Midi Clock Tempo Stability

Hi all
I’ve been working on a project at the tempo of 174bpm and have noticed on my neighbouring midi-synced machine (Octatrack) the tempo drifts up and down from 173.9 to 174.1 and never stays put.

This creates some stuttery artifacts on some timestretched samples which are undesirable.

I figured it may have something to do with instability at higher bpm’s so I halved it to 87 and voila! Perfect sync, no drift at all.

For all those suffering with some midi tempo instability - halving the tempo (and setting x2 pattern length multiplier) may work for you, give it a shot.

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Nice workaround, but limited if you are trying to sync other stuff that doesn’t have tempo multiplliers, like, I don’t know, lots of stuff, other Elektron gear?

I get regularly clock slippages circa 128bpm…

wondering if anyone solved this?
my Digitakt is getting clock from an OTMk1 - usally around 125 - 130 and it does the same thing. randomly cycles around, for example, 130.1 , 130, 129.9

honestly i’m not really noticing it - but its concerning.

Digitakts always show small tempo “drifts” on the BPM counter when slaved, it’s normal - I wouldn’t worry about it unless you can actually hear it going out of sync


I’ve seen those small tempo fluctuations on quite a few midi slaved synths, never actually heard the tempo warble around so it never became a real problem.


:hugs: okey dokes - thanks - good to know it’s not just me at least.
i think the key is to stop looking at it … lol


Hi there

My Octatrack is synced to another clock source, where the tempo is 120. Annoyingly, it always detects it off by .5, so I get a 120.5 bpm reading on the Octatrack instead of 120.

I read on a previous thread that the LEVEL knob can control the tempo whole numbers - True.

I also read that the A knob controls the decimals - Not true here.

Am I missing something?

Also, if anyone can chime in as to why the Octatrack clock sync is not 100% accurate?

Thanks for your time.

Use the arrow buttons for decimal BPM adjustment.
If you want octatrack to be dead on 120bpm, have octatrack be the master.

Variances in BPM detection are due to variances in clock calibration. Ableton, Elektron, Korg, you name it, they all count time slightly differently.
If you can hear that your machines are out of time, then you have a problem.
If you are looking at a screen and worrying about half a Beat per minute, I would suggest life is pretty good, and you aint got no troubles.

Pro tip- a slightly drifting clock is actually a good thing, it will help your music appear less robotic.


Thanks. I definitely can’t hear any problems, and the metronome of the OT and my source are fairly in sync (enough).

The thing is it becomes apparent when sampling. Say I sample two perfect measures, with the source material at 120bpm, the OT for some reason truncates when the pattern resets when I play the recorded sample on the OT exclusively.

That was actually the reason for my post. I put it down to this decimal variance in the tempo, but maybe it’s something else.

The material definitely gets cut off when I play the recorded sample on the OT.

Audio editor/attributes, check bpm. If not 120, change it so it is.
Also, sample for slightly longer than you think you need to. You can always crop samples anyway.

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‘sample for slightly longer than you think you need to’.
This exactly. I was just replying with that as being the solution.

And after testing, this is the solution. The tempo variances are so small they are no issue (as expected). The problem was being caused by quantized (pre-determined) record length.

However, I still think the OT should have the ability to avoid truncating samples when using exact quantize record method (for your actual intended length of sample). This is simply not an option if you want clean, smooth loops of sampled material.

Can’t you use OT master?

No, my DAW is the master. I have a hybrid workflow

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Another approach. Export your DAW sounds as a wav. Drag and drop the wav files to your OT flashcard.
Thats how I made pad, perc and fx sample chains a few years ago. I dont really use a DAW anymore.