Tap tempo has long been a blessing to guitarists, being a notable improvement to synchronization on delay pedals. Instead of adjusting tape heads on an echo machine or turning a knob, today you can just tap in a beat and be instantly in time. But let’s not forget that with the advent of MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) in the 80’s, instruments gained the ability to be synced via MIDI Clock for precise synchronization as well. Many new guitar pedals have now been incorporating MIDI and tempo tap, and so a new dilemma has arisen. “How do I sync up ALL of my MIDI-enabled pedals at once?” Molten Voltage may have your answer with their new Tempode MIDI Clock Injector pedal.
The Molten Voltage Tempode MIDI Clock Injector seeks to combine the worlds of guitar pedals, tap tempo, and MIDI in what could be the most convenient way to sync multiple pedals in perfect time. It comes in a small, pedalboard-friendly enclosure and features just 2 foot-switches to handle its basic functions: tapping in your tempo and starting/stopping the sending of MIDI Clock to your pedals. So is it the best MIDI Clock pedal syncing solution? You’ll find out in our Molten Voltage Tempode MIDI Clock Injector Review.
• Stand-alone or Inline PedalBoard MIDI Clock Generator
• Precision Tap Tempo control – better then 1 / 25,000th of a second!
• Syncs numerous modern guitar effects
• Stores and recalls tempo for 128 programs
• Extremely easy to use!
• Simple to program – hold down a button!
• Start/Stop and Tempo can be remotely controlled with MIDI Control Change messages
• Optional MIDI Clock Auto-Start on Program Change
• MIDI Input Filter and Repeater
• Commands other compatible Molten Voltage devices to self-program
• Solid, Professional-Grade construction, including Riveted Steel MIDI Jacks
• Bright, 2-color LED makes it easy to see pedal status at a glance
• Simple, intuitive user interface
• Robust, 128 program storage
• Compatible with all major MIDI controllers
Okay, there’s a type of guitarist I want to talk to first. You know who you are. You’ve picked up a few high-end MIDI pedals from the likes of Strymon and Eventide. You use tap tempo to lock in with your band and you want to sync several different pedals for ultra perfect timing of your effects during a performance. And besides, it’s a pain to have to tap in a tempo on every pedal for each song. But… you’re completely clueless when it comes to MIDI. Well guess what? The Tempode is definitely for you. What I first noticed after plugging in the Tempode to several MIDI pedals and tapping in a rhythm is that it just works with no hassle and no fuss, syncing all the pedals in perfect time. All I had to do initially was set my Eventide H9 to receive MIDI Clock. Every other pedal was good to go.
The Tempode features 2 rugged footswitches. The Tap footswitch lets you tap in a tempo, and the Start footswitch lets you start and stop sending the MIDI Clock to your pedals (or to any other devices that can receive MIDI clock). A red LED blinks in quarter note intervals to indicate the tempo when MIDI Clock is being sent. A yellow LED blinks to indicate the tempo when the MIDI Clock is stopped. When tapping in a rhythm the lights will alternate (red to yellow or yellow to red, depending on whether the Tempode is sending MIDI Clock or stopped, respectively.) and resume normal blinking 2.5 seconds after your last tap. This gives you a clear indicator of timing regardless of whether the Tempode is sending MIDI Clock or is stopped. The Tempode’s 2-button operation also allows you to do something like, say, send MIDI Clock to a pedal, stop the MIDI Clock while the pedal continues operating at the last time increment sent, and go ahead and tap in a new MIDI Clock value to be sent to the pedal next time you hit Start, perhaps at a precise moment in the song you’re playing.
The Tempode also features some advanced functions for those who like going deeper with MIDI implementation. You can create and recall up to 128 preset tempo programs. This might be handy if you’re using a MIDI-compatible pedal selector/controller such as the Free The Tone ARC-53M to control several pedals, including some that don’t save MIDI Clock settings to presets on the pedal. You could have the pedal selector/controller activate the pedals you’ll be using while recalling a program on the Tempode (via a MIDI program change message) that will sync your various pedals to a pre-specified MIDI Clock setting. You could even select Tempode presets from your favorite DAW, such as Ableton Live.
You can also use MIDI controllers or MIDI compatible software to send CC messages to alter the MIDI Clock time from 24-240bpm. You could assign a rotary knob or MIDI compatible expression pedal to manipulate MIDI Clock in real-time. Some of these functions may be challenging to grasp if you’re new to MIDI. So with all these other options available aimed at those MIDI masters who live life in binary code, I’ll again reiterate my thoughts for those guitarists who just want a simple way to sync up their various MIDI pedals. If you just want to sync up your pedals and the thought of MIDI scares you, don’t worry. Thanks to the Tempode’s plug-in-and-play operation, you can toss out your MIDI for Dummies book. Just tap in a tempo and play.
Molten Voltage MIDI Splitty
Most MIDI compatible pedals have inputs and outputs that allow MIDI to pass through to other pedals. This lets you chain devices together and send MIDI Clock and other MIDI messages to each one. If you have concerns over latency or if you just want to route MIDI to all of your MIDI pedals (or other instruments) at once, the Molten Voltage MIDI Splitty serves these purposes well. It essentially splits and repeats all incoming MIDI messages to its outputs, insuring the integrity of the MIDI data without concern about whether or not any latency is being introduced by chaining together multiple MIDI pedals. The MIDI Splitty comes in 1-in-3-out and 1-in-4-out variations. It features the same pedal-sized footprint as the Tempode and is a perfect companion for routing MIDI to various pedals and other instruments. In most cases, however, latency probably won’t be an issue, only over long MIDI cable runs or when linking several pedals in series. In such case using the MIDI Splitty to send several parallel signals to smaller chains of pedals in series may be ideal.
Whether or not you’re using the Tempode to send MIDI Clock to pedals linked in series or simultaneously with the MIDI Splitty, it offers a unique way to sync multiple MIDI pedals from a wide range of pedal makers that has never before been accomplished until now.
Let’s see the final result.
The Molten Voltage Tempode MIDI Clock Injector offers the easiest solution for syncing several MIDI-compatible pedals from the convenience of your pedalboard. Whether or not you understand the ins and outs of MIDI, all you really need to understand here is where the inputs and outputs are to begin syncing up your pedals in perfect time. The Tempode’s 2-button operation offers familiar footing for guitarist’s to tap in a beat and start and stop the MIDI Clock. Advanced MIDI users can even use the Tempode to store and recall tempo presets for their pedals and instruments. The Tempode is alone in its class and great at what it does, making it the best MIDI Clock pedal syncing solution for your pedalboard.
That concludes our Molten Voltage Tempode MIDI Clock Injector review. Thanks for reading.
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