Frequently Asked Questions

General

Can you explain what devices I can use with each plug?

The connections on the back of the Midronome

Should the Midronome be by the drummer or by the keyboard player?

Well, it's up to you who you want to be in control :)
Notice that one band member can have the device while another has either a pedal or a drum pad to act on the device from the distance.

Are the settings saved in the device?

All settings are saved automatically, and the current tempo is saved every 10 seconds, so if for some reason the Midronome misses power and restarts in the middle of a performance it will be back where it was as soon as it is repowered.

Audio Metronome

I do not need a metronome, does it still make sense for me to use the Midronome?

Of course! You could be using it as a stable multi-output clock.

Can I change the volume and sound of the audio click?

Yes, there are 9 volume levels and 60 different click sounds.
Volume can be quickly adjusted by holding the red button down and turning the main knob.
You can also select a different volume specifically for the sound of the first beat of the bar.
Additionally, you can change the click sound of both the first beat of the bar (the downbeat) and the other beats.

Can I know where the beat is without hearing the audio click?

Yes, the LED next to the display os green on the first beat of the bar and red on the other beats.

Can I change the Bar Signature?

Yes, you can do that in the settings.
A very cool and efficient way to do this is to use a Drum Pad, then you can set the tempo and the bar signature at the same time.

Clocks and DAW Sync

What's a DAW?

DAW stands for Digital Audio Workstation, it is a software running on a computer, usually used for recording and music production.

Who is the master, the DAW or the Midronome?

Your DAW can always be the master, i.e. control your Midronome's tempo and time signature by sending an audio signal to your Midronome. The Midronome's audio click will also be in sync with the DAW.
This is what we call "DAW sync" and is explained in the following questions.

If your DAW accepts (i.e. can sync to) MIDI Clock, then the Midronome can be the master, i.e. the DAW will follow tempo changes from the Midronome, and just like any other MIDI slave device, it will react when pressing Play/stop on the Midronome.
In this case, simply send the MIDI signal from a MIDI Output on the Midronome to your computer.

Note that as of Mar 2022, it seems the only major DAWs that accepts MIDI Clock are Ableton Live and Bitwig Studio. The others will have to be the master.

How does the Midronome sync to a DAW?

Step 1 - Create a track with the Midronome Plugin
Step 2 - Send that track to a specific (physical) output
Step 3 - Connect that output to the INPUT on the Midronome
Step 4 - On the Midronome, go to Settings, choose Input and then Sync
Step 5 - Press play in the DAW, and adjust the track volume until the Midronome lights green
Step 6 - Done, that's it! :)

What DAWs does the Midronome Plugin support?

As of February 2022, the plugin is still in development. The final version will be available as VST3, AU, and AAX plugins, and will be tested in all major DAWs.
There might also be a separate tool to generate a sync audio track (to use instead of the plugin) from a MIDI Tempo map.

Does the Midronome follow tempo changes in the DAW?

Yes, that and also the time signature changes. We've put it through some really crazy changes in testing and everything always stays 100% in sync.

What happens if the Midronome loses sync from the DAW?

The Midronome will always try to keep time as much as possible, so if say your DAW or computer crashes, it will automatically switch back to master mode, remembering the last tempo and time signature it had when it was in sync.

Does the USB port also send MIDI?

No, the USB is only used for power.
Notice that you can still use a USB port of a computer to deliver power to the Midronome.

(Is this a feature you would like us to implement? Let us know on the Forums)

What are DIN/CV/analog clocks?

DIN clock is often a port called "sync" on devices. It is also called sync24, it was developped on old Roland machines before MIDI was invented.
CV/Analog clock is a simple clock pulse, configurable from 1 to 24 ppq (pulses per quarter note). It is usually used in old machines (Roland, Korg), or with modular / eurorack / semi-modular synths.

Pedal (footswitch)

Where do I plug in my pedals?

To control Mute, Play, or Tap Tempo, the footswitch pedals have to be plugged in the INPUT plug.
You can plug two of them with a Stereo (TRS) to 2x Mono (TS) jack adapter, or a double footswitch with a Stereo (TRS) plug.

Guitar pedals with effects like delay can be synchronised using the MIDI plugs.

Which type of pedals can I use with the Midronome?

The device will work with momentary pedals like electric piano sustain pedals, and with latching footswitches like the ones for electric guitar amplifiers.
For momentary pedals the polarity of the pedal will be detected automatically.

So pretty much any pedals! Just not your bike's pedal, which doesn't really have an input anyway.


However, If you want to sync a complex guitar pedal with effects, use the MIDI plug.

How many pedals can I use at the same time?

Two pedals. The INPUT plug is a stereo plug (TRS) so you will either need a double pedal or two single pedals with a Stereo to 2x Mono adapter (TRS to 2x TS).
You can configure each of them to act as Mute/unmute, or Play/stop, or Tap Tempo.

I am already using the INPUT for DAW Sync or for a Drum pad, can I still use a pedal?

You can! Just connect a Stereo to 2x Mono jack adapter to separate the left and right (tip and ring) of the INPUT plug. Then connect your DAW sync signal (or your drum pad) to the Left/Tip and your pedal to the Right/Ring.

Jitter

What is Jitter?

Jitter is the time deviation from the ideal time a clock signal should be, in other words how "stable" a clock signal is.

Imagine a clock signal being a drummer hitting a snare on every quarter note.
Everytime the drummer is a little bit too fast (hits the snare too early), or too slow (hits the snare too late), the time difference between when he should have hit and when he actually hit is the jitter.

jitter explained
Source: pro.focusrite.com

How come the Midronome's jitter is so low?

Inside most recent devices there is a part software and a part hardware. Even though the software is very reliable (much more than on a computer where it will be disturbed by other software), it can still sometimes be busy doing something, which can delay an action by a few microseconds, creating jitter.

In the Midronome, the software does not send the MIDI Clock, it configures the hardware to do it instead, using on the tempo.
Once the hardware is set, the MIDI Clock is sent 100% by hardware, software could even stop and the MIDI clock would keep going!

Have you measured the jitter?

Of course! We measured the MIDI Clock output directly in a Logic Analyzer, gathering 5 minutes data at 125 BPM (since a MIDI clock sends 24 ticks/pulses per quarter note, that means 15000 ticks in total).
The measurements were done both on the Midronome and on a computer setup: a Mac running an Ableton Live session, with a proper audio interface for the MIDI Output (Focusrite Scarlett 4i4).

jitter measured with Ableton
The jitter of the computer setup
  • 75% of the MIDI ticks have less than 0.100ms jitter (100,000ns)
  • 99.9% of the MIDI ticks have less than 0.452ms jitter (452,000ns)
  • The maximum (100%) jitter is 10.3ms (10,300,000ns!)
jitter measured with Midronome v3.3
The jitter of the Midronome
  • 100% of the MIDI ticks have less than 10ns jitter
  • Roughly 50,000 times less jitter than the computer setup!
  • (In fact the jitter on the Midronome is probably even smaller, but the analysis was done at 100MHz, i.e. with a precision of 10ns)

Is the jitter going to increase with MIDI Thru?

The jitter will definitely increase when you connect a MIDI Thru Box, or when you send the MIDI Clock further using the MIDI Thru plugs of your synths. But that's only because the jitter of the Midronome's signal is so extremely low.

In practice, this should not be a problem at all, but be careful of MIDI mergers of if you want to combine the MIDI Clock of the Midronome with a lot of other MIDI messages (MIDI notes On/Off f.x.). The device doing the merging will surely "move" the MIDI Clock messages in order to insert the other MIDI messages - this could really affect timing.

In all those situations, latency will also definitely increase, especially if you start chaining Thru boxes. If you want zero added latency and zero added jitter, we suggest you look into syncing two or more Midronomes together :)

Other technical questions

How do I sync multiple Midronomes together?

Let's say you have two Midronomes, A and B, you want B to sync to A (i.e. A is the master).

Step 1 - Configure A to send a special sync signal instead of the audio click
Step 2 - Configure B to sync from the INPUT plug (just like DAW sync)
Step 3 - Connect a cable from A's AUDIO plug to Midronome 2's INPUT plug
Step 4 - Done! That's it, now A will fully control B :)

Note that you can send that same sync signal from A to as many other Midronomes as you want.

What is the Locked Mode?

The Locked Mode locks the device, preventing unintentional changes (usually to be used for live performances).

To enter or leave the Locked Mode simply press the main knob for 1 second.
Locked Mode can be partial or full:
~ In partial locked Mode only tempo changes are blocked and need to be validated by pressing the main knob. This gives you the possibility to "jump" from one tempo to another.
~ Full locked Mode is the same with the play and mute buttons disabled (you can still use pedals to mute or play).

How come the Midronome has two independent MIDI Ports but only one play button?

The Midronome is very versatile, so almost each button is configurable.

The default play button mode is to send play on both ports.
The default mute button mode is, well... mute!

But you can configure them:
~ The play button can start devices on MIDI Port 1 only
~ The mute button can act as a second play button, starting devices on MIDI Port 2 only

Does the Midronome have a "resync" function?

It does! Simply hold the play button down for 1 second, then the display will show "Syn" to acknowledge that you pressed the button and send a resync MIDI message (in reality SPP 0,0 and MIDI Start - see the Tech Specs) at the beginning of the next bar.

This is to use in case one of your sequencers is not in time with the beat or the metronome.
This could happen if you started your sequencer without using the Midronome's play button, or if one of your sequencer just had a little bug and lost the timing (very rare, though!).

What if I also want to send MIDI notes to my synth?

The Midronome does not send MIDI notes, it will not be able to receive them and send them further either.
The easiest way to do this is to use a MIDI Merger box, which will combine the MIDI Clock from the Midronome, and the MIDI Notes you're sending (from your computer or from a MIDI keyboard for example).

Note that we are currently debatting whether to add a MIDI forwarding function using the USB plug, where you would be able to send MIDI notes from a computer via USB which would be then sent
This discussion is happening on the Midronome Forums.

I want my drummer to control the tempo, can the device follow the beat he is playing?

Can the drummer control the tempo? Absolutely - he can use a pedal to tap the tempo, he can use a drum pad to tap the tempo and the time signature, he can use the knob on the device, and he can potentially use an expression pedal to smoothly bring the tempo up or down (not implemented yet - see the forum).
He could also use a device that sends a similar audio sync signal than the one sent by our Midronome Plugin, and the Midronome would follow that.

What the Midronome cannot do, is "guess" the tempo from audio playing, for example a drum beat made by a Kick and a Snare.
The INPUT of the device is only for tap tempo, not for tempo detection.

You can technically configure the INPUT in Drum Pad mode, and then send an audio pulse to it (for example a Kick), as long as it's loud enough (if it is the LED will light up when receiving the pulse as shown on this Facebook Live video at 19:10).
But this audio will need to be like a "tap tempo" signal, i.e. regular, and not missing any hits, it cannot be a drummer playing an actual drum beat.

Some of you have asked us to implement this functionality, unfortunately this is a much more complex algorithm, it will surely raise the price of the device, and will never be 100% reliable, which is against one of the core values of the Midronome. Live, you cannot afford to have an unreliable setup.

Can the firmware be updated on the device?

Unfortunately not in an easy way (using the USB cable and a software for example).
The device is simple enough that it should not need any firmware update for basic use, and it will be very intensly beta-tested before being put in production, to avoid any firmware bugs.
In the case something major is found - a bug that would prevent you from using your Midronome for example - we will provide an option to update the firmware (either directly or by shipping your product back to us).

We are strongly considering making the whole design both open hardware and open source, at least in the future. The idea would be to provide with the source code some instructions on how to compile and change the firmware. This would be the next level in versatility, so that you could make your device whatever way you want it to be!

Is this something you would really like to happen? Please let us know on the Midronome Forums.

Oh I really wish the device could do X and Y...

Is there a feature that you would love to see on the device? Then please write a new topic on the "New Features" Forum, we will discuss it there and potentially add it to the device before we start production :)

Kickstarter & Crowdfunding

When and where can I buy a Midronome?

On our Kickstarter page right now! Go get one :)

What is Kickstarter?

Kickstarter is a crowdfunding platform, where you can help startups like us to launch a new product, by pre-ordering.
In return for your support you get very interesting prices and our eternal gratitude!

Is Kickstarter safe and can I get my money back?

Kickstarter is very safe, secure, and has been used for years by many, many startups like us.
You can cancel or change your pledge at anytime during the campaign, get a full refund at any time if you ask us, and of course if the campaign is not funded no money will be taken from your account at all.

How much does a Midronome cost?

The retail price will be 149€. Retail price means the final price you will pay from retailers like Thomann or Sweetwater.
But you can get much better price on our Kickstarter campaign! The Super Early Bird was only 89€ - they are all gone now unfortunately.
As of today March 17 there are still some Early Birds available :)

When will I receive my Midronome?

Once we are funded it will take a few months to finalize the prototypes and start production. See the diagram at the bottom of our Kickstarter page for a more detailed timing estimate :)

Do you ship worldwide and how much does shipping cost?

We ship worldwide, wherever your are you will get your Midronome :)

Shipping price has been very difficult to estimate, because prices are all over the place currently. We set the shipping price on Kickstarter to 15€ for EU, 20€ for USA, Canada and Australia, and 30€ for the rest of the world.

What about taxes and import duty?

This was also a toughie. We will always try to ship DDP (duty and taxes paid before we ship), so that you do not have to pay any tax when the package arrives. But unfortunately it is not possible for all countries, and there are too many countries in the world to investigate them all :)

For now we can only guarantee that you won't have to pay any tax or import duty for any country in the EU, for the USA, and for Australia.

We will know more about this once we know where our backers (yea that's you!) are located, then we can investigate precisely each country.

I have more questions

Great - we want to hear them!

Please ask on the Midronome Forum :)