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  #1  
Old 04-14-2016, 07:24 AM
Jon_Atkinson Jon_Atkinson is offline
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Default Best practice with external synths/MPC..?

Hey all,

I've been doing pretty much all my synth/drum machine stuff in the box for years, but I have a project coming up where I'll be dusting off my MPC and Modular...

It has genuinely been a long time since I've had to worry about external stuff being in sync (although various versions of PT and or VEPro have on occasion not played nicely!) and most of the time VI's are pretty much spot on.

I'm aware that LLM has seen some revamps in PT12 so I'll need to figure out whether I'm best just ditching that and running the sample buffer really low... I can also monitor direct through my Quartet with no latency.

Any regular MPC/hardware synth users care to share some thoughts about best practice for keeping stuff tight..? Things I should be aware of? Best results with MTC or MIDI clock...?

I remember having to deal with all this in the '90s... Is it a bit sad that I'm quite excited about it..?!

Thanks in advance!

Jon
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  #2  
Old 04-14-2016, 10:00 AM
JuanPC JuanPC is offline
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Default Re: Best practice with external synths/MPC..?

The method that worked for me is having a lot of external midi sequencers, synced to MTC & MMC of the DAW.

No Midi sequencing on the DAW, just like a mixer...

There is a saying: "all in bed, or all in the floor."

Sometimes, I used a LinnDrum LM-2 as master with a converter box to midi MTC,
Was awesome to change midi tempo manually in realtime.
Delays followed awesome, lexicon lxp15, ensoniq dp4.
Good old days.
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  #3  
Old 04-14-2016, 04:17 PM
Benny_Cha_Cha Benny_Cha_Cha is offline
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Default Re: Best practice with external synths/MPC..?

Slave the MPC via MTC. Works well if set up correctly.


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Neve 8816, HD Native PCIe, Apogee DA-16X, Lynx Aurora 16, Benchmark DAC-1/ADC-1
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  #4  
Old 04-15-2016, 02:42 AM
::F-L-E-X::'s Avatar
::F-L-E-X:: ::F-L-E-X:: is offline
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Default Re: Best practice with external synths/MPC..?

MTC works well… but the slow lock-up times can be a bit of a vibe killer. Personally I prefer Midi Clock - there is a little drift, but usually I'll use Midi clock when I'm writing, & as soon as I'm happy with the programming I'll commit by printing everything. When I print, I'll turn off all sync, & let the MPC freewheel while recording everything in (so that the MPC isn't influenced by any external clock), then group everything & line up by eye & ear. This works well on 4, 8 or even 16 bar sections, (though obviously not on a full arrangement). (Gone are the days when I used to program every single drop & fill in the MPC)! I always print a stereo reference from the MPC in addition to the split parts, as it's easy to lose your way when reconstructing all the split drum parts.

I prefer the timing in MPC Seq mode rather than Song mode - there is a subtle difference (on a 3000 at least). Programming external midi synths in an MPC can be a bit cumbersome, but is well worth the effort in terms of timing & swing - works great with baselines, arpeggios & basic chords. (Solos & more involved parts are best left to a DAW)!

Really, you have to make the decision how much programming & arranging you'd like to do in the MPC (which will soon become apparent)… If you're doing the full arrangement in the MPC, then MTC is perhaps the better option. If you're just looking to get a tight MPC groove going on which to build in PT, Midi clock & print is probably quicker & easier. Back in the day, sync was never an issue, as MPC was always 'Master'… but then Sequencers became DAW's
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Old 04-15-2016, 07:29 AM
Benny_Cha_Cha Benny_Cha_Cha is offline
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Default Re: Best practice with external synths/MPC..?

I haven't noticed a long lock up time for MTC, but I don't like the drift of Midi Clock. Curious to compare timing of seq vs song. Never noticed a difference. I'm on my trusty 2000XL.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ::F-L-E-X:: View Post
MTC works well… but the slow lock-up times can be a bit of a vibe killer. Personally I prefer Midi Clock - there is a little drift, but usually I'll use Midi clock when I'm writing, & as soon as I'm happy with the programming I'll commit by printing everything. When I print, I'll turn off all sync, & let the MPC freewheel while recording everything in (so that the MPC isn't influenced by any external clock), then group everything & line up by eye & ear. This works well on 4, 8 or even 16 bar sections, (though obviously not on a full arrangement). (Gone are the days when I used to program every single drop & fill in the MPC)! I always print a stereo reference from the MPC in addition to the split parts, as it's easy to lose your way when reconstructing all the split drum parts.



I prefer the timing in MPC Seq mode rather than Song mode - there is a subtle difference (on a 3000 at least). Programming external midi synths in an MPC can be a bit cumbersome, but is well worth the effort in terms of timing & swing - works great with baselines, arpeggios & basic chords. (Solos & more involved parts are best left to a DAW)!



Really, you have to make the decision how much programming & arranging you'd like to do in the MPC (which will soon become apparent)… If you're doing the full arrangement in the MPC, then MTC is perhaps the better option. If you're just looking to get a tight MPC groove going on which to build in PT, Midi clock & print is probably quicker & easier. Back in the day, sync was never an issue, as MPC was always 'Master'… but then Sequencers became DAW's
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------------
PT Ultimate 2021.10, MacBookPro i9 8-core 2.3gHz, 32Gb RAM, Mac OSX 10.15.7, SSD boot drive, SSD sample drive,
Neve 8816, HD Native PCIe, Apogee DA-16X, Lynx Aurora 16, Benchmark DAC-1/ADC-1
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  #6  
Old 04-15-2016, 10:43 AM
Jon_Atkinson Jon_Atkinson is offline
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Default Re: Best practice with external synths/MPC..?

Thanks all for the input. Really helpful.

any thoughts on monitoring/sync/latency..? As I say, I havent' had to worry about connecting the real world to PT for quite some time..!

Am I likely to get into MTC offsets and all that, or will PT deal with it (ever the optimist!)

So, for instance if I have a groove running on the MPC slaved to PT, should I hear it in time with the PT click if LLM is on..?

I know I can just get plugged up and figure it out by myself, but handy to get any input on potential issues beforehand (I guess that's what the forum is for..!)
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  #7  
Old 04-15-2016, 10:45 AM
Jon_Atkinson Jon_Atkinson is offline
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Default Re: Best practice with external synths/MPC..?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ::F-L-E-X:: View Post

Really, you have to make the decision how much programming & arranging you'd like to do in the MPC
The plan was to just use the MPC for drums, and have the keys MIDI running from PT... But I'll see how I get on. I find writing drum parts on the MPC to be a joy, but keys stuff not so much.
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  #8  
Old 04-16-2016, 08:34 AM
Benny_Cha_Cha Benny_Cha_Cha is offline
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Default Re: Best practice with external synths/MPC..?

I'll often write a basic drum part on my mpc then get the midi into pro tools asap and use the MPC as a sound source.

Then sometimes, if the timing gets off, I'll reimport the midi back to the MPC and print off of that, restoring the mpc feel.

On the flip side, now I'm thinking I should do all the writing in PT and go to the MPC last. Along those lines, and sorry to go slightly OT, can anyone recommend an MPC-like drum machine VI for PT??

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon_Atkinson View Post
The plan was to just use the MPC for drums, and have the keys MIDI running from PT... But I'll see how I get on. I find writing drum parts on the MPC to be a joy, but keys stuff not so much.
__________________
Ben Rubin

Producer//Mixer//Bassist//Composer

benrubin.com

------------
PT Ultimate 2021.10, MacBookPro i9 8-core 2.3gHz, 32Gb RAM, Mac OSX 10.15.7, SSD boot drive, SSD sample drive,
Neve 8816, HD Native PCIe, Apogee DA-16X, Lynx Aurora 16, Benchmark DAC-1/ADC-1
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