Can Someone Explain Why This Isn't Working To Me

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Can Someone Explain Why This Isn't Working To Me

Post by Mark » Fri Jan 03, 2020 10:37 am

I'm trying to use smart FSK recorded to track 8 of a Tascam 388 to trigger a simple drum machine pattern to play along with whilst recording other parts. The FSK playback isn't triggering the drum machine. I don't understand. What am I not doing? Or am I misunderstanding MIDI? I have a Tascam MTS (MIDI Tape Sync) 30 that's supposed to encode and decode MIDI to FSK and back. Again, I don't understand or know the right terminology.

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Re: Can Someone Explain Why This Isn't Working To Me

Post by kslight » Fri Jan 03, 2020 1:07 pm

I’m not much help since I don’t have the Tascam MTS, but track 8 has a dbx defeat switch specifically for when you record timecode and such...are you using that?

I’m not totally sure that it should work they way you are trying to...I wouldn’t think that’s for triggering a “pattern” on a drum machine, maybe it would work like clock a similar wayas for triggering something like an Arpeggiator on an old synth with a trigger input. If that makes any sense. You may still have to hit play on the drum machine and have it slave to the clock?

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Re: Can Someone Explain Why This Isn't Working To Me

Post by digitaldrummer » Fri Jan 03, 2020 1:10 pm

I've never done it or used it before, but I think FSK still requires some device to convert to MIDI - it's not MIDI in itself. so if the drum machine requires a MIDI input, what is converting FSK to MIDI?

edit: ok, I guess that is what the MTS does? Do you know if it has ever worked before?
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Re: Can Someone Explain Why This Isn't Working To Me

Post by ashcat_lt » Fri Jan 03, 2020 6:57 pm

I used to do a lot of syncing of midi devices both to FSK and SMPTE/MTC, but I never had to cross the streams (had machines that just followed FSK natively and have never used a converter like you've got), and also it was almost 20 years ago when I stopped needing it, and I've killed most of the brain cells to which that information was attached, but...

IIRC, FSK sync would just pick up as soon as it heard a good signal and start playing from wherever it thought it was. There is no such thing as Start, Stop, or Position in that protocol, though I think it did encode for tempo somehow.

MIDI Timecode is different, though. It actually does have a positional aspect (hh:mm:ss:frame), but NOT tempo, and generally doesn't tell whatever is chasing when to start or stop. Either the chasing device needs to know when to start based on the timestamp or it needs to receive a MIDI Start message of some sort. Maybe there's a way to make that Tascam thing send a Start message when it gets a lock?

Otherwise, you may have to tell the device that it is a timing slave, then hit its Play button and it should sit there waiting for sync.

Hope any of this helps.

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