Synchronizing With a DAW

Be sure you understand the general implications of this.


  1. Load as many Drone plug-ins into the DAW as you need. Don't mix VST, VST3 and AudioUnit Drones. Settle for one format and stick to it for the project. Guest plug-ins may use any format, though.

  2. The Sound Wizard can now see the Drones. They also show up in the Rack Module Library from where you can drop them on instruments or into racks. Follow the wizard's instructions.

    Alternatively, you can visit the Sounds tab and drop Drones from the Rack Module Library to the rack and load the desired plug-ins and device descriptions manually.

  3. Switch to the DAW and configure the guest plug-ins of each Drone as needed.

  4. Switch to Synfire and save your project.

Important: Always save the Synfire arrangement first and then the DAW project. When opening, do it the other way around: Always open the DAW project first and wait 10 seconds until all drones are online. Only then do you open the corresponding Synfire arrangement.

Synchronize Using MIDI

This works just as fine, although tempo changes can't be transmitted to the DAW.

  1. Call Playback > External Synchronization and visit the MIDI tab on the Parameter Inspector.

  2. Check Enable External Sync and Enable MIDI Sync.

  3. Make sure tempo in the DAW is the same as in Synfire.

  4. Select a MIDI port for sending synchronization messages.

  5. Select a protocol:

    • MIDI Clock: Transmits MIDI clock ticks and MIDI transport control messages (START, STOP, CONTINUE) and Song Position Pointers (SPP).

    • MIDI Time Code: Transmits SMPTE messages (full position pointers and quarter frame messages). Be sure to verify SMPTE offset and frame rate on the Timing tab.

    • Open Sound Control (OSC): This is still experimental.

  6. Customize the protocol only if the default doesn't work. You may select different protocols for specific messages to ensure best compatibility with your external synchronization target.

Note: Every DAW might need different settings to work with Synfire. Please look up the required settings in the appendix Synchronization Settings For DAWs.

Synchronize Using ReWire

If your DAW supports ReWire, synchronization is easy to set up. In order to start a new project immediately on a DAW instead of using an Engine first, you need to proceed as follows.

  1. Load the ReWire module Cognitone Transport into the DAW. It does not generate audio signals. Make sure it is allowed to change tempo of the DAW.

  2. Call Playback > External Synchronization and visit the Transport tab on the Parameter Inspector.

  3. Check the ReWire switch. If the name of your DAW transport shows up, both programs are synchronized.

Testing The Setup

Verify that synchronization is working by selecting random containers or locations on the time ruler. The playhead of the DAW should follow your selection. Pressing start and stop should make the DAW follow suit.

Important: Remember that, depending on the synchronization method, you may need to set the tempo in the DAW manually in order to match that of Synfire. This is extremely important for proper synchronization.