How to sync two USB MIDI hosts

:wave: hey hey!


I’ve got a POC implementation working last year:

To build and run it you also will need C bindings for link from

It’s written for the clock module and might require some tweaking to work properly.

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+1 to Ableton link support for Norns.

I know just enough C be annoying so I might give your Gist a go. But also happy to help if there’s anything I could do to make this real.

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on a slightly offtopic note, i’ve got ableton link on norns working again after a bit of code revisiting, current progress can be tracked in the clock-link branch:

it still needs an investigation why beats go below zero sometimes, and maybe extended link bindings for controlling link thread using the API - can be handy for norns+norns etc. setups.


Apologies if this has been asked elsewhere; I couldn’t find it via search. If I have a norns script sending MIDI out (e.g., Kria MIDI), and I use a USB A to A cable to connect it to my laptop, how do I get my laptop to receive the MIDI from norns? I’m on a Mac (Catalina), and I’ve looked in both the system “Audio MIDI Setup”, where I don’t see it show up as a device, and I’ve tried looking in Logic X’s MIDI In options, where it also doesn’t show up.

USB A to A isn’t going to cut it, it’s not how USB-midi works. USB-midi requires a device and a host, and you are trying to connect two hosts. You need a thing like this one, or you might use midi cables as in-betweeners.

P.S. Loopop has recently made a video about this.

Stupid idea #54:

Could you run VCV Rack on the computer to act as a Link destination and then have a VCV module do clock to local MIDI conversion?

mmm, I believe Link is only for sync/start/stop, not for other midi messages (I might be wrong tho).

Oh duh. I was thinking of Clock only when I wrote that. :man_facepalming:

this works perfectly. over on the thread for Animator I posted a little trouble shooting vid, but it shows animator MIDI out sequencing a synth on my iPad, and I have the 2 connected with the sevillasoft adapter.

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This might be a really silly question but…
If using this kind of MIDI router…

Can I use Type A to Type A USB cables to connect from the mioXM to multiple norns?

Thanks for any help!

Not as is.

The USB ports on the Mio are Host ports and so are Norns. The Mio is expecting USB “devices”

To get 2 USB hosts to talk to each other you need some additional translating device.

It could be cheaper/easier to use DIN Midi to USB adapters to your Nornses here.



Thank you so much for the clarification!

I am not smart at this so please be kind. Tried connecting my iPad to Norns. Wanted to send some LFO’s from AUM. Is this really impossible?

Both are USB hosts, I believe. Can be remedied by small device or cable, check this - 2host - a DIY USBMIDI host-to-host adapter


I use the older model of this


i use an irig midi that plugs into the ipad and has midi in out & thru
or you can get an adapter of USB to Apple with a USB UNO which works on everything :slight_smile:

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Thank you. I figured it had something to do with host/host.

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Is this true? I am hoping to clock my modular from norns (fates variant) and have the norns be the master clock sending midi over a specific channel to a MI CVPal to do so. So far I’m not having a lot of luck, is this something that is script-specific?

Several times I clocked the modular with less concepts and cvpal set on channel 13 or 14 (before crow landed, that is).