External Synchronization

Make your DAW, external film projector, or other hardware or software run in sync with Synfire, such that both time lines always match during playback. This is a requirement if you are using Drones to host sounds directly in your DAW.


Render Headroom
Synfire renders real-time Sketches slightly ahead of time, in order to give you a chance to pick the next chord from a Palette. Extend this time if you experience drop outs.
Global Pre-Roll
Make the first bar of your arrangement start later, if your DAW can't position its play head at a negative time during the small pre-roll period that precedes every playback.
Global SMPTE Offset
Time code position on the external film or tape that corresponds to the start of your arrangement.
Frame Rate
Frame rate to use for MIDI Time Code. Even if you are not synchronizing to film, you need to set the same frame rate at both ends.
External MIDI Latency
Compensate for a delay (milliseconds) that affects all external MIDI communication. This is a global setting for all outgoing MIDI ports.
Allow Negative Locators
Disable this if your DAW can't position its play head before zero. Keep this enabled if you are using the Audio Engine only.
Disable All Latencies
Transmit all MIDI messages without latency compensation. This sends notes at the same time, even if they are for sounds with different latencies. Use this if you want to record outgoing MIDI as a way to export your work.
Note: The Express and Pro editions allow for more detailed timing control and support external synchronization with a DAW and other devices.


Synfire installs a ReWire device called Transport that allows for most DAW to be controlled remotely.

Enable External Sync
Global switch, same as on the top transport toolbar.
Enable ReWire Transport
Ask Synfire to use ReWire for sending transport commands to your DAW.
Send Tempo
Also synchronize Tempo over ReWire (recommended).

If a warning message shows up that no DAW with a ReWire transport can be found, your DAW either does not support this, or you need to first enable this mode in your DAW.


Synchronization via MIDI is an alternative to the ReWire Transport. You should not use both at the same time for the same DAW, but it is perfectly possible to use MIDI synchronization with additional software or hardware.

Enable External Sync
Global switch, same as on the top transport toolbar.
Enable MIDI Sync
You may want to temporarily disable MIDI synchronization exclusively.
Output Port
Select the MIDI port to use for sending sync messages to your DAW. A port is required, even if you choose to use OSC commands only.
Select a preset for the synchronization protocol that your DAW can understand:
  1. MIDI Clock (Song Position Pointer)
  2. MIDI Time Code (MTC)
  3. Open Sound Control (OSC)


If your DAW doesn't properly respond to transport commands, you have the option to customize each command individually, mixing different protocols in order to obtain full control.

Amount in milliseconds to send synchronization commands ahead of time to compensate for your DAW responding late.