Working on a new way how to route things - Help Needed!

Really need some advice on something i’ve been thinking of doing for quite a while now. Just have not had the time to actually put it into principle but also apprehensive as not sure if it will actually work correctly. What i’m trying to achieve is two main objectives at the same time. I want everything in sync. I’m not sure if I can do it in one big link or if I need two separate methods or even if it can be achieved.

  1. Use imac running Cubase 9 with VST plugins in sync along with Cirklon slaved to master clock of DAW triggering outboard synths / drum machines recorded direct into a QU32 with a Expert Sleepers Usamo. I think this can be achieved from forums posts I have read on here, Cirklon forums, expert sleepers etc. I have around 26 outputs from synths/drum machines running individual TRS/TS cables into 26 line in’s on the QU32. Leaving around 6 spare line in’s.

  2. Use the chord assistance plug within Cubase but hooking up an external, separate TI2 sound source not in the above chain (i think) so Cubase can trigger the chords and TI2 sounds from the separate source with that audio going directly into QU32. That would mean everything in sync.

I have 6 spare channels on the QU32 one of which one will be used for first usamo that goes into the cirklon and triggers the other synths. I also have a MOTU Microlite which could be use somewhere but i’m not sure exactly how that would go into this mix. Not even sure if I would need a second USAMO.

The main issue i’m trying to work out is how to go about using chord assistant in cubase, what i would like is to use this inside cubase to trigger the seperate ti2. I still want the cirklon to work in sync at the same time. I don’t think it would work in the main loop (imac, cirklon situation) this is just a guess i could be wrong.

Would be interesting to know peoples thoughts and ideas if this could actually be achieved. Something I really hope can work and can finally put this idea into action. Any input is welcome.

If I was to synch any DAW to hardware, I would never try to make it with the DAW as the master, but using one tight external clocking-device to synch them all from there.

How would you go about this in your opinion?

First, the reason for suggesting to have a tight non-inside-a-computer clock is some experience that timing of midi clock is not a high priority on most computer OS. This can cause issues during recording midi from external gear into a DAW and it can also cause that there is some sloppyness playing back midi from a DAW to external gear. It strongly depends on the hardware/software setup whether issues are generated, which can be heard and can be really annoying or not :wink: .

Generally I prefer hardware, which is known to be tight wrt timing. We can - as an examples - use an OT or AR or AK for this, a hardware sequencer like the Pyramid or a MPC, I guess your Circlon should also be a good source of tight timing, or to use any of the hardware-clocks available like an ER-M Midiclock or Multiclock (it’s an investment, but many user have reported that this was money spent well).

Sorry for the late response, a tree came down and the phone line went off for some time. BT put up a new pole today and back online.

I’ve had a think about things and actually the DAW is not the master of anything here, the USAMO is the one sending the clock to the Cirklon. The problem is now this is so confusing I don’t know what to start. I spent the day trying to get everything in sync, I’m no longer nearer getting this to actually work. Really need some help on it as it’s starting to drive me mad!

My setup is a QU mixer with Cubase main outputs on 15-16. In addition I have used one of the individual QU’s Mix outs which is also sending the Cubase output to the audio in of the USAMO, I can see the activity on the front of the USAMO steady red by adjusting the trim with no clip so I know the signal is reaching it. The clip LED is not flashing or showing red. The USAMO then has one MIDI cable to the in of the Cirklon MIDI in port 1.

I have synths and drum machines going out from the Cirklon 5 MIDI outs.

The settings part is where I’m coming unstuck and need serious help I think, I’m just not sure where to start. I presume all Cirklon MIDI settings need to be turned off. I think it is now just a case of working out what to turn off in Cubase.

I go into the Port Config menu of the Cirklon and see “SOFT THRU”, THRU FTS, “RECORD ENABLE” MCLK SEND and SEND MTC and turn all off.

I then went back to Cubase 9.0 and went into the transport menu then project synchronization setup and leave the setting to internal timecode. I don’t presume cubase is sending clock after this.

I did think everything was setup correctly but went back to press play in Cubase and nothing really happened, apart from seeing the Cirklon tempo all over the shop going upto 313.6 and 800bpm and a few individual drum hits all over the place. Obviously Cubase and the Cirklon were not synced as the BPM of Cubase was 125 and there is a track which is in place on the Cirklon didn’t play.

The Cirklon also keeps getting a interrupted SYSX INTERRUPTED which I’m not sure why. I have looked on the USAMO plug page and it seems to be sending CLOCK but no green box to know if it is sent correctly.

Really confused with all this, I know a fair few of you use USAMO, can you share any advice and tips to get this working once and for all!

He’s got an usamo, which is like an erm or sync gen type device…

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I will try to get some information about the USAMO, but maybe I can offer some ideas, which might you get a step forward …

  1. check your master-clock, it needs to send out it’s “clock”-signal
  2. check that no second master-clock is sending midi-clock into your midi-network unintentionally
  3. check that every gear or software, which has to by synchronized is set up to accept external clocking
  4. check that the master-clock can be received by every gear, which shall be synchronised

The last point might be complex, depending how your midi-network is wired :wink:

If the Circlon was the master-clock, you should have all gear connected to the Circlon synced, but for this, the USAMO would be off-duty.

A midi splitter/merger configuration could integrate the USAMO like this

a) USAMO midi-out --> splitter in
b) splitter out 1 --> Circlon (having MDCLK send to off)
c) splitter out 2 --> merger in 1
d) Circlon out --> merger in 2
e) merger out --> “rest of the gang”

If the USAMO happens to provide 2 outs, the splitter is not required.

You could also check in the manual of the Circlon, whether there is an option to “receive-midi-clock” and going synchronized AND sending this midi-clock out on it’s port, without generating internal midi-clock.

Wow. And I thought I had a complicated setup. I feel for you. But once you get over these hurdles sounds like it will be a lot of fun having everything working together.

If I can suggest something non-technical… try to get only 1 or 2 things working together at a time. Take a lot of clear notes. Draw diagrams. Once you get 2 things working together, add a third, make a note that these 3 things are working. Then, add a fourth, and so on. If something doesn’t work, just roll it back one step. Since you’ve taken clear notes on what version of your setup was working, you should be able to isolate problems/bugs fairly quickly and take care of them.

Sounds relatively dull and just plain commonsense, but in our fast-paced world we usually try and get things done all at once, well, maybe in this case taking things in gradual steps could eliminate some points of confusion and stress. Good luck. Wish I could help more with the technical side.


It’s definitely been something I’ve wanted to get working for along time, this goes back when I couldn’t sync the RYTM with Overbridge in Logic, I decided at the time if I invested in a Cirklon I could carry on using the RYTM plus add some synths to the mix, bang them all through a QU mixers line in’s and get everything is sync. Thing is I have always wanted to try and use soft synths such as Stylus RMX in perfect sync with all this, if I could get that going as well it would be a dream to achieve - if it actually can be achieved.

So far today I have found an old MOTU Microlite 5x5 MIDI interface. I have now set this up to test to see if the USAMO is working correctly. I’m still no where closer to where i want to be though and I now have some kind of data but no green data from the USAMO telling me that it’s working. I’m pretty sure I’ve done everything the way it should be done, I could be wrong.

So I have one of the indivdual mix outputs on the QU desk sending audio to the USAMO.

USAMO red LED shows it is receiving audio and tested as if I drop the fader on the QU desk it cuts the Red activity LED on the USAMO off.

So then MIDI out from USAMO to the MIDI IN 5 of the Microlite which is then connected via USB back to my iMac.

Microlite front LED for computer connection now showing as connected in green.

In Cubase 9.0.10, opened a VST track with USAMO transmitting on any MIDI channel in Cubase.

On the USAMO plug MIDI out is set to omni.

Set a separate audio track with audio file lined up next to it and on cycle at 126BPM.

Go to the USAMO plug, add the source as MOTU Microlite MIDI Port 5 and press enable. I can see data on the left hand side of the plug is being sent (TEST) but all in grey.

I then press test but everything is in red on the right. I have to press play in Cubase as it doesn’t start the track from the start for me. Press space bar to play from anywhere, Microlite front LED in orange on MIDI channel 5 is now on.

Move the trim on USAMO, all red error on USAMO window. Press enable to reset then go back to the trim, still errors in red.

Even turned the fader off on the QU mix output channel cutting all messages off. So something is getting through, it’s just finding out why it’s not working. I look at the front of the LED’s on the USAMO - all lights are on steady red, clip is brighter then other but that seems as it should from what I hear. Just can’t seem to get this going, or even get the test results I need to see!

My understanding of how the USAMO works is, it listens to a click track from your DAW that runs from a spare audio output of your sound-card into the USAMO, correct?

If the main goal is syncing DAW with external hardware sequencers, that would be where I would start. Get one thing working, just to test and establish a baseline. So, get Cubase and Stylus RMX and other softsynths and one single piece of hardware working in sync using the USAMO. For instance:

Cubase master clock --> USAMO (listening to Cubase click) --> Rytm

Everything sound in sync? When you record the Rytm, is it lining up on the grid with the other tracks like you want?

Yes? Then proceed to add other gear. Test recording and timing/sync after each addition.

No? Back to drawing board. Should be easier to isolate problem as you have only basic gear hooked up.

Alternatively, if that’s too simple, I guess I would try :

Cubase master clock --> USAMO (listening to Cubase click) --> Cirklon --> other instruments sequenced by Cirklon.

Edit: sorry if this is not helping. Feel free to ignore. I’m contemplating these same issues these days, trying to get my TR-8, Rytm, TB-03, Minilogue, SQ-1, etc. all synced up and playing in time with Ableton. I had considered a device like the USAMO or E-RM midi/multi-clock. So, your situation is also an interesting brain-teaser, but I might be adding more confusion to the mix rather than helping. I’ll bow out and let someone more knowledgeable help.

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Might give this thread a read also. The OP is using Ableton, but I assume Cubase would have similar features as far as setting midi clock latency adjustments.

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I appreciate the help Bwax, please stay and board any help is useful. Once i get this up and running then I will put up a proper tutorial for how i get around it. Fucking nightmare trying to get to the holy grail! I did look at the innerclock for months before going for the USAMO, i did think this would be easy but the one guy I have spoke to took 3 days to get it right!

The USAMO has it’s own plugin. This gets the audio synced from the hardware audio interface which uses the audio output of the daw into the usamo audio in. In this case the QU mixer individual mix output (mono) into the usamo’s audio in. There is no midi clock needed.

The USAMO then sends the midi along/triggers and links it up at the same time as the audio. I think, i don’t fully understand it tbh as my head is a mess after two days of this! Sample accurate supposedly. It’s just a case of linking things up now which is strange as everything looks like it’s recieving some kind of signal.

A guy I spoke to ten minutes ago who has similar setup QU mixer but different daw (ableton) seems to think i have all settings correct, it could be an issue with Cubase 9. I may try latest version of logic tomorrow. I have a few threads in place on muff wiggler and cirklon forums so hopefully i get the answers and solutions i need.

Thanks for the help though, i’m desperate to get this working so these issues so far are not going to stop me.

I’ve seen this thread but the amount of words is higher than the sustain on my current Elektronauts concentration envelope. I just wanna let you know that it’s doable, just keep at it!

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It works! Finally got it going after a week but not using Logic or Cubase now - only got it working through a demo of Ableton!

Bloody nightmare to get going but well worth the wait :slight_smile:


is there anyone who finds a way to sync Usamo with an midiinterface like Motu Micro lite and Logic?