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Re: Echoplex problems -- help

At 9:28 AM 12/9/96, Anton Chovit wrote:
>Kim Flint wrote:
>Kim wrote,
>> You're particular troubles sound related, but different. Do you have 
>one of
>> the very first set of production units? ...
>My brother Chris and I have 5 plex's between us.  We had oh soo many
>problems, but we sent them back to Oberheim and months and months later
>they came back (hooray!!) working much better.

glad to hear those problems got fixed! One of these days I will try to get
the mod that fixes the power up/down problems with multiple brothersyncing
echoplexes on the web site. You should be able to get someone with
reasonable electronics tech ability to do it for you.

>We still have glitches
>when running brother sync for all five, but these seem to be of the
>power up/down type.  We still have lots of irregularity when syncing w/
>MIDI and brother sync.

I think the crux of your problem is right here. By using both midi and
BrotherSync for sync sources, some of the Echoplexes in your setup are
probably getting confused. The shipping software doesn't deal with this
situation very well, but we did put quite a lot of effort into that for the
upgrade. Its been a while since the work was done, so my memory is starting
to fade on just how far we got. Matthias, Eric and I are getting ourselves
set up so that we can continue development of plex software, so I'll check
into that again and see if it handles your specific problems.

One thing you might want to try is just syncing everything to midi. If you
are using a sequencer or something, just sync all the echoplexes to that
clock source and don't use the brother at all. Or work our combinations
where each echoplex is only receiving one sync source. For instance, you
might want to have everything use Brother, with one of the echoplexes set
up to generate midi clocks for the sequencers.

>I have also noticed that when syncing to MIDI (sync= IN), if start the
>MIDI (drum machine, seq, etc.) then hit record, the plex goes to 000 and
>waits for the MIDI "one beat" (as it should).  However, if I delete this
>loop or try sereral takes, eventually, the plex looses the "one beat"
>and jsuts starts recording as soon as I hit record.  The only way to get
>things working is to shut off/on the plex, stop the MIDI and start

You shouldn't have to actually turn it off. If you stop the midi clock, and
reset the loop on the plex, then restart the clock again, it should get
itself sorted out. Still, what you are experiencing is a minor problem with
the current software. While it can keep syncing to the midi clocks after
resets or new loop recordings, it sometimes loses track of the "one beat"
defined by the 8ths/beat parameter. (that parameter should really be called
8ths/cycle)  I do recall focusing on this problem for a while in the
upgrade development, and I think it now keeps track of the "one" even
through resets and multiple loop recordings.

We just didn't have time during the initial development to work out all
these different scenarios. So even though we did do a pretty good job of
sorting through some pretty esoteric situations with limited resources,
some things like this pop up. You'd be amazed at how complicated it is to
deal with all the possible situations a user might find themselves in.
Especially since its a new sort of instrument, with a new kind of interface
and no serious precedents to work from. There were times when we would
spend days going back and forth over things like "what should happen when
quantize = on, we are syncing to midi clock, insertmode = replace,
RoundMode = on, the loop is being multiplied with the multiply function,
and rather than ending with another press of multiply, the user does a long
press of the insert button, which is now the replace function, at some
point in the middle of the loop?" Sometimes I had to wonder if anyone would
ever encounter some of these things, but I'm glad we dug into it as deeply
as we did.

>I have also been unable to get Roland or Boss MIDI gear to get
>the plex to start on the "one beat" (Roland PMA-5, Dr 550)  these units
>send MIDI clock as evident by the flashing green light on the plex, but
>when you hit record, it starts on the very next beat, not the "one",
>similar to the way JamMans tap into sync w/ MIDI.

I'm not sure about this one. It sounds to me like you didn't have quantize
turned on perhaps? There could be something strange about how Roland does
midi clock. Hopefully I'll get a chance to look into that.

Anyway, midi syncing should be much better in the upgrade, which I believe
in my heart will one day overcome the odds and actually become a real


Kim Flint                   | Looper's Delight
kflint@annihilist.com       | http://www.annihilist.com/loop/loop.html
http://www.annihilist.com/  | Loopers-Delight-request@annihilist.com