Clocking monome modules w/ a recorded pulse from a DAW

Has anyone been able to clock their monome modules with a looped recorded pulse from a DAW? I’m having a bit of trouble getting my White Whale to register the pulse and I’m wondering if its an output gain issue or something specific with the clock input.

Here is a reference thread detailing the idea with a link to a clock pulse .WAV for those that are interested:

The WW clock input is sensitive to the pulse width of the clock, plus it needs quite a strong voltage input (>6V i think). The trigger output duration is controlled by the pulse width of the incoming clock.

So perhaps it’s a combination of both. If you’ve got the pulse .wav loaded in a sampler, try turning down the ‘pitch’ of the sample to elongate the pulse duration. Then make sure you’ve got your output gain maxed out. What are you using to convert the pulses into modular land? Standard line outputs will only get to about 1.5V peak level, but if you use something like a headphone driver (or a soundcard with a ‘hi-gain’ setting like RME) that should be sufficient without needing a dedicated level shifting module

Spot on as always, Trent!

It actually ended up being a weak headphone out signal from my interface. I ran the signal through a cue mixer and that pumped the signal enough to clock the WW.

For those interested in doing the same, here were the final settings using Ableton (though any DAW should do).

  1. download this clock pulse .WAV
  2. set up a track with a drum rack and load the sample into one of the hits (if you’re using another DAW, you basically just need a way to loop a sample)
  3. bring the sample volume up to at least 0 db in the drum rack
  4. program a loop of 1/16th notes
  5. route the track to a send channel
  6. route the audio from the send channel to an output outside of your standard L/R output 1 and 2 channels (e.g. output 3)
  7. set up the headphone out on your interface to only receive a signal from the output that you’ve routed the send channel to (e.g. output 3)
  8. patch a cable from your interface headphone jack to the white whale clock in*

*if your signal is too weak, you’ll need to route it through something else like a mixer to boost the gain

You should now be able to sync your WW clock to your software clock without needing any additional modules.

Good to know this is possible. I used MIDI-to-CV module as an in-between: sending MIDI pulses as clock. But never tried to just pump audio bursts as clock before.

I have a vague memory of this being a pretty old technique, going back to the sixties/seventies or so - Graeme Gerrard in Australia, perhaps? My memory for names is appalling. I believe he used multiple trains of audio pulses to trigger/synchronise events between devices, using a multi-track tape deck as the source. As I recall - but I may well be wide of the mark.

@strettara That’s precisely how the majority of tape synchronization works and I was just reading the manual to this new (old) 4-track I recently picked up and it’s even talking about recording a sync train on the last channel. Funny how such simple ideas seem so radically useful when you’re used to using a DAW and a ‘timeline’ and everything just being ‘physically’ in place…

1 Like

This is genius! I was thinking I’d have to buy an innerclock system or something like that, but the answer was so obvious: send a pulse from the thing that’s already spitting out a bunch of audio, duh :slight_smile: