total newbie struggling to understand midi setup


New member
Ok, so I've been reading online and watching youtube videos, but I haven't found the answers I'm looking for exactly. Pardon my ignorance, but I'm a total noob to analog synth and midi production. I'm a long time musician who has always tried to craft and manipulate sounds in new unique ways just using classic instruments and pedals etc. For awhile now, I've been incorporating synths into my repertoire, but I've really only worked at playing one at a time. I've done a lot of work learning how these things work and am confident in generating sounds I want and all that fun, but now I'm expanding into playing multiple units simultaneously and so the hooking things up and getting them all to work together is throwing me for a loop. (pun intended) I know that a lot of my obstacles could be done away with easily by using a computer, but personally I'm really trying to stay away from that. I want to be able to do the same things I do at home when experimenting and recording as I do live and I want it to work without having to use my computer.

So, I've got two Moog Synthesizers. I have a Grandmother and I have a Minitaur that I control with either the Grandmother or now my tablet via cck usb so that I can work the Grandmother on its own at the same time. I use a couple of different apps that support midi and midi clock in and outs to either sequence the Minitaur or just control it in liu of a keyboard midi controller. Its not ideal, but it gives me a lot of freedom to do what I want with the Minitaur until I can purchase more of the right hardware that will do what I want. On top of that I have a korg electribe sampler 2. The korg has sync ins and outs and midi ins and outs on the rear panel. Right now I have all of these items running separately into a mixer via 1/4 audio outs and then into amplification for playing and jamming and performing OR I can run them through a USB interface into a computer for recording into DAW (really the only time I will want to use a computer).

My question is how can I sync these items with midi clock? Ideally I'd like to use the clock in the korg. I've read I can daisy chain midi devices so that I could midi out the Korg to thru the Moog's, but will that send the clock signal or do I have to use the sync out? Will/Should/Can that signal back up into the ipad that's connected to the Minitaur via USB midi input even if its not directly in the chain? I want to avoid using clock signal from the ipad because I don't like to switch between apps on there during a song and eventually it will be replaced with other hardware anyways. I don't want to plug in a computer and send the signal from there through the usb interface because I don't want the computer around except when recording in studio.

I'm trying to follow all of the manuals, but however I try to set up, I either stop getting sound from one or more devices or the sync just doesn't happen.

Can I do what I'm trying to do with the gear I have? or do I need some other kind of midi hub or something to make it work? Basically how do I get all these items on the same sync without using a sync signal from ipad or computer? Am I right that I should be able to use the korg clock signal for this instead of needing and separate midi clock box?

Thanks in advance for any help you provide in me getting started. I'm really excited to be learning so much! It seems the possibilities for sonic expression are just endless with things.


Well-known member
I have only dabbled with MIDI in the smallest way and that a few years ago but, AFAIK, if you link 3 synths, out>in.thru>in the first synth will paly its own notes and trigger others on the second. The second synth will pass on the first's to the third and play that but not the second's sounds.
You might have set things like "Local Off".

The normal setup is I think done via an AI and computer and DAW software, could be done without but not easily I don't think. Why don't you want a PC in the system?

Maybe a good book? "MIDI for Dummies"..WTGR! I have several Dummies books. I dare say some Top Chaps here will pitch in (NPI !) and you might want to pose the Q over at Sound On Sound | The World's Premier Music Recording Technology Magazine They have I see reviewed the Grandmother and probably the other gear as well.



Disclaimer: I don't have any of these devices, this is based on just looking at the online manuals.

The starting point is looking at the MIDI connectors these things have:
Electribe: IN, OUT
Minitaur: IN
Grandmother: IN, OUT, THRU

Based on that there's exactly one way to daisy-chain them with MIDI to begin with:
Electribe out -> Grandmother in
Grandmother thru -> Minitaur in

So set Electribe clock to internal, enable MIDI clock input both on Minitaur, and on the Grandmother enable MIDI clock in + disable MIDI clock output on Grandmother. Since you only want clock sync, set all devices to different channels so they don't talk to each other. That should be it, or so the theory goes.

In an ideal world you'd have each device in equal distance from the clock source, but it shouldn't matter on such a short chain.

The sync in/out ports are a different sync protocol and not compatible with MIDI, don't mix the two. I don't have experience with non-MIDI sync so take this with a grain of salt: I suppose it's the same protocol as the clock in/out ports of the Moogs, but AFAICS you can't daisy-chain these.


New member

Thank you both for your replies, i just got back in town, I'll test right away and report back!