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My [blackbox] is unusable as a Midi Slave

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  • My [blackbox] is unusable as a Midi Slave

    I tried to sync my Blackbox for hours to my System. I have a ACME (SND, most sophisticated 4 channel Midi Clock on the market). All my other gear started perfectly and stayed in Sync (808, toiraz, Octatrack, 909, Korg Minilogue SD, MFB Tanzbär, Roland TR8S, MX2, Tempest and MPC all work fine). The Blackbox obviously has some huge sync Problems and I cant use it for live. It cant be Master in that system, the ACME has to be master. It does not start in sync on the 1.

    I loved my first days with the blackbox, its so intuituve. But without a chance to use it live, it looses all value for me. Maybe I can find some other settings, but I think I tried them all. The Toiraz, direct concurrent works perfect in sync, just tell that its a slave and the loops start and stop 100 % in sync, it also uses the Midi clock shuffle of the ACME. Not the case with my blackbox. I would prefer the blackbox because it can work with longer takes.

    btw, I have also tons of CPU problems too when I try to sync it. Obviously while working with stereo clips, the CPU just can handle like 10 tracks,
    max, then its over (16bits, 44,1, not tried 48khz so far).

  • #2
    This is about blackbox (not toolbox) right? Have you tried the latest firmware?


    • #3
      Yes, sorry. A new blackbox with the newest firmwate 1.1.1. I tried again, all machines start at the first step, a few 16th later, my blackbox starts somwhere between two 16th.


      • #4
        Did anyone else observe Midi sync issues using Blackbox as Midi Slave by Midi in or USB? Any differences by Midi or USB? Latency?
        What about CPU Handling in Slave Mode? What about using both recording, triggering Samples and playing clips?

        Thats the way I would use it, too.

        I am still unsure as the Blackbox would have all I need. If Midi Clock Slave don`t work as expected its quiet useless for me.


        • #5
          I will test my Blackbox in another setup today. But also as a slave. No chance to be master in any of my setups. But its definetly not working at all with the SND ACME - which is the most sophisticated Midi Clock available. So far in my environment I can use the Blackbox only standalone or as a Oneshot Sampler without sequencer. This is a pit, because working with it standalone is really fun and possible without the manual.


          • #6
            Thank you. Very excited how it is working for you in another setup. Especially if synced by USB - not a live solution really.
            I am not an owner of the ACME, it can set Midi Offset negative and positive I think - but it should work without!!
            I don`t know the Midi Specifications. There`s something like DIN Sync generally - I am not sure which one is using the Blackbox.
            Using it as a Master isn`t really a solution for me.


            • #7
              MIDI clock slave mode is something we have tested and people are using. Here is a 10 minute performance using it:

              If you are having trouble with the CPU overloading as well, I would start there. Try fewer samples as a test. After that, use monophonic mode on those samples that don't need poly. Switch to 48kHz, Don't use Reverb, etc.


              • #8
                I too am having issues with the Blackbox and Midi.

                I have the BB hooked up to a Squarp Pyramid via USB. I have a Kick & Snare being triggered on the BB by the Pyramid. I also have the metronome on the BB turned on. The Squarp is set as Master.

                When I hit play everything starts in sync, but the Kick & Snare being played on the Pyramid progressively drifts out of sync with the metronome on the Blackbox. After 30 seconds it's completely out. I've noticed that it is worse / happens quicker as I turn more and more pad sequences on.

                This is better if I use Midi out from the Pyramid but some Kicks and Snare don't get triggered / notes are being dropped.

                I've used the Pyramid in countless setups and it's a rock-solid Midi sequencer so I can only conclude somethings up with the BB and Midi.

                I'm running 1.2.2


                • #9
                  Having issues too, didn't look too much into it but tried to send midi clock in and it was jittery and unusable to sync to other devices. just installed 1.2.2 as well. Sort of disappointed but haven't spent a ton of time troubleshooting. Maybe usb is the preferred clock sync method? let me know if you guys are getting solid sync results and what methods are working if possible.


                  • #10
                    I'm stumped and pretty frustrated with Midi and Blackbox. It's unusable via USB with my Squarp Pyramid (as mentioned above) and right now, it isn't responding to Midi Clock. When I change tempo on the Pyramid, BB remains fixed at 120bpm. Transport is working, but it's not picking up clock. This is via USB and Midi. I tried both cables that came with the BB and I've also tried using another machine (Octatrack) and it's the same issue, the BB isn't responding to clock. I even down graded from 1.2.2 to the last non beta firmware. Nothing. WTF?


                    • #11
                      I am also using Blackbox with Squarp Pyramid. Initially, I was connecting Pyramid via the BB USB device port, and all was fine. After awhile however, I too began to have snare samples that occasionally would not trigger. Eventually, Blackbox would not respond to Pyramid over USB at all, so I changed over to the Midi out port.

                      Things seem to be working much better since doing this. I have not had any drop outs, and never have had any of the sync issues that others mention. I've continued to power Pyramid via the BB USB port, but still cannot use USB for sequencing or live playing.

                      I unfortunately have not had a chance to troubleshoot the USB issue much, and at first thought that it may be because I was not using the factory USB cable. After reading about other people's problems however, I think that it may be more than that. Definitely worth looking into......


                      • #12
                        If you are having trouble syncing to MIDI clock, please try a few different things:
                        • Make sure your master device is actually sending clock by trying MIDI test mode:
                          • Hold the Home button while powering up the blackbox
                          • Press Info until you see the MIDI Input Test. You will now see all inbound MIDI on the screen from both USB and the MIDI port
                          • Start playing with your master device. Look for these commands:
                            • FA: Start
                            • F8: Clock pulse. You should see 24 per beat
                            • FC: Stop
                          • If you don't see this, blackbox isn't getting clock. Check your connections and make sure the master device has the appropriate option enabled.
                        • Make sure you only send clock on the USB port or the conventional MIDI port--but not both.
                        • As a fallback, use the MIDI port and the supplied adapters instead of the USB MIDI.
                        I have confirmed that MIDI clock is both sent and received on version 1.2.2 using the standard port. Blackbox does not currently send USB MIDI as of version 1.2.2. If you are still having problems please try the above and let us know what you find. Thank you.


                        • #13
                          I followed your steps and I’m getting F8 and lots of dots. I’m assuming there are 24 per beat, hard to count them ;-)

                          So clock is going in but when I reboot and go to Song screen the BPM does not match the Pyramid’s BPM.


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by KidYoshi View Post
                            So clock is going in but when I reboot and go to Song screen the BPM does not match the Pyramid’s BPM.
                            The tempo on the Song screen is misleading. It is showing the internal tempo when sync is not running. The real question is whether the bar:beats display in the upper left of all screens is tracking the master clock. Do the beats advance in sync with the source, regardless of the BPM shown on the song screen? When you change the master tempo you should see the bars:beats speed up and slow down as well.


                            • #15

                              OK - this is what I have discovered. It turns out that the Blackbox is following the clock. The problem is, it takes a long time for it to sync back up with the master clock. I guess this was the general issue I was having yesterday—I just didn't fully understand it until I did this test. See video for the full demo.


                              Last edited by KidYoshi; 09-15-2019, 11:13 AM.