Knowledge Base

Bitwig Studio on the same computer via MMC & MTC


The following explanation and screenshots are related to Bitwig Studio version 4.2.3, but the steps will be similar for other versions.

Bitwig Studio currently only provides support for MTC. Though Bitwig Studio does not support sending MMC, it does send positional information via the same a bespoke implementation of MTC that LiveMTC, Cubase & Nuendo make use of- which makes both playback and scrubbing possible.

Video Sync features virtual MIDI ports, which mostly removes the need to create network MIDI sessions in Audio MIDI Setup in order to connect to a DAW on the same computer. When Video Sync is launched, it will create virtual MIDI ports named Video Sync MTC In, Video Sync MMC In & Video Sync Trigger In - which will automatically be pre-selected in Video Sync, & visible in your DAW.

MIDI I/O with virtual ports selected

For this reason, it is advised to always launch Video Sync before launching the DAW. Failure to do so, may cause some of these settings to be reset to default - such that they need to be re-configured in Bitwig Studio again.

Some DAWs like Cubase for example do not reconnect the virtual ports automatically if Video Sync is opened after the DAW. In cases where this happens often, it may be better to consider setting up ports via Audio MIDI Setup on the same computer.

Video Sync MTC / MMC Setup

First in Video Sync, go to the SYNC tab in Preferences & set the Sync Method field to MIDI.

Next, make sure that all the ports are set to their default values Video Sync MTC In (virtual) & Video Sync MMC In (virtual) as per the image below:

MTC/MMC In Settings

Bitwig Studio MTC (MIDI Timecode) Setup

Click the Bitwig icon to open the Settings, & select the Synchronization tab on the left.

Bitwig Synchronization Settings

Under the MIDI Sync (OUT) Section, enable the MTC box in the Video Slave MTC In (virtual) row.

Match the frame-rate in the MTC Rate field, to the Timeline timecode rate in Video Sync.

There is currently no way to set the start timecode of the session in Bitwig, as the first bar will always correspond to 00:00:00:00. So to ensure in sync playback, Video Sync must se set to 00:00:00:00.

Bitwig Studio MMC (MIDI Machine Control) Setup

There is no need to set up MMC separately with Bitwig Studio, as it sends MMC style positioning information using a bespoke implementation of MIDI Timecode (MTC).

Enabling Synchronised playback

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

Video Sync’s SYNC Preference showing incoming timecode

If the Sync button to the left of the transport buttons isn’t already blue, click on it to activate it to follow external sync.

Video Sync sync online button

Video Sync MTC/MMC sync is now online & ready to go. Hit play in Bitwig Studio and Video Sync will play back in sync.

Dealing with MTC sync with high frame rate content

Video Sync 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, Video Sync will try to match the incoming TC at half the frame rate. For example, if the timeline has a 50fps clip, Video Sync will play it in sync if a 25fps MTC source is supplied.

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

Timeline timecode frame rate display