Sync Ardour to... Notator SL on Atari ST with Unitor 2

This is a long shot…

I’m new to Ardour and Notator. I use Ardour on OS X.

I can’t seem to be able to sync them. I tried Ardour as master and Notator as slave and vice versa.
I have the complete manual with Notator and they don’t seem to support MTC, and Ardour doesn’t support MIDI Clock…

I’ve found somewhere by google that someone used a SMPTE track generated by Notator and then recorded on Ardour (like it was an old 8 track tape recorder) .
I’ve never done that but I guess it would work. It just annoys me to dedicate an output on my card just for that.

If anyone has another solution, I would most definitly appreciate. In fact, any suggestions would be appreciated!


You have already stated the problems and a possible solution, not much more anyone is going to be able to tell you.

If Notator doesn’t support MTC, Ardour does not support Midi Clock, there is a disconnect there. And yes conceivably you can dedicate a track in Ardour and output on your card to record a SMPTE signal and give it to the Atari. At least it should work in theory at least, note that I have never actually tried this.


Yeah well, I had sort of wished someone would come up with some kind of MIDI software that could somehow do the bridge.

I guess I’ll have to experiment with the SMPTE trick.



@Spadz: since MIDI clock and MIDI Time Code do not contain the same kind of information at all, its hard to see how one could “translate” them.

I unfortunately don’t know the specifics but I know it’s different.
I started going back to the Atari because it brought back memories and the MIDI Timing is absolutely amazing. I had Ardour as master with Cubase on Atari. But I got a full version of Notator with the Unitor and so on. I thought it would support MTC, but I couldn’t find any clear answer on the net, and it did not work with Ardour at all. Cubase was doing fine.

I have a few Ataris. I wonder, for the sake of experimenting, if I had Ardour be the MTC master, an Atari with Cubase as slave and an Atari with Notator as slave to Cubase… I would, theoretically speaking, Ardour send MTC messages to Cubase, and Cubase send MIDI clock to Notator.

If that worked, it means a software could do some kind of translation. I know my synths were receiving midi clock from Cubase when it was slave to Ardour, so I think it would work. It would take 1/2 hour to startup my rig but it would work…

But I think I’ll try the SMPTE thing. Just simpler. Unless I am seriously asked to actually test the theory.

Back in the day, we used a Roland SBX-80 to do SMPTE-to-MIDI synchronization. It allowed the user to program a start point and tempo map, and sent the appropriate MIDI messages according to that map. A software version of that box (at least for that one function) does not seem like a terribly daunting task.

@DonF: SMPTE-as-MIDI is called MIDI Time Code, and Ardour can both slave to this and be the master. MIDI Clock is unrelated to timecode in any form.

Paul, that is true; but the SBX-80 was designed to bridge the gap between SMPTE and MIDI-clock devices. (This was pre-MTC.) The predicament described by Spadz sounds very similar to me. Perhaps the niche that could be served by such a capability is too small, but with the resurgence of “vintage” gear, I wouldn’t be surprised if more than one person could make use of it.

Personally given that Ardour has a concept of Tempo and Meter, I would think the better(And easier) solution to be to integrate MidiClock into Ardour itself. Not easy, but almost certainly easier than translating MTC to MidiClock and reimplementing all of these concepts.


Hasn’t Midi Clock already been implemented in Ardour 3.

@chrisg: yes, ardour3 can sync to and generate MIDI clock.