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Sending an SR-16 midi clock from DAW, audio comes back off beat (detailed)

I am trying to get my Alesis SR-16 drum machine to sync with Pro Tools midi clock. I would like to be able get all other midi functions working down the road, but currently my goal is to just to be able to send this device a clock through Pro Tools and be able to record patterns I've made within the SR-16 as audio that stay in time with pro tools's clock.

Currently I have gotten the SR-16 recognized in Pro tools and it is receiving clock data. The Sr-16 is set up to accept clock in and I can confirm pro tools is taking of as the clock, and the SR-16 will start playing when I hit record in PT. The issue here as that the audio I'm recording back is off from pro tool's clock. The audio seems to be fairly consistent, but gets more off over time. I'm not sure how to confirm whether or not the audio I'm recording is in sync with its self, as it not fluctuating in tempo. Id be curious to here if anyone here has a method on measuring and applying offset, as well as if that seems like the logical root to the issue of the problem here. At the bottom of this post I am including a you tube link to a video I've recorded with my phone showing what happens when I hit record.

To expand on that - from what I understand this could be just a matter of off setting the clock being sent from pro tools to match what Im getting back from the SR-16, however I'm not entirely understanding that process. I have tried doing something like Tab to transient and then using the length in the window to try and convert to samples by multiplying my sample rate. This seemed to help a bit but over all I didn't end up with a track that would steadily stay on beat with pro tools over time. I would be willing to try again if anyone has a good guide or video to try and follow.

Lastly I am somewhat suspicious that this issue could be just to A. The SR-16 being antiquated or B. the fact that I am using a cheap midi to USB connected i bought off of amazon, however this part of the set up seems to be working fine. I bought it to test and try to begin this process as well as learning more about midi, so until I fully understand what I need and why I'd prefer not to instantly upgrade to attempt to solve the issue. If a proper midi interface is what it will take at a certain point I might be willing to go that route.

I have read the user manual to the SR-16 in total as well as its section on Midi, as well as done quite a bit of research on Pro Tools Midi, offset, and searched forums for advice relating to this device in particular. In general I don't have much background in midi so trying to get these two to make friends has been major learning exercise in understanding and basics of midi, so forgive me if I have some major gaps in my knowledge here.

Pro Tools 12

Windows 10

Alesis Sr-16

Scarlet 2i2 Audio interface

Playback Engine: AISO4ALL

Buffer Rate 128

Sample Rate 48

Midi Usb dongle -

Youtube link to demonstration of how the clock is off (sorry for quality shot from my phone. Willing to shoot more examples if it helps anyone understand exactly is happening here)
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  • Note, someone on another forum pointed out it would be more efficient to use the manufacturer playback engine for my interface so now I am using "focusritescarletaiso" as my playback engine
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  • Hello, HarrisonPrachyl

    Thanks for posting! 

    If you are sending clock from Pro Tools to the SR16 so it can playback the audio, there will be a small lag/drift. The amount of drift that you will experience will depend on the device you are using with Pro Tools. From the setup you described above, it looks like you have everything set up correctly. I would recommend recording the patterns you wish to retrieve from the SR16, and then arranging them together in Pro Tools after you have finished recording so you don't run the clock long enough for it to drift.

    Hope this helps! 
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