Tap Tempo to MIDI Clock Device?

Vance Gloster vance at netcom.com
Tue Dec 19 08:04:04 CET 1995

  Are there any there any devices that allow someone to sync their MIDI or 
  analogue rig to a tempo tap?  

The best device I know about is actually one that I helped to create.
This is called the Human Clock and it was manufactured by Kahler (the
whammy bar guys).  It will take any rhythmic input and output MIDI
clocks that follow the tempo of the input as it speeds up and slows
down.  You do not need to play straight quarter or eighth notes like
you do with the Garfield boxes.  Any time you play a note into it, it
will determine which eighth or sixteenth note of the bar it is closest
to and adjust tempo accordingly.  Several front-panel controls
determine how immediately it responds and whether it expects eighths
or sixteenths.

It was only manufactured briefly.  Kahler got sued by Kramer (who made
the Floyd Rose whammy bar) and used the money they had intended to use
making the next batch of Human Clocks to resolve this crisis.  

I came up with the original algorithm and designed the hardware.  My
partner (at the time), Michael Stewart, wrote the software.  He is now
working for Digidesign.  At the time a variety of people were using
it.  Wang Chung used it on the road to sync sequencers to their
drummer.  Someone else used it to take a great piano track and sync
sequenced drums and keyboards on a recording.  It is not perfect
(triplets can sometimes make it do odd things), but it can take almost
any track and sync to it if you mute the troublesome sections.

I see them for sale quite inexpensively every once in a while.  They
are a single-height rack unit that is black with red and white
graphics and square red buttons. 

-Vance Gloster
 vance at netcom.com

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