Sync'ing external device to record on OP-1

All I’m really trying to do is to get music from my the Novation Circuit to be recorded on my OP-1’s tape and make sure they are sync’ed, meaning they both start at the exact same time when I press “RECORD”. Obviously I can’t do that manually by pressing the RECORD button on the OP-1 and PLAY on the Novation Circuit.

I can get everybody talking through Ableton Lite and pressing “PLAY” in Ableton will indeed start both the OP-1 and Novation Circuit in PLAY mode. But what I need is the OP-1 to start in RECORD mode, not PLAY. Currently I wired the audio out of the Novation Circuit directly to the AUX input of the OP-1 and indeed I can record things manually just fine, but I need both to start at the exact same time, so I need some kind of midi SYNC there.

I also tried without using MIDI, which maybe would be even better in my use case because I wouldn’t even need a computer at all! I’d put OP-1 in record and TRIG on AUX and just pressing play on the Novation Circuit would trigger the recording. Not perfect sync but “good enough” for me. But for some reason pressing “SHIFT+RECORD” and then the mike button to select AUX input starts recording immediately even with no music playing, no matter the TRIG level. I guess there’s something I don’t understand there also…

If anybody has a clue how to accomplish my albeit very simple goal, let me know! Thanks.

I could be wrong but I think you need to change the input mode to line in first. Set the trig to the lowest value, then go back to the tape and hit the mic button to change the input to line in (you should see the blue aux symbol pop up) then hit shift + record to arm, and when you hit play on the circuit it should start recording immediately.

Thanks dawg_dawgenstein but no, the way you suggest puts the tape in record mode but it never starts recording. It’s like the ‘trigger’ level is completely ignored because the line in level is wayyyy above the trigger I set.

So I guess I don’t understand how this feature is supposed to work, maybe because I haven’t found any explanation in TE’s manual. Terribly useless user manual if you ask me.

That said, I was surprised to find out that I was pretty accurate for pressing Play on the Circuit at the exact same time as the Record button on the op-1, so I just do it manually at this point and it works fine for my use case. Still I’d like to know what that damn trigger thing on line in is actually used for, if not for that…

@ABicycleRide , OP1 only speaks “start”, “stop”, “continue” transport. i think while it’s running pressing Record punches to the active/current track. Logically you might be able to simply hold Rec while pressing play on your MIDI master. Tried it?

Thanks for the info, I’ll try the next time I plug everything into Ableton but I’ve just stopped looking at this “problem” since manually pressing Record on Op-1 and Play on the Circuit is actually accurate enough for me at this time.

I think using USB-midi on a portable studio like the Op-1 was a big mistake as it forces a ‘host’ to be in the chain. That’s really bad as far as I’m concerned as it prevents simple things like plugging a usable midi keyboard to the Op-1 (Kenton requires power from an adapter so it’s useless in a portable setup).

I’m just learning about all the incompatibilities, being a newbie. I guess I’ll just need to adapt and forget about having the ‘perfect’ portable studio.

u can power the kenton via a USB battery for portability
but ya i agree its not as ideal as the just plug 2 things together setup.

I don’t think so:

-“The MIDI USB Host MkII is powered by a regulated 5V mains adaptor (supplied)”

The only USB port is the HOST port and that port is a supply of power, not a sink. I could make a custom connector and go from a battery pack but that’s crappy and just adds even more wires and external battery.

The nearest solution would be a portable MIDI keyboard with a HOST port, I guess, where I could plug-in the OP-1, but none have that. The perfect portable solution just doesn’t exist. Maybe I should start a new thread to ask if any has come up with one, actually. But I doubt, as the hardware just doesn’t seem to exist.

@ABicycleRide I use OP1 MIDI quite often; it’s OK, as long as you don’t expect too much of it. My host is a 1st gen iConnectMIDI, though the Kenton or Miditech or Cerebel USB Host does the same, also iPad. Indeed, a perfect solution doesn’t exist, though at the top you talked of Ableton Live, so basically a computer in your setup.
The OP1’s tape transport isn’t midi-tempo synced, and MIDI tempo fluctuating in tiny amounts is quite ordinary, and if you leave the OP1 to loop a piece of tape it would just fall out of sync. And it has a habit of retransmitting stuff that it receives. All in all, not great. But certainly usable.
AFAIK a “perfect” portable studio doesn’t exist.

i’ve done it. you can definitely power it via a 5V usb battery.
kenton mkII has a micro usb power port dont it?

Thanks for all the answers, although it all just confirms my findings that making things work pretty much implies creating a mess of extra boxes and wires.

I’ll just connect my Circuit’s audio output to the Op-1 for recording manually and ditch my hopes for a better keyboard while on the road. Life is a trade-off :slight_smile:

Stick with the click off the po sync, then connect to something with both click and midi out to convert the tape to midi sync seems best.

and just remember this record each of the parts off the circuit onto its own track because if you try and record them into one track it will be mono

Also, OP1 isn’t a ‘portable studio’. Just throwing that in there

Yea I’m with lescour1 & I think midi over usb makes the most sense due to it’s size. The Op-1 doesn’t play well with others…it’s not meant to.
Adapting is a big part of this game & finding other ways to do things. You can get the Op-1 to play with your other gear, it just might not do it exactly how you want it to :smile:

that does not work for me.