Overbridge Sync and sample-accurate Midi Sync combined

First off - congratulations to Elektron for bringing us Overbridge. This represents a huge leap in value for all my Elektron devices, even those not compatible with Overbridge. I believe this will be highly successful, and hopefully Elektron will consider developing Overbridge (or similar plugin) for all of it’s devices. (Or is it not possible?)

My reason for posting is - before Overbridge I had found a very good solution for getting perfect midi sync to the Octatrack — Expert Sleeper’s audio-driven sample-accurate jitter-free midi box called USAMO. http://www.expert-sleepers.co.uk/usamo.html
Using USAMO, one can achieve perfectly tight sync using master clock from a DAW to drive outboard gear.

I did a little experiment yesterday with my Analog4 being synced by Overbridge, and my Octatrack being synced from the USAMO. I need to do some more testing, but apparently the offset control in the USAMO plugin (AU & VST) no longer has any effect and I’m unable to get the perfect sync I had, before using Overbridge. EDIT: I’m using Ableton’s sync delay for the USAMO and getting the results I need. Tested over a long period and now working as expected. The offset control is what I previously used to do this, but the only thing that has changed on my system is Overbridge and Ableton Suite upgrade.

Overbridge has it’s own proprietary sync technology and the A4 works perfectly with it. Sync is sent out the A4’s midi out into the Octatrack, and the OT syncs very close (the OT is naturally a tiny bit behind), but not as tight as using the USAMO with the proper offset. (I know I can get around this with Ableton’s track delays).

EDIT: Would it be nice if Elektron implements a sync delay setting inside Overbridge? This way you could really lock up sync for non-Overbridge Elektron devices (e.g. Octatrack).

My goal is to use both if possible. I can of course use the track delays in Live if needed but the idea of tracking my outboard gear in one pass without any delay compensation is preferable. The OCD in me doesn’t like looking at waveforms which aren’t aligned to musical time. Maybe I’m picky, but is anyone here feeling the same?

Finally, to be clear - I would not attempt this with a traditional midi clock solution. Innerclock Systems offers similar tech, as do other manufacturers. For those you who do not have the ability to use Overbridge, I highly recommend it.

Thanks everyone/anyone! :wink:

Sorry for the somewhat complex post, but I’ll bet someone eventually tries something similar and the USAMO is a very affordable jitter-free midi sync solution. (Compared to Innerclock Systems products it’s a steal.) I’m open to suggestions as well. Overbridge is quite an achievement and it makes me want a Rytm even more now.

I tried USAMO for a while. I found more jitter than using standard midi from ableton. I had phasing problems with layered percussion that I didn’t have before. I also had problems sometimes with losing sync completely, which I think may have been due to slight audio dropouts due to max for live cpu spikes. It is good for getting delay sync right though. Maybe ff400 doesn’t work well with it. Overbridge seems to work well so far, latency is compensated correctly and very little jitter, I’m using Rytm.

I have an almost similar setup (ERM Multiclock, sample triggered by LIVE) and got the best sync results with ‘sync to host’ mode switched off. i have not finished all testings yet.

It would be a vey nice solution to decide from which port (USB oder MIDI) my Elektron-boxes would receive the clock signal. This option would open the possibility to sync from external gear and receive MMC from LIVE’s sync port.

Actually they accept the clock from both, USB and MIDI. Ableton recommends to filter out their clock signal (midi-pipe i.e.) when syncing over MIDI port. It works well but that’s not the perfect setup for me as I have to run further dedicated software tools instead of pure hardware sync.

I asked Elektron support, they put it on their list.

Hi Soltec,

Im going down the same route, just posted something similar yesterday. I want to use Innerclocks Sync Gen 2 Pro and a firewire sound card to multi out the Rytm to Ableton, this will work perfect but I still have the issue of not been able to multi out the Analog Four. So a combination of the traditional way and OB would be great. Let me know if you find a way round all this.

I agree that having MIDI Clock delay native in the A4/AK/AR would be awesome. +/-40 ms in either direction ought to be useful for most people.

Some more tests last night confirmed it is now working as I expected, but Bin is right - there are some issues with using USAMO. I had never intended to use it in a live context, but it is clear after some time with it, USAMO is definitely vulnerable to CPU spikes, or if the audio coming from USAMO plugin is altered in anyway, sync will be broken. But when it does work, it’s fantastic. My intention has always been to only track (record) with it. So, I’m only running the overbridge plugin when I do this, recording the Analog4’s virtual inputs and physical inputs from my Native Instruments A6. Last night I would engage recording and then avoid touching the mouse, faders or knobs while multi tracking and/or overdubbing. All tracks aligned tightly to the timeline. (There’s always the option of minute track delays if needed.)

Aside from some of these issues, it is definitely worth it. I tested this with the Octatrack being synced by USAMO and the A4 synced by Overbridge, recording simple kick drums on both over a 200+ bar stretch. Zooming into the final bars of the recording everything is perfectly in time. The kicks were sonically equivalent, but there were naturally minute differences. But zooming revealed clearly that there was at the most .5 to 1 ms difference between the 2 recordings. Granted, this depends on getting the sync delay for the USAMO dialed in perfectly, but I don’t mind doing this prior to each tracking session, in order to achieve a perfectly locked tracking session. This is huge for me! I love composing with my hardware, but it was always a PITA to track them into a DAW. Overbridge was the final missing piece to the puzzle.


Sounds good, Soltec. Thanks for sharing!

I’d be interested in knowing if the Overbridge + Innerclock sync is working well; does anyone have this config?

i would be very interested in knowing your setup. Would you be able to share? I also like composing on the elektrons - but never mastered the step of recording the stuff i make. Would be great with some tips.


EDIT: I ended up here after reading this thread on Facebook:

I would like to be sure as well that midi is tight and been wondering what kind of setup i need. I will probably soon add the RYTM to the setup as well. It would be ideal if i didn’t need an extra box for locking the DAWs midi to Elektron Gear - and then from Elektron to External Gear.

I´m thinking about USAMO too to sync TR-8 and Octatrack and xoxbox to DAW (and even A4 and AR in Logic :wink:

So I can use Overbridge for Audio recording but sending clock via USAMO to A4/AR.
How many machines ca I daisy chain vial Midi thru? I read at gearsluts that midi thru splitter is not recommend to get a tight sync.

so yesterday finaly my USAMO arrived from Schneidersladen too … and first time A4 and Rytm were tight in sync with Logic (switch of SYNC in OB menu) ;)) but I still have a delay between recording A4/AR via OB and via Audio In … and also Usamo Sycn starts after 1 bar.

So Usumo Sync is straight on the Logic click track. But OB is different … and I noticed that it also sounds different (different volumes on the AR per track but also feels like different pitches). Will check in in depht the next days.

But so far so good :slight_smile: