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Why no sync Sixtrak / 606?

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Why no sync Sixtrak / 606?

Postby Chaconne » Tue Mar 29, 2011 10:27 pm

I tried to get my 606 to trigger the arpegiator on the sixtrak. The output seams to match the requirements, 5-15 volts, 20msec pulse.

Trying it with the SH09 shows the triggers are transmitting.

I wonder what the sixtrak is complaining about, and wether it would be happy with any other roland X0X?
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Re: Why no sync Sixtrak / 606?

Postby Jumpeyspyder » Tue Mar 29, 2011 10:58 pm

Hi Chaconne

What ports are you connecting with?
As far as I remember the 6 trak (still on my dream synth list ) has MIDI connections and the TR606 has a DINSync which may look similar but is not compatible.

There is probaly a convertor box vailable from kenton or someone similar.
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Re: Why no sync Sixtrak / 606?

Postby Chaconne » Wed Mar 30, 2011 1:13 am

For the sequencer the sixtrak will actually accept MIDI clock in.
The arp though is something different - and it will not clock with MIDI, nor DIN sync. Apparently Juno's and Jupiters work this way also, they have an input for a pulse clock, just a square wave pulse that triggers each note pushing the arp forward.
The sixtrak uses the footswitch in for this. In the manual it shows a Drumtraks being used for the sync pulse.

The 606 has two sync pulse outputs, separate from DIN sync, and is timed using the tom tom pattern. The 707, 505 , 626 all do this apparently. Since the output specs matched the sixtrak requirements I thought this should work - but no.

None of this should matter because the sixtrak is MIDI, but for some reason the arp running sounds totally different to the same notes triggered via MIDI - the attack is different. It is a really gorgeous german prog-tronica sound, and I would love to have it synced.

I have heard that sequential stuff can be fussy, maybe the roland pulse is not symetrical enough...I might use it as an excuse to get a Drumtraks - if I can find one.
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Re: Why no sync Sixtrak / 606?

Postby feline1 » Thu Mar 31, 2011 9:22 am

I have a Sixtrak and in years gone by I used to have a lot of grief trying to get the arpeggiator to sync to things I'd plug into the Footswitch socket!
(I had an Oberheim DX drum machine which send a V-trig clock pulse that I'd assumed should do the job).

It's years since I thought about this - I can't recall if the Sixtrak actually wants an S-trig pulse instead (i.e. the opposite polarity).

Try this: can you advance the arpeggiator through individual steps using a footswitch?
If so, then the socket itself isn't broken and it's just a case of getting the right signals for it...
If not, then there's your problem right there!
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Re: Why no sync Sixtrak / 606?

Postby Chaconne » Thu Mar 31, 2011 2:48 pm

Yeah, thanks Feline, I tried the footswitch thing and that does work. Thats whats frustrating since the 606 seams to give out exactly what the manual requires, + polarity and 20msec. I'll have to try another another machine, maybe a 626 something cheap I can sell on if it fails.

I'm determined to get this b*$%er going.....!!!
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Re: Why no sync Sixtrak / 606?

Postby Kolakube » Thu Mar 31, 2011 3:51 pm

Cant you use a MIDI/din sync convertor mate, and take them both around via MIDI (Like a kenton box) or are you not wanting to use a MIDI sequencer?
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Re: Why no sync Sixtrak / 606?

Postby feline1 » Thu Mar 31, 2011 7:10 pm

kolacube, you can't sync the Sixtrak's arpeggiator to MIDI clock, only to analogue trigger pulses to the footswitch socket.
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Re: Why no sync Sixtrak / 606?

Postby Kolakube » Thu Mar 31, 2011 7:19 pm

ah right. Thats quite bizarre.
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Re: Why no sync Sixtrak / 606?

Postby Adam Inglis » Fri Apr 01, 2011 4:15 am

Sounds like the Sixtrak might be a "short-to-ground" type of socket. Sometimes these will trigger off the falling edge of the pulse if you put a little edge-detector circuit between them, cap-resistor-diode, but you need to test things out with a multimeter to see whats involved first.
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Re: Why no sync Sixtrak / 606?

Postby Adam Inglis » Fri Apr 01, 2011 4:19 am

Sorry, scratch that - you say a Drumtraks will trigger it? Then maybe the 606 pulse is too brief (although mine manages to trigger everything I ask of it!) - you may need a pulse stretching circuit of some kind, again, should be pretty basic..
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Re: Why no sync Sixtrak / 606?

Postby Chaconne » Fri Apr 01, 2011 6:45 pm

In the sixtrak manual it asks for a 20msec pulse minimum.
The 606 manual says it outputs a 20msec pulse, but sequential also state that it has to be symetrical, so of course it sounds fussy - and who knows what the 606 is actually doing now 20 plus years on.

Many thanks for the help - I will look into the amateur electronics - but its not my strong point!
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Re: Why no sync Sixtrak / 606?

Postby Adam Inglis » Sat Apr 02, 2011 12:55 am

The 606 puts out 14 volts or so. Despite the specs maybe that's a bit too hot for the Sixtrak? You could try attenuating the signal with a voltage divider (2 resistors).
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Re: Why no sync Sixtrak / 606?

Postby Chaconne » Sat Apr 02, 2011 2:51 pm

Not having a breadboard or anything, I tried putting the jack through all sorts of pedals, compressors etc to see if I could alter the signal.
I got it to work through an old Joe Meek channel just by turning up the output gain a little...?

Anyhow it works, thanks for the suggestions. Got this irrational desire for a DAW less studio - its slowly happening - just need a little more junk !
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Re: Why no sync Sixtrak / 606?

Postby Adam Inglis » Sun Apr 03, 2011 12:13 pm

Chaconne wrote:Not having a breadboard or anything, I tried putting the jack through all sorts of pedals, compressors etc to see if I could alter the signal.
I got it to work through an old Joe Meek channel just by turning up the output gain a little...?


Ha ha nice work!


Chaconne wrote: Got this irrational desire for a DAW less studio...

Yep, every few months or so I re-patch the studio to allow my old Roland MC50 to control everything - making music without a computer is such good fun! No screens to look at, so guess what? You listen and imagine more! Actually, now that the Sync Lock is a central part of the studio, I am sometimes in the bizarre position where the role of the DAW is simply as the master clock for all the hardware.
Good luck...
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