Knowledge Base

Steinberg Nuendo or Cubase on a separate computer via network MTC, MMC & HUI

Introduction

The following explanation and screenshots are related to Cubase 10, but the steps will be similar for other versions. The settings in Nuendo are virtually identical.

The easiest way to provide Video Sync 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 even 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 Video Sync; the other with Cubase/Nuendo.

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

If the Cubase/Nuendo 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 Cubase/Nuendo computer to send MTC & MMC over the Network

On the Cubase/Nuendo 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 Cubase/Nuendo computer. This should not need to be set up again in future.

Configuring Audio MIDI Setup on the Video Sync computer to receive Network MTC & MMC

On the Video Sync computer, close Video Sync & open Audio MIDI Setup. Open the MIDI Network Setup window as described above. The Cubase/Nuendo 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 Cubase/Nuendo 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 Video Sync.

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

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

Next, select Network (computer 2 name) MTC/MMC Receive in both the MTC In & MMC In fields, as per the image below:.

Video Sync’s SYNC Preferences

Cubase/Nuendo Network MTC (MIDI Timecode) Setup

Go to Transport>Project Synchronization Setup.

Cubase Project Synchronization Setup - Sources

In the Sources tab, confirm that Activate External Sync is not enabled.

In order for Cubase/Nuendo to transmit timecode, external sync must be disabled.

In the Timecode Source section, select Internal Timecode

In the Transport Start/Stop section, select Start

For earlier versions of Cubase/Nuendo where the Timecode Source option is not available, set SYNC to INT from the transport panel.

Cubase Transport Panel

In the Destinations tab, under the MIDI Timecode Destinations section, select Network Macbook MTC/MMC Receive.

Cubase Project Synchronization Setup - Destinations

In the MIDI Timecode Preference section, make sure the MIDI Timecode Follows Project Time option is enabled. 

Cubase/Nuendo MMC (MIDI Machine Control) Setup

In the Machine Control tab under the Machine Control Output Settings section, set the MMC Output to Network Macbook MTC/MMC Receive.

Cubase Project Synchronization Setup - Machine Control

Confirm that MMC Master Active is enabled.

Click OK to close the window.

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 Cubase/Nuendo.

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 Cubase/Nuendo 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 Frame Rate Display