metronome audio -> MIDI tempo.... how-to?

Discussion in 'comp.music.midi' started by joem, Aug 4, 2003.

  1. joem

    joem Guest

    ok. so this guy that I'm playing with is using a boss loop station;
    which is a guitar phrase sampler pedal. we'd like to be able to sync
    that up to my MIDI devices without any drift. BUT the loop station
    has no MIDI capabilities. it does, however, have a metronome.

    my question: is it possible to convert the metronome audio output to
    MIDI tempo data which can then sync the MIDI devices?

    any help is very much appreciated :)
    thanks in advance!
    --
    Joe.

    "you're an electronic girl...i'm a rock guy...i don't think we have a
    chance." - storm&stress
  2. Sven Golly

    Sven Golly Guest

    On Mon, 04 Aug 2003 04:26:37 GMT, joem
    <jmelnyk@REMOVE_THIS_PARTcs.kent.edu> wrote:

    >ok. so this guy that I'm playing with is using a boss loop station;
    >which is a guitar phrase sampler pedal. we'd like to be able to sync
    >that up to my MIDI devices without any drift. BUT the loop station
    >has no MIDI capabilities. it does, however, have a metronome.
    >
    >my question: is it possible to convert the metronome audio output to
    >MIDI tempo data which can then sync the MIDI devices?


    You haven't said what "devices" you're using that you want to sync
    up... so there may be issues on that end of the equation. That being
    said...

    The RC20 (Loop Station) only has one output, so the click is coming
    out the same output as the guitar, and the recorded sample, etc. This
    raises the issue of having the click come out with the loop and the
    instrument, etc. Not sure this is something you want, especially
    playing live?

    There are a number of devices that will sync up to an audio click;
    some drum machines will, there are some CV-to-MIDI units that will do
    this as well. If you have more info on what it is you're trying to
    sync up, and in what scenario (live or studio), we can take this
    farther.

    Cheers,
    Sven
  3. joem

    joem Guest

    Sven Golly wanted everyone in comp.music.midi to know that
    > You haven't said what "devices" you're using that you want to sync
    > up... so there may be issues on that end of the equation. That being
    > said...


    various MIDI synths and drum machines, possibly a laptop soft-synth in
    the future. but specifically, right now we're trying to sync up an
    Elektron Machinedrum SPS-1 and a DSI Evolveri to the RC20.

    > The RC20 (Loop Station) only has one output, so the click is coming
    > out the same output as the guitar, and the recorded sample, etc. This
    > raises the issue of having the click come out with the loop and the
    > instrument, etc. Not sure this is something you want, especially
    > playing live?


    exactly. I didn't want to give too many details before anyone replied
    :) But thanks for pointing that out.

    What I was thinking was the I could use the audio-to-MIDI syncing device
    to transform the metronome signal to MIDI *only* to set an initial
    tempo. so it would only be the metronome on the RC20's output at first.
    then once it's synced to the MIDI devices (the master of which will
    be the Machinedrum for now) we can turn the metronome off. then he can
    use the quantize function on the RC20 to guarantee that he's in sync
    with its metronome, which will (hopefully) be in sync with the MIDI
    devices. make sense?

    at least, I'd like to do all that. otherwise, there's only one guitar
    phrase sampler which has MIDI capability - the lexicon jamman. and
    they're hard to come by and slightly expensive.

    right now, if I'm playing a drum loop in the Machinedrum and he's trying
    to play a loop through the RC20, it will be on for a measure or two but
    then will inevitably drift. mainly because there's just too much human
    error involved in making sure that it's perfectly synced with the
    Machinedrum.

    > There are a number of devices that will sync up to an audio click;
    > some drum machines will, there are some CV-to-MIDI units that will do
    > this as well. If you have more info on what it is you're trying to
    > sync up, and in what scenario (live or studio), we can take this
    > farther.


    it would probably be live as well as studio and practice situations. so
    everything, right? :)

    but so a CV-to-MIDI converter might work?

    thanks for the helpful reply!
    Joe.

    "you're an electronic girl...i'm a rock guy...i don't think we have a
    chance." - storm&stress
  4. Sven Golly

    Sven Golly Guest

    On Mon, 04 Aug 2003 05:04:26 GMT, joem
    <jmelnyk@REMOVE_THIS_PARTcs.kent.edu> wrote:

    >What I was thinking was the I could use the audio-to-MIDI syncing device
    >to transform the metronome signal to MIDI *only* to set an initial
    >tempo. so it would only be the metronome on the RC20's output at first.
    >then once it's synced to the MIDI devices (the master of which will
    >be the Machinedrum for now) we can turn the metronome off. then he can
    >use the quantize function on the RC20 to guarantee that he's in sync
    >with its metronome, which will (hopefully) be in sync with the MIDI
    >devices. make sense?


    Yep.. definitely makes sense. The only problem is that many devices
    that will accept an audio click as a timing reference will stop once
    that signal disappears (these devices go into slave mode, and are
    pretty rigid about it <grin>).

    >it would probably be live as well as studio and practice situations. so
    >everything, right? :)


    :^) I assumed as much, but each has it's own challenges and opportunities, so I had to ask. :^)

    >but so a CV-to-MIDI converter might work?


    Might, yes... but keep in mind the caveat above. You may be able to
    find a device that will take it's initial timing reference from a
    4-beat click, but that might be a long shot (would be a highly
    specialized device). Now, if you were handy with electronics, you
    might be able to put a custom piece together with parts from PAIA
    Electronics, perhaps...

    Also, generally CV-to-MIDI devices take a voltage and converts it to a
    pitch, so you may need to put a gate or other filtering device in the
    chain before the converter.

    Are we having fun yet? ;^)

    >thanks for the helpful reply!
    >Joe.


    No problem... I'll take a look around and see if I can see anything
    that might suit your needs... this is a rather unique situation that
    I've not come across before... and I love a challenge. :^)

    Cheers,
    Sven
  5. joem

    joem Guest

    Sven Golly wanted everyone in comp.music.midi to know that
    > Yep.. definitely makes sense. The only problem is that many devices
    > that will accept an audio click as a timing reference will stop once
    > that signal disappears (these devices go into slave mode, and are
    > pretty rigid about it <grin>).


    good point. I was thinking of this earlier, in fact. I *believe* that
    the Machinedrum will keep playing to the tempo that the external device
    was setting. But it's been awhile since I wasn't using it as the master
    MIDI clock, so I'll have to check what happens.

    > Might, yes... but keep in mind the caveat above. You may be able to
    > find a device that will take it's initial timing reference from a
    > 4-beat click, but that might be a long shot (would be a highly
    > specialized device).


    I just thought that it had to be possible, really. I mean, there's a
    ton of devices from sequencers to effects racks and even the RC20 that
    will accept a four-beat tap tempo, average the time between taps and
    convert it into a BPM figure. So I just thought that there had to be
    something that would do this automatically, but listen to an audio
    signal for the "taps" rather than a switch/button.

    > Now, if you were handy with electronics, you
    > might be able to put a custom piece together with parts from PAIA
    > Electronics, perhaps...


    If I had instructions on building it, I probably could....:) (In other
    words, I can solder and put stuff together; but I'm not handy enough to
    design something like that.)

    > Also, generally CV-to-MIDI devices take a voltage and converts it to a
    > pitch, so you may need to put a gate or other filtering device in the
    > chain before the converter.


    You mean to convert the metronome audio signal to a voltage, right?

    I'm pretty much know nothing about the world of analog/CV, as you can
    probably tell :)

    > Are we having fun yet? ;^)


    No, fun was when I got to watch the guitarist get annoyed as he had to
    retrigger the phrase samples on the "1" of every measure (he was using
    the "one shot" feature of the RC20). We're trying to avoid that
    approach...

    > No problem... I'll take a look around and see if I can see anything
    > that might suit your needs... this is a rather unique situation that
    > I've not come across before... and I love a challenge. :^)


    Well I'm glad you enjoy the challenge! Hopefully, something will pan
    out. But from the prices I've seen on CV-to-MIDI converters, and since
    I might have to buy something to convert audio to voltage, it might be
    better just to sell the loop station and buy the Jamman!

    But that's the easy way out, right? ;-)

    Thanks again!
    Joe.

    "you're an electronic girl...i'm a rock guy...i don't think we have a
    chance." - storm&stress
  6. joem

    joem Guest

    Sven Golly wanted everyone in comp.music.midi to know that
    > No problem... I'll take a look around and see if I can see anything
    > that might suit your needs... this is a rather unique situation that
    > I've not come across before... and I love a challenge. :^)


    Sven,
    I just had a thought.... Would a drum trigger to MIDI interface work?
    Don't those units just translate an incoming trigger signal into a MIDI
    note? Would the metronome be able to trigger them correctly?

    --
    Joe.

    "you're an electronic girl...i'm a rock guy...i don't think we have a
    chance." - storm&stress

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