[ardour-dev] Re: [ardour-users] MTC & MMC ...

Third Option thirdoption at hotmail.com
Wed Sep 22 17:18:02 PDT 2004

> Ardour doesn't chase TC all by itself. Something needs to send it a
> "Start" command (e.g. using MMC). Its arguable that it should have the
> option of "chasing" any varying TC (i.e. once TC starts to move, we
> just assume that the transport should start). I think I have that
> right :) Please be more specific about how you set up Ardour as an MTC
> slave in terms of Ardour's own options.

wait a minute I don't get it - in a scenario where this is working, are you
saying that something else, say, Muse for example, will respond to MTC
coming in and then send Ardour an MMC start command?  because this is no
different from what i'm doing with ecasound.  this is not sync, this is a
free floating jam.  MTC is a LOCK, like SMPTE, which includes a constant
reminder where in time a machine is, called Song Position Pointer - in this
scenario, with a simple "start at the same time" MMC command, ardour can
drift, for example, if it xruns.  theorhetically (actually I get that theory
from practice) a short enough xrun wouldn't be heard or even mess up a
recorded track with an audible "drop out", but it WOULD mess up the sync.
this isn't a problem WITHIN ardour, because an xrun slows the WHOLE program
down - but an xrun DOES NOT slow the master machine down, if ardour is
slave.  now I assume if ardour was SENDING MTC, the slave machines would
follow any slow downs (that's what you want) - that said, what about
implementing MTC SEND?  is that a harder thing to do?  why are we focusing
on MTC slave?  in practice, I'd actually rather have the multitracker be the
master of the time code.

the most obvious example of why you need MTC, other than drift, is that in
order to BE in sync with this free floating jam sync workaround, you have to
start the piece over from the beginning.  this becomes a pretty big hassle
in a 3 minute song - but what about a 30 minute piece?  here you gotta waste
30 minutes to get to a punch in at the end, which could cost you 70 dollars,
depending on where you are - 15 or 20 dollars in my house ;)

so basically this issue is, to my eyes, still VERY unclear.

my staunch opinion always has been and remains that implementing MTC as
opposed to straight SMPTE will be far more useful - most gear these days
deals with MTC and NOT straight SMPTE.

bear in mind that there is no practical, in-use difference between the two -
MTC is the MIDI implemention of the SMPTE standard, so that SMPTE time code
can be sent over the MIDI stream (without having to have an audio track
recorded, or a BNC connector for SMPTE - that's why it makes sense that most
gear will not have a BNC connector for SMPTE, because it probably already
has a MIDI connector, so why not just implement MTC and save the cost of the
added connector?)

I've gotten as deep as my knowledge permits me - guys please tell me if it
would help for me to improve and deepen my knowledge to help :)  I'm already
at work on that, but I haven't been speedily trying to figure out more about
MTC because to the best of my knowledge, Paul et al know more about it than
I do, especially with regard to how it interacts with issues such as the

But I'm not totally convinced of that if what we're calling MTC
implementation is just Ardour responding to MMC start, which is easy and has
worked for a while - it's what I'm doing as a work around because of NOT
having MTC implementation.

what about ADAT sync?  just a thought.  I assume that would be harder, and
it's also less universally useful.  But it was on the list at one point.

MTC obviously includes a start/stop command, coupled with a song position

> Slaving has some problems right now but they are not hard to solve,
> they just require time spent close to a MTC source.
> > >   Also, I'll be testing MMC with a Tascam TM-D1000 mixer. Please
> > > if there are any particular functions the team wants tested. Also, if
> > > anyone else has used a similar mixer, please let me know of any
> > > tips or tricks to try. TIA!
> Ron Parker has used his DM24 with MMC to control Ardour. Seems to work
> fine.
> --p
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