MC8, RC-500 and BeatBuddy Not Staying in Sync

Hoping someone might have had some success getting both BeatBuddy and the Boss RC-500 to stay in sync when receiving MIDI Clock from the MC8. I am hoping to be able to play BeatBuddy beats, and then simply record guitar loops on the RC-500 and have them stay in sync with the BeatBuddy.

I have both the BeatBuddy and RC-500 plugged into individual Omniports on the MC8. Both devices are set to receive MIDI Clock, and I’ve tried both enabling/disabling the “Midi Clock” Persistence on the MC8. I’m able to start the BeatBuddy and record a loop on the RC-500 (using the switches directly on the RC-500). Once I finish recording the loop, the RC-500 immediately goes into Play mode and it will stay in sync with the BeatBuddy for about 20 seconds and then the guitar loop on the RC-500 starts to get ahead of the beat ever so slightly…and then continues to get worse.

I have setup the MC8 to start sending MIDI Clock upon entering the bank. I’ve also tried to just use the “Tap Midi Clock” setting, which I can verify is sending the clock signal to both devices as they will both speed up/slow down depending on what tempo I tap. Regardless, the guitar loop on the RC-500 just eventually loses sync with the BeatBuddy.

Any advice on some settings to check?
I’ve also read somewhere that the RC-500 seems to work better when it is providing the midi clock signal, so I’m wondering if I should try to daisy chain the BeatBuddy from the RC-500, and have the RC-500 generate the clock. I’m relatively new to MIDI…so messing with Midi Clock is new territory for me. Thanks in advance for any insights or words of wisdom.

1 Like

So, I did further testing with the MC8, BeatBuddy and RC-500 sync issue that I’m experiencing.

This time, I used a bank that was setup using “Looper Mode” on the MC8, and then set the tempo using “Midi Clock Tap” (on switch E), and the loop in the RC-500 finally stayed in sync with the BeatBuddy. This seems odd, as my understanding of the Looper Mode is that it only affects the sensitivity of the buttons to eliminate the latency of midi commands sent from the MC8, and doesn not do anything with the midi clock signal. I am not using any buttons on the MC8 to send “Record, Play or Overdub” commands to the RC-500 (as I’m using the actual buttons on the RC-500 for those commands). Is there a chance that Looper mode affects the midi clock being sent out? Maybe the RC-500 prefers the “speed” (less latency?) of the midi clock signal coming from the MC8 when the MC8 is in looper mode? hhmmmm.

I’m going to test further, by having the BPM set automatically when I enter the bank (and still leaving the bank in Looper mode). Will update as I learn more. Again, if anyone else has had success with a similar setup, I’d love to hear how it’s working for you. Otherwise, I hope my experience might help anyone looking to sync up a BeatBuddy and RC-500.


1 Like

I have an MC6 and a Beatbuddy, but instead of the RC-500 I have a Voicelive 3.

In my setup I have the Beatbuddy sending the MIDI Clock to the VL3 (which has a looper) and I have them connected in a Daisy chain fashion, i.e. MC6 > BB > VL3

The BB MIDI OUT is set to MERGE so that it acts both as MIDI Out and MIDI Thru’ so I can control both from my MC6.

I have no synchronization issues, so this might be an alternative, should it work for you.


Thanks Luis. Quick question. With your daisy chain midi setup thru BeatBuddy, is the midi “in” on the BeatBuddy set to one specific channel or to “Omni”? I had previously tried daisy chaining the BeatBuddy–>RC-500, but for some reason could not get the commands for the RC-500 to pass thru the BeatBuddy (and I tried setting the Midi Out to “Midi Merge”). I do want to try this again as I think it’ll give me the most flexibility.

Each device in the Daisy Chain needs to have its own MIDI Channel in order for the device-specific MIDI messages sent by the MS controller reach the intended target. In my case, the following are the pertaining MIDI parameters I have set on my Beatbuddy :

MIDI IN = 1, System Real Time / Sync = Disable

MIDI OUT = Merge, Sync = Always ON (MIDI Clock sent all the time)

The Sync = Disable setting prevents the BB from receiving MIDI Clock being sent by the MS Controller or any other MIDI device on the chain.
You’ll need to turn off the MIDI Clock on your MC-8 so that the BB is the only MIDI Clock Master with regards to the RC-500 (MIDI Clock doesn’t depend on MIDI channel, only on whether devices are set to send it and/or receive it)

I hope this works for you!

Sometime looper designer here, though I don’t have direct experience of RC-500 (or Voicelive 3). Slaving a looping device to a midi clock is one of those things that’s harder than you would think. Entirely possible that the RC-500 ‘sort of’ syncs but not completely accurately so drifts with time as you experience. Likewise the VoiceLive may have a better implementation. Also, the quality of MIDI clock output varies from device to device, ‘jitter’ being one problem there…

It’s be well worth you while to try using the RC-500 as the master clock. You can also try it with Beat Buddy doing the honors. But I’d give higher odds with the 500 as master. For a looper, it’s easier to generate an accurate clock than to slave an incoming clock message. This is because digital audio depends on an internal sampling clock that’s much higher frequency than musical tempo. Hard to make that square with a lower-frequency clock incoming, even if that clock is otherwise perfect.

Best wishes.

1 Like

Just read up on Looper Mode. I don’t think that’s involved here. As you noted Looper Mode has to do with reducing latency in response to commnds. That’s different from the ‘drift’ problem you’re experiencing. Try using RC-500 as master. Cheers

The reason whereby I prefer the Beatbuddy being the MIDI Clock Master is because each song’s Tempo is already built in the BB songs and I have over a thousand of them, which the BB allows for - and you can still change the Tempo anytime via the BB Tap Tempo function.

Having the Beatbuddy as MIDI Clock slave of some other MIDI Controller (such as the MS ones or the RC-500, in this case) would require these devices to have many (over a thousand in my case) ‘banks’, ‘presets’ or whatever they’re called, each with the song Tempo information, something they’re not capable of.

That’s why I don’t use my MC-6 as MIDI Clock, even though is before the Beatbuddy on my Daisy chain.

I also have a Roland GR-55 Guitar Synth as the last element on my Daisy chain, synchronized to the BB MIDI Clock.


1 Like


I didn’t have time to read all posts re this topic, but I wanted to be sure the below info was covered.

I had the same problem with Beatbuddy/RC 500 clock sync until I read this. Solved it beautifully! Just let Beatbuddy set the clock. See link.


Thanks Luis.
I disassembled a portion of my pedal board to set up my midi workflow similar to yours (and also used the BeatBuddy settings you provided…THANKS). I was able to send clock changes from BeatBuddy to the RC500. I have yet to test with a guitar loop, but I think this will work.

I also use the RC500 to play some backing tracks, which are at different tempos than BeatBuddy. For those songs, I am simply going to add them into BeatBuddy and predefine the tempo (which will then be fed into the RC500). In this way, it shouldn’t matter as I’ll always be sending the correct clock to the RC500.

Thanks again for sharing your BeatBuddy settings.

1 Like

You’re welcome. I’m glad it’s working for you :slight_smile:

Resurrecting this old thread. Based on the advice, I eventually configured my BeatBuddy as the midi clock master, and ran its midi out directly to the RC500. The midi clock seems to sync fine, and tap tempo on the BB changes the tempo on the RC-500. All seemed OK.

My issue is that when I now go to “record” on the RC-500, it seems to wait to engage the recording until it reads the “start” of the BeatBuddy drum pattern/loop that’s playing (even if I’ve already started the BeatBuddy for a few measures). As such, when I press record on the RC-500 it waits some number of beats before it actually starts recording. Looking at the blinking tempo light LED on the RC-500, it’s colored “red” for the first beat, and the subsequent 3 beats are “green”. If I watch that light closely and can time my pressing of the “record” button exactly on the first beat (red), it works…but this seems like it shouldn’t be necessary and recording should just start as soon as I press Record (it’s also very difficult/near impossible to nail the timing of this visually). To note, I have both “Record Count” and “Play Count” set to “Off” on the RC-500.

Does anyone else experience this, or do I need to change a setting in the RC-500 track settings (or BeatBuddy?) to avoid this?

(P.S. I know this is not a Morningstar device issue, but I’ve posted this same question in an RC-500 FB Group and the only responses have been to make the RC-500 the master…which I can’t really do). It also seems like this group/forum has more people syncing BB and the RC-500. Thanks in advance for any additional guidance or tips.)

@DigitalMan68 Hi there.
I very much doubt that the issue is on the BB side, since you’ve already got it synchronized, clock-wise (no pun intended). And I don’t have an RC-500.

But I found this video (link below) about the RC-5 and MS MC8 which might shed some light, being that both are Boss loopers (despite their different capabilities) Also, you might like the idea of controlling some RC-500 functions via your MCx (assuming you already have a MS controller) as shown on the video.

Good luck!

Thank you @LuisLugo . I had seen that video awhile back, and unfortunately it doesn’t give me an answer. I’ve tried messing with more settings on the RC-500 (and BeatBuddy) and still no luck. Although I did discover that the Recording does start when I press the “Record/Play” button, but then when I press it again to stop recording, it seems to wait to complete the entire bar/measure of the BeatBuddy loop before it actually stops recording (thus adding in extra beats/blank space before closing the loop recording). I may have to consider using the RC-500 as the master, but this presents some challenges due to how my songs are all arranged in BeatBuddy (and not having enough patches, etc. in the RC-500 to dictate the midi clock/tempos for each BB song. Back to the drawing board.

No worries, @DigitalMan68, my pleasure.
I’m sorry I can’t be of help in this case as I still think the issue lies on the RC500 (may be an obscure setting, somewhere)
I downloaded the RC500 manual and browsed through it but found no leads, sorry.

Good luck!

Just a shot in the dark here as I don’t have the BB but I had wonkiness like this when setting up my Rc-500 with midi clock from the MC6. Couldn’t give you an exact answer but after messing with a combination of “Loop Sync” on the individual track settings along with double checking “Trk1 Start” and “Trk1 Stop” (check both tracks of course) I got it working for my set up.
Again my issue was a little different without the BeatBuddy but I’d start by checking “loop sync” on the individual track settings. Contrary to common sense, the “Trk1 Start” doesn’t start the track but changes when/how the track starts.

Thanks @cVarsity . I’m going to give this a try, as well as trying to change the “Quantize” setting to see if that has any impact. I’ll report back if success.

please do! I ended up settling on making the RC-500 the master for my use case.

So, setting the Loop Sync (Loop.S) to “Off” on both tracks 1 and 2 allowed me to start/stop recording as desired. However, the recorded loop (on Track 1) would eventually drift out of time with the BeatBuddy (and I did leave “Tempo Sync” on within the RC-500). Additionally, since the tracks were not synced, anything I recorded on Track 2 would also drift out of sync after a few times playing through the loop. This behavior occurred regardless of how I had the “Quantize” setting set (either to “Off” or “Measure”). When I turned the Loop Sync back on, I could start recording a loop but it would not let me close it when I pressed the Play-Rec. button…and just seems to wait for some random # of beats to pass before stopping the recording.

So, I think I’ve given up on making the BB the master and the RC-500 the slave.
Leaving my setup “as is” (with BB just sending midi clock to the RC-500)…I can use the internal drums /rhythms on the RC-500 and record/play loops just fine. I can probably make this work, but I’m just not a fan of the overall quality of the drum sounds and limited patterns the RC-500 has (versus the BeatBuddy). I may experiment with making the RC-500 the master, but this will require some rethinking about my overall setup, etc.

Maybe a future firmware update for the RC-500 will include some improvements with midi syncing. Thanks again for the input/ideas.

Thanks for the insight!! After many years of looping on Boss, getting into midi this last year has me seeing all the downfalls. Fingers crossed on Boss figuring something out. I can’t imagine with all the competition offering so much control that Boss will stay the course much longer.