In this blog post, I am going to deep dive in the MIDI clock message implemented in our MC6 MKII and MC8 MIDI Controllers.
Why MIDI Clock?
MIDI clock messages allows us to sync all our devices (or at least those which accepts MIDI clock) to a common tempo.
MIDI clock messages are sent at a regular interval and the duration between each MIDI clock message will determine the BPM that you device will set itself to. For example, if I have a Strymon Timeline and a Eventide H9 connected to the MIDI controller, it is possible for me to sync the BPM settings on both devices to a common tempo. This would be useful in some settings and more accurate than trying to tap in a tempo by sending CC messages to engage the tap function on each device.
How to use it on the MC6 MKII and MC8
Before you start, here is how the MIDI Clock works on our MIDI controllers. Engaging the MIDI Clock presets will cause the controller to start sending MIDI Clock messages. It will send continuously until you stop it, either by having a MIDI clock message programmed with a BPM value of 0, and then engaging it, or by tapping any switch or moving an expression pedal when your MIDI Clock Persistence setting is turned OFF.
In the Global Configuration Menu, there is an option to toggle the MIDI CLOCK PERSISTENCE setting on or off. When MIDI Clock Persistence is turned OFF, when the controller is sending MIDI Clock messages, tapping any switch or moving the expression pedal will stop the MIDI Clock. This is useful if you do not need the MIDI Clock to be constantly sending to your devices after they are synced.
Tapping in a tempo works well, but a little tricky if you need an exact BPM to be set. In our MIDI controllers, you can select the "MIDI Clock" message type and set a pre-set BPM.
In this setting, each time I invoke my preset with a Press action, the controller will start sending MIDI clock messages at a 120 BPM setting.
The "Show Tap Menu" option allows the controller to bring up a screen where you can tap a tempo or fine tune your tempo before saving and/or exiting. Holding the Exit button down will save the new tempo into memory.
If you prefer to tap in the tempo on the go, we have the MIDI Clock Tap option available. This message type allows you to tap in a tempo, which changes the BPM of the MIDI clock.
That is all there is to it!
Keep making awesome music!
The Morningstar Engineering Team