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Roland MC-500 incoming!

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Re: Roland MC-500 incoming!

Postby Ben Asaro » Fri May 31, 2019 7:09 pm

No time to actually test anything fully yet today, but I was able to get the main pieces set up and verify that they communicate with each other.

I have the MC-500 as my master clock. It's going to the MIDI in on the BeaStep Pro (to be replaced by a Doepfer MSY2 at some point) and converting it to CV clock. That runs to the NerdSeq Clock In which then controls the modular stuff.

My super-quick test verified that the clocking works great and the NerdSeq is receiving accurate tempo information from the MC-500.

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Re: Roland MC-500 incoming!

Postby desmond » Fri May 31, 2019 8:20 pm

:thumbup:
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Re: Roland MC-500 incoming!

Postby nathanscribe » Fri May 31, 2019 10:21 pm

Very nice!

But your Beatstep is not winning at Scrabble.
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Re: Roland MC-500 incoming!

Postby Ben Asaro » Fri May 31, 2019 10:27 pm

nathanscribe wrote:Very nice!

But your Beatstep is not winning at Scrabble.
It most certainly is not.
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Re: Roland MC-500 incoming!

Postby Ben Asaro » Wed Jun 05, 2019 1:53 am

Well, I was able to give the MC-500 a full work out today and it performed perfectly! It's more or less just like operating a four track porta-studio. I was able to make this test; it's 16 MIDI tracks merged down to one. The way that the machine works is actually very cool in that it automatically records whatever MIDI channel is passing through it, and then it can be changed later if need be. Neat.

I set up a Performance patch on my JV-1080 so this recording is the stereo out from the JV-1080 being driven by the MC-500.

https://soundcloud.com/asfollowswriting ... nture-demo

There's a bit of kerfuffle required every time you turn the machine on (loading the system disk, setting up Soft Thru and MIDI clock), which is a bit of a drag; but the menu diving isn't excessive at least.
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Re: Roland MC-500 incoming!

Postby Adam Inglis » Tue Jun 25, 2019 11:26 am

Still using my MC-50. The great thing about these sequencers is you can lock their timing to your DAW via FSK when you need to get some audio happening alongside your midi - way better than midi clock!
http://mezzoauto.blogspot.com/2014/08/r ... encer.html
Very fast way of writing phrases and rhythms, once your cerebellum gets the hang of the key combos - no mouse!
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Re: Roland MC-500 incoming!

Postby Ben Asaro » Tue Jun 25, 2019 12:08 pm

That idea intrigues me. I am using Logic Pro X and after a quick search couldn’t find anything under FSK/FSK sync. Going to have to take a closer look.
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Re: Roland MC-500 incoming!

Postby Adam Inglis » Tue Jun 25, 2019 12:31 pm

Some of the info here may help...

http://www.adambaby.com/studiotech_sync.html#smartFSK

HTH
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Re: Roland MC-500 incoming!

Postby Ben Asaro » Tue Jun 25, 2019 12:37 pm

Groovy, thanks!!

Edit: that blog is @ treasure trove!
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Re: Roland MC-500 incoming!

Postby nathanscribe » Wed Jun 26, 2019 9:02 pm

I still record a clock from the LinnDrum as audio into the DAW, then run that back out and send analogue triggers to step sequencers and whatnot. I've had way too much trouble with MIDI working differently on different devices with how they respond to start/stop/continue etc. Can't be bothered. Give me the simplicity of having to do everything the long way round!
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Re: Roland MC-500 incoming!

Postby BillB » Wed Jun 26, 2019 9:52 pm

This is really interesting. It sent me scurrying off through my manuals, to see which of my old gear might play the game. Answer: TR-626 and SQ80, but both seem to require tape synced from start of song, no ‘smart FSK’ to MIDI SPP here. But am I missing something? Why not set a piece of hardware (drum machine, sequencer) as the master MIDI clock, and have the DAW slave to that? Or is the problem still that the sync signal is transmitted by MIDI? And perhaps that DAWs don’t slave well to Sync signals? Not explored this issue either way around, but I’m curious.
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Re: Roland MC-500 incoming!

Postby Adam Inglis » Thu Jun 27, 2019 3:18 pm

BillB wrote:Or is the problem still that the sync signal is transmitted by MIDI? And perhaps that DAWs don’t slave well to Sync signals? Not explored this issue either way around, but I’m curious.

Yes, both.
Midi being a serial protocol doesn't do timing clock accurately. Even if you can guarantee there will be no other messages on the bus i.e. you have a dedicated midi clock cable, there can still be significant jitter. Using audio sync signals minimises jitter enormously, and keeps your midi busses free for notes and CCs etc. My standard DAW template has a sync track that drives two Innerclock Sync locks, an FSK track that drives a Roland MC-50, and an audio clock for the little Korg SQ-1. Once the latencies were adjusted for, it's set and forget.
And yes DAWs are generally pretty terrible at smoothly following a tempo clock that might be running at 24 pulses per quarter note.
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Re: Roland MC-500 incoming!

Postby BillB » Thu Jun 27, 2019 4:26 pm

Thanks Adam, good to know.
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Re: Roland MC-500 incoming!

Postby Ben Asaro » Fri Jun 28, 2019 1:50 am

Had my first check using the MC-500 last night. It ran out of memory! Fortunately, I was able to get the finishing touches done. So, lesson learned: check Available Memory often and plan bounces out carefully!

Fortunately the MRP-500 let's me stack songs. :)

FYI, I was able to fit about 80 measures with 7-8 MIDI channels of continuous data before it ran out of memory.
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Re: Roland MC-500 incoming!

Postby Ben Asaro » Thu Jul 11, 2019 5:31 pm

Had a crack at using the R-TRK and R-PTN settings last night. On the plus side, it works hand in glove with my BOSS DR-550 drum machine, as one would expect. On the minus side, programming drums 1 measure at a times can be very tedious! A simple pattern clone feature would have been a great addition. Aside from that, it's quite intuitive and adds another layer of sounds (and complexity) to the MIDI/modular hybrid!
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