For years I have run 2 Nuendo seats side by side, with a slave acting as Video player and Stem recorder (to put it simply).
Obviously sync and scrubbing are vital parts of this setup. The way it (should) work is thus:
On Main Daw, Sync is setup as MIDI Machine Master (or MMC Output in the sync window), with MIDI in and out connected to Slave DAW.This Main Daw is set to receive MTC from the Slave (as would be correct in a Dubbing setup: address clock should generally come from the “Machine” that is being controlled by MMC).
On the Slave DAW, sync is set to internal, and MMC Input activated. This uses the same MIDI connections as above. Slave is set to send MTC to the Main Daw. All audio cards sample locks are from a common clock (Nanoclock WC distributor).
This all works fine except, when locating on the timeline on the Main Daw, (say Bar 8) with the Slave chasing, the Song Position Pointer on the Main Daw then flicks back in time about 50 or so ticks. So instead of being positioned at bat 8, we are at Bar 18.104.22.168. It happens regardless of time base, linear base, beats, TC whatever is on the timeline(s).
It’s pretty annoying, especially if I am locating on bar lines for specific reasons. What is odd, is that this DOES NOT happen if, instead of using a 2nd Nuendo seat as my “machine”, I use MOTU Digital Timepiece (a capable MMC sync box). It is most odd. With the DTP in the chain, all works as it should. It’s just a b**tch to get scrubbing this way, as DTP does not “thru” the MMC scrub commands anywhere, so Slave Daw looks dead until you press play. Trust me, I’ve tried every possible scenario here.
After much experimentation, I discovered a DAW>DAW arrangement that solves the issue whereby only the MTC (from Slave>Main) is going via Digital Timepiece (in effect regenerating the MTC against WC). The problem with THIS is that I have to wait for 2 devices to lock (Slave and then DTP). And it’s just, well, ugly.
The point is, the Slave must be spitting out a little MTC positioning pulse in error, after the MMC pulses have finished. The Main Daw then reacts (all happening apparently at once) by slipping back, almost like a pre-roll of half a frame. The appearance is that the Timeline looks broken. You see, the slave will show it is dead on some frame or other, and at 120 BPM on the Main DAW, I know this should be dead on a particular beat, but it’s not. It’s slipped back. EG bar 2 should be at 10.00.02.00 with both projects starting at 10.00.00.00. But it isn’t after locating. It’s flakey - sometimes it gets in but 90% of the time it does not, and slips back. Intriguing.
I know I am very close to seeing where the problem must reside (ie the error in the MMC implementation) because I can isolate it easily now. With the DAW>DAW setup as it should be (ie MMC output on one, MMC input on the other with MTC from Slave to Master), if I then SUSPEND the MTC from the Slave, the positioning is now correct! Of course it would not play like this. The slave will play but the master will be “waiting” for the MTC.
This means that the MMC parts are working correctly. It’s a spurious burst of MTC that’s screwing things up.
I know this must seem a low priority issue, but as a holder of at least 2 licenses, (well I have 3 plus 2 Cubase and various other Steinberg stuff) can I get some response please?
Syncstation may solve this, but it’s a rather expensive solution to a little bug! And I have no idea how System Link will behave before buying the box.
Basically, in MMC Input mode, Nuendo should suspend sending MTC until it gets a full MMC play command. It should not send MTC whilst being scrubbed remotely, or at the end of such a scrub. It should send MTC when being locally scrubbed (ie you pick up the transport control directly on the slave) as this helps position the master. And it should of course send MTC when it is Playing.
Why not use System Link? For this one reason:
With MMC, if I put the master in inverted cycle (ie left locator later in time than the right) I can make my Main Daw “slip over” some bars of music, whilst the slave will Jam along with picture. It’s a big workflow method that is quick for trying out skipping areas of music to picture before making cuts. In System Link, sadly the slave will jump too. Which is not what I want. Also, SysLink INSISTS on making all record arming, and dropping-in functions occur on all machines at once. Something that should really be user definable.
Please? Either correct this MTC/MMC problem, or allow System Link to selectively disable transport and arming commands, and allow cycle on one deck to leap ahead of another by use of the reverse locator trick.