Use with backing tracks (not Beatbuddy)

Does anyone have experience using the Aeros with mp3 backing tracks created from your DAW on a sequencer? I have all the percussion tracks I need created, and prefer not to reinvent the wheel by going with a Beatbuddy.

Currently I run them from Bandhelper. I have used both the Pigtronix Infinity and the iPad app Loopy HD for looping. The challenge with both has been that the Midi Clock does not sync perfectly with the mp3 recording: the tempo is right, but they are not in sync…the 1 beat may be 100 msec different. With the Infinity, they had a function called “Auto zero record” which would sync the looper to the recording by basically making your looper start the 1 beat for the rest of the song, shifting the midi clock based on when you start the first loop. For Loopy HD, I have had to take a different approach of basically trimming the mp3 recording with an editor. The timing offset is relatively constant, so once you do that it is all set.

I have asked about this previously and have not gotten a response, so I do not know if Aeros has a “auto zero record” type function. Another option would be to store mp3 (or wav if needed) backing tracks on one loop of the Aeros in 6x6 mode, and run them that way. That should be in sync with Midi Clock (with my above set-up the problem is apparently some issues with Midi clock usage in the iPad itself.

I could go the Beatbuddy route, but I prefer creating tracks in my DAW, rather than on a Midi Editor.

Hey there, thanks for the question,

The Aeros is not yet able to import files (would have to be WAVs 44.1kHz 24 bit) as backing tracks. This is something we will work on soon, for now the best option for a backing track is by using playback from an MP3 device, if the device can be synced via MIDI, you could synchronize playback with a MIDI clock. This way you may be able to get better results.

Ok. My question regarding using Midi Clock is whether Aeros has a setting like the Pigtronix Infinity’s “Auto Zero Record”:

Auto Zero Record makes the Infinity behave as if it receives a MIDI Start when the Loop 1 button is pressed to start recording; you define the downbeat of the song by pressing Loop 1 to start recording.

For the purpose of playing with an mp3, this helps to sync the Midi Clock with the recording, because otherwise, even though you have identical Tempo with the recording and mp3, the might be a few millisec off as far as the downbeat.

I may be misunderstanding, but if your question is if the Aeros respond to MIDI start/stop, then yes it does!

It sounds like it does not do what I am describing. A lot of people use various apps, Bandhelper for example, for setlists. These apps also can manage their midi gear, so Bandhelper sends program changes to my Midi capable footpedals like my Strymon Timeline to select presets. With this master command role, it makes sense for it to be the source of the Midi Clock, changing the tempo for each song. And of course, that means the Aeros, like the Pigtronix Infinity, responds and syncs to that Midi Clock.

The problem is, there is some time drift within iPads related to their poor midi implementation. It is close to 100msec. So even though I have created an mp3 using a sequencer with the same tempo as the Midi Clock, their onset is 100 msec off. For looping this is significant.

Pigtronix recognized this as an issue and have an option called “Auto Zero Record”. What this option does, is it allows you to reset the timing of the loop onset when you record loop 1. So if you have a drumbeat going but your Midi Clock beat is maybe 100msec behind, when you click to start Loop 1 in time with the drum beat, the looper recalibrates. Tempo does not change, just the onset…it shifts the loop in time to your initial footpress. All other loops now follow this recalibrated Midi Clock. This gets your Midi Clock lined up properly with the mp3.

It is a nice feature to have. I understand you guys will not have this issue with Beat Buddy, but also understand a lot of people have spent countless hours creating backing tracks of percussion and more for their performances, so having this flexibility can help you sell your product.

This issue is not unique to my setup. Developers of apps for the iPad have struggled with this issue. The developer of Loopy HD provides an excellent overview of the problem, as it lies within iOS. However iPads are probably here to stay as the brains for live performance. Don’t see that changing.