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.

Access Virus TI Snow MidNam File

Some people can’t get the “TI” part of the Virus TI to work properly on their computers. For me, I just like using them as external synths to avoid the large latency they incur when in TI mode. For these reasons I’ve made a MidNam file for the Snow. Although I don’t think the patch names have ever changed, this MidNam is written against OS 4.5.3.

UPDATE: It seems to still be valid for OS5.

Download: Access Virus TI Snow.midnam

V-Synth GT MidNam File

Those of us who use Pro Tools (and I think Digital Performer) for MIDI composition work, and who have external synthesizers, know all about having to use MidNam files. These files are the official MIDI Organization standard way to describe everything a synth can do and the names of all its patches and banks. The problem is there’s really no easy way to make these files (there used to be a great utility called CherryPicker, but it’s not compatible with modern Macs anymore; most other paid-for MIDI utilities are obsolete or rip-offs). If you have an old synth, it’s okay: Pro Tools comes with definitions for most synthesizers. If you have a new one, however, you’re high and dry.

Well I searched the net high and low looking for a MidNam file for my V-Synth GT and couldn’t find one, so I had to make my own. This took a very long time, and because of the unique nature of the V-Synth the file I made won’t work right “out of the box” for everyone (the V-Synth uses the idea of “Projects”, where a Project holds an entire set of 512 patches and you can (and will) swap them in and out with other projects at any time). I have a customized “Main” (or default) bank that I use, which isn’t exactly like the default one from the factory. I took out the sounds I didn’t like (to make it load faster) and added some of my own, so I’ve included my custom Main project in this download.

Since they updated this synth to Version 2, it’s included the GT_Analog project which has hundreds of very serious analog synth replica sounds. That project I use untouched directly from the factory, so I’ve included it in the MidNam file too as a different “Mode”. You’ll see it when you pull up the patch browser in Pro Tools.

Finally, there’s no point downloading this if you don’t have a V-Synth GT. You won’t be able to extract the sounds or get anything useful from it, since the V-Synth uses its own proprietary wave encoding process. So yeah don’t burn up my bandwidth just downloading this for fun. Haha.

Download: SugesMain_VSynthGTProject

Kurzweil PC3K MidNam

I couldn’t find an up-to-date MidNam file for the Kurzweil PC3K, so I’ve made one for that synth too. It’s for the default patches and banks for OS Version 2.03. Plus I’ve included empty patches for every program up to around patch #2000, so you can call-up patches you’ve created in the far banks.

Download: KurzweilPC3K8MidNam