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  • clips and sync

    Hi all:

    I am having some problems with sync with clips. I have some questions, but first, I'm clocking the BitBox with a positive square LFO set to 1/16 on the ToolBox. The clip in question has its sync set to 1/16. When I watch the measure/beat counter on both the Bitbox and the Toolbox, they are both in sync.

    The problem is with clips. Often they play too fast. I can't figure out what is going on. I have verified the Toolbox is sending 1/16 clock at 5v to the Bitbox.

    How does the BitBox work with clips? Can I put cue points or anything to help? The clip I want to play is actually a few minutes long. Is this impossible? What if I break it up into 8 bar loops?

    Running latest firmware downloaded on Friday last week.

    Update: I've tried various other clock intervals from the ToolBox to the BitBox. The closest seemed to be the 1/8T, but even that was off. I don't understand. I'm not even asking the BitBox to greatly vary the speed of the WAV; the file is at 120BPM and so is my clock. When I send 1/16 sync to the BitBox, it plays my clips too fast. They sound like they are at about 160BPM or something like that, and very glitchy.

    I have a performance coming up and have to decide if the BitBox is going to make it in my rig or not. I was really counting on this playback capability. Can anyone help me?

  • #2
    I have seen the same or at least similar. For me, when the sequence speed is slower than the original clip speed by some margin, then the clip seems to loop faster, like it is trying to fit the clip into the sequence multiple times instead of just slowing it down. I’ll try some more experiments when I get home.

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    • #3
      Keep in mind that you can use Toolbox to send MIDI clock to the bitbox using a TRS cable. I recommend this instead of analog clock because you also get start and stop commands.

      As far as the loops go, make sure they are a power of 2 in length (1 bar, 2 bars, 4 bars, etc.). Let us know if this does not help.

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      • #4
        Interesting. Is the MIDI sync better than the CV 1/16th sync? I seem to recall MIDI time clock was something like 24 or 48ppq? What does the ToolBox run at?

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        • #5
          UPDATE: Tried using a much smaller clip, only 4 bars long. The CV sync is still very problematic. Sometimes it will get locked in and be pretty good, other times it's off completely. Unplugging and then re-plugging the clock helps sometimes, I guess because the unit uses a priority scheme for clock? Wouldn't it be better if you could specify which clock to use? E.g Internal/MIDI/CV?

          I'll order some adapters for the MIDI and see if that sync works any better. But I have to say, the CV sync doesn't work very well. I tried several intervals, 1/4 seemed to work best, but they all had problems/glitches/drift.

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          • #6
            UPDATE 2: I found a TRS 3.5mm cable and hooked the ToolBox to the BitBox via MIDI. Sync is working really well. Amazing difference with MIDI. Is there something wrong with CV clock in that you can't use a faster clock? It seems like the fastest you can sync to is 1/16. I would think that 1/48 would be as good as MIDI clock.

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            • #7
              Glad to hear you sorted it out.

              We have a todo item to investigate analog clock. There have been some reports of issues there. Please don't confuse the Sync setting, which determines how often a sample is realigned with the grid versus the clock rate, which is fixed at 4 PPQ for analog and 24 PPQ for MIDI.

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              • #8
                Hey Aaron:

                Couple of things would be big improvements:

                1. Ability to specify a clock source. I do not like how if my external clock stops, the BitBox seems to revert to its own internal clock. I personally would like a stopped clock to stop any sound.

                2. You say the internal clock for CV is fixed at 4 PPQ? Is that a hardware limitation? I'm just very surprised at how much better the MIDI sync works than CV. The difference is night and day.

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                • #9
                  I think there's another bug in the BitBox. If I start the Toolbox (which is sending midi clock to the Bitbox) on an offbeat of the Bitbox's internal clock, the Bitbox will remain clocked in sync but out of phase; a half beat (or 8th note) off. It is required that I have to start the Toolbox actually ON the downbeat of the Bitbox's internal clock just to get them both in phase together.

                  I would really prefer an ability to disable internal clock.

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                  • #10
                    I just verified that Bitbox 2.1.1 is working as expected with MIDI clock: when you start toolbox, it resets the beat internally on bitbox. Perhaps what you are seeing is that if you have loops running when you reset the clock it can take 20-30 seconds for running loops to get back in sync. Is this right?

                    Others have asked for the ability to stop the counting in the upper left when receiving a MIDI Stop. There has also been discussion about stopping sounds when MIDI stop is received. We will take a look at these options next time we do a major update.

                    Thanks very much for your input.

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                    • #11
                      Hey Aaron, just wanted to say that things worked flawlessly at my last performance using MIDI over TRS. Thanks for your work on the firmware.

                      Also I was unable to reproduce the offset sync start issue that I experienced. Not sure what happened there. Thanks for including the idea about stopping the clock, it will make it play with the ToolBox a lot better.

                      BTW, your modules are what set people off during my last set. :-)

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                      • Christine
                        Christine commented
                        Editing a comment
                        Thanks for the feedback. It's always encouraging to hear the modules are working as designed and how much fun you are having with the modules. :-)

                    • #12
                      Hi Folks,
                      Sorry to bring this topic back but even if I tried different setting, I can't get my Bitbox perfectly in sync with my analog RYTM or even with the samples played by the Nerdseq.
                      Is it supposed to work flawless or there is something in the work to improve it ?
                      Thank you :-)

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