Knowledge Base

Pro Tools on a separate computer via network MTC, MMC & HUI

Introduction

The easiest way to provide ADR Master with incoming MTC/MMC data from another computer, is to setup a network MIDI connection using Apple’s built-in Audio MIDI Setup tool to transmit all the MIDI data between the two computers. There is no need to buy a separate MIDI interface and cables to connect MTC sender and receiver computer, although you can of course use a cabled MIDI connection if you prefer. Since MIDI was developed in the 80s, it has a really low data rate. Thus, it should not be a problem to use network MIDI in a Wi-Fi environment. Though a cabled ethernet network connection still is the preferred method for reliability.

The following instructions assume that you have two Apple Macs: one with ADR Master; the other with Pro Tools®.

Although not listed as a separate DAW Sync Setup Option, this Network MIDI setup incidentally also works flawlessly with ADR Master on the same computer.

If the Pro Tools® computer is a PC, rtpMIDI is a free PC equivalent to Apple’s network MIDI implementation. Download & setup instructions can be found here: http://www.tobias-erichsen.de/software/rtpmidi.html

Our thanks to Tobias Erichsen for this invaluable tool.

rtpMIDI Settings Window

Configuring Audio MIDI Setup on the Pro Tools® computer to send MTC & MMC over the Network

On the Pro Tools® computer, go to Applications > Utilities & open Audio MIDI Setup. The MIDI Network Setup window should appear:

MIDI Network Setup Overview

If the window is not shown, select Window > Show MIDI Studio & then from the MIDI Studio menu that appears, select Open MIDI Network Setup.

In older versions of Audio MIDI Setup where this option is not present, it can accessed by double-clicking the Network device icon in the default MIDI Studio window.

Audio MIDI Setup - MIDI Studio Window

In the My Sessions field top left, create a new session by clicking +.

Click the checkbox to the left of the name to enable the session.

Rename it (computer 1 name) MTC/MMC Send (or something similar) - e.g. MacProHDX MTC/MMC Send This name will automatically be copied to the Local name field.

The Local name is the name that appears on this local computer.

Copy this name & paste it in the Bonjour name field.

The Bonjour name is the name that is displayed on the other computers in the network.

Although a session can be used in either input or output directions, to avoid confusion it is recommended to stick to one direction by noting this in the session name, e.g. Send or Out.

MTC & MMC do not require separate Network sessions made for each - they can share the same session.

Set the Port: field to 5004.

Select Anyone in the Who may connect to me dropbox on the bottom left.

MIDI Network Setup - Send Session created

Configuration is complete for the Pro Tools® computer. This should not need to be set up again in future.

Configuring Audio MIDI Setup on the ADR Master computer to receive Network MTC & MMC

On the ADR Master computer, close ADR Master & open Audio MIDI Setup. Open the MIDI Network Setup window as described above. The Pro Tools® computer should be visible in the Directory field - showing (computer 1 name) MTC/MMC Send with a green active circle to the left.

Created session as seen from another system on the network

In the My Sessions field top left, create a new session by clicking +.

Click the checkbox to the left of the name to enable the session.

Rename it (computer 2 name) MTC/MMC Receive (or something very similar)- eg MacbookPro MTC/MMC Receive.

This name will automatically be copied to the Local name field.

Copy this name & paste it in the Bonjour name field.

Set the Port: field to 5004.

Select Anyone in the Who may connect to me: selection field on the bottom left.

Send and receive sessions ready to connect

Connecting the Network MTC/MMC Sessions

Now that the two Sessions have been created, the next step is to connect them.

The steps until this point should not need to be done again in future. The following simple steps to connect only need to be done once every time the computers are restarted.

With the (computer 2 name) MTC/MMC Receive session selected in the My Sessions box, select (computer 1 name) MTC/MMC Send in the Directory field, and hit the Connect button.

You should now see (computer 1 name) MTC/MMC Send in the Participants: field on the right.

Send and receive sessions connected

Regardless of which computer is chosen to Connect, only one of the computers needs to connect to establish the connection.

On the Pro Tools® computer, (computer 2 name) MTC/MMC Receive should now also be seen in the Participants: window.

Connected sessions as seen from the other machine

If the (computer 2 name) MTC/MMC Receive session does not show up in the Directory list, try re-launch Audio-MIDI-Setup.

Launch ADR Master.

If ADR Master was open already, use the “Rescan Available MIDI Ports” button in the SYNC preferences.

In ADR Master, go to the SYNC tab in Preferences & select Network (computer 2 name) MTC/MMC Receive in both the MTC In & MMC In fields.

ADR Master Sync Preferences

Pro Tools Network MTC (MIDI Timecode) Setup

In Pro Tools®, go to Setup > MIDI > MIDI Input Devices & make sure that the Network, (computer 1 name) MTC/MMC Send is enabled.

Pro Tools MIDI Input Enable Window

MIDI Inputs are disabled by Pro Tools® by default until they are manually activated.

Next go to Setup > Peripherals > Synchronization tab.

In the MTC Generator Port dropdown menu, choose Predefined > Network, (computer 1 name) MTC/MMC Send.

Pro Tools Synchronization Preferences

Click OK to close the window.

Check that the expanded Synchronization box is showing in the Transport Bar (or Transport Window), by clicking on the top right arrow, & making sure the Synchronization tab is selected.

Hit the GEN MTC button. 

Pro Tools Transport Window

Pro Tools Network MMC (MIDI Machine Control) Setup

To enable MMC in Pro Tools®, go to the Machine Control tab of the Setups > Peripherals window.

In the Machine Control Master field, set the Enable checkbox.

Check that the ID field is set to 127.

Pro Tools Machine Control Preferences

Select Predefined > Network, (computer 1 name) MTC/MMC Send.

Click OK to close the window.

Now go to Setup > Preferences > Synchronization tab.

Make sure that Machine Chases Memory Location and Machine Follows Edit Insertion/Scrub are both enabled:

Pro Tools Synchronization Preferences

When Machine Chases Memory Location is enabled, Pro Tools® will send an MMC Locate command whenever a specific memory location is clicked. With the Machine Follows Edit Insertion/Scrub checkbox checked, Pro Tools® will send MMC Locate commands every time the position of the edit insertion is changed.  

Configuring Audio MIDI Setup on the ADR Master computer to send and receive HUI

If looped playback is required with MTC & MMC sync options, ADR Master must be enabled as a HUI controller.

If looped playback is not required, for best performance it is suggested to leave HUI off - in which case this step can be skipped until the Enabling Synchronised playback section of this chapter.

Unlike MTC & MMC, HUI controllers need a two-way connection - meaning that they send and receive information. One session in Audio MIDI Setup can receive and transmit HUI information at the same time though - so there's no need to create separate sessions to send and receive HUI messages.

On the ADR Master computer, go to Applications > Utilities & open Audio MIDI Setup again.

Setting up a network session for HUI

In the My Sessions field top left, create a new session by clicking the +.

Click the checkbox to the left of the name to enable the session.

Rename it (computer 2 name) HUI (or something very similar) - e.g. MacbookPro HUI.

This name will automatically be copied to the Local name field.

Copy this name & paste it in the Bonjour name field.

Set the Port: field to 5006.

Select Anyone in the Who may connect to me: selection field on the bottom left.

ADR Master Network HUI Setup

Open the SYNC tab in the Preferences window.

Select the newly created HUI session Network (computer 2) HUI for HUI In.

Select the newly created HUI session Network (computer 2) HUI for HUI Out.

Configuring Audio MIDI Setup on the Pro Tools computer to send and receive HUI

Switch to the Pro Tools® computer & open Audio-MIDI Setup.

The ADR Master computer’s HUI session should be visible in the Directory field - showing (computer 1 name) HUI with a green active circle to the left.

In the My Sessions field top left, create a session by clicking +.

Click the checkbox to the left of the name to enable the session.

Rename it (computer 1 name) HUI (or something very similar) - e.g. MacProHDX HUI.

This name will automatically be copied to the Local name field.

Copy this name & paste it in the Bonjour name field.

Set the Port: field to 5006.

Select Anyone in the Who may connect to me: selection field on the bottom left.

Connecting the Network HUI Sessions

Still in Audio MIDI Setup on the Pro Tools computer, with the (computer 1 name) HUI session selected in the My Sessions box, select (computer 2 name) HUI in the Directory field, and hit the Connect button.

You should now see (computer 2 name) HUI in the Participants: field on the right.

Connected HUI sessions

Pro Tools Network HUI Setup

In Pro Tools®, go to Setup > MIDI > MIDI Input Devices & make sure that the Network, (computer 1 name) HUI is enabled.

MIDI Input Enable window with new HUI network session

Next go to Setup > Peripherals > MIDI Controllers tab.

In the first row, under the Type column, select HUI.

In the adjacent Receive From column, select Network, (computer 1 name) HUI.

Connecting HUI network sessions in Pro Tools

In the adjacent Send To column, select Network, (computer 1 name) HUI.

Only one HUI bank is required for loop playback. But more can be added for DAW Control.

Click OK once done. Pro Tools® will start sending HUI messages to ADR Master periodically to check if the HUI controller is still connected. ADR Master will reply to these messages by sending a MIDI message back. Open Audio MIDI Setup’s MIDI Network Setup** again. This MIDI traffic (depicted by tiny red lines) should be visible when selecting the HUI port on either computer.

Network activity in MIDI Network Setup

If these lines are visible, ADR Master is successfully connected as HUI controller to Pro Tools®. ADR Master will now be able to follow your loops in Pro Tools® properly.

Although ADR Master can follow loops in Pro Tools®, it is possible that playback can drift out of sync slightly after a few iterations of the loop when using HUI.

Enabling Synchronised playback

The incoming timecode and the timecode rate should now be seen incrementing in the SYNC tab of the Preferences window changing when hitting play or scrubbing within Pro Tools®.

Incoming timecode in ADR Master’s SYNC Preferences

Click the sync button to the left of the transport buttons to follow external sync- so that it turns blue.

Sync online button in ADR Master

ADR Master Satellite Link is now online & ready to go. Hit play in Pro Tools® and make sure ADR Master follows.

Dealing with MTC sync with high frame rate content

ADR Master allows for synchronised playback of clips running at up to 60 frames per second. Being a standard from the 80s, MIDI timecode (MTC) does not support frame rates higher than 30 frames per second. To be able to play timelines with these high frame rate clips in sync to MTC, ADR Master will try to match the incoming TC at half the frame rate. For example, if the timeline has a 50fps clip, ADR Master will play it in sync if a 25fps MTC source is supplied.

In the timeline list, the timeline frame rate is shown here: