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Author Topic: External MIDI devices don't start reliably  (Read 1850 times)

RGRAINGER

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External MIDI devices don't start reliably
« on: August 06, 2020, 11:51:26 pm »
I got a Keystep Pro today, and I was delighted at first. It seems to be what I've been waiting for.

I was running sequences that were playing on my Pro-1, Minibrue 2 and Minitaur. It worked great.

But as soon as I introduced drums, I ran into problems. I am not using the Keystep's drum track here, I am trying to sync an external drum machine to it. I couldn't get it to send clock at a sensible rate to my Volca Sample (I tried all the clock division settings), so I updated the Keystep Pro's firmware to the latest version. I still couldn't get it working.

So I tried MIDI DIN. It didn't start the Volca's sequencer reliably.

So I decided to try with my Drumbrute Impact. Same issue as with the Volca over MIDI DIN. It starts when I hit start on the Keystep Pro. But it starts a beat behind, or sometimes very slightly behind. There seems to be no logic to it - it doesn't start in sync, but the amount it's out of sync varies each time I start the Keystep sequence.

So I tried the second MIDI output of the Keystep Pro, so there's a direct MIDI DIN cable between the KP and the Drumbrute. Same issue.

If I start the Drumbrute or Volca manually, they stay in sync with the Keystep. But I don't want to do that. The whole point of this set up is to have everything start in sync when I hit play. 100% of the time they fail to start on the beat when I press play.

So I tried with the Minibrute 2 sequencer. Same issue. It doesn't trigger the start of the sequence on the beat.

So the Keystep Pro with the latest firmware seems incapable of starting external sequencers on the beat. This is more than a bit rubbish.

I've also experienced other glitchiness when I'm sequencing. Steps suddenly looping for no apparent reason, the metronome going wild are just two examples. I couldn't rely on this to improvise a piece of music or play live.

And I can't sync any external drum machines or sequencers, which is the whole reason I bought the damned thing.

This is more than a bit rubbish, to put it very politely. None of the gushing reviews from Youtubers mention that it doesn't actually work.
« Last Edit: August 06, 2020, 11:55:05 pm by RGRAINGER »

RGRAINGER

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Re: External MIDI devices don't start reliably
« Reply #1 on: August 07, 2020, 09:37:19 am »
OK, I've found a combination of features that works. Clock out works to synchronise the DrumBrute Impact. I haven't yet tried it with other external devices, e.g. the sequencer on the Minibrute 2, but this looks like a promising workaround for my uses.

So in summary, clock out doesn't work with the Volca but it does work with at least some (and possibly all) other devices.

MIDI DIN sync out just doesn't work. A pretty basic function of a MIDI sequencer. This should have been tested before Arturia rolled out the firmware. It's hardly an obscure use case.

Jan Juno

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Re: External MIDI devices don't start reliably
« Reply #2 on: August 07, 2020, 01:12:38 pm »
Can confirm this. I got the beatstep pro and the keystep pro synced via midi. No DAW in between.

I got drum sequences on both machines. They won't start together. I have to hit several times the play and stop button to get proper sync.

This is really bad. Workflow killer. And as a note, this shouldn't be the case. Stable Midi Clock is "Key" for music production. Focus should lies there as performance is always key.

RGRAINGER

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Re: External MIDI devices don't start reliably
« Reply #3 on: August 07, 2020, 01:38:44 pm »
Weirdly, the Volca suddenly started syncing for me via MIDI this morning.  ???  I haven't changed the firmware or done anything else that should affect it.

RGRAINGER

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Re: External MIDI devices don't start reliably
« Reply #4 on: August 08, 2020, 12:20:09 am »
It looks like my main issue - DIN Sync - might be to do with the clock out setting. I'll experiment over the weekend and report back with what I find.
« Last Edit: August 08, 2020, 12:03:45 pm by RGRAINGER »

Andrew Henderson

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Re: External MIDI devices don't start reliably
« Reply #5 on: August 08, 2020, 12:37:08 am »
It looks like my main issue - DIN Sync - this might be to do with getting the clock out setting right. If that's the cast, I take back what I said. I'll experiment over the weekend and report back with what I find.

Hmm... if you are slaving the KSP to midi clock from the USB, I believe it is currently not working correctly, where midi clock is now not being sent properly to the DIN out.  Is this what you are experiencing? 

If I am not mistaken, this should be fixed in the next update.

Apologies if I am wrong on this, or am misinterpreting your problem.

RGRAINGER

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Re: External MIDI devices don't start reliably
« Reply #6 on: August 08, 2020, 12:03:02 pm »
Thanks. No, I am using the internal clock on the Keystep Pro. It's not connected to a computer or other device by USB.

Keystep Pro > MIDI DIN lead > MIDI THRU box > Synths and drum machines.

That's my setup. I have also tried going out from the KSP directly to the drum machine, in case the THRU box was the iusse (although the box works with the Beatstep Pro and regular Keystep).

I have found what is causing the issue, and as a result, have a workaround for anyone else experiencing the issue, like Jan Juno.

The clock out setting on the KSP affects MIDI sync. I can reproduce this behaviour. By changing the clock output value in the KSP's menu, I can break and fix the MIDI sync. For me, a setting of 24PPQ allows MIDI sync to work.

Should this setting even affect MIDI sync? The manual suggests it only affects analog sync. Indeed, if the setting affects both, it means you can only use a mixture of analog sync and MIDI sync for some devices (it will depend on the clock rate of the device you want to control with analog sync).

Having found this, I am relieved that this isn't a hardware issue. It seems to be firmware-related and can presumably be patched.
« Last Edit: August 08, 2020, 12:07:56 pm by RGRAINGER »

Andrew Henderson

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Re: External MIDI devices don't start reliably
« Reply #7 on: August 08, 2020, 07:27:11 pm »
I apologize for not re-reading your original post, before making my comments above.  I did read your initial post a couple days prior and thought I understood it, so made the post I did above, even though it was wrong.

As for your findings, that doesn't sound right at all.  Analog clock and midi clock should 100% be separated.  The fact that one is affecting the other, sounds like a bug to me.  I would definitely get in touch with support and share your findings, along with reproduction steps, so it can be looked at in house.  If it is a bug, it should be fixed, as this would definitely affect a lot of users, in its current standing.  The KSP's strength is in its diverse connection points and being able to only use certain instruments, depending on what your clock setting is, sounds very restrictive.

RGRAINGER

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Re: External MIDI devices don't start reliably
« Reply #8 on: August 08, 2020, 10:06:11 pm »
I will do. I assumed that issues flagged up here would percolate through to Arturia support, but I'll raise a ticket.

Andrew Henderson

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Re: External MIDI devices don't start reliably
« Reply #9 on: August 09, 2020, 02:38:35 am »
I will do. I assumed that issues flagged up here would percolate through to Arturia support, but I'll raise a ticket.

No, always better to raise it direct. Thank you from all of us users, for doing this.

RGRAINGER

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Re: External MIDI devices don't start reliably
« Reply #10 on: August 10, 2020, 09:12:13 pm »
Arturia support have confirmed that they can reproduce the problem, and they're going to patch the bug.

Andrew Henderson

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Re: External MIDI devices don't start reliably
« Reply #11 on: August 10, 2020, 10:43:29 pm »
 8)

xrt24

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Re: External MIDI devices don't start reliably
« Reply #12 on: August 15, 2020, 10:05:34 pm »
If I am slaving keystep pro to DAW (Ableton live 10) - keystep pro will start with daw but does not start my analog rytm mkii (KSP midi out 1 into RYTMII in).  If i hit play on the KSP it works fine.
« Last Edit: August 15, 2020, 10:08:21 pm by xrt24 »

Edouard_Arturia

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Re: External MIDI devices don't start reliably
« Reply #13 on: August 18, 2020, 10:11:11 am »
Hello.
This is fixed in the current beta  :)
Best
Edouard
DGDGDGDGDG

RGRAINGER

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Re: External MIDI devices don't start reliably
« Reply #14 on: August 24, 2020, 04:02:22 pm »
That's good news. Thanks Edouard.

 

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