(re)start playing after stop / changing project in sync with master clock


is there any way to restart the pyramid (after stop or after changing a new project) and have it in (beat) sync with a master device sending a midi clock?

Now, wen you press the play button just a little bit before or after the already running master device, the pyramid doesn’t receive any start message, so it only stays tempo-synced but not position-synced and it keeps playing parallel to the beat, so also not being beat-synced.

So if I understand well: in case of starting the pyramid after the master device that has already started, you have to be extremely precise to press the play button exactly in time and positioned right with the clock of the master device?


You are correct, without a Start command, the Pyramid will not sync playback position.
The Pyramid doesn’t have Song Position Pointer (SPP) or Midi Time Code (MTC) support.
(Or reset from an analog gate input, though that would be cool).

What you’d want to do in that situation, is either sync the external device to the Pyramid, or restart the master device when you want the Pyramid to sync playback position.

Strange that some devices (like a moog) do sync to the beat of an external source, even if you press notes (to start arps or sequences of the moog) slightly before or after the beat.

Other devices, like DSI synths and Pyramid, don’t support this behavior. They just run parallel in tempo, relative to the early or late timing the key of the synth or the start button of the Pyramid is pressed.

I don’t know why it’s like that exactly. To me it looks desirable in most cases to have your gear not only tempo-synced, but also beat-synced when re-starting or re-triggering…

The solution we’ve tried was indeed to restart / replay the master device (MPC of other musician) after I’ve loaded a new Pyramid project.

As it’s loop-based stuff we play, so not a fixed song structure at once, it’s okay to press play again on the MPC after a couple of loops, giving a start command to the Pyramid so they run in beat sync nicely again…

Works fine as a solution, thanks.

Ah, I misunderstood your question; you were talking about beat sync, not location sync.

But yes, the Pyramid doesn’t do beat sync AFAIK.

No problem,

do you know why some gear does not seem to support beat sync? It looks quite essential and basic to me…

Although I’m running with the Pyramid as the master time keeper, I know it can work as a slave also. In settings go to the MIDI IN page. Set IGNORE SYNC to OFF, set IGNORE START STOP to OFF and if you are using USB to sync from a computer, set IGNORE USB SYNC to OFF.
Now I haven’t slaved the Pyramid since I first got it and since then the firmware has been updated a couple of times, but I’m sure that they wouldn’t have changed anything as fundamental as the MIDI IN sync options.
When slaved, the Pyramid should be able to still run on it’s own transport controls, but note well that SHOULD bit I put in there not WILL, I don’t remember right now if it did or not, but it SHOULD do it.

If it receives MIDI and has an internal sequencer or arpeggiator, it will sync to external MIDI tempo messages. Might not be set by default to do so, but it will be able to be set to do so somewhere. If a maker puts a MIDI IN port on their machine and it can’t sync to MIDI tempo, their products seriously belong in a toy store. Even Roland products with any sort of tempo-based function will sync to MIDI tempo. The thing that tends to be tricky is getting your slave to actually be perfectly beat matched when the master is already running. Not many products will do that, in fact there are devices available to make that happen as it’s almost impossible for a human to do it.

The OP isn’t talking about tempo sync, though - he’s talking about matching up the start of the Pyramid to 1/4 notes, 16th notes, etc.

For this to work, the receiving device would need some idea of where the note divisions are. Since midi clock doesn’t provide this information, the Pyramid would need to be counting how many clocks have elapsed since it received a start message. So, since midi clock is 24 parts per quarter note, 1/4 note sync means having a counter that counts to 24, and delaying actually starting the Pyramid sequence (or whatever else you might want to quantize - mutes, pattern changes etc) until the 1/4 note counter resets to 0. For 16th note sync, the counter would count to 6, and so on. This is just off the top of my head, but it should work.

You could probably hack up something with an Arduino, Raspberry Pi or similar device that could do this. It just needs to have a start button on it (to trigger a start message to send to the Pyramid) and quantize the transmission of the start message as described above.

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Ahhh, I don’t know how I missed that (silly internet reading habits I’d say). There is a device available that can resync instruments down the MIDI chain to the first beat of a bar (in 4/4) when they are stopped independently of the master. I’ve been meaning to buy one for a couple of years now, just I get distracted by things like digital mixers with flying faders…

syncing the Pyramid to a master via MIDI clock works fine, that’s not the problem. It’s beat syncing that doesn’t work, as I described above. tx

Yeah I was corrected by knightswhosayneve.
Can you point me to a device that can sync to divisions of the MIDI tempo? I’m having trouble finding one that does. Closest I can come are devices designed to do that for you, but on the first beat of the bar, not the up-beat or the half-beat.

With most forms of analogue sync there are more than one pulse per quarter note, so with some good timing you can pick-up the division of the beat you are after as your startpoint, but that is all about your skills at hitting start at the right time, there are no magic boxes to autosync to the off beat or half beat.

Why not nudge your pattern all around by however many divisions of the clock you want to be out by? If you want to change the round, make several copies of the pattern with a different amount of nudging per copy?

There is a device available that can resync instruments down the MIDI chain to the first beat of a bar (in 4/4) when they are stopped independently of the master.

What device is that?

If there’s some interest I might make the thing I described. I’ve been meaning to work on some micro-controller projects anyway. But I think most people would just mute the other devices at a console or using a volume knob, instead of stopping them. That way they stay in sync.

But I think most people would just mute the other devices at a console or using a volume knob, instead of stopping them. That way they stay in sync.

Well, in my case it’s me that stops the pyramid in order to load a new song / project.

When the new project is loaded, the MPC from my friend is already running and sending clock.

I’d like to catch up with that clock and just want to be in beat sync again with the MPC.

But we’ve found a solution just by sending a start message again with the MPC, after my new project is loaded.

Works fine for us now…

Thanks for the help!

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This guy makes stuff we need:

I have a few devices that can send a start message while they are already playing for resyncing, but as they will send that message to every device down the line, if not paying attention it can reset long loops at the wrong time. The resync button that guy makes would still mean a need to pay attention when you hit it, just less attention :wink:

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Thank you very much!

This might be what I need, so I don’t have to rely on my buddy to restart his MPC after my new Pyramid project is loaded.

The only thing I wonder now is if the MPC will deliver sufficient power to this device.

As I’ve experienced with MIDI solution devices (not the newest ones), they don’t get enough power from quite a lot of new gear via MIDI…

I’ve contacted the guy to ask more about it.

Thanks again, really appreciated!

Mutable instruments midipal has an app that will do this. The original device being referred to here is the “mungo sync” unit that would allow you to stop a sequencer downstream from the master clock, and restart it on the correct position. Since the midipal is discontinued, you can try midigal or the other clones. From the manual:


Sync latch (syncltch)

This feature, inspired by the Mungo Sync allows a slave device to be synchronized and started/stopped in sync with a master device playing a loop.

Consider the following situation: you have a drum machine playing a steady 2-bar loop, in 4/4, and generating a clock signal for a slave MIDI sequencer. You need to reload a pattern on the sequencer. You stop the sequencer, load the pattern, and then you need to hit the play button on the sequencer at the exact right moment so that it starts spot on the first beat of the 2-bar drum loop. Tricky isn’t it? This is where the MIDIpal can be used. Insert it between the drum machine and the sequencer. Configure the duration/time signature of the loop (Here: 8 quarter notes). The MIDIpal will keep counting beats. When you press the MIDIpal encoder, it’ll wait for the beginning of the loop and then send a start message to the MIDI slave. When you press again the MIDIpal encoder, it’ll wait for the end of the loop and then send a stop message to the MIDI slave.

Thanks for the reply!

Well I’m using Pyramid only in a hardware setup, so an app is not an option…

The Mungo Sync seems to be a good solution too!

Midipal is a hardware device. It runs a bunch of midi plumbing apps. look it up…

Today I received the Touchprone Interrupt and it works fine!

It makes the pyramid run in beat sync again after changing a project or stopping the pyramid!

Thanks for the advice!

Yay! Glad to help, both you and the seller. These guys tend to do this out of love more than cash and I’ve seen many come and go, so to support them means they keep making the devices and we can keep getting what we need!

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well, looked like my first initial test was only partly successful :-/

After a short initial ‘successful’ test, I’ve tested the unit a bit more now.

There seems to be something wrong.

My setup (in order of connection):

  • TP interrupt

in this case, the interrupt works partly: when pushing “play start” on the MPC, the pyramid starts to play in sync. The interrupt does it’s job well when the button is pressed (beat sync again from the next bar after pushing the button)

BUT, when i repeatedly push the “play start” button of the MPC, the PYRAMID doesn’t react the same way as when there is no TP interrupt connected:

that command is ignored or the result is not a ‘reset play’ on the Pyramid, it just keeps going, although I see the lights on the TP flashing like I would expect (signal reset). So I guess it’s something with the output of the TP interrupt?

In other words, it’s not possible to restart the pyramid from the MPC when it’s already started the first time. The pyramid responds to the TP’s pauze / restart commands though.

Also, when the MIO4 is excluded from my setup, and go directly from the TP output to my pyramid, the pyramid doesn’t start at all, now all CLOCK signal comming from the MPC via the TP is ignored…

It’s a long way to a troubles-free setup.

Still can’t understand very well why Squarp didn’t incorporate something like ‘beat sync’ to the incoming clock signal in the first place… :-/