Syncing Model:Cycles + TD-3 + Keystep


I’m new to the forum and to this world in general, but I’m truly in love with my new Elektron Model:Cycles. Thing is, I’m having a hard time understanding how to set up M:C as the master clock.

So, everything is connected to Apollo Twin. I have a MIDI Out from Arturia to TD-3 IN. And then a MIDI Out/Thru from TD-3 to M:C. This way everything can be played on the Arturia. I still am learning how to select the right MIDI channels but that’s another thing.

I cannot understand how I connect so everything can be played from Arturia but the master clock is from C:M, since it’s the drum etc.

Sorry for the noob question!

The things is

The M:C can’t send its clock signal the way you have it setup. The signal flow you suggest will never work because the M:C can’t send its clock backwards through its MIDI In. MIDI only flows in one direction, that’s why the ports are labeled IN and OUT.

I think the only way you’ll be able to play both synths with the KeyStep is the following setup (pretty sure).

KeyStep MIDI Out > M:C MIDI In, M:C MIDI Out > TD-3 MIDI In

There is no reason for the M:C to be the master clock because it handles the drums. Insisting on the M:C being the master clock will make the setup you want harder to achieve (I think). Otherwise it seems like you’ll have to have the M:C MIDI Out to the KeyStep MIDI In and the KeyStep MIDI Out to the M:C MIDI In…that seems like it could cause issues to me…not to mention you have to connect that TD-3 in that “loop”.

What role is the Twin playing here, seems superfluous as far as MIDI goes.


Aha! This is the exact issue I’m having. And after reading a few threads, I realize there isn’t a good solution for this specific setup.

I want to use the keystep as a keyboard controller for a few different boxes (cycles, tracker, tempest). I prefer recording a good portion of melodic stuff by live keyboard input rather than step friended input.

I want cycles to be the master clock, but it looks like keystep kind of has to be the master clock. Just like you say, the only way to do it is midi out of cycles to midi in of keystep, midi out of keystep to midi in of midi splitter, and then splitter out to cycles and whatever else you want to sequence. This allows the transport and clock to travel thru the keystep along with the keyboard midi data of the keystep, but even if you turn cycles’ clock receive off, it will still get locked in a midi loop now and then and seems to cause stability issues across the board.

So the only two options I see are using the keystep as master clock, or getting multiple midi mergers, which is money I don’t want to spend.

The problem I’m having using the keystep as master clock is I don’t want to use the arp or sequencer of the keystep at all, I only want to send midi data to my boxes, but pressing play on the keystep transport activates the arp or seq. I know tons of people have similar setups, and it’s not like mine is broken, but it’s not perfect.

A possibility I just realized is using my tempest as master clock and sacrificing the keystep’s control of it (since the pads are the best in the biz). This way the clock goes out of the tempest, into the keystep, then both clock and keystep midi go into the midi splitter and to the other boxes.