How to sync Cubase to my TR-8S external clock?


I am setting up my TR-8S USB Midi input as the source in the project synchronisation Set-up, and my TR-8S to internal clock.
When I press play on the TR-8S and change the tempo, Cubase doesn’t follow.
Am i missing something?

Are you sure, the TR-8S actually sends MIDI Time Code? Or is it just sending MIDI Clock?

hum good thinking, but there is nothing in the TR-8S manual about timecode, just a setting to send the clock out & the Start button to be sent to other devices, see page 45 of this reference manual:

Exactly - so I’m not sure if one can sync Cubase with the TR-8S as the master. I think the other way round with Cubase as the master has a better chance of working.

Pretty sure Nico5 is right.
A quick look at the pdf the OP linked suggests this is the case too.

That would be very surprising no?
Inability to have Cubase as a slave to an external clock?
On top, there is the option to click external source, right, so must be possible.

Reason i’m trying that is because of midi / clock latency…when i have Cubase as the master, which was my original idea, my TR-8S is…not really in sync, trying to find a workaround.
I’m syncing via midi via my MioXL set-up via RTP network.

Any idea is welcome!

Use it as an external instrument and send sync to the instance the AD and driver latency is compensated and it will be perfectly in sync even you can insert high buffer plugins to the external inst channel.

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Interesting idea.
I don’t understand what you mean by the “AD”, do you mean analog to digital?
The external instrument is linked via midi, either midi PIN or midi USB, so not sure what it changes.

But, it would not work with what i’m trying to achieve as my TR-8S external instrument as it is as 4 inputs. I want to record the 11 audio tracks via USB & sync the clock with Cubase as the master via midi or USB.

Bu the way i struggle with the aggregated device (UAD 8x + TR-8S), as the tR-8S doesn’t seem to stick in the audio midi device. It works for 1 day or few hours and then it grey out and is not available in cubase.

AD = ad conversion.

How you want to/ need to connect audio is completely different story from the sync latency problem you’ve described.
You should first try connecting audio out of the drum machine to UA interface and use external inst using the USB midi and analog inputs.
You will know how handy the external inst is which fully compensate MIDI clock.
Then, you can think about how to get audio from the machine. That’s different matter.

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Thxs for your help here, i really appreciate.

  1. Midi sync: I just tested this and to seems to work way better: Cubase to MioXL via USB (and not ethernet) => MioXL to TR-8S via MIDI DIN.
  2. Audio: aggregated device works today… for some reason, i hope it will stay like that. So i am able to record via TR-8S as an USB audio interface.

Cubase sync setup:

I have ticked the drift tick box in Audio Midi device, following apple’s guideline: Set aggregate device settings in Audio MIDI Setup on Mac – Apple Support (UK)

Again, my problem with the External instrument feature is that it would use my physical UAD input, and only have 4 available.

Make sure you send MIDI clock to the external instrument, not to the physical port. (both shares the same name, but one with brackets " ( device )" is the external inst one. Despite step 3 of the following, there’s a bug that cubase changes the midi device name.

The procedure basically go like this (copy/paste from my old post);

1. On F4 menu, Set up an external inst, set input channels connected to the device
2. Create midi device associates to the ext inst. Set midi port to the inst.
3. Enable it as midi clock destination. There are 2 entries for the drum machine. One is called by the name of the midi port, the other is called by the name you entered to the midi device created in step 2. Leave 1st one unchecked and enable 2nd one.**

Once you do this, you can insert any plugin to the return.
You should be able to use the aggregate device. But from the screen shot you’ve posted, you have checked “drift correction” for both UA and TR8S, do you really need to check UA? Try unchecking the UA and check only the TR8S. (UA needs to be the audio clock “master”. The “drift correction” thing must be sample rate conversion (even if it is 44099Hz to 44100Hz, it’s called src.), so by unchecking it the UA will be the clock source. And anything that ‘drifts’ from the audio clock, will be corrected, that is how I understand what it says, although I haven’t tried it yet, I will try it later on.).

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I have tried it, it works with aggregated device (usually I use analog). Both OP1 and OPZ are connected with usb cables, audio and MIDI through it, connected to external instruments and MIDI devices. MIDI sync works perfectly with compensation (note those destinations in the screenshots have brackets, which means it is sending the midi sync with compensation.)

However, I get occasional CPU spikes that can be heard as a glitch noise, this does not happen when UA apollo x4 alone is used as the audio device. It’s on m1 mini, I hope it is fine on your mac.

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Hello Takashi,

Very helpful, & and i made some good progress, you contributed to it a lot!
Delay compensation:
So I understand now why you mention the delay compensation talking about external instrument. I knew it but for the audio signal, it seems Cubase also composante for midi / clock sync.
Still in my case for my TR-8S, i cannot use the external instrument feature as I want to record all tracks via the TR-8S as audio interface.
BUT: are you saying i could create a TR-8S external instrument, send the clock via this route / feature, add a TR-8S VST track (that I will not use at all) just to send the clock, and in parallel record the audio tracks via the TR-8S USB audio interface 14 inputs?

Cubase project sync set-up:
Yes so this is a crucial part indeed, and yes there are many duplicate midi port / devices here and that create a lot of confusion + the window is so tiny, I’d love to be able to strech vertically to see the whole list of midi port at the same time.
So I now understand 100% that here I need to sync / send clock to all my external instruments (and it will send it to whatever port i have set-up in the Midi Device manager, this is clear & makes sense.

by the way, something that always bugs me, in the Midi Device Manage window, the bottom right drop down menu of the window, next to the Output mention. Is it for going from Cubase to the device or from the device to Cubase?

Yes. It was implemented in C11 and was the biggest feature update for me.

As per my test above, you can create an aggregated device, UA as the master and TR-8S with the “drift correction” checked. Use this device as the asio driver on the Studio Setup → Audio System.

When you create the external inst, you can set it as a 14 input device (is it 1 stereo mix + 12 mono individuals?), and set all the returns from the TR8S (via the aggregated device) on the F4 → external instrument.

This way, you can insert any plugin to any one of the individual outs or route channels to groups, etc., and it will all magically be in sync. It’s the best feature of the C11. Those tracks will behave exactly the same as VSTi, so render in place, export audio mixdown and recording to audio track via a group track are possible.

Yup, that window/function is quite limited and some bugs are there also.
That drop-down menu is for “from cubase to the device”. As in all other MIDI IN and MIDI OUT terms in Cubase. If it’s “OUT” on cubase window, it’s always output from the host.

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Man, I just saw the light.

I didn’t imagine i could actually keep the TR-8S as external instrument, but actually use the TR-8S audio interface with the 14 inputs in the Audi connextion window / external instrument tab !!! For some reason my brain thought it was either TR-8S via UAD inputs or just audio tracks with the TR-8S 14 inputs, outside of the external instrument feature.
So everything now comes together as i can use the external instrument / VST track AND all the inputs and everything will be latency compensated.
Sometimes our brains are … blind to the obvious!

by the way, how can you record live some knobs on the synth / drum machine as you record?
As via external instrument, you record audio via the render in place…which doesn’t let you play the instrument live, right?

You can route whatever you want to record to groups, then record that to audio tracks. E.g. route the stereo out to group1, sd to group2, make 2 audio tracks and set inputs from groups.
And while you are recording, you can mute or turn down faders of audio tracks. If you need to do punch in/out, you can monitor through the recording audio tracks but in this case an additional 1xAsio buffer latency is added while monitoring/recording.(the recorded material are shifted to the right place when playing back).

got it, yes at least it seems a functioning workaround.
But, really annoying to have to create 14 groups channel / bus and then 14 audio tracks just for the routing!
Why not just route the external insrtrument output to groups channel (bus) and that’s it?
Why would you recomment to route it then to audio tracks?

Because you have to record it to audio tracks.
Audio tracks can only receive audio from summing objects i.e. group, fx, and outputs. So you have to first route it to a group, then audio tracks to receive it as input.
If you are not twiddling, export audio mix down or render in place will do the job. If twiddling and recording, you have to do that which is the same as vst instrument tracks, too.