SMARTClock Frequently Asked Questions

It’s been a while since the last post, during which time we have released some interesting new devices like the DPC-4EZ and DMC series gHOST Output.  We’re going to be offering our new SMARTClock Intelligent Tempo Controller very soon, and here are some of the answers to the questions we’ve received.


What is the SMARTClock?

The SMARTClock is an intelligent tap tempo and clock source for your pedalboard.  It is designed to synchronize your tap tempo and MIDI devices to a single master clock.

Does it work with my (insert pedal name here?)

Probably.  Any pedal that accepts tap tempo control from an external momentary foot switch should work with the SMARTClock.

Does it send MIDI Clock?

Yes.  The internal MIDI clock source is accurate to within 0.07% across the entire range of tempo the SMARTClock sends.

How many devices can the SMARTClock synchronize?

The SMARTClock has two isolated tap tempo outputs for non-MIDI devices, and it also sends MIDI clock.  In theory, the MIDI clock could be used to synchronize LOTS of MIDI devices, in practice you can usually sync 3 or 4 with good results.  In some cases, the MIDI “through” ports on your device may introduce a slight lag that can throw off really perfect timing.  If you find this to be the case, a high-speed hardware based MIDI thru unit will send the clock signal out to all devices with much less lag and timing errors.

Can it receive MIDI Clock from Ableton Live / my DAW / my drum machine?

Yes.  The SMARTClock will accept MIDI clock, Start, and Stop messages from your DAW or other MIDI device.  The clock information is then converted to tap tempo pulses for your non-MIDI devices.

Will it send MIDI to my iPad over the USB port?

Yes, but you’ll need to use the Apple Camera Connection Kit to connect the SMARTClock to the Lightning or 30-pin port on your device.  The USB MIDI connection works with Macs and Windows machines as well, and is fully bi-directional.

How do I send dotted-eighth notes (or other subdivision) to my delay pedal?

The SMARTClock supports nine different subdivisions of the main clock:  whole note, half note, half note triplet, quarter note, dotted eighth note, quarter note triplet, eighth note, eighth note triplet, and sixteenth note.  You can even set up different subdivisions for each output, and each preset can have its own set of subdivisions.

To set the subdivisions for the current preset, just tap the knob on the SMARTClock while in the tap tempo mode.  Turn the encoder to set the subdivision for the A output, then tap and turn to set the B output subdivision.  Hold the tap tempo footswitch to save and you’re done.

How big is the SMARTClock?

It’s roughly the size of a standard Boss pedal – 4.77″ x 2.6″ x 1.39″ (121.1mm x 66mm x 35.3mm.)  It weighs less than a pound.

What kind of power does the SMARTClock need?

The SMARTClock needs 9V center negative, 64mA minimum.  The SMARTClock should not be powered on more than 9V.

How do BPM presets work?  How many presets does the SMARTClock have?

The SMARTClock has a preset mode that allows the user to recall up to 12 presets at varying tempo and subdivision settings.  If fewer than 12 presets are required, the user can limit the presets to as few as one.  If an external MIDI controller is connected up to 128 presets are available.

Can you override presets with a tap on the fly?

Yes.  Exit the preset mode by holding the knob, then tap in any tempo desired.  You can also start and stop the clock by holding the footswitch in preset mode.

Can I say in tap tempo mode all the time if I use an external MIDI controller?

Yes.  If you recall presets using a MIDI controller, the display on the SMARTClock will show the preset number and then the BPM.  You can tap to override the preset tempo or even save a new tempo to the current preset.

Can I use my MIDI controller to change BPM presets?

Yes.  The SMARTClock can listen for incoming MIDI program change messages and will change its tempo if it gets a valid program change message on its MIDI channel.

What MIDI Channel should the SMARTClock be set to?

The default setting is 16, but you can change the SMARTClock MIDI channel in its setup menu.

If you’re using a DMC-3XL Gen2 or DMC-4 Gen2 as a master controller, set the SMARTClock to channel 16.  If your master is a DMC-6D, set the SMARTClock to channel 4.  The DMC-8D uses channel 5, and the DPC-5 uses channel 1.

Can the SMARTClock take tempo from my MIDI delay pedal and send it to other tap tempo pedals?

That depends – if your MIDI pedal sends MIDI clock then the answer is YES.  If your pedal is not capable of acting like a master clock source, then no.  That’s not the end of the world though!  You can use the SMARTClock as a master clock source for both your MIDI and non-MIDI pedals so that they are all synchronized.