Syncing Reason and the Korg Monotribe

Although OS update 2.1 for the Korg Monotribe allows you to use CV to control it, it’s still possible to synchronize the Monotribe’s sequencer to your DAW (or other devices) using “sync pulses”, a feature they added in OS 2.0 and is still available in the 2.1 update. (If you haven’t updated, go here, click on Support & Downloads, and do it.)

I don’t have anything that sends out CV in the 5V range the Monotribe needs and I don’t feel like buying some CV scaler or anything like that, so I synchronize it to the computer and use the Monotribe’s onboard sequencer to do things.

The Monotribe basically needs a low-pitched click on 16th notes to sync, so the best way to do that with Reason’s built-in facilities is to use Thor since it can create a limitless range of cyclic sounds and has an integrated sequencer.

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As you can see from the picture above, we’ve set Oscillator 1 to Wavetable mode and selected the “Raising Sine” waveform. The only other setting to make here is to turn the Oct knob all the way to the left which lowers its pitch.

Secondly we’ve set the Amp Env to all minimum values. The picture can’t clearly show that the D(ecay) slider is set, like, one pixel above minimum. Now if you listen to it by playing it, you should hear a low click.

Finally we turn on the first 8 steps in the step sequencer, set the left most run-mode switch to Repeat. You can hit Run to make the sequencer run or just hit play in Reason itself.

If you don’t want to bother making this patch–easy as it is–just download it here: MonotribeSync

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The most important step is to connect Thor’s output to the input of the Monotribe. First, in the real world, make sure you have an audio cable going out of your sound card (obviously not the main stereo outs, one of those other numbered ones you never use) and going into the Monotribe. Most likely you’ll need a 1/4″-to-1/8″ cable, since the Monotribe has minijack ins and your sound card probably has 1/4″ outs.

Then you take a virtual cable from Thor’s Audio Output 1 (Mono/Left) and plug it into the the correct audio output on the virtual hardware interface. Note the numbering of the different Audio Outputs might not be exactly the same as the real world sound card’s output numbering…it depends on which outputs you’ve enabled in the settings. To make it easier if you just hover your mouse over the different jacks, a little tool tip will come up telling you which real world output you’re connecting to.

Once this is done you won’t hear Thor anymore: its output is now going directly to the Monotribe. To make sure it all works, just press Run on Thor or Play in Reason itself to start sending sync pulses, and press play on the Monotribe.

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