Tutorial: | Pocket Operator Sync | W/ Octatrack / Ableton or any other sequencer

Load the click sample (attached .wav) to a static track and add some trigs to the sequencer (1, 3 , 5, 7 , 9, 11, 13, 15 for example…).

Press [Function + Track] to mute the main output, and [Cue + Track] to activate the cue output.

Connect one jack of a TPY cable (Insert cable) from one of the cue outputs of the OT to the Pocket Operator input (minijack). (ex: http://www.thomann.de/fr/pro_snake_tpy_2030_kpp.htm)

Set the PO sync mode to “sync 2” by pressing key+bpm.

Press play on the PO and start the OT sequencer.

Adjust the balance* (hard pan) and the volume** of the sync track on the OT if necessary.

The fun part -> Different sync tracks or signatures:
Repeat the process on another track of the OT if you want to send a different sync signal to another Pocket Operator (Or a second PO line) from the second cue output of the OT (with a second TPY cable. (Invert the balance or use the second mono side of the TPY)). Change the trigs, the signature on the OT etc…

You can use the same process in Ableton Live, in a Max*** patcher or in any other sequencer. Route the click sample to any output channel of your soundcard and connect it to the PO’s inputs.

* The PO receives its click track on the left channel.

** the volume of the sync track has to be quite loud to maintain a fairly good sync.

*** If anybody shows interest for this, I can release a M4L or Max device to sync multiple PO’s at different signatures. Let’s call it SyncOperator or something like that ^^

N.B: To avoid “dedicating” some tracks of the OT for the sync, you could simply send a metronome to the cue outputs (and set the signature according to your needs (( i.e: 1/8)), unfortunately, it seems that the click is not loud enough, it has to be amplified before you send it to the PO input.

Wow!!! Thanks a lot! :slight_smile: Will try with my OT.

Sadly I have found that the PO’s do not work very well with irregular sync signals, even if you go below about 70BPM with regular sync the timing gets a bit sloppy, almost like a push pull.

Here is a pure Max/MSP patcher (send the output to the right audio output, runs off global transport) :slight_smile:

(Copy the below to the clipboard, and go File → New from Clipboard in Max)


Brilliant! I can’t wait to try this!

I don’t connect my OT to my computer, so I didn’t download that click sample - I just sampled the click right from the PO. (And then trimmed up the sample and laid it out on 1,3,5 etc)

However, it won’t start the PO(s). I did notice that the volume came down a bit (when I took the sample), and I have it turned all the way up coming from the OT.

Any idea why it won’t trigger the OP clock? Does it just need to be louder? How do I amplify a maxed-out sample on my OT?

Try compressing the signal with octa’s compressor. Had a similar problem when sending the sync signal from OP-1, but cranking up the compressor made it work.

This DID work, almost! I cranked up the gain on the compressor, and it gets the PO started, but it’s missing every 16th click for some reason. I still need to get louder somehow, possibly resample the click…

Try jacking the gain right up in the Octa audio editor. Seems that the new PO’s are a bit fussier about the sync signal than the old ones, anyone else notice this?

I still can’t get this to work for some reason. I’ve cranked up the gain in the editor and it’s turned up in every way I think I can turn it up. Has anybody else had luck with this? If so did you simply import the sample, or did you sample the click yourself?

What kind of cable should I be using? Right now I’m using a 1/4 inch stereo to 1/8 inch stereo. It conveys the click, but i’m wondering if it might be better if I use the mono cable, coming from the cue output of the OT.

Are you using the headphone out for this?

No, the cue out.

The cue outputs are mono so you shouldn’t be using a stereo jack. Don’t ask me what you should be using as I am not too sure myself. A twin mono jack to stereo mini jack may work but the click will only be on one channel only, not sure if that would work.

The cue outputs are mono so you shouldn’t be using a stereo jack.

I only found this page after working out most of this method (note to self: Google harder), but the cables have been the biggest head masher of all.

I’ve got my sync coming in from my audio interface through the left channel of a phono cable and into the PO-12’s mini jack. The output is a stereo minijack cable going into a 3.5 to 6.4 headphone adapter into a 6.4mm stereo to mono minijack convertor into another headphone adapter just to give my soundcard’s 6.4mm socket a mono input. Using a stereo cable gives a very low audio level and the guide on TE’s site confusingly just says that the SY2 output is ‘stereo’ so there’s me thinking it wouldn’t matter and either my PO-12 or Scarlett were borked.

Anyways, they’re not, and now I have 10cm of adapters sticking out the front of my interface. Really must go out and buy a more sensible cable :slight_smile:

Sadly I have found that the PO's do not work very well with irregular sync signals, even if you go below about 70BPM with regular sync the timing gets a bit sloppy, almost like a push pull.

I’ve found this too, using a click track from an Ableton Drum Rack. Aside from the sloppy sync (see attached screenie), I’ve also seen it drop maybe half a beat and send the whole thing off-grid.

Is this just inherent to how sync works with Pocket Operators or is it fixable? I’ve only got the one PO so I don’t know how well they behave together in their natural habitat.

Checked the driver error compensation in Ableton with the Scarlett and it’s 0.02ms, the PO is being recorded back in around 15ms later than the click track.

^ I think the problem is that sync pulses are only available for odd steps, so the PO needs to interpolate in order to figure out when to advance to the even steps. That algorithm breaks down below 60 BPM (and maybe irregular sync pulses), advancing to the next step at the wrong moment.

Hi all, just got a OP and have an Octatrack. Would this method work to sync these two with the newest OP OS? Thx in advance!

Hi all, just got a OP and have an Octatrack. Would this method work to sync these two with the newest OP OS? Thx in advance!

On the OP-1? No, you’ll still need a USB-MIDI host in order to sync them.

The OP-1’s latest OS can put out a sync pulse, but the Octatrack only syncs to MIDI, and the OP-1 can’t accept sync pulses from external gear—why they didn’t include this feature is puzzling.