Sync Unit is the free solution for reliably syncing hardware instruments in software based music setups. It uses audio ports instead of the latency and jitter plagued midi system to provide you with the best possible synchronization without using any additional hardware.
By default it provides a normal 24 pulses-per-quarter-note din-sync signal for Roland instruments, but 12, 48 and 96 ppqn are also available for other applications. Apart from the sample accuracy, the signal can also be shuffled in many different ways, keeping you in control over the groove and feel of your patterns.
Ignoring the DIN Sync run signal on the left channel, the clock can also be used for many other analogue clocked devices. No special soundcard is needed for this, but additional amplification may be necessary.
Note: I've matched my colors to this image so you can double-check.
Note: I can not make the cable for you so don't bother asking, I simply do not have the time. Ask the nearest guy with a soldering iron if you don't have the tools/skills/knowledge
Tip: Soldering DIN cables can be very frustrating.. Save yourself from the frustration and make a breakout box which splits out to 3 DIN outputs.. Drill some holes in your lunchbox (who needs lunch anyway?), buy some female chassis mount din plugs (or savage some from that old amp in your basement),.. It's pretty straight forward, and I promise to provide pictures once I get to it myself.
Don't have a DC coupled soundcard? There are alternative solutions, like modifying your soundcard, or building an electronic circuit.
I'm planning on releasing such a circuit on this website in the future. For now you can try building one at your own risk.. If you build a circuit that works, please share it :)
I have found it to work with a device called MPC Sync Track, they can be found on ebay sometimes for a small fee. I have uploaded a video to demonstrate it's use. Another solution is using a TR-707 or MC-202, and output FSK clock with Sync Unit AC
Standard DIN Sync is based on the TTL spec and basically consists of 2 elements: a clock signal and a 5V "run" signal. The clock signal should be "fine" on any audio interface, but to be able to feed a steady run signal (which is needed for playback), a DC coupled audio interface is needed. Most audio interfaces are not DC-coupled but some of them can be modified, view the list below for those known to work. Clocking devices where no 'run' signal is needed might work perfectly with any soundcard.
Apply Sync Unit DC to an instrument track. Set the correct output. Draw a (any) long note. That way you can stop/start your sync gear whenever you like.
Suggestions, experiences, bug reports? Send me an email.
Follow me on twitter for updates: http://twitter.com/rv0
(bonus points to whoever can name that track!
The information contained within this document is subject to change and may contain errors. Sync Unit DC is free software and comes with no guarantee whatsoever. It sends clocking signals through your audio cables which should be safe, but keep in mind those signals are DC and could be harmful if connected wrong. I cannot be held responsible for any damages caused by using Sync Unit DC.