[LAU] MIDI clock & sync

TheOther theother1510 at sbcglobal.net
Sat Aug 1 12:18:20 EDT 2009

Julien Claassen wrote:
> Hi Robin!
>    I always thought, if you have MIDI clock data, you can send it via a MIDI 
> port. So the MIDI clock is the source of timing for MIDI gear. Am I completely 
> of the mark here?
>    If I have a MIDI clock synced to JACK transport I shouldn't have drifts if I 
> somehow get it to my sequencer. Or what? I'm confused now. :-)
>    Kindest regards
>         Julien

 From the Cakewalk Pro Audio 8 User's Guide, Chapter 15 page 2

Synchronization Overview

Clock Source....		Timing is determined by ...
--------------------------	--------------------------------
Internal			The clock on the computer motherboard
Audio				The clock on the computer's sound card
MIDI Sync			The clock on the external MIDI device
SMPTE/MIDI Time Code (MTC)	A time code signal (in SMPTE or some other 
format) recorded on some external medium

SMPTE is the acronym for the Society of Motion Picture and Television 
Enginers.  In SMPTE format, time is measured in hours, minutes, 
seconds, and frames.

When I wanted to sync Cakewalk to my Roland MIDI modules, I used SMPTE 
recorded to an audio cassette, with the output from the audio cassette 
  cabled back to my Winman 4X4/S MIDI controller PCI card in the 
computer box.

My preference was always to use SMPTE for syncing up MIDI synthesizers 
and hardware.  I've never gotten into video work, but perhaps some of 
the video software available to Linux will allow you to use SMPTE for 
your MIDI syncing.

A reference you may find helpful in MIDI programming is Rob Young's 
The MIDI Files, ISBN 0-13-262403-6, copyright Prentice Hall Europe, 1996.

The blurb on the back jacket says:
Taking a light-hearted, informal approach, The MIDI Files guides the 
user through the initial 'getting to grips' stage to present full and 
detailed sections on all aspects of professional MIDI song-sequencing.

A career change side-tracked me away from completing my study of this 
book.  But what I did get through was easy to understand, came with a 
3.5inch diskette giving examples of the techniques being discussed in 
the book.  This is the best book on MIDI programming that I've found 
to date.

Hope this helps you Julien,
Stephen Stubbs.

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