Old 01-19-2019, 07:11 AM   #1
Billr
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Default MTC Timecode - Routing advice

hi

I have asked about MTC Timecode operation in Reaper -

I am slightly confused by the routing scheme for a Timecode Generator MTC

I have set up everything as should be -

Send clock to device - USB A - box checked
No SPP - box left unchecked


Source - MTC 24F - box checked


Routing - this IS WHAT confuses me - obviously I am not routing this timecode track to any of the mdi channels 1-16 ? I am sending the MTC to a machine - to tell it to start and stop recording/playing on my AKAI DR-16

So - my question therefore is simple - how do I route the Timecode Generator MTC track (or media item track ) to this exterior machine Akai DR-16 ?

I cannot see a way so far - I have tried this and that.
There must be a way to get a Timecode track MTC out of Reaper and into a machine so that the machine will start stop playing/recording


AS someone already mentioned the Timecode MTC has nothing to do with midi note on/off - therefore routing this Timecode generator to a midi channel makes no sense

The routing as far as I can see (but I maybe mistaken - so apologies ) only gives you the midi channels 1-16 to route the track to ?


I hope someone can answer who has Reaper running with the use of MTC timecode for operating an external machine - maybe even a multitrack recording machine !


Thanks
billr
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Old 01-19-2019, 07:38 AM   #2
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set up a MIDI hardware send in the routing options, from the track with the MTC signal, to the relevant MIDI hardware that is sending the sync.
ie, what is your Akai plugged in to MIDI-wise? Send the sync to this
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Old 01-19-2019, 09:56 AM   #3
Billr
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Hi
Thanks for the reply
As above midi hardware is

USB A that's the USB device listed in the midi option box

That is the only hardware connected
I send midi note on/off to this USB device - it triggers all my exterior outboard sound modules fine

That part is working fine OK
The Time code clock has also been assigned to the same USB A device
In the same options - preference - midi check box

The Time code MTC becomes available then as an item to insert into a track
into a track as media item Time code Generator

This has been done OK I know that MTC Time code Generator is there and it is outputting MTC clock - because you can actually listen to it as an audio sound ( It's just a long screeching sound )

It is the Routing of this MTC clock that is the problem - I cannot find an
Output to assign it to ..

The Routing is either audio out or midi channels 1-16 out This MTC clock is a machine specific code clock and only a machine can use it...

This Media item Time code Generator MTC clock has been inserted to a track
It has been given the output device instruction via options - send clock to this device - in this case the devi e is USB A

Source of Time code has been selected as MTC clock with 24/30 f ( frame rate)

But how do you get the MTC clock to output it's machine clock code that will stop/start my Akai DR-16 ?

There IS ONLY audio channels or midi channel available in the routing sele tion box - As above MTC timecode clock is nothing to do with either of those

Sorry for lengthy post...

Edit - it just occurred to me that maybe in Reaper the MTC or SMPTE/LTC Time code Generator outputs it's clock by default without any routing ?

So perhaps I should leave the routing box as is - and have it as default setting ' Send to original channel '

Perhaps ...?


Thanks
Billr

Last edited by Billr; 01-19-2019 at 10:18 AM.
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Old 01-19-2019, 10:00 AM   #4
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click on the routing box for the MTC track
click on the midi hardware output dropdown box
select your usb interface
(untick master send (if you don't want to hear the screeching))
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Old 01-19-2019, 10:39 AM   #5
Billr
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Hi Domzy

Thanks for your reply....tried that already ....no luck yet

The hardware is my Philip Rees midi junction box which is connected to the USB A in devices

This splits midi notes and MTC and sends the midi to my outboard modules and the time code MTC to the Akai DR-16 via separate outs

The routing box in Reaper lists the USB A device together with a drop down list of midi channels 1-16 and the audio output routing ...that's it

There is no box to check for machine code clock is there ? or any other routing for a Time code Generator media item ??

Simply put...where is it ?
Edit - I am assuming you have to route it - maybe MTC clock gets output automatically ?? There is nothing in the routing scheme box relating to Media Item - Time code Generator...

Or to put it another way the routing box drop down menus do NOT differ whether the track selection is an audio track a midi track or a media item...in this case it's a media item
And that item is Time Code Generator

The routing selection only has 2 choices audio channels or midi 1-16..

Am I seeing this right...??

Thanks

Last edited by Billr; 01-19-2019 at 11:07 AM.
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Old 01-19-2019, 10:43 AM   #6
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another thing that just occurred to me, you say you hear screeching, are you sure you are sending MTC and not LTC? Might be worth double-checking (in source properties)
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Old 01-19-2019, 11:14 AM   #7
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i just googled this, dunno if it's any help

http://anthonymillerdesign.net/blog/reaper-ltcmtc-setup


in his second pic you will need to select USB A in the MIDI hardware dropdown and you will have selected MTC as in the first pic
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Old 01-19-2019, 11:20 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Billr View Post

The routing selection only has 2 choices audio channels or midi 1-16..

Am I seeing this right...??

Thanks
i'm starting to suspect you may be looking at the input box rather than the routing box?
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Old 01-19-2019, 03:17 PM   #9
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Hi Domzy

Thanks very much for your help with this it is much appreciated

Looked at the link - yes he is showing exactly where I'm at !!

I have done selecting USB A device in
Options - preferences - enable clock to this device

I have done source select either LTC or MTC ( I've tried different frame rates too )

Finally after that setup we have inserted the Media Item Timecode Generator as a track just below my 5 midi tracks ( which all trigger via USB A just fine )

So as before click on media item Time code Generator track routing button the menu box appears

On the right hand side

Set MIDI Hardware Output - USB A - Done checked

Box below - Send to original channels
This is drop down selection for Midi channels 1-16 This is N/A

Below that box - Receives -
Add new receive This is N/A

On the left hand side

Master send - Parent CH 1-2
Track CH 2
Level Pan Width

Below that on left of Routing
Sends - add new send
Audio Hardware Outputs
Add new hardware output drop down box

All of that is for audio obviously

This is the Routing for my Track 6 which is listed above the track lane as 'Media Item Time Code Generator'

So - sorry for this long post again and thanks for your help

I do not know now what more I can do here - there is no selection in ROUTING for track 6 - for a Time code Generator media item

I do not see anything in the routing display menu/box apart from Midi Hardware channel select 1-16 and add new receives

Or

Audio Hardware outputs - sends and level pan width....

So ....
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Old 01-19-2019, 04:16 PM   #10
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sounds like it should work, i'm not sure what else to suggest - have you tried it without the philip rees box - ie USB straight to Akai MIDI in? Just to see if that changes things?
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Old 01-19-2019, 04:37 PM   #11
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Not familiar with the setup ... but is the AKAI setup to READ an EXTERNAL MTC ?
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Old 01-19-2019, 05:41 PM   #12
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Hi

Thanks again for your good help

Yes and yes to both suggestions !

Tried direct output from USB to Akai
No luck

The Philip Rees box certainly outputs midi to my sound modules OK....so

I have used the Akai machines for the
best part of 30 years - setting it up to receive MTC is easy

I even tried the Reaper slave option to see if Reaper will connect to MTC clock input - nope it just has a flashing red box pop up say waiting for timecode

In the link you posted the set up is exactly as I have done

BUT what it does not show is the ROUTING screen set up...it just says
' after setting the Source of Time code you then need to click the track
with the LTC/MTC timecode and route it to your console/device '

That's it....no pretty picture of the actual routing box and the route the timecode track takes !!

Been at this for at least 20 hours and believe me I've clicked everything that can be clicked !! Lol

I don't doubt it is possible but ...well things could be made easier
There is scant information in the manual just shows the Midi Device box
in preferences and the Source box in Item properties...

Maybe some one out there has actually got this Timecode Generator to work with a multi track machine Tascam Otari and Akai or Alexis ADAT maybe a Fostex....

Thanks again for your input guys much appreciated

Billr

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Old 01-19-2019, 05:52 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Billr View Post

BUT what it does not show is the ROUTING screen set up...it just says
' after setting the source of Time code you then need to click the track
with the LTC/MTC time and route it to your console/device '

That's it....no pretty picture of the actual routing box and the route the timecode track takes !!
the only thing missing from that pic is the hardware output is not selected from the dropdown, USB A in your case, so the routing it takes is MTC item straight to USB A port - that is all that is needed.
I regularly sync together computers via MTC and i know Reaper works, though it's not as solid as i'd like. Sorry i couldn't be more help, hope you get it sorted.

edit- it's a long shot, but you haven't got the track muted have you?

Last edited by domzy; 01-19-2019 at 07:57 PM. Reason: one more thing
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Old 01-20-2019, 05:19 AM   #14
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Hi Domzy

Thanks for your reply

Perhaps as you mention the MTC clock just comes out of Reaper without any routing selection in the routing box ?

I had thought this might be the case too - that would explain why the user manual and the link posted ( which is just a copy of the manual ) ONLY shows
2 selection boxes -

Options - Preferences - Midi Device
Item Properties - Source - LTC/MTC

Then the clock Timecode be it LTC or MTC should generate...

It should come out of Reaper by these settings only - Routing is NOT necessary

Therefore to my mind - leave the Routing box selection completely blank

The Routing box selection is for a track by track basis -

whereas LTC/MTC Timecode Generator is a global output and will obviously be the Master Clock for all the tracks

So...I am going to start again and leave the Routing selection blank...

One thing though ...

In the Media Item Properties box there is a choice of how you want to have LTC/MTC to perform ie Timebase and you can select by drop down menu
4 different time base schemes

Track/project default timebase
Time -
Beats (position length rate)
Beats (position only )

I would think it is Track/project default Timebase...

Is this how you have done it ??

Thanks for all the input

Billr

Last edited by Billr; 01-20-2019 at 05:45 AM.
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Old 01-20-2019, 07:00 AM   #15
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to output MTC you absolutely MUST use the track's MIDI hardware output routing. Select the appropriate MIDI device you wanna send the sync signal to and leave the other drop-down menu @ "send to original channels". Make sure that the timecode item is set to the matching frame rate with what is set in the project properties -> Video tab (or vica-versa). Also you should nudge the timecode generator item completely to the left (very start of the project) and remove any start offset set in project properties.

On the receiving end, make sure that the frame rate setting matches also.

I'm sync'ing multiple devices and computers via MTC and LTC and it works without issues. Keep in mind that MTC has considerably lower sync accuracy (only within one frame) while LTC can achieve sample accurate transport sync so whenever possible you should use LTC (thus, a digital audio signal generated by a timecode generator sync item set to "LTC"). Obviously, in this case, you'll need a dedicated digital audio connection between Reaper and the receiving device or you might use an analog audio sync signal which will still yield more accuracy than MTC.

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Old 01-20-2019, 07:21 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Billr View Post
Hi Domzy

Thanks for your reply

Perhaps as you mention the MTC clock just comes out of Reaper without any routing selection in the routing box ?

I had thought this might be the case too - that would explain why the user manual and the link posted ( which is just a copy of the manual ) ONLY shows
2 selection boxes -

Options - Preferences - Midi Device
Item Properties - Source - LTC/MTC

Then the clock Timecode be it LTC or MTC should generate...

It should come out of Reaper by these settings only - Routing is NOT necessary

Therefore to my mind - leave the Routing box selection completely blank

The Routing box selection is for a track by track basis -

whereas LTC/MTC Timecode Generator is a global output and will obviously be the Master Clock for all the tracks

So...I am going to start again and leave the Routing selection blank...

One thing though ...

In the Media Item Properties box there is a choice of how you want to have LTC/MTC to perform ie Timebase and you can select by drop down menu
4 different time base schemes

Track/project default timebase
Time -
Beats (position length rate)
Beats (position only )

I would think it is Track/project default Timebase...

Is this how you have done it ??

Thanks for all the input

Billr
Routing is totally necessary - it won't work unless it is routed to the correct hardware output (USB A in your case), it doesn't need a channel to be selected, send to original is ok, but it definitely needs a port selected.
Project timebase is unrelated to MTC.

Have you got anything else (another sequencer etc.) to check if your Akai syncs up ok?
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Old 01-20-2019, 08:58 AM   #17
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Hi

Alright - look like we might be getting somewhere !

OK to both of you and thanks very much for your input

So - I will check the Routing box with my device USB A - and leave everything else
That's understood - thanks

MTC been using that for years and years - not an issue with me
BUT I do take your point about LTC and sample accurate timing - thanks

I will try LTC and MTC see if this will work... Yes frame rates need to be the same on both ends - but I guess it's down to your usage...

Thanks SonicAxiom - The midi device I use is a midi merge box by Philip Rees this has dedicated MTC input and output channel/connections and goes direct to my Akai DR-16 via the same USB cable /midi din plug as my midi note on/off output from Reaper the output is split into 2 channels - with midi notes from one output and MTC from another output

There are actually 4 midi outputs on this box and 2 midi inputs A+B

One point I'd like to mention and that is SPP ( Song position pointer )
In Preferences - Midi Devices - the box checks for - Send Clock to this device
Also next to that box is box NO SPP - do I leave that unchecked ?

Which I think I understand to mean you DO NOT WANT - SPP - correct or not ?


Is SPP transmitted as a default setting for Timecode MTC ??

My Akai has the ability to recieve SPP and this has worked fine for the type of midi based recording into DAW software

In the manual I have there is 2 boxes to check - Midi Devices

1. send clock to this device
2. SPP


There is not a box saying NO SPP as we see in the current version of Reaper as it appears on screen...…..perhaps there has been a change to this box - but no mention of this change is in the manual..

In which case I ask again - is SPP output as default for a Timecode Generator Item ?

OK Thanks again for your input

Billr

Last edited by Billr; 01-20-2019 at 09:43 AM.
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Old 01-20-2019, 09:54 AM   #18
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ok, basically there are 3 options of synchronisation here - MTC, LTC or MIDI clock/ SPP. I think perhaps you need to be a bit more methodical in trying to figure out what works for you and concentrate on one thing at a time.
It seems like we have exhausted the MTC option and this isn't working for you. So maybe you want to try LTC or MIDI clock next? (If you are totally sure it isn't a problem at the Akai end)
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Old 01-20-2019, 01:59 PM   #19
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Hi Dozmy

Let me give the MTC a go first before jumping horses...I am very patient I waited 10 years to get a rare guitar when it came up...!

I have a couple of basic questions

1 Does it matter where in the track list you put the media item Timecodre Generator ? ie should it be at the top or inserted as the last track ?

2 Axiom mentioned making sure the MTC track was at the start - what about pre-roll count in of 4 - 8 bars ?
Does the timecode have to start at the same time as count in ?

Also I have to say it's very encouraging to hear from actual users of the Timecode in Reaper
Makes me want to keep at it until I get the result I want - So thanks

Thanks
Billr

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Old 01-20-2019, 03:04 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Billr View Post
Hi Dozmy

Let me give the MTC a go first before jumping horses...I am very patient I waited 10 years to get a rare guitar when it came up...!

I have a couple of basic questions

1 Does it matter where in the track list you put the media item Timecodre Generator ? ie should it be at the top or inserted as the last track ?

2 Axiom mentioned making sure the MTC track was at the start - what about pre-roll count in of 4 - 8 bars ?
Does the timecode have to start at the same time as count in ?

Also I have to say it's very encouraging to hear from actual users of the Timecode in Reaper
Makes me want to keep at it until I get the result I want - So thanks

Thanks
Billr
1. not that i know of, i think it can go anywhere.
2. i don't really understand what you are asking? start the timecode from the start of the project -
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Old 01-20-2019, 06:42 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Billr View Post
...
2 Axiom mentioned making sure the MTC track was at the start - what about pre-roll count in of 4 - 8 bars ?
Does the timecode have to start at the same time as count in ?
A. if you have defined a start time offset and/or start measure offset in project settings, this will probably cause the sync to not work correctly. Rather keep start time offset at 0:00:000 and start measure at 1.

B. timecode slaves often need up to a few seconds until they run in perfect sync with the master system. Therefore, it's a good idea to not start recording project audio or MIDI right from the very beginning (start time 0:00:000, measure 1). The slave system will not get in prefect sync quickly enough after receiving the first few bits of timecode information to play the first measures properly sync'ed. Always leave an empty area of 5 or 6 measures at the start of your projects before the first audio or MIDI items occur both on the timecode master and the timecode slave machine.

C: if you do not position the timecode generator item at the very beginning of the project (at 0:00:000) the MTC (or LTC) slave will only begin to sync itself after the master computer's play cursor has started playing back the timecode generator item and it may then take another few seconds to sync itself properly so it's not a good idea to have items positioned in that area of unstable sync. On top of this, the transports of the master and the slave system will not show the same playback time/measure if the timecode generator item is placed later than 0:00:000.

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Old 01-21-2019, 03:44 AM   #22
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Hi

Thanks for that - I've actually got a MOTU Timepiece and the manual too it has lots of information about all the timecodes well worth reading !

What I am actually trying to do is link 3 pieces of gear together and make one integrated system

My digital mixer Tascam DM-24 + Akai DR-16 and Reaper

My plan is to have the DM-24 control all of the other gear be it transport function recording into Reaper fader control etc

As I play most instruments I need - all I want is for Reaper and the DR-16
to capture the real time performance

Now looking at the entire thread it becomes obvious that the MTC should work with the settings above and indeed I know I have got timecode running in Reaper I can see it in the meter for the track...

So I have to assume the fault is elsewhere - my first thought is checking cables and in/outputs on the midi merge box - it has been quite some time since this was used ...like 12 years ! So although I'm getting midi note triggering OK that might be just luck and the box contacts and cables ( also old - 30 years old ! )
Need cleaning - I have had to get all new audio cables for my set up too because after 30-35 years the cables have deteriorated !

The solution might be this simple - clearly Reaper is doing what it's supposed to....so

Thanks
Billr

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Old 01-21-2019, 04:32 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Billr View Post
...
Now looking at the entire thread it becomes obvious that the MTC should work with the settings above and indeed I know I have got timecode running in Reaper I can see it in the meter for the track...
obviously, you are currently using LTC (=audio timecode) and not MTC, Bill! Else, you wouldn't see/hear any signal on the meters. To have the timecode generator item in MTC mode (thus, spitting out MIDI timecode data which can not be heard and seen on the meters) you have to doubleclick the generator item to open its properties, then click on the properties button towards the bottom and set it to send MTC. Done, everything will work as expected, provided you have the rest set up as explained in my previous post(s)

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Old 01-21-2019, 08:53 AM   #24
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Hi SonicAxiom

OK just had a look now and the double clicking on the Item track is the same as the ITEM drop down menu from
the top and selection SOURCE PROPERTIES - Where you select for source LTC/MTC - OK Done that already


Double clicking the item track brings up the same box - to select between LTC/MTC


In fact I just now selected LTC - and yes you can really see it yellow coloured in the track meter almost hitting the red zone
and green coloured in the AUDIO stereo outs

SO - no this is not what I meant when I said I could see it ok ?


Now I have just switched back to MTC again and from where I sit - you can see a bit of red about -34db in the meters as a constant
signal - it's there alright - barely registering - but it is - this is what I can see right now ok ? and it is vastly different level
from LTC which does register audio level of course - almost into the red zone on the meters !!

The colour scheme maybe different in whatever theme you've got but for me in the track meters its YELLOW for AUDIO and RED for MIDI output
Then GREEN for the master stereo output of AUDIO signals


So as I said looks like I am getting MTC out of Reaper -
I need to explore else where I think - check my cables and other bits too

EDIT - I have found out by accident that when I switch the gear on in a particular order the sound modules are playable from my keyboard
BUT if I switch the gear on another way - the modules won't trigger -
they will trigger from within Reaper by mouse clicking notes in the track - but not directly trigger from my keyboard


So maybe there is a start-up that will allow the MTC to work ?

I don't think there is much more you guys can do to help here as it would seem to me the problem is not Reaper
I mean there are ONLY 3 boxes to check - MIDI DEVICES - SOURCE PROPERTIES - ROUTING That's it.....



EDIT EDIT - I have found that midi has always been a bit flaky ! and it's temperamental too !! lol

Thanks
Billr

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Old 01-21-2019, 02:27 PM   #25
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Hi Guys

Guess what ? Cracked it !!

Spent 2 hours checking cables - all OK
Then went through the process of direct connection to the DR-16 trying to get MTC INTO the machine - tried MTC and LTC no luck

So turned it around and SLAVED Reaper
Result !! lol

Turns out that Reaper will SLAVE to the Akai DR-16 either with MTC ( Akai set to Master with frame rate 24f )

Or

Just SPP - Akai set to SPP Master and Reaper receives SPP ALL inputs

SPP is the better option I think because the Akai and Reaper stop and start at the same place

So yes we are in businesses !! Lol

It is now just a matter of linking the gear up - since my computer with the direct input to Reaper is across the room from my Akai and my DM-24 !

But that is a small problem - I think lol...I hope !!

Thanks very much for all your help with this - I suppose we got there by a process of elimination...

Now the music making can begin ! lol

Regards
Billr
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Old 01-21-2019, 03:20 PM   #26
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congrats, Bill! What you wrote rendered half an hour of my typing obsolete, lol! I've been writing paragraphs on how you would make Reaper the transport slave of the DR16

I had a very similar setup until 2012, consisting of a Yamaha DM1000, an ALESIS HD24 and Cubase. After ultimately being fed up with Cubase I re-tried Reaper and switched DAWs in an instant (still using my 4.3x licence today in the year 2019!!!). The transition to Reaper gave me such a boost in efficiency that I soon ditched the HD24 and continued working with only the console and Reaper - until today - and never looked back. However, there where a few important projects on the HD24 which I had to transfer into Reaper. For this, I made Reaper chasing MTC from the HD14 and recorded 8 tracks in a single pass via an RME ADAT pcie card. For some projects, I had to run up to 3 synchronized passes to get up to 24 tracks into Repaer. Worked out very well and since then, I sold the HD24 and I am now tracking and mixing with Reaper alone.

A computer running Reaper with a few decent plugins is magnitudes more capable than the DR16 and the console. If you get the opportunity to find some sort of second hand RME ADAT interface (1st-gen. Babyface or HDSP 9632 pcie card), I'd recommend to grab it. Not only will you be able to transfer your DR16 projects into Reaper for much more convenient and efficient editing and more powerful processing but you will also benefit from the extremely versatile DigiCheck signal analyzing tools that come free with every RME interface (Stereo scope, LU level meters, etc.). Those alone are worth owning an RME interface!

Regarding your current setup: Is there a way of getting transports to sync via LTC/SMPTE? This would yield even more accurate sync down to the sample. For this, you could stripe one spare track of the DR16 with an LTC audio signal generated by Reaper (without any sync between them). During playback, Reaper would transport-sync to that signal instead of MTC. This only makes sense if the LTC signal coming from the DR16 stays in the digital domain thoughout.

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Old 01-22-2019, 05:09 AM   #27
Billr
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Join Date: Jun 2018
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Hi

My set up with DR-16 does need an explantion and even perhaps an apology

My DR-16 got it's midi card from my old DR-8 which of course is the 8 track


I might be wrong about this but I got my DR-8 in early 1998

So I have a feeling like my DM-24 the firmware for MTC/LTC and SMPTE is not fully realised - in these very early midi cards

So my DR-16 with the ancient DR-8 midi card ....may never of had the capability to receive timecodes only send them.....lol

What else could it be ? The MTC and SPP locked on immediately !! It was like I had thrown a switch - bang !
It worked ! Lo

I used that 8 track for 10 years without a problem with Emagic Logic Gold in Windows 98 ...in 1998 lol
That DAW software worked flawlessly out of the box on disc and I NEVER got a single update ! That's how good it was !!

As I said it's only a theory of mine that the old DR-8 card now sitting in my newer DR-16 will not actually take timecode input.... It's still waiting for the update !! Lol

The phrase ' oh..we'll fix it in an update ' is pretty worn out !!!

So...you guys might've been chasing smoke all along.....sorry 'bout that lol

EDIT - Thought this might be longshot but I became so curious about the missing timecode abilities in the DR-8
I just downloaded the user manual for the Akai DR-8 and would you know it ?

There on page 108 in the AKAI USER MANUAL FOR THE DR-8 is all you need to know about this

NOTE: With the DR8 V1.0. it is NOT possible to slave to MIDI timecode (MTC) or clock SPP

Thanks
Billr

Last edited by Billr; 01-22-2019 at 03:33 PM.
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