KARMA M3/M50: Keeping the Drum Track in sync with KARMA


Note: this article also applies to the M50 and KARMA M50 Software (KM50).

When you play a KARMA performance from the KARMA M3 Software (KM3), the Drum Track eventually drifts out of sync or (is hard to even start in sync) with the tempo of the KARMA module(s).

Why the Drum Track can drift out of sync with KM3

The M3's Drum Track is always controlled from the M3 itself, unlike the KARMA engine, which can be run either from the M3 itself or from the KM3 software. When you are running everything on the M3, the KARMA Engine and the Drum Track have features to ensure that they are synchronized together when one is running and you start the other one.

  • Syncing the Drum Track with KARMA: This is done with the Sync parameter in the Trigger section of program page P1: Basic/DT/Controls > DrumTrk Pattern (or combi page P1: DT/XY/Ctrls > Drum Track). When the Sync parameter is On, The M3 ensures that the Drum Track starts in sync with KARMA, if KARMA is already playing.
  • Syncing KARMA with the Drum Track: This is done with the Quantize Trigger parameter on program page P7-1: KARMA1 > Trigger (or combi page P7-2 KARMA2 > Trigger A or Trigger B, etc.) . The M3 ensures that KARMA starts in sync with the Drum Track, if the Drum Track is already playing, on the quantize beat specified in the Quantize Window parameter.

However, when you are running the KARMA engine in KM3 instead of on the M3 itself, these synchronization parameters have no effect, so syncing the Drum Track to the KARMA engine in KM3 relies entirely on you having good timing to manually start them in sync, and relies on the M3 receiving MIDI Clock Sync from the KM3 Software.


  1. Ensure that your M3's MIDI Clock is set to Auto, External MIDI, or External Firewire as appropriate (defined on GLOBAL page P1:MIDI), so that the M3 will receive its clock sync from the KM3 software.
  2. Ensure that your KM3 software is configured to sent clock sync to the M3 (Windows menu > Sync Editor). For more information, refer to the chapter on the KM3 Sync Editor and the appendix on configuring the KM3 software in the KM3 online Help file.
  3. Generally start both the Drum Track and the KARMA performance at the same time by configuring the Drum Track on the M3 to use Wait KBD Trigger mode (specified on the same tabs where you set the Drum Track's Sync parameter).


If the Drum Track and the KARMA performance seem to drift out of sync over time, it's probably because the the M3 isn't receiving MIDI Clock Sync from the KM3 software. It is likely just "free-wheeling" at the same tempo. Double-check the clock sync settings on both the M3 and the KM3 Software per the procedure above.

Hope that helps!

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