No sound when sync'ing from external MTC?

I am syinc’ing Cubase 12 to a tape machine via SMPTE LTC to MTC. The sync works, but I get no audio from Cubase when the sync is active. If I disable the sync, everything plays as expected.
I’m pretty sure I already did this many years ago maybe with Cubase 4 or 5 and I could play sequenced VST instruments alongside audio tracks recorded on tape.
Am I missing something?

What you mean with activate the sync?
The switch “sync to external” in studio setup?
That’s not for MTC or SMPTE sync. This switch means sample rate sync.
If no external sample rate is detected, Cubase does not play.

There is a project synchronization setup panel available that controls the function.

No, I’m not talking about sync’ing the word clock, I have activated the MTC synchronization, and it works, the timeline follows the MTC, but everything is muted.

Unfortunately I have no equipment anymore to reproduce your setup. So a bit of guess work, but asking for some info first:
Which audio interface do you use exactly?
Which OS?
Could you record audio (e.g. from the tape) into Cubase? I understand that is probably not what you want but it would be interesting to know.

Does the behaviour improve if the bottom option in the dialog is switched to “Avvia”?

Can you see the meters doing something?
If not, the audio engine isn’t working. Hmmm…

I found the culprit. The MTC generator I was using was sending “Full Time Code” events (sysex strings containing full timecode information), this causes the locator to scroll without playing audio. It should send MTC “Quarter Frame” events instead. With a precise timing, the song follows MTC and plays as expected.


Splendid. Can you mark your own answer as the “Solution”, please?

Just for reference, what is the used MTC generator?

For future readers I would like to add the following info:
Some audio interfaces have an ASIO driver that supports the ASIO Positioning Protocol. If you have such an interface you can select “ASIO Audio Device” as the “Timecode Source” in Cubase’ Synchronization Setup dialog.
That would make using MTC redudant. SMPTE LTC would go directly into your audio interface (on an audio input). You’d need to set up your ASIO driver to sync its audio clock to incoming LTC.

The interface will then send positioning infos to Cubase.

1 Like

Nice! I have a Fireface 802 that I use for my portable studio, but have never tried its LTC sync feature. My studio computer is connected to a Presonous StudioLive 32S which is very limited in this regard.