E-RM Erfindungsbüro has released multiclock, a multi-channel, multi-format sync box that claims to build “a musical bridge” between computer audio workstations and external (MIDI, DIN Sync/sync24, and analogue modular) musical gear. by converting clock signals for tight integration into production workflow without troublesome timing issues, as well as providing helpful and creative realtime shift and shuffle controls to independently compensate for sloppy slave machine delays and also add groove to each creative channel —
ER-M’s multiclock was built to overcome all of the well-documented problems associated with achieving tight sync from computer’s running the latest Digital Audio Workstations (DAW) to external sequencers, drum machines, arpeggiators. The multiclock achieves this by acquiring a variety of sync signals from an Audio Sync track, as opposed to relying on a MIDI Clock signal. Synchronising multiclock to a master DAW relies on a sample-accurate audio clock stream, which, in turn, guarantees tight clock signals to within ±1 sample of jitter. Jitter is the undesired deviation of a periodic signal from the ideal timing.
multiclock makes such sync possible by providing an audio INPUT (1/4-inch jack socket) to process a special sync track generated from the company’s downloadable multiclock AU/VST plug-in (for Mac OS X/Windows) namesake. Alternatively, another way of simply synchronising multiclock to a DAW is to load the special sync sample downloadable from the dedicated E-RM Erfindungsbüro webpage. Whichever route discerning users choose to take, the result remains the same: seamless integration of all external devices with the host computer.
“multiclock is not only a perfect sync solution for live and studio applications, but you can also use it as an instrument in itself,” reveals E-RM Erfindungsbüro CEO Maximilian Rest. “If you get your hands on this machine, you can start playing with the phase of your sounds, effectively changing the timbre of layered tones or setting the groove between individual drum tracks.”
Not content with simply providing DAW synchronization adds a creative aspect by being able to shift and shuffle the clock with rotary knobs. multiclock can shift all four of its output clock channels back and forth in realtime against each other and also relative to the master clock. Connectivity comes courtesy of four corresponding DIN sockets, fully configurable to transmit MIDI Clock (MIDI), DIN Sync/sync24 (DIN) or analogue clock (Analog) on each channel. channel 01 even comes complete with an additional 1/4-inch TRS output jack to provide an analogue LFO (LFO) with various waveforms and a 0-5V range, while modular synth connectivity is easily accomplished via any channel using an E-RM modular whip to convert DIN sockets to two mini jacks for clock and signal runs. Up to ±300 ms of Shift Range ensures easy compensation of sloppy slave machine delay and audio buffer latencies can be compensated for by setting a constant Offset calibration for each channel, leaving more than enough headroom to get into the groove, whether working with or without a DAW (since it is always necessary to compensate for the starting time lag of external equipment). Elsewhere, those shift and shuffle knobs can be configured to emit MIDI Control Change commands, should a user happen to have any unused clock channels available on their multi clock.
E-RM’s multiclock is available now for €449.00 (Classic version) and €519.00 (USB version).