A synchronization method developed by Roland around 1980. A DIN sync cable carries two signals, a gate signal that tells the slave device to start or stop, and another signal that sends short timing pulses. Under the Roland standard, the pulses are sent at the rate of 24 pulses per quarter note (same as the MIDI clock message rate), although some Korg drum machines use 48 pulses per quarter note.
Unfortunately the DIN sync standard calls for a cable that uses the same connector as a standard MIDI cable, which often leads to confusion. The pinout is different and a MIDI cable will usually not work as a DIN sync cable, or vice versa. Fortunately, at least the standards are arranged so that connecting a MIDI output to a DIN sync input, or vice versa, will not cause any damage; it just won't work.
It was introduced by Roland Corporation for the synchronization of music sequencers, drum machines, arpeggiators and similar devices, as part of the Digital Control Bus protocol. It was introduced in 1980 with the Roland TR-808, followed by other Roland equipment in 1981, including the CR-8000, TR-606, TB-303 and EP-6060. It was the basis for the MIDI interface, released in 1983, which eventually superseded it.
Devices with DIN sync
Some devices have a DIN sync input as well as DIN sync output, other device have only a single DIN socket which sometimes can be switched between input and output.
|Company||Model||In / Out||PPQN||Remark|
|Abstrakt Instruments||Avalon||In and out||24||Conversion between MIDI & DIN sync, can output both simultaneously|
|Adafruit||x0xb0x||Switchable||24||Converts DIN sync to MIDI and MIDI to DIN sync|
|Arturia||Minibrute||In and out||24/48||1PPS, 2PPQ, DIN24, DIN48 or analog clock|
|audiowerkstatt||din2midi2din||In and out||24/48||Conversion from MIDI to DIN sync and DIN sync to MIDI (sync24/sync48)|
|audiowerkstatt||din-restarter||In and out||24/48||Tool for synchronized start/stop of DIN sync devices (sync24/sync48)|
|Doepfer||M.A.U.S.I.||Out only||Conversion from MIDI to DIN sync, a division factor can be set|
|Doepfer||MCV-24||Out only||Up to 24||Conversion from MIDI to DIN sync, a division factor can be set|
|Doepfer||MSY2||Out only||1.5 to 24||Conversion from MIDI to DIN sync, a division factor can be set between 1:1 and 1:16|
|Elektron||Analog Four / Analog Keys||Out only||24/48||MIDI Out jack and/or MIDI Thru jack can be set up to output DIN sync24/sync48|
|Elektron||Analog Rytm||Out only||24/48||MIDI Out jack and/or MIDI Thru jack can be set up to output DIN sync24/sync48|
|E-RM Erfindungsbüro||Midiclock⁺||Out only||4, 24||Switchable MIDI / sync out jack can be set up to output sync24 or analog clock (4 PPQN)|
|Future Retro||Mobius||Out only||24||Provides MIDI to DIN sync conversion|
|Future Retro||Revolution||Out only||24||Provides MIDI to DIN sync conversion|
|KOMA Elektronik||RH301||In and out||24||sync24; converts MIDI & analogue clock to DIN sync and DIN sync to MIDI and analogue clock|
|Novation||DrumStation||Out only||24||converts MIDI clock to DIN sync|
|Roland||MC-202||In and out||24|
|Roland||TB-303||In only||24||The TB-303 has a switch in the DIN socket, which disables the internal clock and enables the external DIN sync. DIN Sync out can be achieved unofficially, if the DIN connector is inserted not completely in the socket.|
|Roland||TR-606||Switchable||24||two trigger outs via programming of the toms|
|Roland||TR-707||Switchable||24||trigger out via programming of the rimshot, no conversion from MIDI clock to DIN sync!|
|Roland||TR-727||Switchable||24||trigger out via programming of the agogo bell, no conversion from MIDI clock to DIN sync!|
|Roland||TR-808||Switchable||24||three trigger outs via programming of cowbell, clap, and accent|
|Roland||TR-909||In only||24||trigger out via programming of the rimshot|
|Roland||CSQ-600||Out only||12||provides also the a special CSQ-Clock, and clock for the CR-78 (12 PPQN)|
|Roland||Jupiter-8||In only||12||for synchronizing arpeggio|
|Roland||MSQ-100||In and out|
|Roland||MSQ-700||In and out|
|Sequentix||P3||Out only||24||MIDI Sync Out can be modified to output DIN sync24|
|Tama||TSQ-1000||Switchable||this is trigger sequencer which provides six trigger tracks|
Note that sync48 devices can be combined with sync24 devices, if 32nd notes are programmed instead of 16th notes.
- Doepfer general FAQ: Sync specification
- E-RM Erfindungsbuero DIN Sync implementation report
- Philip Rees MDS
- Sync Unit DC - freeware DIN Sync generator
- ByteNoise: DIN sync
- Kirn, Peter (2011) (in en). Keyboard Presents the Evolution of Electronic Dance Music. Backbeat Books. ISBN 978-1-61713-446-3. https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=IbtJAgAAQBAJ&pg=PT72&lpg=PT72&dq=%22mark+vail%22+808&source=bl&ots=dOOpEyQGfI&sig=nPF6yAIeQlupw3Pw0Drg6LE34r4&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwir3b7qhsfRAhUFJcAKHfSNCyMQ6AEIHzAB#v=onepage&q=%22mark%20vail%22%20808&f=false.
- Happy birthday MIDI 1.0: Slave to the rhythm, The Register