Syncing Alesis SR18 to IO dock for use with the app Loopy and using bluetooth air turn pedals to start/stop loops


I am a keyboardist and a saxophonist. I want to do a duo with my girlfriend who is a singer but I don't want to use tacky backing tracks so I bought the Alesis SR18 drum machine, playing a split keyboard with bass in my left hand, chords with right hand and another keyboard for different sounds. I also bought two footswitches for the drum machine so I could change between A and B rhythm patterns with my hands firmly on the keyboard. Now I want to be able to loop a section of the song so I can pick up my saxophone and do a solo over the top then stop the loop and play live on the keyboard.

I have been experimenting with the app Loopy and noticed you can control it with the air turn bluetooth pedals - very cool! I also noticed it has a MIDI clock function. Does this mean I could connect the drum machine to the ipad via my IO dock and it would somehow sync with it? i've been looking for answers but can't find any. I would like to be able to loop a whole section of say 8 bars and not have any problems with latency. Is it possible?

If so how would I go about doing this?
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  • Hello,

    Thanks for posting. MIDI Clock is is a clock signal that is broadcast via MIDI to ensure that several MIDI-enabled devices such as a synthesizer or music sequencer stay in synchronization. It is not MIDI timecode.

    Unlike MIDI timecode, the MIDI beat clock is tempo-dependent. Clock events are sent at a rate of 24 ppqn (pulses per quarter note). Those pulses are used to maintain a synchronized tempo for synthesizers that have BPM-dependent voices and also for arpeggiator synchronization. It does not transmit any location information (bar number or time code) and so must be used in conjunction with a positional reference (such as timecode) for complete sync.

    Because of limitations in MIDI and synthesizers, devices driven by MIDI beatclock are often subject to clock drift. For this reason, it is a common practice on equipment that supports another clock source such as ADAT or wordclock to use both that source and MIDI beatclock.

    Review the images below to help you out in setting MIDI Clock on the SR18.

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