Monday, December 31, 2018

MIDI Sync Had a Software Bug!

So I wasn't going crazy, there was a bug in the MIDI driver of Synclavier^3! I did a telephone conference with Cameron Jones, who has always been the programmer of the Synclavier, and he discovered it while we were talking. So now I have a new build with that fixed, which is just the end of a lot of frustration - over five months worth! Looking forward to 2019 now.

Friday, November 30, 2018

I've Given Up on MIDI Sync

Try as I might, I can't get it to work. I've wasted months on this, so it's time to give up and just record the sequences into the Synclavier without the sync feature. Since the tracks will be in sync with each other once in the Synclavier, it really doesn't matter, it just makes the process a bit busier because I have to get the Synclavier recording, then press start in Encore. It would just be tidier if when I pressed play in Encore, the Synclavier would follow along. I've tried this with both MIDI Time Code and MIDI Clock, and still no joy.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018


I can now record sequences from Encore into the Synclavier with Synclavier^3 in one pass. I discovered all of the manuals at and have been going through them to find the changes between Release M - which I was using thirty years ago - to the new Release 5.3. Many things have changed, of course, and it turns out that, in order to prepare multiple tracks for recording, you press and hold the MIDI button, and then press the tracks you want to record.

I still have not gotten synchronization between Encore and the Synclavier to work, but that is not strictly necessary, so I'm going to give up on that for the time being. Once the sequences are in the Synclavier, everything will be synchronized to itself anyway.

Sunday, September 30, 2018

First Synclavier Sequence Recorded

Finally, I have recorded a sequence from Encore to the Synclavier using Synclavier^3 and my workaround. I did some preliminary timbre programming, and that is coming back fast. I'm hopeful that I'll have improved methodology when I figure a few more things out, but it's finally a start.

Friday, August 31, 2018

Finally! After Six Years of Experiments, My 64 Voice Dream Machine Arrives

The largest frustration factor in my life has been resolved! I finally have 64 voices of glorious Synclavier Additive/FM synthesis in a single system. I've also figured out how to record sequences from Encore into the Synclavier's Digital Memory Recorder, albeit using a workaround. Next month I'll have the first piece to share, which will be the opening Toccata from my first Sonata for Classic Guitar, which is a ripping tap technique piece. Now I can do ALL my albums.

With 64 voices I can do a synthesized symphony orchestra.

The original system I bought had a big enough case, we just had to move MIDI and Sample-to-Disk to the enclosure behind.

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Setting Up Synclavier^3 for Recording from an External Sequencer

Another month, more progress. I had to ask the programmer how to do this, as the documentation is still in an early state of evolution.

The first step is to set Synclavier^3 up to sync to MIDI time code. In Preferences, go to the Real Time Settings tab and check the box called Use MIDI Time Code for SMPTE Input. This will make the Synclavier wait for MIDI Time Code before it starts, making it effectively a slave to the external sequencer (The Encore notation program, in my case).

Here is the RTS tab with the box checked.

Second, you set the Synclavier up to Record. In the MIDI ROUTING DISPLAY page in the Terminal window, set Sync In to OMS (OMS stands for Opcode MIDI System, which is an old format that the Synclavier is stuck with). Sync Out and Echo should be OFF. Inputs should be set to ALL, Clock Type to MTC (MIDI Time Code), and OMS Input to ON.

To hear what is being recorded, you will have to put timbres on each track. Since I'm doing six track virtual guitar scores right now, I put a sine wave on each track and named them TR1 through TR6.

The Synclavier terminal page set up to record.

Finally, on either the physical button panel or the virtual one, light the SMPTE MODE button and select OMS MIDI Sync. Your sequencer should now be ready to be the master, and the Synclavier the slave.

The Synclavier set to receive external sync from the external sequencer.

Next month I should have it working. ;^)

Saturday, June 30, 2018

Synclavier 3 Allows MIDI Routing to Virtual Ports From the Mac

With just the physical Synclavier, there are eight MIDI outputs with sixteen channels each. That was astonishing in 1985, but this is 2018. Those physical outputs are still available, but now there are virtual outputs as well. In the screenshot below, I have highlighted six tracks to record, one for each string of the guitar. In the box above the virtual control knob - so much better than the physical one! - you see MIDI: V[1 ] C[6 ]. That means the track most recently selected, track 6, routes to VIRTUAL output 1, and CHANEL number 6. Tracks 1 through 5 are V[1] C[1-5 ]. This is just as I have them set up in Encore. What I haven't been able to figure out yet - sure is nice to know the guy who wrote the program! - is how to get the External Sync set to MIDI, so I'll have to ask him about that. Slow but sure progress.