Midronome: a little box of MIDI sync to keep things together
Midronome brings together a bunch of synchronisation tools in a natty little box with simple controls and a nice big red display. From DAW to outboard, MIDI synth to modular, and drummer to band it will sync the lot.
Simon, a musician, says that it can be difficult to keep drummers, MIDI gear and other musicians in time when playing a gig and wouldn’t it be great to have a device that would keep everyone together. I guess that’s what people use click tracks for but Simon was looking for a more all-encompassing and neater solution that would fit in a little box. So, he designed Midronome and has launched it on Kickstarter in the hope that enough people might feel the same.
Midronome combines an audible metronome (via an audio output) with MIDI and CV sync. So, now your human drummer can play in time to your synths arpeggiator while making your sequenced modular behave itself. Inside is a MIDI Master Clock that’s apparently 50,000 times more accurate than a computer-based clock because that level of granular timing is essential…. for modern music… or something? You can choose from 60 different click sounds although the last thing you want is to give drummers decisions to make.
It’s interesting that although it has a USB port the connection Midronome uses from your DAW is an audio click. Instead of using regular MIDI Clock over USB, Midronome runs as a plugin inside your DAW and outputs an audio click through your audio interface. This, apparently, is a much more precise way to have your DAW as the master. Midronome then bases its MIDI Master Clock on that audio click and runs everything else.
If you’re not using a DAW then tempo can be set via the big knob on the front. Or you can use the tap tempo button, by stomping on a foot pedal or hitting an electronic drum pad.
Midronome sounds like a very versatile and useful box. I’m not sure it’s as innovative as Simon believes it is. I think they’ve missed a trick by not having Ableton Link support which is one of the most effortless sync technologies around. And I would have liked it to have an internal speaker so that you can sit it in a room of musicians and play along as people have done with analogue metronomes for 100’s of years. However, it’s very neat and could probably sort out a lot of the common sync problems people run into with hybrid studio and live performance situations.
Midronome is on Kickstarter now and pledges start at €129.
- Midronome Kickstarter Page.
- Midronome: Midronome
- Midronome: Midronome
Very nice that you guys decided to write about us, thank you so much for that!
I cannot help myself but defend the device on the negative points, though, I hope that is ok!
* Having a little speaker playing the click could be handy in the studio, although one could easily just send the click very loud to a pair of cheap earbuds (which would sound about the same as a small speaker inside the device anyways), or to any mixer/audio interface’s input. For Live use (which was the original target), it would be really pointless.
* I honestly do not see the point with Ableton Link, because Ableton will sync much tighter using MIDI Clock. Moreover, it will require adding WiFi to the device which will be both a big hardware change, difficult for the user to configure (imagine entering the WiFi password on a 3-digit display…), and would definitely raise the price of the device (CE/FCC certification but also plain hardware).
BUT – I always wanted to design the Midronome with the community, so if you have counter arguments, please tell me :))
Anyone who really wants any of these features implemented is more than welcome to make a topic here: https://forum.midronome.com/viewforum.php?f=11
I think many acoustic musicians would appreciate an audible click so while it may be pointless for a noisy band I think it would be useful for everyone else. Ableton link is cool – what else can I say 😀
That is more than fair Robin 🙂
And yes Ableton Link IS cool – maybe for Midronome 2.0? 😀
Does it have its own clock or a conjunction for a midi clock ?
I am no exactly sure what you mean? The device generates its own very precise MIDI Clock signal when used a master. You can also slave it to an audio sync signal like the one coming from a DAW (using the Midronome Plugin) for example.
It’s a MIDI sync box. Asking for a tiny speaker and Ableton Link is just weird. If acoustic musicians want a metronome they usually buy, you know, a metronome. And what’s with the snarky comments about tight MIDI timing anyway?
This box is cool, this article is not. Robin, do you have an axe to grind with this company or did you just wake up today and decide to be unreasonable?
Will this work to receive audio from a DJ mixer in order to send MIDI/CLOCK out to Eurorack?
Yes it will if you can get your DJ mixer to send a special audio sync signal (a WAV file) on one of the outputs. If you cannot, you will have to wait for the Add-on which will add Tempo Following (i.e. detecting the tempo from your DJ equipment’s output). See here: https://forum.midronome.com/viewtopic.php?t=56
Hey, it sounds cool but perhaps I am a bit slower in these things. I am looking for a device to feed a rum beat via a mic and have midi come out to sync slaves, hopefully. Is this my horse?
A drum beat, not a rum beat (although not explicitly mutually exclusive).
Hello! Will this device be able to generate midi signal to live control say a sequencer tempo using drums through a mic? Thanx
It will take a click via the sync input so if you can generate something that works like a click then yes, but I imagine it would take a bit of work to get a defined enough sound through a microphone – experimentation is the key. Why not contact the company about it?
Hey, thanks for the reply, I saw that Simon answered the questions before and took it that he was the company so – yeah, why not indeed? Would you have a link per chance?
Sorry, bit lazy here, got it.