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Synching Logic / MTP / External hardware


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I've recently changed the way I write music from being mainly computer based to using external equipment, and have a few questions regarding the best way to set up synchronisation between Logic and the equipment I have (I've noticed there's quite a few people here that have similar equipment).


I have the following external hardware ...


1 x Win XP Pro PC running Logic Pro 5.51


2 x RME Fireface 800

1 x Alesis HDR24 (arriving soon!)

1 x Behringer ADA800

1 x MOTU Timepiece (MTP) AV USB

1 x Genoqs Octopus Chaselight Sequencer

1 x Virus TI

1 x Dave Smith Polyevolver


Ideally I'd like to be able to control Start / Stop / Recording (I believe this is MMC) with either the Octopus, Logic or the HDR24 (dependant on whether I am running Logic), and have all of the equipment digitally synch'd, but due to a lack of experience in this type of setup, I'm not sure of the following:


What's the best way to setup up Logic for my setup ?

Do I need to sync (using word clock) the Fireface's to the MTP or will the MTP recognise them as being an installed soundcards and automatically provide the required digital sync'ing ?

Should I sync the ADA8000 to the Fireface's or the MTP ?

Do I need to have different MTP Configs for each type of MMC control (e.g. 1 for control from the Octopus, 1 for the Logic, 1 for the HDR24) or would just one config work ?


Hope someone out there can help !



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I have had experience in the past synching my VS880 with Alesis ADATs and Logic.


I think you need at least one more piece of equipment: a BRC. With this, you can slave your other pieces to the Alesis.


I would suggest that you stick with Logic for your sequencing. It just doesn't get any better than Logic when it comes to the task of sequencing, and you can eventually use the various plug-in instruments when (hopefully) you upgrade to the most recent versions of Logic.


I know how you feel. I used Logic 4 and the upgrades until Logic Pro 7 came out. My current Mac is under powered to use my Presonus Firepod, so I felt it was more economical to use VS880s and a VS1680, which could be bought on ebay and provide portable, easy-to-use hard drive recording 24-bit with 48k sampling and great effects. No crashing. Acts like a tape deck.


From the Alesis BRC, run a MIDI out connector to the MIDI in jack of your MOTU timepiece , which should be set to Logic. Then run the MIDI out jack of the MOTU timepiece to the MIDI in jack of the BRC. Set the frame rate of he BRC to 30 fps. Output messages from the BRC will be MMC or MTC.


Logic will be set as the MMC slave. Then your other equipment will be addressed via MIDI from the MIDI time piece.


Settings for Logic:


File - Song Settings - Synchronization (or Option + X)


General tab. sync mode, check auto enable external sync

Frame rate 30 fps

Validate MTC always

Bar position 1111 plays at 0:0:0:0.0


MIDI tab.

Listen to MMC input

Turn off "transmit"


Audio tab

MTC: 30 fps

Audio Sync Mode:

Core Audio MTC continuous

DAE/TDM MTC continuous


I have a Unitor instead of the timepiece, so I click "Unitor"

SMPTE enable Read SMPTE type LTC




One reason I like Logic (and VS880s) is that they are easy to synchronize with all sorts of external equipment without spending $2,000 for a synch module as in Pro Tools.


I have even addressed the sequencer in a Peavey DPM 4 by using MidiClock instead of MTC or MMC.


Hope this helps you. I synchronize my equipment daily with this basic approach, and it locks perfectly. With the VS880s and VS1680, I can go back and forth with Logic as the master or a Roland unit as a master.

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