Before posting, please read: When to use this forum, when to submit a help ticket

SLM + Boss ES-8 + Boss DB-90

Started by westofben, January 16, 2019, 06:00:32 AM

Previous topic - Next topic


Hi Everyone and Arlo,

I have just recently purchased SLM with the Advanced Audio and MIDI options. Starting to integrate it into my setup for some projects and upcoming shows. I am having a little difficulty working out which way I should go, whether I am not quite getting something.

I run a Boss ES-8, which serves as MIDI clock for a range of other devices/synths/arps/delays etc, and a Boss DB-90 for metronome/click track. Each of the 100 banks on the ES-8 would be a song, each of the 8 patches per bank would be a song part. As such, each patch may have a different tempo - not often but a few of my songs change tempo. Therefore the DB-90 follows this nicely. It has worked very well for the last year or so.

SLM is running on an iPad Pro 10.5" with the requisite Apple Camera adapter and a Roland UM-ONE MK2.

My primary intention, before purchasing and after researching, was to use SLM as a means of selecting the first patch of the next song in the set list. SLM does this super nicely and saves me from BANK BANK BANK BANK BANK etc in a live setting, or GASP rearranging my banks for each gig!

Regarding the click track, there are times this won't be achievable due to no IEMs or minimal monitors etc. So what drew me to SLM was the flashing screen to tempo. If we don't have click, then the drummer should be able to see the flashing iPad (he is an absolute ace anyway) or I will nod my head and away we go. Best of both worlds, so I thought.

At first, I thought I could have SLM tell the ES-8 when to start or stop the clock. SLM could flash to at least an initial tempo and away we go with clock start. Unfortunately, when ES-8 is the clock master it doesn't pay attention to start/stop messages.

I tried the ES-8 in slave, and that's fine for a single tempo, although I found the DB-90 wavering by +-1-2bpm from SLM source. Upshot of this was starting the clock and click and flashing and all the jazz. Major caveat being no more tempo changes in song sections.

I then thought I could have SLM listen for clock and maybe flash to the clock it receives. But that doesn't seem to be a feature.

So that leads me to using SLM to select ES-8 bank/patch as planned, then having the ES-8 tell SLM to do something else and start a new song (song section?!?) which hopefully would have a different tempo and flash accordingly - but then I am doubling-up my work by having to maintain two sets of song programmes and if we decide to shift the tempo... well on the ES-8 yes it is annoying but 8 x + or - on the tempo and WRITE WRITE and done.

And of course I would need to turn off soft-thru. Tested soft-thru and it sent the ES-8 mad, none of the patch switches worked haha.

Seeking some wisdom from SLM sages :)

For now I intend to use SLM to select songs and have on-screen song structure notes and lyrics. I won't use it to start/stop clock. I will rig up a foot switch (unless I can get the ES-8 to) start the DB-90 metronome when I want it to start. Then maybe find/make a tempo LED flasher.

I thought I would ask everyone here before raising a feature request for SLM to flash to external clock source or something similar.



It's too bad the ES-8 doesn't respond to start/stop messages. But it sounds like the main problem is wanting to see a visual flash of the tempo somewhere, on gigs where you can't use an aural click track.

Controlling Set List Maker's tempo functions with an external MIDI clock is on my wish list, and I'll add a vote for you. Meanwhile, I wonder if you can set up another metronome app that has this capability, and run it beside Set List Maker in split-screen on the iPad ... or if you want to preserve the full iPad screen space, run it on a phone mounted next to the iPad. In either case, you'd only need that element of your setup on days when you don't have the aural click track.


Thanks Arlo. True. What I imagine in the interim is split screen and that other app simply flashing in response to MIDI. Unless I write this app, just looking at apps in the store, they are all aiming to do anything and everything.

We'll see how things pan out.


The Yamaha metronome app can supposedly do this, but I wasn't able to make it work. That was at least a year ago. Might be a place to start.


The new version 2023-09-10 released today has Settings > Tempo & Pitch > Follow MIDI Beat Clock. This will flash the tempo button or generate click sounds (depending on your other settings on this page) when receiving incoming beat clock messages. The external device must send a Start message at the beginning of the Beat Clock messages and a Stop message at the end. This is only available in the iOS app.