Sync Reason with Ardour

I’m trying to get Propellerhead Reason into Ardour.
At the present I’ve got the whole instrument Reason tracks spread into the Ardour’s session and playing back Reason the sound is managed by Ardour.
What I would like to do now is being able to use Ardour as master, so when I press play in ardour, Reason will follow.
At the moment I’m studying how to connect Ardour MTCout to ReasonMTCin (if any).
Does anybody already did this and/or is there some tutorial, suggestion I can follow?

Thanks a lot in advance.

You might have better luck asking around Reason forums and such if it can handle syncing to incoming MTC. If it can, Ardour can certainly generate it, but how to connect them depends on your setup.


Seems Reason doesn’t manage MTC, just MIDI Clock Sync.
So I revert the question in:
Can Ardour produce MIDI Clock?

some days later

What I understand so far:
I’m the only one one in the world using Reason interested in switch to Ardour, but:

  1. Ardour is not a Rewire application
  2. Reason is not a Jack application
  3. Reason do not manage MIDI Time Code
  4. Ardour do not manage Midi Clock

Final result: They cannot be synced.

From Reason Manual:
Reason always acts as a slave. That is, it receives MIDI Clock signals, it never transmits them.

From this post ( :
you cannot export JACK transport functionality to non-JACK apps. However, JACK apps work the same on OS X as on Linux. Its just you cannot, for example, start Ableton playing by pressing Ardour’s play button or vice versa. At least not with sample-synchronous precision. This is just because Live is not a JACK application.

From Linux Journal (
At the time of these tests, Ardour’s support for MTC send/receive was under heavy revision, so I was unable to complete any meaningful tests. However, MTC support is a major item on many Ardour users’ wishlists, and the remaining bugs should be worked out before version 1.0 is released. Other means of synchronization may be supported in future versions of Ardour. Direct SMPTE reading, MIDI clock and SPP (song position pointer) have been suggested as likely candidates, but work on those protocols will have to wait until after the Ardour 1.0 release.

I even tried to use Pete Yadell’s MIDI Patch bay, but Reason is not seen through it.
Please If someone has some more clue is very welcome to intervene.

I can’t help you much with MIDI Clock as I don’t use it much, but I do want to point out a couple of things. MTC is not equal to MIDI Clock, you seemed to get confused about that slightly in the last quote there;) By the way, that quote from the Linux Journal is dealing with the 0.9x series at the latest it appears. That is so far out of date to be considered beyond ridiculous to trust it for anything reasonably accurate anymore;) And MTC is supported fully in Ardour now, to evidence that;)

Sadly all this amounts to not much useful info for you though.

Sorry haven’t used Reason much to help you out there.


Thanks for your answer Seablade i really appreciate.
I know MTC and MIDI Clock are not the same thing. At the present I’m trying to find any way to sync Reason and Ardour without Rewire, so I’m trying MTC OR MIDI Clock OR whatever can help me.
From the Reason manual I see that it works always just as slave. To communicate with external world it uses MIDI Clock.
I see from this topic

that I have to wait until the next Ardour’s release to have a look if I can seriously think to switch to Ardour for my works or continue to use it as an enjoyable software during my spare time.

If there’s some confusion is surely because my english is pretty crap, apologize for that.

In the meantime if somebody found some solution, please don’t be shy and share your expereince!

Thanks a lot again for you help Seablade and for you great piece of software Paul.


In the meantime I wrote a “recipe” how to connect Reason to Ardour.
Anybody interested can download the first revision here:

please let me know if there are any mistakes (english grammaar or whatever) or things I missed. Later on I will change the link with the corrected document.

Thanks in advance.

MIDI clock is working well in SVN version 3.x … have some patience and you will get it eventually when it is released…

subscribe and help get it quicker…

@manos_reves: since no released version of Ardour or Mixbus can sync to MIDI Clock, the reason this works is probably that Reason is sending an MIDI SPP “start” and “stop” message at the appropriate time. Ardour/Mixbus will not be paying any attention to clock information sent by Reason.

In the meantime, I tried to install and use the AU plugin “clocker” by Expert Sleepers.

I put it as insert in the MasterBus and tried to play a bit with Pete Yandell’s MIDIPatchbay but I’ve unable to pick the rabbit out of the hat.
Is it related to the fact that Ardour doesn’t support MIDI, so it actually work as brick wall to any MIDI signal or is due to my inability and/or wrong settings?

Althought ardour 3 is coming, i have managed to sync “Reason” to “Mixbus” using “clocker.component” and “midi patchbay” application. There are some issues that i can’t figure out how to solve (the most important is that as soon i hit play in “Mixbus”, “Reason’s” cursor doesn’t start from the very begining but from about a few beats after). Insert “clocker” in the master channel of “Mixbus”, then go to “midi patchbay”, create a patch and use “ardour_out” as an input and the “IAC Driver bus” (activate it from the midi os x 's midi set up), then under “other” always in the patch you have already created enable “Allow Midi Clock and realtime messages”. Then in “Reason” go to advance preferences and set the “Iac Driver bus” as the midi clock source, after that close the window and under the “options” menu, “sync” and enable the midi clock. That’s it, hit play in Mixbus and it works, at least for me. I’m still discovering several issues but for now they just play together. The “clocker.component” has a very streamlined interface with a “use host tempo” but it doesn’t seem to work right, so i have to do it manually. here are "clocker"settings: Tempo- your tempo, slowdown-100%, pause-not enabled, midi output-32, use continues-enabled. How it helps somebody.

here is the stuff you’re gonna need.