Knowledge Base

Pro Tools® on the same computer via MTC, MMC & HUI

Introduction

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 - and four HUI input and output ports named Video Sync HUI In/Out 1 to 4 - 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 your DAW. Failure to do so, may cause some of these settings (mostly HUI) - to be reset to default - such that they need to be re-configured in Pro Tools® 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

Pro Tools® MTC (MIDI Timecode) Setup

In Pro Tools®, go to Setup > Peripherals > Synchronization tab.

In the MTC Generator Port dropdown menu, choose Video Sync MTC In (virtual).

Click OK to close the window.

Pro Tools Synchronization Preferences

Check that the expanded Synchronization box is showing in the Transport window by clicking the downward pointing arrow button on the top right of the Transport window, & making sure the Syncronization tab is selected.

Hit the GEN MTC button.

Pro Tools Transport Window with Synchronization Controls

Pro Tools® MMC (MIDI Machine Control) Setup

To enable MMC in Pro Tools®, select the Setup > Peripherals > Machine Control tab.

Machine Control Settings in Pro Tools

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

Check that the ID field is set to 127.

Select Video Sync’s default virtual MIDI input, Video Sync MMC In (Virtual).

Connecting Video Sync’s MMC input

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 a MMC Locate command whenever you navigate to a specific memory location. 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.  

Video Sync HUI Setup

If looped playback is required with MTC & MMC sync options, Video Sync must be enabled as a HUI controller in Pro Tools.

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.

In the SYNC tab in the Preferences window in Video Sync, check that the HUI In & HUI Out virtual ports are set to the default values Video Sync HUI In (virtual) & Video Sync HUI Out (virtual) respectively.

Video Sync HUI I/O Settings

Pro Tools HUI Setup

Launch Pro Tools®, go to the Setup > MIDI > MIDI Input Devices & make sure that the four Video Sync HUI Out (virtual) MIDI Inputs are enabled.

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

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 Predefined > Video Sync HUI Out 1 (virtual).

Connecting Video Sync’s HUI Input

In the adjacent Send To column, select Predefined > Video Sync HUI Out 1 (virtual).

Connecting Video Sync’s HUI Output

Only one HUI bank is required for loop playback.

Click OK once done.

Although Video Sync 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 when hitting play or scrubbing within Pro Tools®.

Video Sync’s SYNC Preference showing incoming timecode

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

Video Sync sync online button

Video Sync MTC/MMC sync is now online & ready to go. Hit play in Pro Tools® 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