Sonar can only do MMC -> out , not IN??


Mike Masquith

Hi, It's my first topic posting, please be merciful. :)
I just got a Tascam DM-24. Wonderful! Replaced a Mackie 8-bus 24ch... a great board, too.
I use Sonar (2.0 XL), and I absolutely cannot get it to react to the MMC from the transport buttons on the DM-24. Anyone have any luck with this combo?

This is what I've done/said so far (sorry it's so much):
To/From Andy of Cakewalk Support
I guess MIDI Yoke was a good idea, what I see from the DM-24 buttons is:
STOP = F0 7F 00 06 01 F7
PLAY = F0 7F 00 06 02 F7
There's more buttons, but you get the idea. These are definitely MMC messages according to all the research I've done, and the Tascam documentation.

Sonar still doesn't react at all to these messages, even though I've checked and checked the setup.
Again, Cubase had no problem with this, so it can't be a problem with the DM-24 or the Midisport 8x8 or the PC or anything besides Sonar.
I can get other messages from the DM-24 into Sonar ok, like CC 7 (volume) messages from the faders.

Nothing in the 'Cakewalk Generic Surface' dialog seems to make allowances for MMC coming IN to Sonar. If I pick something on the DM-24 that sends a CC event instead of an MMC event, the "Learn" button picks it right up. For example, I press a certain MUTE button on the mixer, it generates a CC 86 event on channel 13. The "Learn" button gets it right away. Once I try the MMC STOP/PLAY/REC/REW/FFWD buttons on the DM-24, "Learn" can't see them.

With all this experimentation, I am absolutely convinced it is simply a matter of Sonar not allowing incoming MMC messages.

I really suspect in a much earlier version of Cakewalk some code was written to ignore incoming MMC, and that code has survived to the present.
I'm sure one of the software engineers (Arthur, Noel, James, Bob, Bob, John, Greg, Ron, Jamie, Aurelio, Feuler) would know. :) )

Every relevant shred of Cakewalk documentation has lots to say about MMC going *OUT* of Sonar, but I have found absolutely nothing about MMC coming *IN* to Sonar. Is that not a big honking clue? If Sonar had ever been designed to react to incoming MMC in any way, shape, or form, wouldn't there be at least one sentence or paragraph SOMEWHERE in the documentation saying so?

I would hope that it is apparent with the rising popularity of digital mixers, this will become an issue for more users than just myself, and Cakewalk will take steps to make this work.


-----------------------Original Message-----------------------
>From: Andy []
>To: []
>Date: 4/29/2002 11:02:00 AM
>Subject: Re: [CWCW-20020426-65731] SONAR Support Form
>On Fri, 26 Apr 2002 19:51:15 -0400, wrote:
>>Name Mike Masquith
>>Windows: Windows 2000
>>Product: 2.0
>>Serial Number: ..............
>>Audio Card: Layla
>>MIDI Devices: Midisport 8x8 (x2)
>>Problem description or question: Trying to use a Tascam DM-24 digital
>>mixer to control Sonar. Can't get it to work through the Control
>>or any other way. The stop button on the DM-24 puts out this:
>>F0 7F 00 06 01 F7
>>and the play button puts out this:
>>F0 7F 00 06 01 03 F7
>>I tried using this info in a SysX Trigger as the 'Trigger Message' but
>>never works. Sonar seems to ignore these MIDI messages throughout the
>>The 'Learn' function never would see them, and the trick you espouse
>>I would record the MIDI output of the button in a track, and find it out
>>with the Event List view never works -nothing ever shows up, it's as if
>>Sonar absolutely refuses to acknowledge these particular little strings
>>MIDI data.
>>I suspect it may be MMC data instead of SyseX... if so, is Sonar
>>ignoring incoming MMC, and WHY?????? This would be the coolest setup
>>if I could use the DM-24 to control Sonar.
>>I tried the same thing in a different app, setting up the DM-24 to
>>a demo version of Cubase, and it works quite nicely there, so there's no
>>problem with any of the hardware/mixer/midisport/pc etc. But I don't
>>to use Cubase, I want this to work in Sonar... Please!!!!!!!!!!
>It seems like that is a SYSX string, which SONAR should recognize.
>Download and use the MIDI Yoke from This will allow
>you to see all incoming data into the computer. Then, you can
>determine exactly what is being sent or if it is even getting through
>the MIDI Interface or not.
> Andy Maddock
> Cakewalk Technical Support

This was to 'Rich the Tweak' of
I just replaced a Mackie 24ch. 8-bus mixer with a Tascam DM-24. I am rapidly falling in love with it. Sonar (I believe) has lobbed me a stinkbomb, though... I simply CANNOT get it to recognize/ respond to the MMC (I think) from the Stop/Play/Record/RWD/FFW buttons on the DM-24. I'm not 100% sure that the buttons are sending MMC, because it looks like a short SyseX... DM-24 Stop button: F0 7F 00 06 01 F7 (I'm just not sure what an MMC message is supposed to look like) Sonar (2.0 XL) totally ignores this, even to the point of not recording it in a track. My Roland XV-88 also (I think) is sending MMC on it's Start/Stop button, and Sonar also totally ignores it. I had to use MidiQuest to ferret out the MIDI strings. Cakewalk claims Sonar supports MMC, but I believe it's only outgoing. I tried using their new 'control surface' facility, and putting the MIDI strings in as 'SyseX triggers', but no go. I tried all this out in a demo version of Cubase 5, and it works like a charm... after some setup, the buttons on the DM-24 control Cubase very nicely, proving the problem lies with Sonar, not my synth/mixer/midisport/pc. So, am I missing something, or is Sonar's MMC support only half a$$ed? Thanks!

I think it has to work somehow because they manage to do it with the Peavey studio mix. Did you set an ID? Did you upgrade to the 1.60 software for the dm24? Check this link if you have not already: dm24/dm24basics.pdf Here's what thas cakemakers write: To Configure MIDI Machine Control Choose Options-Project, and click the Clock tab. 1. Select SMPTE/MTC as the clock source. 2. Click the MIDI Out tab. 3. Check the Transmit MMC box. 4. Enter the ID of the master timing device in the Time Code Master's Unit ID box. Click OK. 5. MMC is now enabled.

Yes, I updated the DM-24 to 1.60. Yes, I've set an ID, I tried several in fact. Read back step 2 of your advice, and ask 'How could this have anything to do with MMC coming -:< IN >:- to Sonar?' What you recommend is fine if my problem is MMC coming OUT of Sonar, but the problem is MMC coming IN to Sonar. I have tried what you suggest several times (including just now before typing this), and it has never helped. I'm quite solidly convinced now they have something to fix in their code. Another thing is, there is not one tiny mention of MMC IN in any of Cakewalk's docs, and I mean not ANYWHERE. Not in the manual, not in their online stuff, nowhere! If this was something that worked, I'm absolutely sure Cakewalk would have it in some documentation somewhere. They never miss a chance to say 'ooh, look what our products can do' and seem to be very VERY recalcitrant to admit to anything it can't do. (Especially when I mention Cubase can do it) Also, this is from the help file regarding StudioMix: "Transport Controls - this group of six buttons provide control over basic transport functions: (from left to right) Rewind, Fast-Forward, Play, Stop and Record. The right-most button allows you to select whether this transport controls the software or external devices through MIDI Machine Control (MMC)." ...that last "or" says to me StudioMix does NOT use MMC communication to "control the software" meaning Sonar. Sonar (in it's current form) can't use incoming MMC. I'm sure of it now. I have a support email in to Cakewalk, and will advise as to what they say.


Well-Known Member
Apr 7, 2001
This is absolutely correct...Cakewalk is very limited to it's functionality..especially syncronization. That's why I gave it up like three months after trying to use's fx bites, takes a few seconds to get going , bad automation, etc etc...for some people it's fine but for me..nope...


Well-Known Member
Jan 18, 2002
I too have a DM-24, and there is nothing out there at the moment, including Nuendo, that responds to the full MMC command list. Nuendo does respond to Start, Stop, and Locate - NOT to track arming, etc - check the Tascam BBS at for threads about this. Supposedly, Sonar is working on a "fix", whatever that means, to allow the DM-24 to do more. As far as I know right now, Logic Audio is the only program reputed to respond to MMC commands, and from my viewpoint this is only hearsay. I don't own Logic, and probably won't. Most of these programs can OUTPUT MMC to a degree, so for now it's pretty marginal what you can do with it.