Sync PO with KeyStep

I want to run my PO (I have a PO-32) as the clock master to sync the KeyStep (since I literally never have any idea what BPM the KeyStep is outputting. This way I can visually set the BPM in the PO).

This a series of steps I’m doing with some question marks on things I either don’t know or think I’m not doing right:

  • I have the KeyStep on Sync In (switches on the back)
  • The PO is set to SY 1
  • I have the TRS cable coming out of the PO into the KeyStep Sync in port. (I finally realized I need a Y-Splitter here to split out the sync “sound” from the PO output.) Is the correct way to split the sync for the KeyStep?
  • Now this is the big mystery for me. What should I set the analog clock rate in KeyStep to be compatible with the PO clock being sent? I have the 3 choice of step-gate, step-clock and pulse(korg)

Appreciate the insight and help here. I’m so close to getting this to work, but still not there.

sync signal is on the tip (left). audio on the ring (right) when u split.
just make sure u get the right splitter as there a few different kinds out there
and they all tend to look the same.
like LR to LR & LR is not what u want. u want LR to L & R.

the PO sends clock signals out at an 8th note rate. or 2 pulses per quarter note.
just try the different modes on your keystep if u are unsure what is what.
altho the manual should explain what each does.
u won’t break anything. u may just get the wrong tempo.
my guess would be either pulse(korg) or step-clock is what u want.

one major thing to look out for might be that the PO sends a relatively weak sync pulse compared to other gear. it works fine like with other POs or the OP1 sync but some other gear does not like it at all. in this case u may need to amplify your signal or get used to having the keystep be master.


Excellent info. Thank you.

Does this seem like the right cable? It does match your description of how things are split out.

i think u want a 3.5mm or 1/8" style cable not 1/4"

1 Like

OMG, good catch!! Thank you. :slight_smile:

@docshermsticks I ended up getting this breakout:

I tested it… The pulse is being sent from the tip. On the KeyStep I have it set to Sync-In, and I attached a mini-stereo cable from the Tip of the breakout into the Sync-In port of the KeyStep. The KeyStep is connected via Midi-Out to my Korg NTS-1’s Midi-in. In MCC, I’ve experimented with all the Sync Setting (Korg Pulse, Step Clock, Step Gate). No go with the KeyStep. Anything I’m missing here?

P.S. Attaching the sync directly into the NTS-1 works just fine. It gets the clock sync from the PO. It seems like the keystep is simply not working with that signal. I have it set to Korg Pulse, which should be compatible to the 2PPQ of the PO’s signal.

im not super familiar with the keystep
but if its working with the NTS
my first guess would be that the keystep needs a hotter signal to recognize the pulses
pretty sure the PO sync maxes out around 1V
where most devices are looking for something closer to 5V or even 3.3V

do u have like a mixer or something that has a bit of extra gain on tap
that u could atleast test it out?

what happens if u use the NTS sync out to the keystep?
how does that go?

1 Like

I actually did use the NTS-1 sync out. The Keystep immediately recognized it as a clock source, but wasn’t very useful as a clock source, since it only sends a clock when the ARP is active, which was what I wanted to use the KeyStep for. :slight_smile: Did a quick signal boost experiment. Totally worked!! The keystep is definitely expecting a much louder pulse than the PO’s normal signal. At least I know it works. Now to figure out a nice portable boost scenario. :slight_smile: Thanks again for the guidance.

1 Like