The Pro-2 Sequencer does constantly change the BPM in Slave

The Dave Smith Instruments Pro 2 Analogue Synthesizer

Moderator: Pym

TimAbird
Posts: 5
Joined: Thu Feb 05, 2015 10:05 am

The Pro-2 Sequencer does constantly change the BPM in Slave

Post by TimAbird » Thu Feb 05, 2015 10:15 am

Hey guys,

if I sync my Pro2 with Ableton the BPM in Sequecner is constantly changing. Pro2 is in Slave mode. I tried with USB- and MIDI -Cable, booth same issue.
Same issue here: https://www.copy.com/s/68JWBy2qmrbx10pF ... slaved.MOV

Is this an problem with the Pro2? I see no solution on this?
Is this a return and moneyback issue?

Please help me :D

regards,

Tim

User avatar
computer controlled
Posts: 31
Joined: Sun Mar 13, 2011 3:36 am
Location: United States
Contact:

Re: The Pro-2 Sequencer does constantly change the BPM in Sl

Post by computer controlled » Thu Feb 05, 2015 10:50 am

Your master clock (Ableton) is probably throwing out a clock that is sloppy. I can't imagine your PC or Mac has a rock solid MIDI clock.
Stuff: TB-3 | TR-8 | TT-303 | TR-626 | Pro 2 | Grendel Grenadier RA-9 | Volca Bass | SQ-1 Sequencer

TimAbird
Posts: 5
Joined: Thu Feb 05, 2015 10:05 am

Re: The Pro-2 Sequencer does constantly change the BPM in Sl

Post by TimAbird » Thu Feb 05, 2015 11:35 am

Is there a solution for this problem?

User avatar
Fuseball
Posts: 525
Joined: Mon May 23, 2011 9:06 am
Location: London
Contact:

Re: The Pro-2 Sequencer does constantly change the BPM in Sl

Post by Fuseball » Thu Feb 05, 2015 3:01 pm

There has been some discussion of this in the Prophet 12 section.

viewtopic.php?f=27&t=5476#p59866

Pym's comment at the end explains that the BPM displayed is far less accurate than the actual MIDI clock received.

The MIDI clock from Ableton (Mac or pc) won't be the tightest but it certainly won't be jumping around as much as your video suggests. I know a lot of people swear by the Syncgen II Pro when syncing hardware to a DAW but it's a big investment when what you currently have might not be as bad as you fear.

I will run some tests here, syncing my Pro 2 to Ableton, Machinedrum and MPC 1000, and see how it behaves.
Prophet'08 PE #3591 | Tetr4 #2088 | MEK PE #1180 | Jupiter 6 | Juno 60 | Moog Sub Phatty | MS-20 mini | random digital stuff

User avatar
Fuseball
Posts: 525
Joined: Mon May 23, 2011 9:06 am
Location: London
Contact:

Re: The Pro-2 Sequencer does constantly change the BPM in Sl

Post by Fuseball » Thu Feb 05, 2015 6:11 pm

Okay. I ran a few tests with the Pro 2. Nothing particularly scientific but here goes…

With the master clock from Ableton 9 and via a MOTU 828 Mk 3 (Firewire & mac mini) and MIDI cables I'm only getting deviations of 1 BPM max either side of the clock (flicking between 129 and 130 for 130 BPM clock).

With master clock from Ableton 9 and via USB I'm getting the occasional dip and peak into 128 and 131 BPM on the display.

Even with synced delays with high feedback, both of these methods sounded fine. I didn't hear any obvious clocking issues sending the delays off-pitch.

With the machinedrum as master clock I got the same results (flicking between 129 and 130) on the display, as with the first Ableton test. Again, all the synced delays sounded perfectly fine.

The MPC 1000, however, was much more erratic. I was getting values between 127 and 132, and the delays were audibly speeding up and slowing down. So much for hardware being a better clock source!

Do you have any other hardware synths that you can test your Ableton clock with? From my own experience with my Pro 2, it appears to sync perfectly well to a good clock source, and Ableton should be good enough to show only a slight deviation on the display. Your video showed something closer to the variation I saw with the MPC as master clock.

It is possible that the Pro 2 might be quite picky about different clock sources. The Machinedrum, for example, syncs very cleanly to the MPC 1000 with almost no jitter or variation in the BPM but the Pro 2 does not. I even tested them both with exactly the same cables. In my setup, everything appears to sync moderately well to Ableton via the MOTU interface and standard MIDI cables.

Sorry I can't give you any more definite answers. Certainly your Pro 2 should be syncing better than it currently does. The problem could be with your MIDI interface, your computer or even your individual Pro 2. Hope you get it sorted.
Prophet'08 PE #3591 | Tetr4 #2088 | MEK PE #1180 | Jupiter 6 | Juno 60 | Moog Sub Phatty | MS-20 mini | random digital stuff

TimAbird
Posts: 5
Joined: Thu Feb 05, 2015 10:05 am

Re: The Pro-2 Sequencer does constantly change the BPM in Sl

Post by TimAbird » Thu Feb 05, 2015 7:17 pm

Thank you so much...

Do you think a change of the pro-2 will help?

User avatar
BobTheDog
Posts: 1156
Joined: Sun Nov 20, 2011 8:49 pm

Re: The Pro-2 Sequencer does constantly change the BPM in Sl

Post by BobTheDog » Thu Feb 05, 2015 7:23 pm

No. The problem will be with your computer/live.

Are you windows or mac? What audio buffer size are you using?

TimAbird
Posts: 5
Joined: Thu Feb 05, 2015 10:05 am

Re: The Pro-2 Sequencer does constantly change the BPM in Sl

Post by TimAbird » Thu Feb 05, 2015 7:27 pm

I tried low and high ones, but still the same. I will try some other DAW.

User avatar
BobTheDog
Posts: 1156
Joined: Sun Nov 20, 2011 8:49 pm

Re: The Pro-2 Sequencer does constantly change the BPM in Sl

Post by BobTheDog » Thu Feb 05, 2015 7:46 pm

Some people seem to have problems with Live and midi clock, especially on windows. Keeping the Audio buffer small should help as Live limits its midi processing to once every buffer size, so the bigger it is the less midi timing resolution you have.

Here my Pro-2 syncs to Live perfectly (apart from the silly display issue).

owensands
Posts: 38
Joined: Sat Sep 22, 2012 3:38 pm

Re: The Pro-2 Sequencer does constantly change the BPM in Sl

Post by owensands » Thu Feb 05, 2015 8:47 pm

It synchs fine(sequencerwise etc) and the jumping around of bpms usually happens on all devices(when you look at it). EXCEPT the delays in the PRO 2 that are synched get warbled(the delay time clearly sounds modulated due to the clock I would assume). Its an issue with the PRO 2. This happens for both LIVE and Bitwig for me. IT ONLY happens when master clock is a DAW though. With that said all my elektron boxes that have synched delays do not have this issue when receiving clock from a DAW. Seems to me that synched delays are polling the tempo/clock too often and it needs to be less so its smoother. Just a logical guess.

TimAbird
Posts: 5
Joined: Thu Feb 05, 2015 10:05 am

Re: The Pro-2 Sequencer does constantly change the BPM in Sl

Post by TimAbird » Thu Feb 05, 2015 10:00 pm

So is here an official dsi employee AMD can say that this issue will be fixed?

User avatar
BobTheDog
Posts: 1156
Joined: Sun Nov 20, 2011 8:49 pm

Re: The Pro-2 Sequencer does constantly change the BPM in Sl

Post by BobTheDog » Thu Feb 05, 2015 10:05 pm

You should email support as this is not an official DSI forum.

owensands
Posts: 38
Joined: Sat Sep 22, 2012 3:38 pm

Re: The Pro-2 Sequencer does constantly change the BPM in Sl

Post by owensands » Fri Feb 06, 2015 12:25 am

I've notified them of this the first week I got my PRO 2. OS fixes take a very long time it seems.

slirak
Posts: 6
Joined: Fri Feb 06, 2015 9:48 pm

Re: The Pro-2 Sequencer does constantly change the BPM in Sl

Post by slirak » Fri Feb 06, 2015 9:57 pm

owensands wrote:It synchs fine(sequencerwise etc) and the jumping around of bpms usually happens on all devices(when you look at it). EXCEPT the delays in the PRO 2 that are synched get warbled(the delay time clearly sounds modulated due to the clock I would assume). Its an issue with the PRO 2. This happens for both LIVE and Bitwig for me. IT ONLY happens when master clock is a DAW though. With that said all my elektron boxes that have synched delays do not have this issue when receiving clock from a DAW. Seems to me that synched delays are polling the tempo/clock too often and it needs to be less so its smoother. Just a logical guess.
This is exactly my experience too. Well, not the Bigwig part, but using Live, Logic and Cubase with an Elektron Analog 4 (no issues) and Cubase with the Pro 2 (warbled synced delays).

I agree with your conclusion too, seems quite likely.

slirak
Posts: 6
Joined: Fri Feb 06, 2015 9:48 pm

Re: The Pro-2 Sequencer does constantly change the BPM in Sl

Post by slirak » Sat Feb 07, 2015 8:38 pm

OK, I've tested a bit more.

Since I have a spare MIDI Out from a low jitter interface (RME Babyface), I decided to try with that and set the MIDI Clock Source to the MIDI In port, rather than USB.

This makes a big difference. The tempo still fluctuates according to the P2 sequencer's display, but it's gone from moving about 5 - 6 bpm's to about one.

This means that the delay time warble is almost gone.

So besides the MIDI clock driven tempo adjustments being a bit too responsive, it seems the P2's built in MIDI interface has a jitter problem. Granted, RME has a great rep for possibly the best drivers in the business and they use their own USB driver, rather than the OS's. But still.

dcdcdcdc
Posts: 47
Joined: Fri Mar 01, 2013 7:21 am
Location: US

Re: The Pro-2 Sequencer does constantly change the BPM in Sl

Post by dcdcdcdc » Sat Feb 07, 2015 10:40 pm

If there were a problem with Pro2's syncing up, people would have issues when using other hardware (i.e. not computers) as master.

Remember the RME Babyface does not actually generate clock-- it just "cleans up" the clock it's getting from your computer. Computers just don't have the ability to give a tight, accurate clock signal.

If you have something around that provides a decent clock source, give it a shot and you'll see what I mean. The sync on the Pro2 is pretty tight.

Also, not to state what may be obviously. . . but if you unsync your delays and the set the times manually, you won't get that warble / chorusing (there are even delay times in the manual. . . ). 8)

User avatar
BobTheDog
Posts: 1156
Joined: Sun Nov 20, 2011 8:49 pm

Re: The Pro-2 Sequencer does constantly change the BPM in Sl

Post by BobTheDog » Sun Feb 08, 2015 9:27 am

dcdcdcdc wrote: Computers just don't have the ability to give a tight, accurate clock signal.
Maybe you should rephrase that as "Some Computers/DAW/interface combinations just don't have the ability to give a tight, accurate MIDI clock signal over USB."

I have a perfectly tight and accurate MIDI clock here to the P02, from a computer.

User avatar
Fuseball
Posts: 525
Joined: Mon May 23, 2011 9:06 am
Location: London
Contact:

Re: The Pro-2 Sequencer does constantly change the BPM in Sl

Post by Fuseball » Sun Feb 08, 2015 10:36 am

dcdcdcdc wrote:If there were a problem with Pro2's syncing up, people would have issues when using other hardware (i.e. not computers) as master.
I had really obvious problems with the Pro 2 synced to the MPC1000, so I don't think its quite as clear cut as a hardware/computer divide. The Pro 2 is definitely polling or interpreting the clock signal differently to my Machinedrum, which syncs without any issues to the same MPC output.
Also, not to state what may be obviously. . . but if you unsync your delays and the set the times manually, you won't get that warble / chorusing (there are even delay times in the manual. . . ). 8)
I do that too. :)
Prophet'08 PE #3591 | Tetr4 #2088 | MEK PE #1180 | Jupiter 6 | Juno 60 | Moog Sub Phatty | MS-20 mini | random digital stuff

slirak
Posts: 6
Joined: Fri Feb 06, 2015 9:48 pm

Re: The Pro-2 Sequencer does constantly change the BPM in Sl

Post by slirak » Sun Feb 08, 2015 9:23 pm

Fuseball wrote:
dcdcdcdc wrote:If there were a problem with Pro2's syncing up, people would have issues when using other hardware (i.e. not computers) as master.
I had really obvious problems with the Pro 2 synced to the MPC1000, so I don't think its quite as clear cut as a hardware/computer divide. The Pro 2 is definitely polling or interpreting the clock signal differently to my Machinedrum, which syncs without any issues to the same MPC output.
Yeah, MIDI clock stability is an age-old issue, but it's not as simple as computers=bad, hardware=good. Different MIDI interfaces and drivers will yield different results and there are certainly hardware with poor clocks. You wouldn't wanna slave anything to an ASR-X, let me tell you that! 8)

Also, as I and several others have pointed out here, and elsewhere, the Pro 2 (and apparently also the Pro 12) have issues with setups that sync other gear perfectly (even over USB).

I've done a few more tests and here are the results. Please note that Cubase has a setting to keep sending MIDI clock, even when playback is stopped. I performed the tests with this setting on. I used a simple bass sound, Pro 2's arpeggiator and two synced delays, with different note settings (quarter note and 8th note triplet). Using different note settings makes the warbling more audible. I also set the delays to max amount, a fair bit of feedback and panned them hard left and right, also to make the issue more apparent. I didn't send any other MIDI data to the Pro 2, or to anything else on the tested interface.

* RME Babyface (USB interface), playback on
Tempo variation according to P2 display: ~1 bpm
Audible tempo variation of arpeggiated notes: none
Warbling: barely audible, every 5 - 10 seconds

* RME Babyface (USB interface), playback off
Tempo variation according to P2 display: ~1 bpm
Audible tempo variation of arpeggiated notes: none
Warbling: none

* MIDISPORT 2x2 (USB interface), playback on
Tempo variation according to P2 display: ~1 bpm
Audible tempo variation of arpeggiated notes: none
Warbling: mildly audible, every 5 - 10 seconds

* MIDISPORT 2x2 (USB interface), playback off
Tempo variation according to P2 display: ~1 bpm
Audible tempo variation of arpeggiated notes: none
Warbling: none

* Pro 2 USB connection, playback on
Tempo variation according to P2 display: ~5 bpm
Audible tempo variation of arpeggiated notes: none
Warbling: clearly audible, every 1 - 2 seconds

* Pro 2 USB connection, playback off
Tempo variation according to P2 display: ~5 bpm
Audible tempo variation of arpeggiated notes: none
Warbling: none

* Pro 2 standalone
Tempo variation according to P2 display: none
Audible tempo variation of arpeggiated notes: none
Warbling: none

There are a few points of interest here.
* There are no audible tempo variation of the note playback in any of the cases. This is consistent with what others with the warbling issue have reported. Now maybe I wouldn't hear the ~1 bpm variation. In fact, since the P2 doesn't use decimals in the tempo display, the variation may well be much smaller. But I'd certainly hear the constant ~5 bp variation I get when I use the Pro 2's USB in as clock source. I did read somewhere, that DSI commented that the displayed tempo isn't all that accurate when using an external clock source. So it seems.

* There are no audible warbling in any of the cases, when all Cubase is doing, is sending out a MIDI clock. Apparently, things get more busy when you hit playback.

* Using the Pro 2's USB interface to read Cubase's clock, yields much worse audible warbling than using the RME or MIDISPORT.

With MIDI over USB, you're basically adding an extra data protocol, that needs to be interpreted and converted to 'real' MIDI, which is what the RME, MIDISPORT and the P2's built-in USB->MIDI interface does. This conversion process isn't needed with DIN MIDI, there's no extra protocol involved there, just raw MIDI. So it’s not surprising that you may run in to timing issues with MIDI over USB. But I see no good reason why the Pro 2’s built-in USB->MIDI interface should perform so much worse than the MIDISPORT, which is a pretty mediocre interface. And I see no good reason why the Pro 2’s delay sync should perform worse than its arpeggiator or sequencer sync.

natrixgli
Posts: 455
Joined: Fri Dec 07, 2012 6:50 pm

Re: The Pro-2 Sequencer does constantly change the BPM in Sl

Post by natrixgli » Wed Feb 11, 2015 5:21 am

FYI I get the same thing on my Octatrack when it's slaved to the computer. The tempo fluctuates and this causes the delay to warble in tape mode. This issue isn't exclusive to the Pro-2. The blofeld is even worse because the delay will crackle and pop when the tempo fluctuates. This is why Innerclock exists.

Post Reply