Synching Playback of External Hardware Drum Machine

Should I not be able to sync the playback (start, stop, tempo) of an external hardware drum machine (Boss DR-880 or Alesis SR-18) to the midi clock sent by Cubasis 2?

iPad Pro > Steinberg UR22 Midi Out > Boss DR-880 Midi In

I can sync both of these drum machines to a Boss RC-300 Loop Station, with the RC-300 acting as the master, and the drum machines as slaves.

Yes, I’ve selected “Send Midi Clock” in Settings\Midi.

Hi vaufreges,

Thank you for your message, and welcome to the forum!

When MIDI clock is activated in Cubasis 2, the following signals are sent to all the connected MIDI devices and background apps:

  • MIDI clock is sent continuously during playback.
  • MIDI start, continue and stop messages are sent when playback is toggled.
  • The MIDI song position pointer is sent when the playhead is positioned.


  • MIDI clock can only be used to synchronize MIDI data, not digital audio.
  • Cubasis does not support being a MIDI clock slave (i.e. cannot receive MIDI clock parameters from other devices).

Hope that helps!


Thank you Lars. What you’ve written was, I believe, copied verbatim from Cubasis 2 documentation, which I had read, and believed I understood. Having failed with Cubasis 2, in attempting to do what I have so often done with other midi master devices (synch external hardware drum modules connected as midi slaves to the tempo generated by the midi master), I presumed I had either misunderstood, or that your documentation was misrepresented, or there was a bug in this function known to you, but not to everyone.

My external hardware drum modules are configured to accept midi clock information. I have confirmed they work (start, stop, tempo lock) with a Boss RC-300 Loop Station acting as the master.

In Cubasis 2, I have opened a new project, created a new audio track, and selected “Send Midi Clock” in Settings/Midi. My iPad is connected to a Steinberg UR22 using the included cable and an Apple USB to Lightening adapter. The UR22 is powered by a separate 5V supply. A midi cable is connected from the UR22 Midi OUT to the Midi IN of a Boss DR880 drum module. The “Synch Mode” of the DR-880 is set to “Midi”. All the lights on the UR22 are correctly illuminated (no flashing). I confirm I am able to record audio through input 2 of the UR22, but the DR-880 is not responding to start/stop/tempo messages.

If you have any further advice or direction, I would be grateful.