Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Korg ds-10 syncing the korg nts-1, the teenage engineering op-z & ipad

After being asked to do a chiptune set in december of 2019 I worked on my audio setup and the songs and had nothing visually to go with it. I was not familiar enough with op-z and I did not want to use an ipad (only because I had being shows with just ipads and wanted to use ds only sounds) funny thing is I ran my audio for the set through a tascam i/o box into an ipad to control line levels. The show went great but with the down time of loading between songs and no visuals I decided I needed to have something syncd live to run visuals. I dove deep into the op-z and had to figure a way to sync it. I bought the module pack for the op-z but that would not use the audio sync in for timing (only for stepping). The midi on the module is trs midi so the module did not help. The bluetooth midi was useless for the ds. I then thought of buying the volca sync mixer, the korg sequencer with sync abilities or make a modded volca with midi. The I remembered I had synced up the monotribe to the ds a while back and it has sync in and midi out (a mod). So I originally made a video syncing the korg ds-10 to the op-z thru the miditribe. This method was close to perfect but I had to run the midi thru an ipad and an iconnectmidi to route it. I had an idea to buy the nts-1 to replace the monotribe....I had no idea how powerful it would be. The ability to use it as sync box swiss army knife and add your own oscillators has opened so many doors. The problem was every time I set up to do this video I had a new idea with syncing. I had to go back and edit using footage from when I first started because without a simple explanation the complex routings would make no sense. I do need to apologize for the video being a bit all over the place with setups and the sound. I was learning more of lumafusion, making a new setup for performance / tutorials and switching between different devices. I was only using two dsi xls, a midiman mixer and a tascam 2x2 into my iphone. While making this video I added my zoom h5 to use the mic and input at the same time and two of the recordings where on a tripod on my setup and have a lot of noise. anyway I'm learning how to make better videos and hopefully they won't be quite so cable accessy in the future. Also I would add that the click does not need to be exactly how I show in the video as some of those settings don't change the sound and same with the op-z and nts-1.

Next I plan on syncing the kds10 to:
1 ipad in aum.
2. gameboy.
3. ms-20 clone k-2

A couple of things I came across while trying out different setups:

If using two ds units in multiplayer mode, you cannot adjust the tempo once the ds units make the WiFi connection. You can load up your song on one ds and change the tempo and save it on the host ds before you start. Start and stop on the host ds will still start and stop the op-z with both one and two ds units. 

There is a buzz from the op-z when first turned on. Power from the usb hub goes to both the op- z and the nts-1 I believe there is an audio signal and midi through usb from both devices. 

-Just wait a few minutes it seems to go away most of the time. Also if you just want to sync video to the ds on the op-z then the volume from the op-z can just be turned down. I also used a stereo 3.5mm cable that is gold plated and it seemed to eliminate the buzz. 

-The tempo on the op-z fluctuates +or- 1 and can be noticeable when using hard panning or side chaining effects on the ds. It’s a small amount less than most Bluetooth latency. 

Basic equipment needed: 

-1 *KORG ds-10 or ds10+ -1 Nintendo ds, ds lite, xl, LL, dsi, dsi xl, 3ds, new 3ds, or 2ds system -1 “y” stereo 3.5mm male to 2 mono 3.5mm male cable (can be an adapter as long as the end that goes into the headphone port of the ds is stereo and the ends that goes into the mixer and KORG nts-1 are mono) can also be a 3.5 to mono 1/4” y cable. -1 KORG nts-1 synthesizer -1 micro usb cable (comes with the nts-1) -1 Teenage Engineering OP-Z -1 Nucleum or the like usb-c hub (the hub needs to be powered and have at least one usb-a port) -1 mixer that has at 3 inputs and 5 if using stereo out of the op-z and nts-1 -1 usb-c to usb-a cable to power the nucleum -2 mono or stereo 3.5mm cables for audio from the nts-1 and op-z to the mixer (can be 3.5 to 1/4” or 3.5 to stereo y cables) 

*if using two ds units (and 2 ds 10 carts) you can setup the same way or just use one ds unit as a click and the other ds as stereo sound. 

Setup: On the (host) ds card pan both synths and drums 1,2 and 3 to the left channel and the 4th drum channel to the right (this will be our click track). Click edit drums, click drum four. Make a metronome sound by using the pics below and save it. On the nts-1 hold down the rev (reverb) button while powering on. Using the pics below (and by turning the knobs on the nts-1) change the settings to allow the units to sync. Hit the arp button when done that will save your settings. On the op-z go to midi settings and highlight the box “allow midi clock source in” also make sure midi channel is on 16 for motion video.

By Michael Nervous