Adding clock sync to music player and sound trackers

By st1mpy

Hero (663)

st1mpy's picture

02-01-2021, 02:35

I've thought about clock syncing MSX and other devices in the past, with not so serious synths like Volcas, Pocket Operators (ones that use headphone jack and 2ppqn signals) and may be gameboys with lsdj/nanoloop etc. (I'm not sure if any trackers on MSX even use a MIDI sync).

I know about the JoyTracker and as I wrote in the comments section there, I've tried out the sync hardware with the tracker. (this one is sync 24 I think. as in 24 ppqn).

What this achieves apart from clock syncing and playing various instruments in sync with the MSX playing music, by offering an externally adjustable tempo, many musicians outside of MSX world could use MSXs in their setup of synths.

It should be a simple mod to the music player, or trackers. And may be MIDI sync could be supported easier as there are various MIDI hardware already available on the MSX (may be too many different ones). But for a Volca type sync with a headphone jack, we need a hardware attached to the Joystick port like the JoyTracker design, or have a cartridge and decide on a IO port.

JoyTracker have sync IN, and I think that design is good. Alternatives would have been the MSX being the master clock and do a Sync OUT device, but this is less flexible as many musicians will not have MSX as the main sequencer.
With the Sync IN arrangement, what ever the master clock is, can also drive other different device in sync.

Anyway, any music player/tracker programmers want to add the feature to their software? And would it be possible to come up with a standard for design?

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By Grauw

Ascended (9580)

Grauw's picture

02-01-2021, 04:43

In the context of driving the MSX via MIDI as a synthesizer, for Synthesix (abandoned) and Synthesix Lite FM supporting MIDI sync is something I was considering. It would be pretty easy apart from probably requiring some UI to enable it.