Roland TR-808 sync issues. Please Help...

Pulling out your hair? Don't know what to do or where to go? Ask in here.
Forum rules
READ: VSE Board-Wide Rules and Guidelines

If your Help request has been solved, please edit your first post in order to select the Image Topic Icon to let others know your topic has been solved.
Eddington
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 11
Joined: Fri Jun 02, 2006 5:20 am
Location: Austin, TX
Contact:

Roland TR-808 sync issues. Please Help...

Post by Eddington » Tue Jul 17, 2007 5:31 pm

I have a wonderful 808 that is having sync issues and I have tried multiple times to get it fixed but it seems that everyone is stumped by the problem and is unable to fix it.

Here is the issue:
-808 syncs just fine with other din sync devices such as the MC-202, 303, or 606
-808 does not sync at all with the future retro mobius and the tempo jumps sporadically
-the mobius syncs gloriously with my other XOX devices

I thought a work-around for this issue would be to sync my 202 to the Mobuis and then from the 202 to the 808 but what wound up happening was that the 202 synced just fine to the mobius but the 808 was still totally outta whack and would not sync.

What's the deal?

A number of techs. in the area have not been able to fix this problem or have gotten frustrated and given up.

If anyone knows a solution please let me know.

Any ideas will help.

Thanks.

User avatar
haricots
Junior Member
Junior Member
Posts: 218
Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2005 9:23 pm
Gear: 5U modular, Tetra MAPS, MD UW, XS, 777, Pro One, JX-3P, Wavestation, Pulse+, Drumstation, S-760
Location: Guelph
Contact:

aaa

Post by haricots » Tue Jul 17, 2007 6:03 pm

Does the 808 sync correctly with your other x0x's as a master and slave (in and out)?

Eddington
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 11
Joined: Fri Jun 02, 2006 5:20 am
Location: Austin, TX
Contact:

Post by Eddington » Wed Jul 18, 2007 2:27 am

Thanks for all the questions, comments and ideas, here are my replies:

-Get a Roland SBX-10 or Korg KMX-30. Someone on eBay sells a box with several MIDI and DIN Sync connectors.

Reply:
I have tried a different sync device and have experienced the exact same issues as with the Mobius. I tested the sync device to see if it worked with my 303 and 202 and it worked like a charm but experienced the same sporadic behavoir with the 808 as with the Mobius suggesting that the problem lies within this particular 808.

-On the 808 are you setting the sync to Input or Output?

Reply:
When trying to slave the 808 to another device I make sure that the 808 sync setting is set to input.

-funny thing, i have noticed that 50% of the time, my mobius also has issues syncing properly with my tr808. it often sends in doubletime. i haven't been able to figure it out either. i also do not see this issue with other devices!

Reply:
Yes this issue is quite strange and suggests that somehow certain 808's may need adjusting of some kind to recieve a sync signal from a "midi to din" device without any issues. It's not the Mobius though, at least in my case. The Mobius syncs great with other XOX machines as does my other midi to din converter that when trying to sync the 808 to exhibits the same issues as with the Mobius.

-I don't know wanything about the Moebius, but Roland's DIN sync is 24 ppq and Korg's is 48 ppq. Is there a way to adjust the ppq output of the Moebius?

Reply:
If this were the case, would it follow that the Mobius wouldn't be able effectively send sync to my other XOX devices? If so then the issue is not the Mobius since my 202 and 303 sync without any issues.

Eddington
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 11
Joined: Fri Jun 02, 2006 5:20 am
Location: Austin, TX
Contact:

Post by Eddington » Wed Jul 18, 2007 2:41 am

Does anyone know if the 808 din sync circuit needs or can be adjusted/calibrated and if this could solve the problem?

speculator
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 25
Joined: Sun Jan 21, 2007 9:00 pm

Post by speculator » Wed Jul 18, 2007 4:26 pm

is the scale properly set on the 808? maybe you have it in song mode and the different parts have different scales.. but probably not.. it sounds like you know what you are doing.. i guess you are using the correct cables too? not just midi cables.. ?

also..
with my 808 i had some weird problems too.. it was doing the same kind of weird stuff.. this was after i opened it up and cleaned it out and was just kind of checking it out.. it turned out that i had screwed it back together to tightly (the circuit boards) this is my assumption cause it has worked perfectly since i loosened the screws a little.. but maybe it is something weird like this.. 808 are funny things.. sometimes opening things up can help..

but to me it really sounds like you are using a midi cable instead of a din sync cable.. it doesn;t make sense.

or the scaling is on the wrong setting.. put the 808 on write mode and put the switch in the 4/4 looking one and press the pattern erase button..

Eddington
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 11
Joined: Fri Jun 02, 2006 5:20 am
Location: Austin, TX
Contact:

Post by Eddington » Wed Jul 18, 2007 7:01 pm

Thanks for the ideas Speculator, I will definately give 'em a try.

In reference to the cables I am using Hosa midi cables which, to my understanding, are din sync compatible as they work fine with my other XOX devices when syncing to the Mobius and they have worked fine when syncing another 808 to the Mobius.

I will go back and try the scaling suggestion to be sure it isn't the issue.

I have opened the 808 up a number of times, as well as a few techs, but to no avail. My knowledge only goes so far with troubleshooting electronic circuits and the 808 is no easy task.

I am going to go into the din sync area of the circuit and touch everything again with the iron to make sure things have a fresh connection, then I will do my best to clean out the din sync jack in case there is any oxidation that is interfering with the connection.

But yes, it doesn't make sense that it works and syncs just fine with the 202 and 606 and 303 but not the Mobius, which suggests that the connection is being made well enough to work with the other din sync devices so perhaps, on second thought it is not the connection.

It seems that somehow the "midi to din" sync pulse is somehow different from the strait up din sync pulse in some way and perhaps this particular 808 isn't calibrated to sync to a midi to din sync device. Does anyone know if there is any way to adjust/recalibrate this?

User avatar
nathanscribe
VSE Review Contributor
VSE Review Contributor
Posts: 2889
Joined: Fri Aug 11, 2006 1:03 pm
Location: The right side of the Pennines
Contact:

Post by nathanscribe » Wed Jul 18, 2007 8:29 pm

Eddington wrote:It seems that somehow the "midi to din" sync pulse is somehow different from the strait up din sync pulse in some way and perhaps this particular 808 isn't calibrated to sync to a midi to din sync device. Does anyone know if there is any way to adjust/recalibrate this?
That doesn't make a lot of sense. a Sync24 pulse is a Sync 24 pulse no matter where it comes from. It's a set voltage level for a certain duration - just a pulse train. And the 202 processes the sync before sending it back out.

I'm wondering if there's a sporadic short somewhere... have a look at the schematics and check the components on the Sync input side. Clean the sockets & switches. Make sure that there's no chance of anything contacting anything else when you put it back together.

What kind of sync are you sending out? Are you using continue? The 808, from my notes, uses pin 5 of the DIN for Fill In, whereas the 202 uses it for Continue. The 202 does not use pin 4, but the 808 uses it for Reset & Start...

perhaps something in that is the issue.

speculator
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 25
Joined: Sun Jan 21, 2007 9:00 pm

Post by speculator » Thu Jul 19, 2007 1:42 am

i think you should try a real sync cable.. i think they still sell them at radio shack for cheapo.. and guitar center probably has them too..

Eddington
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 11
Joined: Fri Jun 02, 2006 5:20 am
Location: Austin, TX
Contact:

Post by Eddington » Thu Jul 19, 2007 4:12 pm

I am on my way to Radio Shack to get an actual din cable and I also realized that this 808 is a Japanese unit and runs off of AC100v, so I am also going to get a step down transformer to see if that will help at all. I will post the results. Wish me luck!

rivas3
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 67
Joined: Tue Aug 16, 2005 6:58 pm
Band: Bad Employees
Location: Huntington, WV
Contact:

Post by rivas3 » Thu Jul 19, 2007 9:10 pm

this is very interesting. is there anyone in this forum who successfully syncs an 808 with a mobius?

prophei
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 68
Joined: Wed Nov 15, 2006 5:52 pm
Contact:

Post by prophei » Thu Jul 19, 2007 11:09 pm

rivas3 wrote:this is very interesting. is there anyone in this forum who successfully syncs an 808 with a mobius?

well, it works about half the time....
andromeda > polyevolver keyboard > ms-20 > oberheim two voice > arp 2600 > minimoog > custom modular system > polivoks > roland SVC-350 > jomox mbase01 > sh2 > acidlab > tr-808 > drumtrax > korg dvp-1 > protools hd3 > mac dual 2.0 G5

Eddington
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 11
Joined: Fri Jun 02, 2006 5:20 am
Location: Austin, TX
Contact:

Post by Eddington » Sat Jul 21, 2007 5:54 pm

Actually, I had an 808 before this one, the one with the issues, that synced just fine and actually quite famously with a mobius, the same exact mobius that I am having issues with syncing this current 808.
There are just so many variables within an issue concerning an 808 given it's vintage nature that it's difficult to pin point the exact cause of the problem.
However, the mobius works great with all the other din sync gear I have it just seems that 808's are extremely fickle when trying to sync and each 808 may have a different problem but with similar symptoms. 808's can be really difficult but it's well worth the problem solving once it's up and running, that is, if it's able to be fixed.
I will be sure to post the results when I find a solution to this sync problem and perhaps some pics of this near flawless 808, she's a beauty!

Suggestions and ideas are always welcome no matter how rudimentary.

speculator
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 25
Joined: Sun Jan 21, 2007 9:00 pm

Post by speculator » Mon Jul 23, 2007 2:49 pm

the din sync cable didn;t work?

User avatar
Z
Synth Explorer
Synth Explorer
Posts: 3546
Joined: Wed May 09, 2007 3:08 am
Gear: Bubble wrap, Styrofoam, boxes, packing tape
Location: Docking Bay 94 (Dallas, TX)
Contact:

Post by Z » Mon Jul 23, 2007 3:47 pm

Sounds like you have followed all the steps in the SCCEq trouble shooting order (Settings, Connections, Cables, Equipment). Since your previous 808 properly sync'd, then the problem must lie with your current 808.

What boggles me is that your techs have not been able to remedy the problem. Have you tried my 1st suggestion of a sync box such as SBX-10? If you're ever coming to Dallas, drop me a line and you can come to my business in Grand Prairie and check out my SBX-10 with your gear. We could also check out my 808 with your Moebius as a control subject. I have not used the DIN sync on my 808 since I had Kenton MIDI kit installed 15 years ago, so I don't know if the MIDI kit disabled the sync. If so, I have a friend here in Dallas with a virgin 808 we could probably borrow.

Z

rpstro02
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 31
Joined: Sun Jan 13, 2008 4:11 am
Location: USA

Post by rpstro02 » Sun Feb 24, 2008 1:31 am

I know this is months old, but I was searching the threads looking for a solution to a similar problem and I wanted to post my solution in case anyone in the future was having the same problem.

For me the sync issue was in the PRE-SCALE function on the 808. A lot of people don't know how to use this write because this is one of the many idiosyncrasies of the 808. With the sync on output, set the selector switch to 1st part. The set pre-scale to the 3rd position. Press start and let the pattern play. Press the red button while your pattern is playing. You should notice that the pattern changes tempo slightly. Now you're in 4/4. Stop. Change back to input. Sync up. You're good to go. Hope this helps some people out.

Post Reply