MIDI or Word clock?!?


New member
Hey Friends

To get a better idea of what I have going here, this is my setup...

Boss DR-880 drum machine and M-audio Prokeys 88 (piano -> usb -> sampletank 2xL -> delta 1010Lt sound card rca outputs) -> mackie mixer -> lexicon jamman -> delta 1010Lt sound card rca inputs -> Pro Tools.

I am thinking that I need to run all this into a midi clock of some sort (maybe word clock?- i am new to this). I am wondering what the most affordable midi/word clock would be?? I dont want to sacrifice too much quality for a low price.

Would I hook each individual unit into a midi/word clock unit? Or is the midi clock built into my soundcard sufficient enough to control everything?

Any info someone can give me would be appreciated. I dont know too much about clocking.

I don't think you need a word clock....nor a sync I/O of any type if that's what you're asking about.
first of all, none of your devices have a word clock connection on them except maybe the soundcards...and my guess is you're not running digital audio out of any of your devices except for Pro Tools, correct? A word clock is to help synchronize digital gear. You MIDI devices are not going to fall into this category. You just need to sync all your MIDI devices to Pro Tools and you'll be fine.


New member
All the devices have MIDI In/Out, so I was thinking I would have to run all of those into ProTools. But since it is more than one device I would have to run into ProTools, how would I get everything synced together? Can I do a MIDI Through on the devices....with the audio being lossless?

I am going to eventually have more than one seperate looping pedal that will need to sync with the others, including the drum machine. Would the MIDI In/Out plugs be used for this? And if so, do I run them into each other in a MIDI Through pattern, or would I run all of them into a standalone MIDI Clock and then run that into Pro Tools?

Im very new to this MIDI clock and sync stuff. Thanks for your help and patience with my ignorance.


Downside Studio

New member
You are confused about terms regarding clock etc.

wordclock is a method to 'sample-sync' digital connections. One machines cristal is used to trigger all the other digital equipment. This has nothing to do with timecode, or midi. It is just so that the (for example) 44.100 samples per second are understood correctly. This is only necessary when syncing 2 digital sources.

midiclock is a timecode. It tells by hand of hours,minutes,seconds,frames where the position of the playhead is in a song. A pro version of midiclock is called SMPTE which is an actual audio signal that sounds like the days we had computerdata stored on tapes. (brr--krrr--brrr-krrr)

In your setup (as far as i can tell) you won't need both. A timecode is wanted if some sort of playback is required which has actions that should perform on a particular time. For example, two sequences that belong together of fader movement on a console in regard to the song. It tells the console on which time it should raise a fader etc.

In a very simple summery: sometimes you see on tv two criminals synchronising there watches. Timecode is to make sure the run at the same time. Wordclock is to make sure that they keep running 100% sync.