MIDI Clock via Ableton Link & AUM or Other Like Korg KP3 Beat Detection

Like SOOO many others for years on these forums, I’m trying to find a solution to simply get MIDI clock out to ext hardware (I want to sync Korg Volcas and NTS-1 via 5-pin MIDI cables).

As far as I can tell, Ableton Link in djay Pro AI should provide tempo to a MIDI utility app like AUM Audio Mixer which then sends synced MIDI clock data to a USB MIDI unit such as iConnectivity (which then sends the clock signal over 5-pin cables to ext gear).

AUM Audio Mixer App
Anyone have experience with AUM accomplishing this via Ableton Link within iOS environment? An AUM dev said it’s possible, yet AUM has no trial at a premium price of $21 and it does a LOT more than I need which is usually a recipe for noise and problems (to be fair, it seems pretty amazing for a variety MIDI and audio tasks and I’m intrigued).

I tried a free basic app called Link to MIDI that seems to be meant for this but it failed in multiple ways: it could link at djay’s current tempo but would not change when subsequent songs played at different tempos (I had to turn djay’s Ableton Link off/back on in settings to re-establish the correct tempo each time). Also, Link to MIDI seemed to randomly activate Loops as well as conflicting with djay tempo as though they were fighting for control.
CORRECTION: Maybe I was lost in a multi-tiered testing miasma or needed an iPad restart or recent update to djay solved something, but I retried Link to MIDI with much better results. It was following djay’s tempo well across song tempo changes and wasn’t triggering loops anymore. Both decks have to be in sync mode for Link to MIDI to capture tempo it seems. So, working more or less acceptably overall… maybe. Needs more testing in real world conditions with hardware attached which I haven’t done yet.

There’s another app called MIDI Link Sync that seems promising but is unavailable in my region so can’t test it.

I hear that Korg KP3 (and/or KP3+) has an auto beat sync detection capability, but I don’t know how reliable that is for solid sync of external gear at all times nor do I know if the KP3 will send that as MIDI clock over 5-pin connection to slaved gear. Problem regardless is this kind of detection requires extremely obvious beats in the music which is most of what I play but far from all. Classic soul/R&B or 70s jazz groove often confuses audio beat detection and I play this often.

Any info or ideas are much appreciated for what should be a well traveled feature for any audio app that bills itself as “pro.”

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I have AUM, I can look into your question over the weekend. But if Jonatan (the dev) says it’s possible then you can bet your life it is. AUM can more or less do everything on iOS.

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I really appreciate your trying it out and look forward to any results or better ideas.

I also own Audiobus (which is sort of the grand daddy of all things midi & audio on iOS - AUM is actually build on that original concept) and that should solve your problem too. It’s also cheaper as it doesn’t have all the fancy AUM stuff (that you probably don’t need).

You can now sync external MIDI gear with MIDI Sync: Audiobus works as either MIDI master or slave. It also seamlessly bridges between MIDI Sync and Ableton Link. It’s got a configurable offset feature, so you can correct any sync discrepancies that come up.

On my iPad it works, but it’s not rock solid and a bit fiddly when you switch apps (maybe a dedicated older iOS device would be good).

I recommend you try it as the App store gives you the option to ‘return’ an app within two weeks or so.

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Thanks again so much! I really appreciate your excellent help here. Audiobus seems like the perfect solution.

For others who might find this in searching help on Korg Volcas / NTS-1 and wired MIDI connections, I found this extremely helpful post: https://www.reddit.com/r/synthesizers/comments/f4z8qs/midi_on_the_nts1_how_to_get_it_to_ing_work/

Hi @CliffyPop,

Thank you for your inquiry!

I would also like to thank @Mister_Tuur for their excellent and insightful response, which was able to address your initial concern!

I will be marking their reply as a solution and again we would like to thank you both for being members of our djay community!

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