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Live Electronic Show - Sync Advice..

PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2012 3:46 pm
by harry
Hey Guys,

I'm working on some material for a live / DJ set - I need to be able to syncronise an 808/727, x0xb0x, arpeggiators on a few analogue poly/mono synths (via clock in or drum machine trig outs), and a couple groove boxes and or samplers (emu mp7 or korg electribe)

I'm stuck on a few points:

1 - I need to be able to 'beat mix' this rig in/out of records being played on turntables..

I have an SBX80 sync box, which has all of the necessary din sync, midi, timebase out (amazingly useful for settig the note length on arepeggios - does 1,2,3 or 4 pulses per beat) Its tempo controller is digital and works in 1bm increments - this resolution makes it very hard to beat mix with.. Most of its useful range (90-130bpm) occurs in 6mm of its travel (its range is 30-250bpm..) Would the technically minded turtlerockers know how i'd change the value of the pot (and or) place a resistor in series with the wiper to narrow out its range? I'm guessing this would be possible?

In a simpler setting, I have had better success slaving the x0xb0x to the TR808 and using it's fine tempo knob to beat mix. It kinda amazes me that most hardware sequencers dont have a tempo slider that works in a similar way to the pitch fader on a sl1200..

2. When I hit start / stop on the master device, not all devices know how to return to the beginning, they also sometimes start in the wrong place - the EMU MP7 can start / stop individually whilst listening to external sync, but once this is done, it loses it's starting point.

I know there are lots of serious electronic musicians on the forum (Ross, Nymo, Steve, Futureman?) so I was hoping that you could chime in with ideas on how you approach a live setup - I have stayed away from computers and ableton for the moment (don't have a reliable laptop and cant be bothered with all the sync problems - will look into this in the future, so happy to hear of useful setups incorporating them)

This is a duo gig and as such, my mate will be manning the 808/727 etc and programming patterns on the fly - he's really quite good at that. I've got the job of triggering or playing all of the bass / chords, leadlines, samples, and manipulating effects - and mixing in/out of the records - only one pair of hands, hence the need to sync and automate some of these parts..



Re: Live Electronic Show - Sync Advice..

PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2012 4:19 pm
by jkhuri44
will the records be playing all the time? and the electronic stuff playing all the time? or will they be literally mixing from records to electronic, back to records?

the DJ could beat match TO, the synced electronic stuff. sincing electronic stuff together shouldnt be too hard....if you wanted you could have like a click playing (in cans) for a DJ to cue to, if the DJ had to start first, etc.

There's no real accurate BPM counter hardware for works well when music is SIMPLE, when it gets more intricate, they usually suck.

Re: Live Electronic Show - Sync Advice..

PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2012 4:48 pm
by Thirteen
Looking that the schematic of the SBX-80 I would say that changing the value of the tempo pot would likely not extend the tempo range of the machine.

Re: Live Electronic Show - Sync Advice..

PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2012 7:20 pm
by harry
Hey Jamil -

Thanks for your reply, i'll be doing most of the mixing, the problem is not mixing records into the live tracks, but mixing the live tracks into the records as they are playing - the turntables have pitch (and hence tempo) faders, but anything i seem to make the master clock (808, SBX80) has a small knob, and in the case of the 808 it has a fine tempo which is good for making small adjustments to bring the two in sync - however this particula 808 has a slightly worn control - it randomly jumps value a bit and when this happen, there is no ramp up or down in speed (like the way an sl1200 or cdj responds) but an immediate shift - makes a man look like he can't mix...

Th SBX is worse as it is very hard to move in small increments ( a cdj is 0.05% of a bpm from memory vs. a 1% increment of the SBX) the 808 seems to have a smaller increment - would love to know what it is.

Does anyone know of a hardware sequencer that has a nice long fader asigned to tempo?

Hi Steve - I don't want to extend the range, but rather contract it - most of the usable tempos i want to work at (100-130bpm) are in between less than 10-11 oclock on the SBXs Tempo Knob. I want to spread this range out over more of the travel - I figured that I could remove the pot, measure the resistance of it between 10-11 oclock and somehow replace it with a different value / taper and or add a resistor to one of the legs.. either way it skips values (worn out) and needs to be replaced..

Think I might be needing an MPC to share some of the sampling / sequencing duties - Although what I really wish exsisted is an EMU Emulator 4 Ultra Sampler married to a good sequencing engine.. oh well Can anyone comment on using an MPC to trigger samples or as a phrase sequencer, alongside drum machines, x0xb0xes and clock synced synths?

Anyone here ever use one of these?:

I'd love to know of your live rigs - what do the modular guys / girls do to sync up at those big synth jams they get to?


Re: Live Electronic Show - Sync Advice..

PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2012 12:41 pm
by a.d.a.m. baby
When/if you decide to use a laptop, you should check out the Innerclock Sync Lock, Harry. One dedicated audio out from a DAW such as ableton goes to the hardware, which puts out DIN, MIDI clock, and voltage pulses, absolutely rock solid, every re-start. I haven't used this in a beat-matching scenario though ...

Re: Live Electronic Show - Sync Advice..

PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2012 5:00 pm
by harry
Hey Adam,

I've been checking out some of his gadgets - I'm sure i have a need for some of his magic boxes but i don't fully understand the difference yet.. I suppose I'd find the sync box more useful in a studio setting - making all my hardware and software 'speak' at the same time...

Does the sync box do the timing offset thing - to bring late (read:midi hardware) into tight sync with Din equipment?

I've got a korg electribe sampler on the way - im hoping the fader can be assigned to tempo. I'll most likely use it with my own samples, triggered by its sequencing engine...

So far, the 808 seems to be the most mallable when beat mixing (adjusting tempo to match a record)..
So i'm hoping 808-x0xb0x via DIN will be the go with the x0xb0x spitting out midisync for the Electribe.

What did people do in the 80s? I'm too young to know..


Re: Live Electronic Show - Sync Advice..

PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2012 5:06 pm
by Thirteen
Innerclock make a device that lets you dial in the relative timing between the slave device and the master device until it sounds perfect, it will actually allow you to have the slave device running ahead of the master while still in perfect sync.

Re: Live Electronic Show - Sync Advice..

PostPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2012 3:11 pm
by a.d.a.m. baby
harry wrote:
Does the sync box do the timing offset thing - to bring late (read:midi hardware) into tight sync with Din equipment?

The Sync Lock, now known together with its software plug-in as the Sync Gen II LE, does not do any offset adjustment between its midi and DIN outputs. (Innerclock make various specialized boxes for that - their product line can be a little bewildering!) The Sync Gen plug-in that generates the audio sync signal does allow you to dial in an advance or delay to the sync, offset against the DAW, at a single sample level, as well as dial in any amount of swing between 50-75%.


(bloody brilliant bit o' gear)

Re: Live Electronic Show - Sync Advice..

PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2012 8:56 am
by we88
I'm not sure what those boxes you mention have but tap tempo is the usual way to mix drum machines into records. An MPC, Machinedrum etc all have this but i don't recall it on older roland boxes. The electribes have it from memory.

re the innerclock stuff. The sync gen has become indispensable in my studio set-up, but things get ugly - just for a moment - when changing tempos so it won't really work live; unless you want ugly. The sync-shift might be interesting but you still need a way vary your clock as you know.

Re: Live Electronic Show - Sync Advice..

PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2012 11:09 pm
by harry
Thanks guys,

I'm sure some innerclock stuff will work it's way into my setup at some point,

I picked up an electribe - will try the tap tempo at a gig situation... mine is a bit noisy - something about the valves according to google?

funnily enough, Roland made a groovebox (MC307) with a pitch / tempo fader.. it could be useful if it's sequencer is good on the fly (doubt it) and it is good at triggering external synths..

Thanks for your suggestions, at this stage, I'm thinking TR808 as master - din sync to x0xb0x, which will spit out midi clock to the electribe and a few other tr drum machines - of which a tr 626 will most likely end up as a trigger out to one of the poly synths.. freeing up some hands to tweak filters and delays.. etc..

Funny how in 2012, all i want to do is jam like it is 1986...