Adding MIDI sync?

Discussion in 'Converters / Interfaces' started by Bear's Gone Fission, Jul 22, 2001.

  1. Bear's Gone Fission

    Bear's Gone Fission Active Member

    Jan 4, 2001
    Hiya. Deciding it's time to add a sampler/sequencer to my home studio rig (I'm in a race to catch up with the 80's :roll: ) which is based around an Otari MS-5050 8HSD, the reason being I don't think I'll ever have the propper space for a drum kit. So the problem is I have no idea what gear I need to do MIDI sync. I think I'd be striping time code and have the sequencer track it so I could save some tracks, so what'll generate time code, read time code, and let me trigger MIDI? Damned if I know and I think I must be in the realm of discontinued gear, since it's probably obsolete to the average home consumer these days. Little help?

  2. Ang1970

    Ang1970 Well-Known Member

    Sep 5, 2000
    You mean that you want something old and used in order to keep the cost down, or you don't think they make these anymore?

    If the latter, there are still a number of units being made to choose from. A little more info on how you want to use it will help narrow it down. Budget?
  3. Bear's Gone Fission

    Bear's Gone Fission Active Member

    Jan 4, 2001
    Uh, part of the problem is I don't know how I'd be using it. I haven't messed with syncing MIDI to tape so I have only the vaguest idea how it's done. I figure I would be using a sampler/sequencer unit and have it chase time code to play back rhythm samples. Cheap is wonderful, so used looks great, but if there's new stuff that'll do a better job, I'm interested to learn of it. I can't find anything new that is designed for analog tape sync, though.

  4. jk

    jk Guest

    You might want to take a look at the Akai MPC boxes. They may be a bit more than you want to spend and I think you have to pay extra to add a SMPTE card but they do offer a pretty easy MIDI programming interface, the drum pads are kinda nice and there are filters for munging drum and other samples. Retail for the MPC2000XL is around $12~1300 new (and they do come up on e-bay), and you can use them to drive any other MIDI synth/sample modules you have or get your hands on.
    BTW, thanx for asking a question I could give an answer to--I've been lurking round here some time and it's sure nice to contribute.
    Hope this helps.
  5. Ken Weeks

    Ken Weeks Guest

    Heya Bear, I don't know samplers but I use a JL Cooper PPS-2, a neat little black box I bought off a netter for $90. I have a TRS-8 1/2inch reel-to-reel and I use the PPS-2 to synch it to a Roland VS880. Works great.

    The PPS-2 has just two 3-way switches,
    On the backside there are SMTPE phono plug input/outputs and a MIDI cable in/out.

    The TRS-8 runs as the master and carries the STMPE stripe on track 8, recorded with the PPS-2 earlier. To record or playback, flip the PPS-2 to "READ", plug the midi out into the Roland (or maybe a sampler?), tell it to be a good MIDI slave to the TRS-8 and then I use the TRS-8's remote to run the whole mess. A green "synch" LED on the PPS-2 tells you it's reading time code and outputing MIDI MTC to the Roland. The VS880 is a GREAT little slave. No rewind, no waiting, BAM, he's right there in a second... maybe two.

    Mine's a JLCooper PPS-2"plus" and I'm sure it does some other cool tricks - I know very little about this hocus-pocus, just a basement hacker, but I do know this works for this application and it's pretty cheap. :)
  6. realdynamix

    realdynamix Well-Known Member

    Feb 23, 2001
    Hey Bear; I second the JLCooper set-up.
  7. Jon Best

    Jon Best Active Member

    Mar 18, 2001
    The JL Cooper box is a good bet, if you're syncing to hardware (Datasync 2 is the newest, current one- should be around $225 or so new). However, if you're syncing to a computer sequencer, you should look into a computer interface with SMPTE support. Personally, for cheap, I like the $130 Midiman Biport. I am not sure, but you may also be able to run this one standalone, as an alternative to the JL Cooper.

    The bigger decision is what you're syncing with. The MPC2000 someone mentioned is pretty popular, just because you're going to need something that does three jobs- allows you to input on something like keys or pads, records that input as a midi sequence, and plays that midi sequence back through/using samples you've bought or generated.

    If you don't want to be limited to samples, then add a fourth job- sound module.

    All of these can be in one box, (MPC or others for the first three, Triton/ASR10/ASRX/others for all four) or you can go a la carte- depends on what you're comfortable with.

    I would get a cheap MIDI controller (~$100), build a decent computer ($5-600 PIII500ish, or use what you've got), get the Midiman interface, and load up something like Gigasampler and a cheap sequencing program (Cakewalk Home Studio or Cubasis). Or, get the rackmount ~$700 Akai S2000 sampler and run a sequencer on a much lesser computer.
  8. Bear's Gone Fission

    Bear's Gone Fission Active Member

    Jan 4, 2001
    Thanks for all the input, this is pretty helpful stuff. The computer is probably an inevitability, but I think I work a bit better with dedicated hardware. One box that caught my eye is the discontinued and very affordable Boss SP-202. (I know it isn't even 44.1 KHz sampling rate, but I dig the lo-fi aspect at least in concept.) Haven't read the specifics, does it have sequencing and with enough brains to chase time code of of one of the JL Cooper sync boxes?

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