43. How do I synchronize RealBand with another MIDI device?
Sometimes it is necessary to synchronize a MIDI sequencer such as RealBand with another MIDI device so that they start at the same time, play at the same tempo, stop at the same time, and so on. A MIDI sequencer can control playback timing by sending certain MIDI timing messages to another device. The other device receives the messages and adjusts its playback accordingly so that the two stay in sync. The device that sends the MIDI messages is known as the "master". The other device is know as the "slave". There are a few different types of MIDI messages that are used. Here are some useful definitions.
SMPTE: Pronounced "Simtee". This is a standard time code developed by the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers. It uses the format hh:mm:ss:ff (hours, minutes, seconds, frames).
MTC (MIDI Time Code): This is a MIDI message used to synchronize playback between MIDI devices. It controls timing by specifying the exact location from the beginning of the song. The timing data is similar to SMPTE.
MIDI Clock: This is a MIDI message used to synchronize MIDI devices by controlling the playback rate (tempo). Unlike MTC it does not use a time code to specify the exact location from the beginning of the song.
SSP (Song Position Pointer): This is a MIDI message that tells a slave where to start playing (Position).
MIDI Start/Stop: MIDI Start and MIDI Stop messages tell a slave to start or stop playback.
MIDI Continue: This is similar to MIDI Start, but is used to start playback in the middle of a song.
To use RealBand as a slave, select one of the following from the Options | Sync Source menu.:
When you press Play with either of these options selected, RealBand will wait for the appropriate MIDI sync message from the other MIDI unit before starting playback.
To use RealBand as a master, go to the Options | MIDI Out dialog and enable one or more of the following settings:
Send MIDI SPP: If checked, RealBand will send Song Position Pointer.
Send Realtime messages: If checked, RealBand will send MIDI Clock, and also MIDI Start, Stop, and Continue messages.
Send MIDI Time Code: If checked, RealBand will send MIDI Time Code.
For more information on the settings in this dialog, click the Help button.
If you are having any trouble, you may need to consult the documentation for your other MIDI device to find out how it receives and sends these MIDI messages.