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Using OP-Z to clock and start Blackbox

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  • Using OP-Z to clock and start Blackbox

    Hi all, I have a live set coming up and I’m trying to use the OP-Z to clock and send transport to the Blackbox for longer samples. I’ve got it working great the other way around, but that messes up the bpm of my songs. I’ve obviously set up midi and clock to go out of the OP-Z. I’ve also successfully clocked and started the Blackbox using other (Elektron) devices. Does anyone have any advice who has been able to use the OP-Z in this way to lead other devices? I’m guessing I shouldn’t need to change the json file, that the app should be enough but maybe I’m wrong. Thanks.

  • #2
    I do not have one but there are other users who do - and have reported some struggles. What is not working in your setup, specifically? How is the OP-Z connected to the blackbox?

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    • #3
      The OP-Z is connected from its usb-c port to the usb on the Blackbox.

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      • #4
        So, I had a go at this tonight. I'm emphatically not an OP-Z MIDI guru, but what I think I've done is:
        1. Set the OP-Z to MIDI and clock out (see the mid.txt below for my midi.json).
        2. Connected the Blackbox to the OP-Z via USB-C to USB-A cable.
        3. Left Tools > ClockSource to All.
        I can control transport from the Blackbox to the OP-Z as Nejben77 indicates, so I know I have a data/power cable, but I can't seem to get the OP-Z's transport control to start the Blackbox.

        I'm wondering if the OP-Z doesn't output the MIDI commands for transport control? https://teenage.engineering/guides/op-z/midi suggests it does. That said, I've had abysmal luck with MIDI and any Teenage Engineering hardware, which is why I gave up on it early and don't profess a lot of experience.

        Nejben77 Are you just not seeing the transport start and stop when you trigger from the OP-Z, or are there different results?
        Attached Files

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        • #5
          OK, I'm officially puzzled. I just connected the OP-Z via USB cable to my iPad and used MIDI Wrench to confirm that with this midi.json the OP-Z is outputting both clock and Start/Stop messages.

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          • #6
            I think I may have something misconfigured on the Blackbox, because I just tried the same experiment with my OP-1, and got the same results:
            1. USB-mini on OP-1 to USB-A on Blackbox.
            2. Verify the cable by pressing PLAY on the Blackbox. The OP-1 tape transport starts.
            2. Switch to CTRL (MIDI) mode on the OP-1.
            3. Verify that MIDI is being sent by assigning a pad to MIDI channel 1 and making sure that I can hear the Blackbox play something when I strike a key.
            4. Hitting Play or Stop on the OP-1 in CTRL mode shows the little "MIDI CC" and "USB" annunciators flash on the OP-1 display, but the Blackbox transport doesn't stop.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by KF6GPE View Post
              I think I may have something misconfigured on the Blackbox, because I just tried the same experiment with my OP-1, and got the same results:
              1. USB-mini on OP-1 to USB-A on Blackbox.
              2. Verify the cable by pressing PLAY on the Blackbox. The OP-1 tape transport starts.
              2. Switch to CTRL (MIDI) mode on the OP-1.
              3. Verify that MIDI is being sent by assigning a pad to MIDI channel 1 and making sure that I can hear the Blackbox play something when I strike a key.
              4. Hitting Play or Stop on the OP-1 in CTRL mode shows the little "MIDI CC" and "USB" annunciators flash on the OP-1 display, but the Blackbox transport doesn't stop.
              Thanks for looking into this. So I tried your json file (which is the same as altering midi via the app as far as I can see) and it actually started the Blackbox at the beginning, and even changed programs, switching the presets along with the projects and patterns in the OP-Z. However, when I went to change to project 2 in the OP-Z, the two boxes lost all connectivity. I think I will stick to transporting the OP-Z from the Blackbox for now as it is more reliable, and set individual presets for each song with the BPM pre-programed for each.

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              • #8
                Well, I'm glad it works for you at least --- even if you're deciding to trigger the OP-Z from the Blackbox. This isn't quite my use case, but I suppose I should dig in and figure out why it's not working for me. I'm not doing anything performance-worthy, but It would be good to understand, and I could see it being useful if I end up jamming with my son.

                Thanks for letting us know!

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