How to Synchronize 2 Pro Tools Sessions together using the PlayAUDIO12

Why do I need to synchronize my Pro Tools (PT) session?

When you are running a redundant rig it is very important that both computers are in sync so that if a failover should occur the audio and MIDI tracks are perfectly in time and you don't miss a beat.

Do I need extra cabling or to create special networks?

No. You can do the routing through the PlayAUDIO12 as it's the physical connection between the two computers. We will pass MIDI from computer 1 to computer 2.

Do I need to do special routing in iConfig/Auracle?

You will need to make one change in our iConfig program to make the setup work:
  1. Once in iConfig navigate to the MIDI Port Routing tab.
  2. (Verify the PA12 is on scene A / Green indicated on the front touch panel of the interface)
  3. Select USB116 (now called RSV4) under USB Device Jack 1 from the left column.
  4. Then select (grey) port number 16  across from USB Device Jack 2 on the right side.



Now that we've set a MIDI port to go from computer 1 to computer 2 we are set to setup in Pro Tools.

Setup In Pro Tools - Computer / Session A

First verify all your inputs / outputs are set as well as making sure the settings for sample rate and bit depth are the same on both computer's sessions.

In order to syncronize the sessions we will be using MIDI Time Code ( MTC ).

We will need to make the first computer send MTC and the second computer to receive (Master / Slave scenario).

To get the first computer sending MTC  go to Setup -> Peripherals in Pro Tools. (see below)



From the first tab in this window we will keep the first dropdown menu (MTC Reader Port) as "Any" and use the second dropdown (MTC Generator) to select the port we want to connect the computers with.

If you remember in iConfig we setup port USB116 / RSV4 as the link between computer 1 and computer 2 (you could set up any port number for this. I like using the last port, 16).

Please select Port 116 (now called RSV4) in the MTC Generation dropdown under Predefined.





If you do not see your MIDI ports in this section you will need to go into the MIDI Inputs menu and make sure you have the inputs from the PA12 selected for use.


Once you've set up the port you can select OK on this window to close.

Now go to Window -> Transport, If you do not have the transport window already opened. 



In the Transport window will we select the button that says GENMTC.



If you do not see this button it's probably hidden so you will need to display it by selecting the circle with the down arrow and selecting the Synchronization option.

Congrats! You have now successfully setup the first session to send MTC to the second computer. You are half way there.

How to setup Computer / Session B to receive the MTC

This part will be similar to the first part.
Go to Setup -> Peripherals....





This time we will be using the Reader port dropdown under Predefined to select port USB216 (now called RSV4)



Then select None for the MTC Generator Port
Select OK to close window.

Again open the Transport window and select Window -> Transport.


This time we will click the button that looks like a pie chart / clock




When this button is selected you will see Waiting for sync in the bottom left corner.



Once you hit start on the first computer it will switch to In Sync and both sessions will be moving in sync.


**IMPORTANT STEP**

You will now need to turn on Freewheeling / Jam Sync so if you lose your primary computer the secondary will not stop playback.

Go to Setup > Session

Then open the Timecode Settings section on the bottom.
Click Jam Sync