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  1. Bob
  2. Sherlock Holmes
  3. MONTAGE Series Synthesizers
  4. Monday, 02 August 2021
I just saw a video posted on the web site regarding audio beat sync. I want to make sure I understand this as this could be very useful. Our band recently changed genres and I'm playing a lot more synthesizer (sweet!). I'm using more complex performances which include arpeggios. Can I take the output from the drum mix in our PA and feed that into the Montage input so that the arpeggio stays in sync with tempo changes from the drummer in real time? Thank you.
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Bad Mister
Yamaha
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
I just saw a video posted on the web site regarding audio beat sync. I want to make sure I understand this as this could be very useful. Our band recently changed genres and I'm playing a lot more synthesizer (sweet!). I'm using more complex performances which include arpeggios. Can I take the output from the drum mix in our PA and feed that into the Montage input so that the arpeggio stays in sync with tempo changes from the drummer in real time? Thank you.
That is the theory. Getting technology to follow humans will someday be flawlessly accomplished… the Beat Sync function here is a step in that direction. It is based on following audio amplitude. You can understand that it is looking for the overall strong pulses that typically define the beat and establish the tempo.

That being said, it is fairly easy to unintentionally “fool” the technology… say the drummer starts with a strong drum beat (on the 2 and the 4) for 8 measures, then at measure 9 adds the strong kick-snare drum groove … Does the Audio Beat Sync double the tempo? The point I’m making is, it is not that Beat Sync doesn’t work, the point is you may have to make musical adjustments to work with the technology. Particularly, when it works too well or not we’ll enough. Knowledge that if you ‘hide’ some beats from a device that works by measuring distance between audio pulses, can cause it to miscalculate.

Audio Beat Sync is a great idea and it does open the door to adding Arpeggios and other tempo sync’d synthesizer functions into play in a live situation. But the fact remains the more consistent the tempo input (that is, the audio pulse coming in) the more reliable the results… A live drummer as your clock source may find they must adjust their playing.

And that bit of reality, some are willing to deal with, others are simply not.

The ideal situation for introducing tempo driven technology to a live band, is if everyone in the band can hear and follow the technology. You all must play along with it. In a similar way in which you, as keyboardist, must play along *with* the Arpeggio, following it. The best situation: everyone must reference one “tempo conductor”.
If your band is equipped with a good monitoring system (floor monitors or in-ear system) you can work it out so everyone is on the same tempo page (without letting the audience in on how you’re doing it)

The next best situation is feeding the steadiest tempo available to the Audio Beat Sync feature via the AD input
A lot of bands put the responsibility on the drummer.
Some drummers use a click. If that is the case, split that click signal and feed it into your MONTAGE AD IN.
That is a rock steady tempo source.
The AD IN under these conditions, will deliver amazing results when a metronome click or other extremely steady source is used - Especially good, if a click track is already at work in the band.

If you are going to attempt to feed signal from the drum mix, remember: in order for it to work properly, some rhythmic concession may need to be made - given the nature of how it analyzes data. Depending on genre - this may or may not be an issue.

An alternate method would be to introduce a MIDI device that can send tempo to the MONTAGE and act as guide for the other performers. I recently spoke with a performer who is using a DTX-M12 (Multi Pad Percussion device) — this is MIDI’d to a MONTAGE… from the drums they can control Scenes, trigger sounds, etc. The DTX can send Tempo run Arps, etc., and when I last spoke to him, he was experimenting with additionally using the Audio Input as a modifier to influence the synth sounds of the MONTAGE

It’s a whole new world. But you’re going to have to explore it for yourself to see what you can do with it. Just go into it realizing what’s going on… the technology “listens to the beat” will still need to be in quotes. I highly recommend that you try it out, but only if your drummer is will to experiment… there is some amazing intelligence going on the Audio Beat Sync as it seems to be able to identify low pitch (kick) from hihat from snare… your mileage will vary.

Let us know what you come up with…
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