External Sync in Project5 2.5

With Project5 Version 2.5's new MIDI track features we can now easily sync external hardware via our MIDI outputs.


With the Project5 2.5 update, it's no longer necessary to use the rgc:audio MIDIOut plugin to connect to the 'outside world' of MIDI. Now, a sync signal can be sent over the same MIDI port used by an external MIDI track; streamlining the versatility. You'll need a MIDI interface, with a MIDI cable connected from the MIDI Out of your interface to the MIDI In of your hardware device.

Hook It Up, and Send It Packing

1). The first step is to go to the Options -> MIDI Devices menu, and select a MIDI Output Port from your system.

Options -> MIDI Devices

2). Back in the Options menu, select the 'Send MIDI Sync' item.

Options -> Send MIDI Sync

Laying Out The Welcome Mat

3). Your hardware needs to be configured now as a 'slave' device. Project5's master sync source is sent through the MIDI cable. The device at the other end needs to ignore its own internal clock, and follow the clock signal from Project5. The exact details will vary with each hardware device, but it'll always be found in its own set of menus, as a Global setting. Here's a few examples to illustrate:

In the Roland MC-50 mkII sequencer.

Roland MC-50 Micro Composer Function Menu.

In the Yamaha RX21 drum synthesizer.

Yamaha RX21 MIDI menu.

In the Alesis Ion keyboard synthesizer.

Alesis Ion Global menu.  Page 3 of 7.

4). That's all there is to it. Now any changes that you make to Project5's tempo track will be reflected on the hardware side. Any sequenced tracks, drum patterns/songs, LFOs, arpeggiators, and tempo-synced effects will play back in time with your DAW project.

Bring It On Home

5a). Of course, unless you're mixing down outside of Project5, you'll want to see the results back into your project. For audio, you'll need to connect the audio outputs of your hardware to audio inputs in your computer interface, and insert a new Audio Track in P5's Track Pane.

Audio Track connection.

5b). For MIDI playback, you'll want to Insert a Synth in the Track Pane (an External MIDI track is shown here). Set the Input Port in the Track Inspector to your MIDI interface device. This setup requires a second MIDI cable, from your hardware's MIDI Out/Thru, to your MIDI interface at the MIDI In Port.

For more information (based in P5 2.0.1) on soft-Thru connections and the use of MIDI FX externally, see the article MIDI FX Inside Hardware Synths.

External MIDI Track connection.

See also the article External Sync in Project5 2.5 - Tap Tempo Devices because not all hardware units will respond to a MIDI clock source. Some rely on tap tempo to synchronize to a master device.

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