Step/bar external display: solutions?


Hi there,

It would help me a lot if I could clearly see from a moderate distance which bar I’m in. So I’m looking for a simple display (might be an app even, preferably Android btw) that would sync to the master clock and counts beats/bars, but looping every x bars according to what I set it (most of my stuff is 4 bars repeating with the occcasional weird lengths inside). (What I mean is that I don’t need a traditional counter, but one that when I lift my head while on stage shows me where inside the pattern we currently are). Does something like that exist? Thanks!


Best advice : check when you’re sober! :joy:

Need help understanding LFO designer

And seriously, I’m interested in a step/bar display too. :wink:


I haven’t much time yet to research further, but just to get you started:

I think you can build something like this with Lemur. According to this post is has clock objects which can be sync’d to an external source and displaying the state of an clock object should be “easy”. Resetting it with each pattern change should be easy, too.

BUT: automatically handling the “step/bar within pattern” counting seems impossible to me, because how should an external program detect how long your pattern is and which time signature you are using? All it gets from the clock are progressing beats …


True, but I’d be willing to set that up manually. Never used Lemur, but it’s a good idea, I’ll take a look, thanks! (just treated myself to a subsequent37 so I’m not that much into learning new software these days though… :wink: )


Video amplifier circuit: It can be divided into two parts: pre-view and video output. The preview is received from the signal interface to receive the display card. The R, G, and B primary color video signals are amplified to drive the video output stage. The output stage of the video is the power amplifier: the large level, the video signal sent by the pre-viewing stage is amplified to enough power to drive the cathode of the picture tube, modulate the intensity of the electron beam emitted by the cathode, and the electron beam is bombarded with the screen, and the electricity is completed. A light conversion function that displays images in conjunction with scanning.
Usually, this part of the circuit also has the functions of contrast control, line blanking, white balance adjustment and so on.


isnt this what “SEND MIDI TRANSPORT SYNC” option does?

I’m pretty sure you could use lemur to do this, but as MIDI i/o is slightly jittery in most iOS implementations, it might not be the tightest solution. Should be tolerable however.


For my application it doesn’t need to be super tight, I’m a musician and have ears ;-). What I need this for, is that when I start improvising, over time things get weird (on purpose) and I might lose track of where I am in the main pattern. Often, when I hit my record switch to record a loop in the OT, it sounds OK when looping, but in reality I’m off because instead of starting my recording bar1 step1 I started it bar2 step9. So when I stop and restart the track, it’s all wrong. I am aware of this, so I always try to keep an eye on whichever device has a bar-beat indicator but none of them are really usable from a distance. OT’s position indicator led array in particular isn’t of much help when you’re 2 meters away from it. (Even when you’re close enough it’s a PITA to read, IMHO). So I’d like to have a BIG counter that doubles OT’s position indicator, preferably numeric.


so ideally you’d want something like this (minus the LTC i/o) , but with bars/beats display rather than MIDI TC?


Yes, that’s the idea. But ideally it should loop like a pattern does, not count bars incrementally. But that’s a hefty price , surely worth it but overkill for my needs. Maybe someting arduino-based or raspberry-pi?


Yes, not this model! thats a timecode generator/convertor as well and is mainly meant for using with time code signals.

Maybe someone has a raspberry pi version of something like this?

if the display would support MIDI transport control, you could give it a bars/beats info somehow (perhaps via CCs?) and then it would just iterate inside those values… should be quite easy to program. But maybe such a box doesnt exist yet… so it might require DIYing around an arduino / pi board…


Yeah, I browsed the Arduino project hub a bit, many ressources there, this might as well become a side project for next winter (too much into music making and composing right now!). But your description is spot-on.


No, not really. The OT can send SPP (Song Position Pointer), but that is still an absolute index within your “song”. Until a pattern has reached its end and the SPP jumps back you cannot say how long it is.

How it even works with the ability of the arranger to play only parts of a pattern is completely beyond my imagination. Maybe the SPP gets reset with each new pattern change? That’s the only thing which make sense, but then its not a real SPP (Song Position Pointer), but a PPP … :smiley:

But as with many more in detail stuff, Elektron hasn’t documented how the SPP works on the OT. It is just mentioned that it can get send.


SPP is a standard midi system common message that holds the number of 16th notes elapsed since the start of the sequence. There’s no specific per-vendor interpretation for generated messages.


I know that. Have you read the complete post?

The question is: what is a song/sequence in OT terms and can the relative position within a pattern be automatically detected by a client following the MIDI stream.

In general I don’t see why a vendor couldn’t interpret it differently. Like resetting the SPP to zero after each pattern change (because a pattern can be seen as its own sequence). If that is useful or not is another question.

Elektron also redefined the original meaning of a MIDI Program Change into a pattern change. So I guess anything goes (no MIDI sheriffs around) … :wink:


Of course I did. Being the OP, I read all the replies !

I mentioned generated messages. A vendor is free to interprete received messages :wink:


By “interpret it differently” I meant:

… interpret the standard differently (whats a song/sequence) and generate messages that resets to zero when switching to a new pattern.

Because that would be the only possibility I can think of how SPP messages what be of any help with an external display like you requested:

When the SPP wouid reset with each new pattern (and jumps back to zero when the pattern repeats), such a display would be “easy-peasy”. Otherwise you need to adjust the pattern length manually on the display for each new pattern.


That would be highly unusual, standard definition being “since the start of the song”, and if it were otherwise like “since the start of the pattern”, I don’t see how the receiver could know how to handle it because no bits are defined that would set an interpretation flag.

But if such an option had been provided, it would sure have been a big step towards an easy solution for my original quest… unfortunately this is not the case!