DM4800 automation losing Sync With Cubase 7 during playback


New Member
Jan 1, 2013
Gear owned
Hi, I'm running cubase 7 on a mac 10.7 with a MOTU Micro Lite midi connected to the DM. Sometimes when I play back a mix with automation, the the DM loses sync for a few seconds. The problem is you can hear things like reverb cutting in and out while it does this. Also when writing automation, it takes a good few seconds to pick up sync, meaning I have to rewind quite a bit if I need to make some changes. Is there any way of getting tighter sync? This also happens if I change midi sync to USB.
Are connected via the MTC port in the back of the DM? Please explain your signal path. I'm very curious about this problem.
His issue sounds eerily familiar. I experienced similar things using USB3 MTC when I was running C_Base SX3 with DM automation - among them - dropped MTC, chronic DM automation pop up messages that interrupted playback; 'ghosting,' and sudden halts to the proceedings. Annoying didn't begin to describe it.

Without second guessing WillM's problem(s), I found three solutions:

1. Increasing 'FreeWheel' time on the DM's automation and in C_base.

2. Assigning C_base as the MTCode master, and the DM as the recipient - both for tracking and mixing. (As you know, this doesn't work for Ptoolz, which must be the recipient in an OTB automated mix.)

3. Increasing Firewire buffer size to maximum - which matters not in a mixing scenario anyway.

I should also mention that there was a Step #4 - jumping to Avid and kissing Stein{bug] SX farewell. (This will win me no Cubase using friends, but I assure you, it's nothing personal :) ).

Ok the signal path is - USB to MOTU Micro Lite to DM4800 MIDI in. I don't have the tascam firewire card, I'm using MOTU 2408 connected by TDIF.
Confusing. Do you mean you take the USB from the computer into the MOTU, then into the DM4800 Midi in?

Why aren't you using the USB from the DM into the computer for Midi Sync?
Yes that's the way I have connected. I did try USB direct to the DM but is made the situation worse.
I thing I have got the problem sorted by increasing the free wheel time. So far it seems to be working.

Thanks for your help.
I should also mention that there was a Step #4 - jumping to Avid and kissing Stein{bug] SX farewell.
Anyone still running Cubase SX should expect many bugs - we're at Cubase 7.5 now, and P_tools just doesn't cut it in the MIDI department.
Anyone still running Cubase SX should expect many bugs - we're at Cubase 7.5 now, and P_tools just doesn't cut it in the MIDI department.

I do ok. I just play geetar.
P_tools just doesn't cut it in the MIDI department.

I respectfully and earnestly disagree. There's nothing I haven't been able to do with PTool 10 MIDI that I could do with Cubase. And even SX3 was very MIDI robust. I know that Cbase is up in the 7s now, and likely on the verge of 8. Even still, I can't find anything annoying enough with Ptools that would make me fly Air Steinberg again.

I've mentioned this before, but I'll repeat it: All modern DAWs are good applications; they get the jobs done that users expect. But they are all different in certain ways. There are just some things in the Steinberg-flavor of DAW I cannot stand. I also know there are many folks who'd say the same thing about Ptools.

We are like our DAWs - each wired a little differently on the inside. ;)

I have experienced a similar issue with Pro Tools 10 and 11.
I have timecode showing on the DM (meter bridge) and after a few minutes the DM starts lagging behind the timecode value in Pro Tools. You say by increasing the Free wheel time on both you got it sorted out? What value did you enter if you don't mind me asking?

If the DM is lagging behind PT, there's something else going on - dropped MTC sync, a frame mis-match, incorrect setting-DM and/or PT, USB3 conflict. (assuming you're using USB and not a BNC connection.

Items to look at:

1. Ensure your Ptoolz Session is set up at 30fps NON DROP FRAME. Same with the DM. There are alternate rates - 29.7, drop frame, etc. Those are for older SMPTE/NTSC/PAL film/video systems existing prior to the current digital standard.

2. Check to see that nothing else in your USB system is conflicting with MTCode - sent by default on USB3. If something is causing signal intermittency, MTCode will fall out of sync.

A question: how are you sending receiving MTC? Is the DM the master and PToolz slave? Or vice versa? This is VERY important because Ptools is exceptionally finnicky about settings on both sides being absolutely correct. I've elaborated on this in a message a year ago; I'll try to dig it up if you'd like.

I just double checked my settings.
In Pro Tools under 'Peripherals --> Synchronization' MTC Reader Port is 'Any' and the MTC Generator Port is set to Tascam USB Port 3. The frame rates were set to 24 so I changed them to 30ND.
And I have the 'MTC' button selected in Pro Tools so it is generating Time Code.
On the DM3200 under 'Automation' I have MTC(USB) selected, Frame Type was changed to 30ND and both Pro Tools and the DM are at 8 for FlyWheel.

On Saturdays I record a band practicing and sometimes I end up with 22+ tracks that are about 3 hours long. And by the end of the session I notice that the DM will be behind the Pro Tools time code by roughly 2 minutes. Not a set number every week but I easily see that the Tascam lags over time.
I'll try the 30ND setting today and see if it fails out of sync after an hour or so of recording.
Are there any settings I am missing?
Just for the record I am not using the DM for automation, all automation is done in Pro Tools.
After 5 minutes the DM is lagging by 2 seconds already. So I have something screwed up someplace.
I still do not understand why the board is not the MTC master, furthermore, have you tried the the second physical midi out in the back of the console? I never had a sync issue with the board as an MTC master to Pro TOOLS.
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Stupid question, how would I make the board master?
I tried to wrap my head around that a few hours ago and just couldn't think of how the board would know where Pro Tools layback head is.

I'm open to suggestions.
DM project screen / clock tab - check INTERNAL ;-)
I'm going to try that right now. Do I need to change anything in Pro Tools to receive the time code?
In PT9: Setup->Peripherals->Synchronisation tab->select TascamDM as the MTC reader port and "none" as the MTC generator port.
That's how I set it up and the DM is not displaying any time code when I hit play now.
Not sure what I am missing here. Have had this board for 7 years now and today I feel like I don't know how to use it at all!!

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