Cubase 9.5 Elements as slave

Hallo zusammen,

Seit einiger Zeit beschäftige ich mich mit einem Problem, welches ich ausschließlich mit Cubase habe. Dennoch finde ich Cubase hat einige Vorzüge gegenüber z.B. ableton, weshalb ich hier nachfrage.

Problem: Cubase lässt sich bei mir nicht slave syncen.

Von der Hardwareseite habe ich mehrere Geräte, die den Übergang von MIDI clock zu digitalem sync gewährleisten können sollte:
-Scarlett 6i6
-Roland mx-1 (= mixer aber auch Interface)
-(Roland tr-8, Arturia minibrute, akai mpd 323, nenne ich nur um evt. Workaround solutions mit euch überlegen zu können)

  • FYI: cubase 9.5. Elements

Wenn ich jedoch das Scarlett anschließe und ein clock Signal an den midieingang connecte + die entsprechenden Einstellungen in Cubase vornehme (external sync, mtc source = scarlet) synced Cubase nicht. Meldung in cubase: idle.

Langsam bin ich echt am durchdrehen, hat irgendjemand eine Idee?

Hi and welcome,

Sorry, this is an English forum…

If you set External Sync in Cubase, Cubase is Slave and it waits for the Start command from an external source.

Hello everyone and already thank you Martin for your answer. It would be really great if anybody could help me out with this. I already invested around 20h trying to solve the problem and even bought a new interface for the same reason. ':smiley:

So here’s a bit of context, which gives you guys a bit of understanding, why this is important to me and if you own some of the devices, what other solutions could be possible (skip it if you want to go to the problem directly). I have a live-setup consisting of the 5-track Boss-looper (RC-505) into which I enter with my voice (processed by the TC-Helicon voice Life 3) and an electric guitar. I also own a Arturia Minibrute 2s, which I use to create and sequence baselines and background of the songs. In terms of rhythm I use the Roland TR-8. All the audio is connected to the Roland MX-1 mixer, where I add some master effects and from where the audio signal goes to the PA. I’m really happy with this setup, as I can Loop stuff into the Boss, which acts as the master and everything else follows in tempo.
Now sometimes I’d like to spice up my songs with drum and Synthy sounds different from the TR-8 / Arturia Minibrute. This is where I’d love to be able to integrate software, specifically Cubase’s Groove Agent and the Halion. For this reason I have an AKAI MPD232 to play and record the cubase virtual instruments.

However, here’s the problem. I cannot slave sync Cubase to my midi sync chain, that synchronizes the rest of my setup. (by the way it’s really easy to set cubase as the master, but that’s not what I want)

What I do:

Connecting a midi cable from one of the ‘midi outs / throughs’ in my chain to the scarlett 6i6
I did install the scarlett driver and in Cubase 9.5 elements, I choose ‘focusrite usb asio’ (for some reason, the ‘Focusrite Thunderbolt’ driver does not work, neither with Cubase nor with ableton live lite)
In Cubase I go to ‘transport’ and click ‘external synchronization’. In ‘project synchronization setup’ I choose ‘time code source’ = ‘midi time code’ and in the drop menu I can choose ‘scarlett usb midi’.
I start the clock on the Boss Looper to send a start signal

-> As described in the cubase manual. I think it should work now, but in the transport panel (F2), the message shown is ‘idle’ (which should show ‘locked’, when the clock signal is received. Cubase furthermore behaves as if it was the master).

Some other stuff I played around with, but which did not have any effect:

In the ‘studio setup’ under ‘vst audio system’ I can choose for the interface to be ‘externally clocked’
In the ‘midi port setup’, the ‘focusrite usb midi in’ is active
some other boxes I could check, which did not make a difference in ‘midi port setup’: ‘use system time stamp for windows midi input’, ‘use device direct music’, ‘use system time stamp for direct music inputs’
also sending midi timecode to Focusrite in the transport panel ‘under midi time code destinations’ and ‘midi clock destinations’ did not make any difference.

Does anybody have an idea? Is here anybody, who already achieved, what I am trying to do?
(slave-syncing cubase with a midi clock connected to a scarlett)

If not: does anybody have an idea, how i could get this working? Perhaps with the Roland SBX? Or somehow with a software ‘system link’ from ableton to cubase? Because somehow ableton live lite does synchronize really easily with the scarlett, as well as with various other of my hardware devices. Or might it also be a restriction of cubase elements and would work with artist?

There is also the focurite control software, where sync settings can be made (internal or S/PDIF, but i think this does not refer to the kind of sync i’m referring to ->

I would really appreciate help from you guys!!!


Could you try to set Cubase as Master (just for testing). In the Preferences > MIDI > MIDI Filter, make sure all options are disabled (so nothing is filtered out, even SysEx is not filtered out). Add a MIDI Track, make sure the input is set to All MIDI Ins, or Focusrite. Hit record in Cubase, and press Start on your Boss Looper. Stop your Boss Looper and check the data, you have recorded.

Are there expected Start and Stop SysEx MIDI Messages recorded in the track?