Motu midi express xt usb sync

Does anyone have this unit? Am trying to use my TR8 as a sync master but having troubles and I dont understand the manual properly despite reading the various sections on MTC and MMC.

I would like to create some presets with some of the other gear as master or maybe the Motu can do that.

simply dragging tr8 in to my sub 37 doesnt send the timing from the tr8.

I am sure one of you has this device.

I got the device as I was constantly swapping cables around when i was using a DAW or another day using the OT with no DAW.

One issue to understand is that MTC (MIDI Time Code) and MMC (MIDI Machine Control) are different protocols than “MIDI beat clock” messages, which is what most of your instruments use.

For now, ignore the sections of the manual that refer to MTC, MMC, and SMPTE.

Let’s start with the basics:
[li]what gear do you have connected to the MIDI Express XT?[/li]
[li]what ports do you have connected?[/li]
[li]what is the first goal that you would like to achieve with the interface?[/li]

MIDI Clock that enters on the Express by any port goes to all ports. Just be sure that only the master machine is sending Clock, and set all the slaves’s clock t to external . The Express can generate MTC, not sure about MIDI clock that is what most machines uses.

I discovered through elimination that the midi out cable from the tr8 to the in of the motu was faulty so ive changed both cables the ins and outs to new cables.

for now only the sub 37 and tr8 ins and outs are connected.

Sub 37 out to motu cable 1 in on midi channel 6
Tr8 out to motu cable 2 in

if I put the sub 37 to sync and put arp on in latch mode when the tr8 plays the sub 37 plays the part fine.

if I do the reverse and have sub 37 as master with arp out for midi on the tr8 goes crazy it shows clock inpit from ext source but its running at 300 bpm

so something is doubling up or looping.

ive attached a connection diagram

the other cables are disconnected for now till i get my head around the motu and for ease of assistance.

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here is the connection that works

this way the tr8 goes bananas

My goal in answer to Peter’s question:
to be able to use and connect to the synths when using Ableton i.e in DAW
To operate in standalone mode and record to a tascam DP32.
The OT itself is what brought me to this place because I found that I liked using it as a sequencer outside of ableton.

The Motu would give me that connectivity flexibility that I couldnt enjoy using the kenton thru (although I do love that product)

Sounds like you have double clock in, probably the TR8. To be sure with the TR8 as salve and having those 300BPM, just unplug the MIDI out from the TR8 and check TR8 BPM.

If you have a clock loop back it could need some time to empty MIDI buffers. so always wait a bit while testing.

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I muted the input from the tr8 so it stopped the loop back. THANK YOU.

I guess I have to make and save some presets for this so that i can switch to and fro.

everything needs a new mindset but I am glad I took the forums advice and got the Motu midi express xt.

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Ok to work with Ableton and record audio on Ableton you shouldn’t set Ableton as slave, if you do that, your audio data will be a “time markers”'s nightmare because the standard tempo fluctuations that MIDI clock has. So for recording audio use Ableton as master clock tempo, or set it at the same BPM and free, then adjust recordings manually. To play with Live and machines without recording audio then Ableton can be slave with no problems. I use it that way when playing live (Ableton is just an accessory for some FX, live vocoder etc, not backing machine). And if I´m recording at the studio then Live is master (via Overbridge).

What you want to do is simple, just follow a single rule: Only one machine/or the computer can send MIDI clock to the Midiexpress at the same time.

Note that some machines’s MIDI OUTs can act as a MIDI THRU (you probably can disable that if that is the case.)
Good luck!


Oh just another thing, check that besides MTC there is another kind on the Mutes pages called RealTime = MIDI Clock.

Just to have present for future issues.

Your other option is to adjust the ‘MIDI clock source’ system setting on the TR-8 from INTERNAL to AUTO. Unfortunately you would have to restart the TR-8 in order to do so. Making a preset on the MOTU is probably more convenient.

You should be able to connect your instruments to the MOTU, one at a time to ensure that each instrument is correctly configured, and use Live as the master as gbravetti described.

OK. For this you may eventually want to use the MTC and/or MMC functions of the MOTU.

I have a related question as I use the Midi Express XT extensively in my setup… when a device is sending MIDI beat clock messages, all of the MIDI IN / MIDI OUT ports light up continuously, making it impossible to see when a particular device is sending smaller messages like note on / off, etc. Is this normal, or is the device being incorrectly flooded with data?

From the manual:

When data is muted on a MIDI IN port, the light on the front panel still blinks when the data is received on the port. Don’t be concerned. The light blinks to let you know that the interface is indeed receiving the data on that port. However, the data does get muted. (On output, however, since muted data doesn’t actually get sent, the light does not blink.)

So even if you mute the MIDI real time (clock) messages at the input ports of the MOTU, the input lights will still flash. Many devices allow you to switch off transmission of MIDI clock, so you should investigate that possibility if the flashing is a problem.

If clock messages were actually being passed through from all inputs at once, you would probably notice much bigger problems than the blinking lights.

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Is ok to have all Outs blinking because the Clock, but not all the In Ports,
Are you sure all your In ports are constantly blinking? If sequencers, arpeggios, etc. are stopped, there must be only one In Port LED blinking constantly. As Peter said, if you mute RT for that port, the In led will continue blinking, but all Outs should stop. If not, is because you have other clocks going through.

I have some success i think ive made the OT the master and unplugged midi in for now the sub 37 is set to sync and when i press play the arp sequence plays as does the tr8 and my BS2 is on and thats getting the correct bpm from the OT.

Interestingly the Sub 37 input light 1 on the motu flashes as i guess its receiving the timing at its input but the OT on cable in 4 is lit up but does not flash.

send transport and clock are switched on.

Do any of you see clockworks crash when trying to rename a preset?

this happens quite a lot and ive set it to admin mode on running the .exe

in event viewer win 10 x64 notes the crash event.

I was using my octatrack as a master the other day, in fact the master synth doesnt matter. The TR8 when connected makes all of the motu output buttons light up. The Motu website suggests that this is due to midi loop. I can create the mutings in clockworks or turn off specific midi things ex sub 37. I am curious as to why the tr8 makes every output lightup. is there a way to stop the tr8 doing this without using the motu mutings?

I dare say maybe there is something i can switch off in tr8 settings maybe but not sure.

Ive made various presets with the clockworks so i can use ot as master or sub 37 master but i dont get this problem with any of the other equipment. The only action required on other stuff is to not rout to itself, obviously, and ensure that the midi input of the master device mutes realtime and hey presto it all works.

to diagnose i shut everything off and just connected the tr8 itself and when i did this even despite muting realtime all outputs light up.

maybe someone could hook one up and advise.

I assume that the only problem you are experiencing is the flashing lights and that everything sounds OK: is that the case?

I don’t have a TR-8 but I believe that it automatically sends out MIDI Active Sensing messages.

I don’t have a MOTU interface so I don’t know whether the MOTU software is able to filter particular MIDI messages at its inputs.

In your set-up, do you have any need for the TR-8 to send MIDI messages to your other gear?