Sync Setup Hapax

Hi everyone, I’m pretty sure this topic has been discussed at length but, I would like some advice from you all.

I’m having a bit of a nightmare with Sync and what appears to be midi jitter and I’m considering getting an ERM multiclock but, wondered if there was anything I am missing.

My setup:

Ableton Live sending clock out via Focusrite 18i20
Midi out from Focusrite into Hapax Midi In A

Midi Out from Hapax via Midi out A into Midi thru box
Midi thru box connected to Analog Rtym MK2, Digitakt, Digitone, Moog GM , Hydrasynth, Model D

I am seeing clock jitter on the Elektron devices regardless of whether I use Midi In as my clock source i.e. Ableton or use the internal clock of Hapax as my master.

If I were to use the ERM, would I come from my DAW into the ERM and then from the ERM into the Hapax and then out from the Hapax ? Or would I put the ERM between the Hapax and my external HW? Would this not still result in the jitter that seems evident in the Hapax itself?

I’m very confused by the whole situation and not sure what way to approach it. Any guidance would be really appreciated.


are you just seeing some jitter or actually see and measure it?

I’m using 2 E-RM Multiclocks. They are configured to either run standalone or with Audio-Input from Ableton-Live (using the E-RM plugin)
From the multiclock the midi-clock is distributed to all devices (here thru a copperlan Midi Network).


Thanks for coming back to me. I am seeing fluctuations in both the Elektron displays and also in my audio recordings.

At which point in the chain does your ERM sit when used with the DAW? Does this feed clock into the Hapax? Then from the Hapax into the other devices? The issue I have is that even when I run Hapax in standalone (internal) mode I’m still experiencing the same thing.

Would I put the ERM in between the Hapax and my other devices?

Thanks again

i thought i already explained this. The Multiclock is the clocksource for all devices. It doesn’t come between anything.
Maybe you think it receives a midiclock and unjitters it.
No. It gets an Audiosignal of short impulses and generates a Midiclock from it.
So DAW Audiosignal → Multiclock Midiclock → Device (Hapax, Elektron etc).

I find it very, very weird that you’re getting jitter when using there Hapax as clock source.
That should not be the case. Do you run latest firmware on all devices?
Are you using any usb-connection and maybe Overbridge or some other clocking with maybe interferes?

I’m assuming you are using Ableton as master?

Ableton → Hapax (or anything ) will be subject to some jitter.
(see numerous post on this forum, and others about why :wink: )

also, I don’t know about the 18i20 , but when I tried by old focusrite as a midi interface, it wasn’t very good… Id try connecting to Hapax (via USB) direct to the computer.

all that said, If you see Hapax as the master, you shouldn’t really see jitter on the Electron boxes.
though, by midi serial nature, you might see the tempo seemingly change a little (0.1 bpm or something) , but it should still be in sync.

if you use an ERM box, basically Ableton is the master, but ERM will be in ‘perfect’ sync due to the way it uses audio sync… then everything else is directly slaved off of ERM

Yes, I’m aware of the way the ERM works. I think I’m just a little confused as to how you then split the signals? The Elektron boxes only have one midi input and it seems I need to send both note information from the Hapax and Clock information from the ERM? So do I need to merge the Midi signals going in to each device? This seems very convoluted? From your experience, with my setup, if I were to include the ERM could you recommend how you would connect it? It’s really confusing/frustrating me and I really appreciate your help.

yes, you’d need to merge control/note signals with clock, if your device only has one midi input

sure… you can fudge it, by only syncing Hapax, and then slaving everything off hapax.
but that potential introduces jitter/delay, with you’ve just paid $600 to get away from :wink:

@thetechnobear thanks for the explanation, I appreciate it. It starts to get a little expensive when I have to start adding merge boxes to every device…when I use Hapax as the master and record into Ableton I’m getting considerable latency and I’m not sure what to adjust to pull that in? When I use the Focusrite I just use the midi clock sync delay adjustment but if Hapax is the master how do I compensate for that? Why do these things have to be so complicated :person_facepalming:t2:

the Multiclock can merge Clock and Midisignal… the Midi In is there for that.
The manual explains that.

You can merge notes and clock also with a midi merger, router (such as Conductive Labs MRCC, iConnectivity Mio) or as i do it with Copperlan including some AL-88c interfaces (not produced anymore but the drivers still work and the interfaces are available used from time to time).

You didn’t answer how your electrons are connected. I encourage you to figure out why the elektrons jitter when clocked by the Hapax. They shouldn’t.
As technobear mentioned … normally jitter just visible on the display of about +/- 0.1 can be ignored.
Unless you really cleary see and hear it in the recording.

Maybe you can also provide some more detailed info how you measure the jitter , how much jitter you get and maybe send an example recording.

I’m getting very very tiny jitter , that i really need to search for when using the Hapax as source. With the Multiclock this isn’t noticeably better. But for sure better than from Ableton Live and a standard Midi-Interface.

You say you are getting fluctuations on the Elektrons. Is this anything you can hear, or are you just watching the tempo display?
Keep in mind, that it is expected that one device (midi) syncing to another device will show tempo deviations, because it is (more or less) constantly adjusting the its clock in tiny increments.
However if you can hear tempo jitter, yes then something is not so good.

@LarsDaniel thanks for your reply. Ok, I think I might be thinking there’s a bigger problem than there is. To be honest, I can’t hear any issues, it all seems very tight, it was just bugging me seeing the Elektron displays fluctuate. The only issue I’m getting is the delay in getting the audio back in but I think that’s pretty standard stuff and I’m able to compensate for in Ableton.

@verstaerker thanks again for coming back to me. I think it may just be simpler for me to have the Hapax as the master as it seems you are getting good results with that, even without the ERM? If Hapax is the Master, what do I adjust in Ableton to realign the audio on grid as there will be latency? When using the Focusrite as the master I use the clock sync delay compensation but how would I get around this as Hapax wouldn’t be connected to Ableton, what would I adjust?

With regards to my setup, a little more detail.

I have the midi out of the Focusrite going into the midi in of the Hapax. Then, I have Midi A out going through a midi thru box to my Moog GM, Minilogue XD, Model D and Hydrasynth. I then have Midi B going out the the Analog Rtym MK2, this then sends out clock and program change to the Digitakt,l via it’s Midi out, which in turns send clock and program change to the Digitone via it’s Midi out. Maybe it would be beneficial for me to go straight to the Elektron devices from the Hapax and manage the PC aspect via Hapax instead of the Elektron boxes.

I am using Overbridge for Audio only on the Elektron devices, sync and transport is turned off on the Plugin.


if it’s important to you that Ableton Live and all hardware devices are synced nicely and everything is one the grid you’ll probably need an Multiclock and some decent way to merge and route the Midisignals with one of the options i named earlier.

The other option is to have Ableton Live not synced with the Hardware… that way you could just set in Live manually the same tempo and realign every manually to the grid. That works better and quicker than it might sound - depends of course on the way you work.That way the Hapax could be the master.

Syncing Ableton Live to some Hardware doesnt work to great … it’s possible but there is some jittering happening … wich can be okay too if you disable the warping

You could probably use audio signal for clocking (focusrite audio out → hapax cv in) even without buying expensive clock device.

1 Like

@Mr.Kus I did think about this, have you tried it? Would this be more accurate/stable?

No I haven’t. Audio signal should be sample accurate. If focusrite has dc coupled outputs it should be very easy to do, if not you might need to figure out a suitable sample to use as a clock impulse. I don’t know the specs (amplitude/length) for what kind of a pulse hapax needs for cv clock.

that should work

cv pulses are usually not critical , as they vary between manufactures.
just make it a quick pulse… so not a gate :wink:

but you shouldn’t really need to worry about this, as you can use Ableton CV Tools / CV Clock Out
this will do it all for you, just use the defaults.
(bitwig and other daws/apps have similar cv integration these days)

will it work? should do if you have DC coupled outputs.
you may need to play with Gain a little, it wants to be ‘hot’, but you dont want it to distort…nice crisp edges.

Id probably go for fast clock possible , so that you get the most pulses, and so it can estimate better.

(though the CV clock timing possible is quite slow compared to the midi clock standard)

will it be more accurate? frankly, it all depends on your setup…

Ive not tried this with the Hapax, but I did do some tests with Hermod and the Pyramid (quite a while ago) , and it didn’t really seem more accurate to in my setup… however, my midi sync is pretty good anyway.

(also it should be note, CV can latency (audio buffer size) compared to midi … though with clock thats not really an issue)

really, all you can do is try… see if it works out better for you and your setup.

I think this is pretty normal… pulses are counted, and bpm estimated… there are going to be tiny variations, but it should average out.
I’d personally only chase this if you can here there is a sync issue.

That’s what I meant with the should be easy with dc coupled interface, but think I’ve read people with ac coupled interfaces using sequnced impulse samples to clock some other devices requiring analog clock where clocking with cv-tools etc. have not worked.

from my own experience i can only second this.
You can go really nuts on measuring jitter… as long as it’s cant be heard clearly , it should be ignored.
That way you can concentrate on music and not some values.

The main reason for me getting 2 Multiclocks was less about the jitter, but the ability to latency compensate different hardware-synth/sequencers… because that can easily make 5 to 15 ms offset… wich can be a problem , depending on the sounds and style