper as tempo markers?
Also I would not like any audio to change, being timestreached and such, I just want to use it like a tape recorder but also recording the tempo and setting it as master tempo so that all VST:s are in sync.
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Old 06-14-2017, 11:26 AM   #2
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Default Has no one recorded tempo?

Hasn't anyone ever done this?
Seems like it should be a common thing to me, is there really no built in function that can do this?
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Old 06-14-2017, 12:49 PM   #3
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It is a bit tricky to use Reaper as slave to MIDI beat.
http://forum.cockos.com/showthread.php?t=42903

Apparently, it needs to know the tempo beforehand, and so I guess that the tempo changes from your drum sequencer will mess things up.

Recording the tempo changes as tempo markers... I don't know but I would be surprised if it was possible.

Why can you not set Reaper to be the master and send MIDI beat to the sequencer? If you have an old sequencer that chokes on SPP and stuff, try JH_midi_clock (http://forum.cockos.com/showthread.php?t=59834) it works great for me driving my vintage MIDI drum machine.
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Old 06-14-2017, 12:56 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sven View Post
Hasn't anyone ever done this?
Seems like it should be a common thing to me, is there really no built in function that can do this?
I don't think it's that common any more, I think most people are using VSTis.

So you'd like your timing source to be your drum sequencer?

And your drum sequencer doesn't have MTC or SPP, but it will sync/produce some kind of midi code?

I'm not familiar with code other than MTC, SPP, and SMPTE, so I'm not sure what your sequencer is putting out or syncing too.

Is your sequencer transmitting this midi code some how? Or is it only accepting it to sync to?

Have you got tempo changes or are you using a straight BPM setting?

How old is your drum sequencer and how does it work?
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Old 06-14-2017, 02:09 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tod View Post
I don't think it's that common any more, I think most people are using VSTis.

So you'd like your timing source to be your drum sequencer?

And your drum sequencer doesn't have MTC or SPP, but it will sync/produce some kind of midi code?

I'm not familiar with code other than MTC, SPP, and SMPTE, so I'm not sure what your sequencer is putting out or syncing too.

Is your sequencer transmitting this midi code some how? Or is it only accepting it to sync to?

Have you got tempo changes or are you using a straight BPM setting?

How old is your drum sequencer and how does it work?
I believe it is very common. More people than ever are using external gear, so should be a very common use-case for anyone using electronic instruments and not just recording acoustic sources.
I do not know of any current or older drum-machines or synths that are sending MTC, SPP or SMPTE.
And if you think about it how could they and when would it be useful?
All these time codes indicate absolute position. So if a drum machine was playing a loop and sending MTC, Reaper would just loop one bar over and over and this is totally useless in most situations.
MTC, LTC or SMPTE are good when syncing to a real to real tape machine or to video, but I do not see any application for it when playing with synths.

On the other hand what is extremely useful is to use MIDI clock to sync all devices to the same BPM so that multiple drum-machines can play tight, all arpeggios on all synths play in time, all delays are in time etc.

I have different grooves stored on my drum machine and these are in different tempo, so when I switch groove I also switch the BPM setting and all my external gear are in sync with this.
I also use some simple free apps on my iPad that also sync to this BPM signal.
My drum machine has tap-tempo so I can adjust the tempo and make changes during performance.

Since I can get this to work on very simple apps, I do not understand why it would not be possible in Reaper?
Seems like a big oversight if this was not implemented in my opinion.
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Old 06-14-2017, 02:29 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fabian View Post
It is a bit tricky to use Reaper as slave to MIDI beat.
http://forum.cockos.com/showthread.php?t=42903

Apparently, it needs to know the tempo beforehand, and so I guess that the tempo changes from your drum sequencer will mess things up.

Recording the tempo changes as tempo markers... I don't know but I would be surprised if it was possible.

Why can you not set Reaper to be the master and send MIDI beat to the sequencer? If you have an old sequencer that chokes on SPP and stuff, try JH_midi_clock (http://forum.cockos.com/showthread.php?t=59834) it works great for me driving my vintage MIDI drum machine.
Hi Fabian, thanks for the reply.
The post you linked to is from 2009.
Has nothing happened with this topic since then?

When looking in the MIDI standard:
https://www.midi.org/specifications/...f-midi-message

It says:
Quote:
System Real-Time Messages
11111000
Timing Clock. Sent 24 times per quarter note when synchronization is required (see text).
I guess all that is needed is to count the pulses and calculate the BPM and then set a marker.
Someone must have done something like this already?
Do you have any ideas?
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Old 06-14-2017, 04:10 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sven View Post
I believe it is very common. More people than ever are using external gear, so should be a very common use-case for anyone using electronic instruments and not just recording acoustic sources.
I do not know of any current or older drum-machines or synths that are sending MTC, SPP or SMPTE.
And if you think about it how could they and when would it be useful?
All these time codes indicate absolute position. So if a drum machine was playing a loop and sending MTC, Reaper would just loop one bar over and over and this is totally useless in most situations.
MTC, LTC or SMPTE are good when syncing to a real to real tape machine or to video, but I do not see any application for it when playing with synths.

On the other hand what is extremely useful is to use MIDI clock to sync all devices to the same BPM so that multiple drum-machines can play tight, all arpeggios on all synths play in time, all delays are in time etc.

I have different grooves stored on my drum machine and these are in different tempo, so when I switch groove I also switch the BPM setting and all my external gear are in sync with this.
I also use some simple free apps on my iPad that also sync to this BPM signal.
My drum machine has tap-tempo so I can adjust the tempo and make changes during performance.

Since I can get this to work on very simple apps, I do not understand why it would not be possible in Reaper?
Seems like a big oversight if this was not implemented in my opinion.
Okay Sven, I was just trying to help, but I think we're on the wrong page here. So good luck to you I hope you figure it out.

Incidentally, I was sincing drum sequencers to tape back in the late 70s on into the 80s. By the 90s there was little need.

Edit: I've still got my SMPTE/Midi sync box.
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Old 06-14-2017, 04:41 PM   #8
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I would think it's as easy as making Reaper the slave to your box's Master and then, record tempo information to Reaper's Tempo track.

As Tod asked, "What kind or machine are you using?"
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Old 06-15-2017, 04:58 AM   #9
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Hi,
Ive seen quite a few live applications where guys are using abelton synced.
Last time I checked reaper can receive midi clock. But when I tried it made all sorts of unwanted noises. Sounded like an FD up sample rate thing.
I'll try it again. Syncing to a human is my thing.

From memory..
Rt click on transport..select external synch spp. That's just midi clock preceded by a song position pointer. Drum machines in general, only used spp in their song mode..not pattern.

Last edited by LugNut; 06-15-2017 at 05:16 AM.
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Old 06-15-2017, 09:56 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dea-man View Post
I would think it's as easy as making Reaper the slave to your box's Master and then, record tempo information to Reaper's Tempo track.

As Tod asked, "What kind or machine are you using?"
Hi,

I am using Dave Smith Tempest, but I have other synths I can send MIDI clock with as well.
Right now I can not get Reaper to slave at all.
When I see your comment it seems as it should just work, so maybe there is some other problem?
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Old 06-15-2017, 10:22 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LugNut View Post
Hi,
Ive seen quite a few live applications where guys are using abelton synced.
Last time I checked reaper can receive midi clock. But when I tried it made all sorts of unwanted noises. Sounded like an FD up sample rate thing.
I'll try it again. Syncing to a human is my thing.

From memory..
Rt click on transport..select external synch spp. That's just midi clock preceded by a song position pointer. Drum machines in general, only used spp in their song mode..not pattern.
Yes I think SPP and MIDI clock is not the same thing.
MIDI clock being 24 pulses for every 1/4 beat and SPP being more absolute song position pointers.
I just want to sync Reapers master tempo to my external gears MIDI clock tempo and then record it.
When I play there is no finished song to follow so I cannot use my drum machine in song mode. I am not sure if it can send SPP, but this is really not what I want anyway, I just want to have synchronized BPM on all my gear including Reaper.

When right clicking the transport there seems to be no such option, only SPP, MTC or LTC and all of these are as far as I can understand it protocols to sync to an absolute position and not for just being a slave to a MIDI clock.

So this is really were I am stuck.
It feels like there would be some really simple solution, but I just can't seem to find it...
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Old 06-15-2017, 01:14 PM   #12
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I have tried a bit more and Reaper does sync to SPP at least partially.
But:

1.) The curser does not move
2.) The transport bar BPM do not change

But it does playback some of the material I have recorded previously, so it switches between "Synchronizing" and the time code moves then "Chasing" and the time code stops but the audio is clicky, chopped up and maybe time stretched.
When I switch my external drum machine to a tempo closer to the recorded tempo the audio sounds more natural but still choppy.

I guess some of these things could be helped by disabling time stretching somewhere so recorded audio is unaffected (is this also possible to disable from audio currently being recorded?..), but I am still no closer to actually syncing to and recording the MIDI clock.
I find it very odd that Reaper has these more advanced sync features complete with time stretching, but no simple BPM sync?
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Old 06-16-2017, 04:39 AM   #13
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Hi,

Spp is , as I understand it, an "add on" to midi clock. When you select spp, its midi clock with a "locator" message at the top.
The result you got is similar to what I got.

Reason is the only daw I've tried that works well slaved. But this was reason 5.
As a matter of fact, I've been looking to fire off loops live in sync with drumming and hated to spend over $600 on a SPD sx. But even if I got a laptop, not sure any daw but reason will realtime lock loops with me. So I bit the bullet w the roland.Works mostly.
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Old 06-16-2017, 12:47 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LugNut View Post
Hi,

Spp is , as I understand it, an "add on" to midi clock. When you select spp, its midi clock with a "locator" message at the top.
The result you got is similar to what I got.

Reason is the only daw I've tried that works well slaved. But this was reason 5.
As a matter of fact, I've been looking to fire off loops live in sync with drumming and hated to spend over $600 on a SPD sx. But even if I got a laptop, not sure any daw but reason will realtime lock loops with me. So I bit the bullet w the roland.Works mostly.
I'm disappointed to hear this.
I mean on most iPad apps it just works, no problems!
But is there no way of just ignoring the "position pointer" part and just read the clock?

Also the master BPM does not change, how to I get the master BPM to slave to an incoming MIDI clock?
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Old 06-16-2017, 01:27 PM   #15
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Hi guys, here's a couple of links to what Sweetwater has to say about it.

https://www.sweetwater.com/insync/midi-time-code-mtc/

https://www.sweetwater.com/insync/so...pointer-spp-2/

So I assume you've tried right clicking on the transport and setting up the sync settings?

I don't have outboard equipment any more that I could test this with, at least not any kind of a sequencer.

Actually I do have my old time code sync box, it handles MCS, SPP, SMPTE, and a few other types of time code that I don't remember. I might be able to set it up to transmit to Reaper. If I get some time this weekend I'll see what I can do. Heh heh, if I can remember how to use it.
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Old 06-16-2017, 02:09 PM   #16
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As was said in the thread you apparently considered too old to read... to slave Reaper to MIDI clock only (meaning without SPP, MTC etc), you have to set Reaper to the same BPM as your master. This is an issue with MIDI clock and its implementation that I don't think is special to Reaper.

About MIDI clock and iOS... I did a quick google (I don't use any iOS stuff myself) and it does not seem straightforward even there. Just one example with some informative posts on what the problem really is:
https://forum.audiob.us/discussion/8...u-deal-with-it

Again... why can you not just let Reaper be the master? That works. And if your device chokes on SPP, use JH_midi_clock I linked to in my previous post.
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Old 06-17-2017, 05:54 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fabian View Post
As was said in the thread you apparently considered too old to read... to slave Reaper to MIDI clock only (meaning without SPP, MTC etc), you have to set Reaper to the same BPM as your master. This is an issue with MIDI clock and its implementation that I don't think is special to Reaper.

About MIDI clock and iOS... I did a quick google (I don't use any iOS stuff myself) and it does not seem straightforward even there. Just one example with some informative posts on what the problem really is:
https://forum.audiob.us/discussion/8...u-deal-with-it

Again... why can you not just let Reaper be the master? That works. And if your device chokes on SPP, use JH_midi_clock I linked to in my previous post.
I read the full mentioned thread and as I mentioned previously in this thread I could not find anything there that solves my problem.
The reason I mentioned that the post was from 2009 is that I thought if this was a discussion already 8 years ago surely some developer would have fixed it by now?
If I have missed the part in that thread that states how I can sync the master BPM of Reaper to an external MIDI clock, please point me in the right direction and I will be very grateful!

My problem is that I want to sync the master BPM of Reaper to an external clock.
I have different tempo on different drum loops and I want Reaper to sync to this, and be able to record the tempo.
To solve this problem it is not a solution to let Reaper be master and it is not a solution to manually input the BPM in Reaper.

I know Reaper can be master, but that is not what I am trying to do.

I don't want to be rude, just stating why I started this thread.

iOS might not sync perfectly all the time, but the functionality is there and it does work.
If Reaper synces as well as iOS apps then that is good enough for me for the time being.
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Old 06-17-2017, 05:59 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tod View Post
Hi guys, here's a couple of links to what Sweetwater has to say about it.

https://www.sweetwater.com/insync/midi-time-code-mtc/

https://www.sweetwater.com/insync/so...pointer-spp-2/

So I assume you've tried right clicking on the transport and setting up the sync settings?

I don't have outboard equipment any more that I could test this with, at least not any kind of a sequencer.

Actually I do have my old time code sync box, it handles MCS, SPP, SMPTE, and a few other types of time code that I don't remember. I might be able to set it up to transmit to Reaper. If I get some time this weekend I'll see what I can do. Heh heh, if I can remember how to use it.
Hi Tod, thanks for trying to help but I do not think the sync box will be applicable to my application.
I am trying to sync Reapers master tempo to an external synth or drum machine that do not send absolute time code so it is really not the same thing.
But if you do find a way to set Reapers master transport BPM from an external MIDI clock that would be very helpful!
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Old 06-17-2017, 08:51 AM   #19
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I used to plug my Alesis MMT-8 into my HR-16, hit play on the sequencer, and the drum machine would come in playing along just fine and perfectly synced to the sequencer. Didn't matter what tempo HR was set to, it followed the sequencer. I also used to plug those things into my first ever computer which ran Windows for Workgroups and Cakewalk would sync right up just fine too.

This is not that far out of a request, and it is a bit frustrating that it seems so difficult to do.
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