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ESX-8MD: MIDI sync issues with SOME slave devices only
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Expert Sleepers  
Author ESX-8MD: MIDI sync issues with SOME slave devices only
Aanon
I have an ES-40/ESX-8MD setup. I'm finding strange behavior when attempting to sync some Yamaha workstation keyboards to my DAW project using MIDI clock.

Short description of issue

Yamaha MOX6 keyboard: starts late by approx 20 ticks (1/24th of a quarter note) and stays late indefinitely

Yamaha XF8 keyboard: starts late by approx 20 ticks (1/24th of a quarter note) and most times stays late indefinitely; however, occasionally after 1 or two bars it suddenly 'catches up' (comes into correct time) and then stays there indefinitely

Yamaha QY 700 slaved to the ESX-8MD has no such problems. It's perfect.

Diagnostic tests

After struggling with this problem for a while, I put together the following rig for testing purposes, and specifically to narrow down the source of the problems.



Trialling clock source 1:

When I use another QY700 sequencer as the clock source and record the metronome output of it and the three slaved devices, all are perfectly in sync with the clock source and each other.

Trialling clock source 2:

When I use an Akai DPS16 multitrack recorder as the clock source and record the metronome output of it and the three slaved devices, all are perfectly in sync with the clock source and each other.

Trialling clock source 3:

When I use the ESX-8MD MIDI clock as the clock source in this setup, the 1st slaved device (QY700) is in perfect time with the DAW grid/metronome but the other two slaved devices (MOX6 and XF8) are out of time, as described above.

Extra info

    *The same MIDI cable and input port to the MIDI splitter was used to connect the desired clock source for each test (direct swap-in)
    *All the clock source devices are set to generate both MIDI clock and SPP
    *Swapping around cables going to the slaved devices was attempted and had no effect on the behaviour of each device
    *Directly connecting the ESX-8MD output to any one slave device resulted in the exact same behaviour as when connected via the MIDI patchbay (ruling out the MIDI splitter as a problem)
    *I am running the ES4 plugin, using an offset of 1.44ms, which has proved perfect for slaving my QY700 for several months
    *The ESX-8MD is being used only for MIDI clock going to a single output socket
    *I have tried using different output sockets on the ESX-8MD for the MIDI clock, with no change observed
    *The DAW is Digital Performer


Getting to the question

All three of the slave devices slave perfectly to either a QY700 sequencer or a DPS16 multitrack. When the ESX-8MD is used to provide clock and SPP, one of the devices still slaves perfectly but the other two are flaky. The other tests show this is not just a matter of inherent response time of each device.

-- Can you suggest what could cause something like this?

-- Can you suggest what to try or test further for a solution?

Many thanks in advance for any assistance you can offer.

Aanon
Aanon
Is anyone able to help with ideas or knowledge?

What are some of the variables that make MIDI clock from one device different to MIDI clock from another?

- timing stability?
- voltages?
- actual signals included or excluded from output?
- relative timing of initial data packets sent out?
- 'shape' of signals?

I'm trying to understand why my two other MIDI clock sources can drive my Yamaha keyboards properly, but my ES-40/ESX-8MD cannot.

Does anyone out there have Expert Sleepers gear sending MIDI clock to Yamaha Motif XF or MOX keyboards with success?

I really don't want to give up on Expert Sleepers, but really not sure where to go in search of a solution.

Aanon
miminashi
I was having intermittent sync issues driving my Cirklon from Cubase, which I resolved by turning 'Thru' off in the ES-5 Controller.

Before I disabled Thru, about 10% of the time the Cirklon would start playing with the Cubase transport, but not all of the tracks would play, or some would play out of time or start playing after a few measures. I'm not sure why it mattered, because I'm using the Instrument version of the plugin. But I guess some kind of garbage was being generated which confused the Cirklon and caused it to behave erratically. Sounds somewhat similar to what you're experiencing.
Aanon
miminashi wrote:
I was having intermittent sync issues driving my Cirklon from Cubase, which I resolved by turning 'Thru' off in the ES-5 Controller.

Before I disabled Thru, about 10% of the time the Cirklon would start playing with the Cubase transport, but not all of the tracks would play, or some would play out of time or start playing after a few measures. I'm not sure why it mattered, because I'm using the Instrument version of the plugin. But I guess some kind of garbage was being generated which confused the Cirklon and caused it to behave erratically. Sounds somewhat similar to what you're experiencing.


Thank you for the reply and the idea. I'll try it as soon as i have the chance, and let you know the outcome. Fingers crossed.
Aanon
miminashi wrote:
I was having intermittent sync issues driving my Cirklon from Cubase, which I resolved by turning 'Thru' off in the ES-5 Controller.

Before I disabled Thru, about 10% of the time the Cirklon would start playing with the Cubase transport, but not all of the tracks would play, or some would play out of time or start playing after a few measures. I'm not sure why it mattered, because I'm using the Instrument version of the plugin. But I guess some kind of garbage was being generated which confused the Cirklon and caused it to behave erratically. Sounds somewhat similar to what you're experiencing.


I've been able to test this now. Unfortunately turning off the thru setting didn't bring any change in my case.

I still see my Yamaha keyboards respond late to the Expert Sleepers MIDI clock in a way that doesn't happen when syncing those same keyboards to other devices.
miminashi
Rats.
Aanon
Tonight i tried using Cubase 5 for my DAW. Unfortunately the sync problem between with the Expert Sleepers setup and my Motif XF8 keyboard remained.

It seems there must be someone out there using either USAMO or ESX-8MD with one of the recent Yamaha keyboards... Can anyone comment on their experience?

I'm really struggling here.
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