Sync external synth arpeggio


I have a KorgX50 synth, and Cubase Studio version 4.5.2.

I play arrpegiated sound from the external synth, but what settings do I use in cubase to sync the synth to the cubase project’s tempo? Even if I set the actual tempo on the synth itself to match the tempo in Cubase, it is a bit out of sync, and typically runs more far off longer into the song.

(My Audio-card provides very low latency, so that should not be an issue.)

you configure your synth to receive and slave to MIDI clock sent by Cubase.

Are you sure that this is the correct solution? If so, could you please explain how to do this?

The keyboards arpeggiator needs a reference to lock to, this should be provided by Cubase via MIDI clock. Most modern keyboards should be able to lock their arpeggiators to external midi clock.

Look up the relevant sections in Cubase (MIDI Clock Destination/s) and your keyboards (page 105) manuals for configuring.

Oh… and you may want to set Cubase to send midi clock in stop mode as well :wink:

I can’t get this sync-thing to work.

The problem is this:

I have a Korg X50 and on the Korg X50 there is an arpeggiated pattern that I would like to record in Cubase (Studio 4.5.2). I can’t get the Korg X50 to sync with Cubase.

If I play the recorded song from the beginning the beginning is synced, but suddenly it is way of out sync. If I start play from just before it is out of sync (if I play from the beginning), it is in sync.

The pattern from the X50 consists of 1) drums, 2) bass (arpeggiated), both lower half of keyboard, and the upper half of the keyboard is for 3) melody.

The drums and the arpeggiated bass is in sync all the way, if I set the X50 to controll sync, but then the melody is suddenly out of sync, even when quantized correctly.

If I set Cubase to controll sync and x50 to be controlled by Cubase, everything is just way of when changing notes.

I need someone to explain exactly how I sync correctly.

After trying this for so long, (and there is not one word in the Cubase manual about syncing), I really have lost the fun for using Cubase.

Mostly it will not be a cubase problem, if you are trying to sync a song from the keyboard then you will need to set the keyboard to receive the correct timing signal from cubase. All cubase has to do is to send either midi clock or midi time code depending on what the X50 needs. The important setting will be in the X50.

Please explain the what the correct sync-setting in Cubase is?

Is it:

Internal timecode, MIDI timecode, Asio audio device, VST system link, Master machine control device?

What should be ticked/unticked in the section of midi timecode destinations, and midi clock destinations??

Forget anything to do with anything except midi clock! select the correct destination for your device X50

Set anything else you may have tinkered with back to its default settings.

You may also want to have MIDI clock follows project position and send mid clock in stop set as well, the latter ensures the arpeggiator stays in sync

There is no “reset to default”-button, so that is not possible. I do not know what the default settings are either.

These are the options, if someone could please tell me what settings to use:

Timecode source: Internal timecode, midi timecode, asio audio device, vst system link. Which of these is the correct?

Also, there is master machine control device with the option of mc master active: Ticked or unticked?

Next there is midi timecode destinations with the following options: Fast track pro midi out, X50 1 sound, 2- Fast track pro midi out. Should any of these be ticked/unticked?

Also there is midi timecode follows project time, should this be ticked/unticked?

Then there is midi clock destinations: Fast track pro midi out, X50 1 sound, 2 - fast track pro midi out. Should any of these be ticked/unticked?

Then there is midi clock follows project position, always send start message, send midi clock in stop mode… unticked/ticked any of these?

I just told you to forget anything other than midi clock!!!

And also what buttons you should probably have set/

Some “timecode source” must be ticked, which one: Internal timecode, midi timecode, asio audio device, or vst system link?

When you are talking about “midi clock” do you mean “midi clock out”? There are 4 alternatives on “midi clock out”: fast track pro midi out, microsoft gs wavetable synth, X50 1 sound, and 2-Fast track pro midi out. (I suppose the correct setting is X50 1 sound…? As the X50 is connected via USB to the computer, and auido-cables via the fast track pro sound card.)

Also, there is a button on the transport panel: “SYNC INT. OFFLINE/IDLE”. What is the correct setting here?

Internal timecode.

Midi clock out


You want to send midi clock to the X50.

leave the transport button alone its for syncing cubase to external timecode!!! leave it on sync int.

You will of course need to set the X50 to respond to MIDI clock, for that you will need to refer to the X50’s user manual.

I have tried all of this, but it does not work. In fact these setting makes it sound like a drunk elephant. I have struggled with this for weeks, if not months. I don’t know anyone who can show me what to do either. It’s frustrating.

It most likely is the way you have the X50 setup?

Midi clock is a very simple function from Cubase and there is really not much else you can do at that end.

Assuming you have

MIDI clock follows project position and send mid clock in stop set as well, the latter ensures the arpeggiator stays in sync

as stated earlier

The pattern on the X50 consists of three parts: 1) Drums (arpeggiated), 2) Bass (arpeggiated), 3) Melody (not arpeggiated),

The pattern splits the X50’s keyboard, so that Drums and bass (both arpeggiated) are located on the lower half of the X50’s keyboard, and the melody (not arpeggiated) is located at the X50’s keyboard’s upper half.

In Cubase I have made two midi tracks routed to the same midi-channel (1): One midi-track for the drums and the bass, and one midi-track for the melody.

When using the Cubase as master/midi-clock/internal timecode, the bass starts but not the drums, or the drums starts somewhere later in the song (all of a sudden).

When using the X50 as master/midi-timecode, that is to say I sync Cubase to the X50 (or at least try to), and the tempo in both Cubase and the tempo on the X50 is set to match, both drums and bass starts perfectly together with the melody - but then the melody somewhere out in the song run out of sync with the drums and the bass. The drums and the bass seems then to run fine though, all troughout the song.

If I stop Cubase playback and then start the song from just before the melody runs out of sync (if playing from the beginning), then the melody is in sync with drums and the bass.

I have tried to tick the boxes “Use system timestamp for windows midi input” and “use system timestamp” for directmusic input, both both of them and just one of them at a time, but it still does not work properly.

My audio-card is M-Audio Fast Track Pro, and the latency is said by cubase to be 5.306 ms.

If I record two audio tracks of the midi played: One from the start of the song, and one from where it runs out of sync if played from the beginning, there is a difference in the location of the elements in the audio waves of about 100+ ms, (if I remember correctly).

As mentioned: If Cubase is set to internal timecode and midi clock out is sent to the X50, the drums are not starting correctly or the drums starts suddenly somewhere in the song.

The X50 has the following MIDI-options:

Midi-channel (set to 01)
Note receive (set to All)
Midi-clock (could be set to Internal, or Ext-midi (with the option of ticking box “RT” (realtime?), Ext-USB (with the option of ticking box “RT”), or Auto (with the option of ticking box “RT”).
Convert position (could be set to “Premidi” or “Postmidi**”)
Local control** on/off (set to off)

The X50 also has these “Midi-filter” options:

Enable program change (on/off)
Bank and Combi (on/off)
AfterT (on/off)
CtrlChange (on/off)
Exclusive (on/off)

Any suggestions?

I think I’m maybe beginning to understand?

You cannot sync cubase to miditimecode and expect cubases audio to stay in sync as the audio clock and the midi clock are separate issues from an external clock source, without proper hardware. The audio is synced to the audio cards sample clock and will run independently from the midi when set to another clock source.

In fact using midi timecode is wrong from all angles for what you are wanting to do.

I think you need to simplify the whole thing.

basically you could record each component from the X50 independently into cubase by using midi CLOCK (not miditimecode)

What I’m saying is, you need to clock the X50 from Cubase.

Either record the audio stream of each channel one at a time into cubase using midi clock from cubase.


Record the MIDI data, clocked out from the X50 (via midi clock from cubase) to midi tracks in cubase, then use that to play back the X50.

OK, this is maybe solved.

I have updated to the latest midi-driver from Korg. Also I have installed the 32-bit version of Cubase rather than using the 64-bit version.

Also, I have learnt that there was some effects, like delay, on the Korg X50 that was not synced to Cubase-bpm.

I am not sure what was the solution, if not a combination of all the mentioned things.

Now the drums and the bass start together and seems to be following Cubase-bpm troughout the song.

The problem now is that after I have recorded the drum and bass on one track, and I am trying to play/record the melody on a new track, there is problem with syncing/matching the melody to the drums/bass track. I have registered that there is about 100 ms that is silent on the start of the drum/bass audio-track. What does that tell, if anything? Is there a 100ms latency-delay? How does this affect things?

I usually play so that I dont need to quantize, but when playing back what I recorded it sounds like it needs to be quantized, so I quantize and then it gets even worse.

I have used Reason before, never had this problem with off-sync melodies etc.