Clock Sync [May 1994]
The Clock Sync was a MIDI to SYNC24 interface. It was used to synchronise old Roland synthesizers and drum machines to MIDI clock clock pulses.
It had the great feature of being able to divide the MIDI clock down to create wierd loops that didn't conform to the standard 8 beats to a bar. It created a new feel to loop and was especially cool when used with the TB-303 acid box or the SH-101. It was a bit too wacky to have a drum loop 'out-of-sync' !!
It was sold through a company called Big Time Productions, and sold very well for quite some time. Infact, I got the help of my very good friend Jason Sharp who made and dispatched all of the later units.
You can read a review in Sound-On-Sound magazine, the final closing paragraph reads "The Clock II Sync may lack style, but does
its job simply at an attractive price - a price which includes an
eight-way MIDI Thru box - what a deal!" ... Lacks style !!!!! how very dare they !!!
The Clock Sync was based around a PIC processor and 6402 UART. I designed the circuit and wrote the assembly code for the PIC55.
I think we sold one unit to "A Guy Called Gerald" of "Voodoo Ray" fame, an absouletly awesome track. Maybe the Clock Sync was used to control the TB-303 on that track???
I can't remember if I sold one to Liam Howlett of The Prodigy too. I remember talking to him about his TB-303 and the fact that he had Tempo pen lids in place of the little silver knobs that were missing along the top. I had just bought a complete new set from Roland as I also had two missing on my TB-303, so I gave him my spare ones. Anyway ....
A couple of years later another company called Philip Rees made a very similar unit that undercut our price. They probably used a single PIC chip and wrote a software UART instead of using the expensive 6402 that I used. I did think about re-designing it, but by that time I had moved onto other ideas ...
Looking back on it 15 years later, I must admit, it certainly did lack style !!
But it did the job ...