Aleph clock sync to DAW

Hi! I’ve been an Aleph owner for some time now, but I’m still kind of an idiot with the thing, so please do tell me if my question is not specific enough or otherwise problematic. I’ve incorporated the Aleph into the live set that I’m building. I have a send in Ableton that sends out to the Aleph and allows me to process, mangle, riff on whatever pieces of my track that I want. I want to be able to use gridded scenes, like @dspk’s beatslip, and I want to sync the metro to my DAW’s master clock so that the scenes cycle through the steps in time with my tracks. Ideally, I’d like to be able to use the encoder assigned to the metro to do divisions of that clock, but I understand that that probably introduces a whole other level of complication.

I’ve spent a lot of time with my Aleph, but I haven’t really taken the time to acquaint myself with bees or get under the hood in any meaningful way, so I don’t feel equipped to tackle this problem on my own. Any help, anyone? @zebra, maybe?

you could take a MIDI note input instead of a METRO…

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I usually sync via cv (synth gear not daw, so no experience here) and I find the alephs timing less than perfect, but still usable.

For clock divisions I do METRO -> TIMER -> MUL -> METRO

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This MIDI thing is proving trickier than I even thought it would be…my problem is getting my DAW to see the Aleph via the ‘Device’ input. Maybe I’m connecting it incorrectly. I might grab something like the Doepfer Dark Link and do my clock sync via CV. That would also mean I could do clock divisions outside of the Aleph if I wanted to; have MIDI clips at different divisions, invest in a lunchbox-type Eurorack setup with a clock multiplier/divider, etc.

hmm - @zebra might correct me on this but as I understand it bees will not present itself to the OS as a midi device (at least not on linux anyway).

I was wondering about doing something similar the other day and concluded probaly one way to do this would be hack together a program that talks to the aleph over usb serial and relays those messages to/from the alsa midi sequencer.

In the meanwhile - I believe you’ll be able to get midi in/out of the aleph by connecting a usb midi converter to both computer & the aleph. Haven’t tried this myself as I don’t have a spare usb-midi converter but last time I looked thought I saw bees does have midi in/out operators which I assume apply to class-compliant usb midi device plugged into the aleph…

ah sorry, i should have been much clearer

about aleph USB

  • aleph only acts as midi host, not midi device. so what i meant was indeed connecting 2 midi interfaces. i guess that’s pretty ridiculous if there’s no other midi stuff involved.

  • aleph device port only shows up as a TTY serial device. not possible to change this in avr32 firmware (e.g. BEES), would be maybe possible with update to avr8, but maybe not worth it (requires programming tools to apply any changes there.)

sending to aleph device port

  • right now the only way to get input to the USB dev port from your computer, is to open it as a serial port and send messages to it emulating a monome grid or arc device.

  • but we definitely can and should make a raw serial input operator, i kind of forgot we didn’t already have one (there is a serial output op) and it would be useful to sync to other software/devices as well.

  • so, in either case, sending to aleph USB dev port from DAW would require a little bridge app or extension (as rick says), would be an easy max/pd/SC patch.


i kind of assume Ableton includes max these days, but maybe that’s not the case. has anyone made a M4L thingy that emulates a grid device?

Cool! so how exactly does one send serial data to the aleph mimicking grid button press? Anyone have a perl one-liner or something lying around for this? Would love to get my midi looper code talking to the aleph…

(or at least prodding it occasionaly)

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ah. yes, usb direct into computer won’t work. You can use a super basic usb/midi cable (something like this )
and then as @zebra says just use a midi note input instead of a metronome. For clock divisions you could try doing something funky with a couple of DEL operators? you could get some interesting rhythms that way … i’m actually now running off to do this as I hadn’t thought about it before!

so many ways to do clock div. easiest i can think of is clock -> ACCUM. assum the clock source is sending a value of ‘1’ each tick. then the WRAP output of the ACCUM is your divided clock (also sending ‘1’) and the MAX input of the ACCUM specifies the division ratio (MAX+1, assuming MIN == 0.)


Ok, finally getting back to this. So would it be vastly easier to do this via CV? I could roll up my sleeves and get to learning about TTY/serial MIDI, or I could get a simple MIDI -> CV interface.