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  1. Michael Michael

    Hi Midi Thief,

    I stumbled across your website in a Google search (which actually first brought me to a website called garageCube, then i clicked on your link in a comment). You seem to be very knowledgeable, on syncing video to audio, and I was wondering if you could provide some guidance.

    I am in a live karaoke band. Our band plays all the music, and people in the crowd (like at a bar) come up and sing a song of their choice with us. Its a lot fun, and so far we have had a great response. The only complaint is that or lyric prompter doesn’t provide much guidance for the singer. Currently, we just have PowerPoint slides that display a single verse or chorus at a time. When they get to the end of the slide, our bassit changes the slide using a programmable usb foot pedal. Its hard to follow because the page is filled with a bunch of lines of lyrics and there is nothing to guide the singer as to what rate to sing at (no highlighting scroll bar). So we want out lyric prompter highlight the lyrics at the appropriate time like karaoke machines do. We have found programs that allow us to create karaoke video files (in a couple of different formats), but the problem is that with live music, we will never play a certain song at the same speed each time, and we will most likely even change speeds throughout the song. So we need a way to sync the video to our tempo. We found a program that actually tracks tempo in realtime (its called InTime, here’s the website:; Also, I found a device called a “soundbite micro” that DJ’s seem to use to sync audio to realtime beat info). Anwyays, The program InTime sends out MIDI clock info, so i believe all that we need now is some program that plays videos (or even MIDI Karaoke files – file extension is .KAR), but that slaves its tempo to InTime’s MIDI clock. Basically, a way to slave the video to a realtime tempo input.

    I was hoping you could help or had some insight on syncing a karaoke lyric display to a variable live band tempo. What I wrote above is just our current idea of how it might work, maybe you know of a far easier/better method. We really appreciate anything you could tell us or help us out with.

    Thank you,


    Drummer of The Jimits

    • The Midi Thief The Midi Thief

      Hi Michael!

      Many VJ softwares can sync video to a MIDI Clock. However, syncing a long video is much harder. I have never really attempted to do that, I just do 2-8 seconds of video that I loop using the methods I’ve described on the Garagecube forum. You can see at least one other thread with people that wants to sync a longer video to the BPM and unfortunately I did’t see a solution.

      Another weak link might be the device setting the MIDI clock. I have the Sound Bite Micro and was quite disappointed in how long time it takes to update the tempo (up to 10 seconds). However if you push one of the buttons manually it can resync faster. And it would not necessarily detect minor tempo changes. So I don’t know how exact it would be. I’ve really been looking for a software that can do this on the Mac and was very glad to see the link you provided to InTime. I tried the demo quickly and it seems like the program unfortunately doesn’t analyze incoming audio only incoming midi messages. But of course, maybe you can midi map the drums and have your drummer set the beat, that would work. You can download the 30 day demo from Circular Logic and try it.

      Are you using Mac, btw? I figured since you were looking at Garagecube that does very Mac specific programs. For the PC there is free software that can analyze audio and output MIDI clock (

      I did a quick test that might work for you: I loaded a music video in Ableton Live. I knew the original BPM of the music in the video and set the master tempo to that. Then I made the video conform to the master tempo. Then I guess it would be piece of cake to slave Ableton’s master tempo to an incoming MIDI clock. This together with your drummer’s drums midi mapped to InTime as a master for Ableton could be your solution.

      If you have further questions you can contact me by email (the link is in the header). Please let me know if this worked for you or if you found another solution.

      / TMT

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