"Litmus Test - def: any kind of indicator used to classify something either favourably or unfavourably"

Many hardware sequencers and drum machines generate Midi Notes.

In this variation of the Original Litmus timing test we measure continuous outgoing 16th Note Midi Event tempo stability.

At a tempo of 120 BPM there should be exactly 6000 samples @ 48kHz between any two consecutive 16th Midi Note events.

For these tests we use only a single track of Midi Note On events only. No Control, Sysex, Aftertouch, Pressure, MTC or Midi Clock messages are present.

Date of test and current Operating System is listed. Obviously a change of OS may mean a change in test results. Equipment listed is in no order of personal preference.

Feel free to email us if your own testing provides a different set of numbers.

Remember that this is a highly biased rating system based on one feature only. Important as timing performance is, there are many other aspects to software and hardware sequencers that contribute their overall worth as creative tools.

Litmus Ranking Table:- 16th Tempo Jitter in Samples @ 48kHz

= Zero to 15

= 16 to 25

= 26 to 50

= 51 to 75

= 76 to 100

= 101 to 125

= 126 to 150

= 151 to 175

= 176 to 200

= 201 to 249

= more than 250

Roland: MC-80EX/OS Version 1.15

Track 1 - Output Port A

Number of samples [48 kHz] between consecutive Sixteenth Midi Note Events:
6003/ 6001/ 6003/ 6003/ 6003/ 6011/ 5994/ 6003/ 6003/ 6003/ 6003/ 6003/ 6002/ 6012/ 5994/ 6003

Maximum variation between any two consecutive Sixteenth Midi Note Events:
18 Samples [0.37ms]

Litmus Ranking: 

This Test: External Sample Accurate Midi Clock (Cable)

Track 1 - Output Port A

Number of samples [48 kHz] between consecutive Sixteenth Midi Note Events:
5956/ 6001/ 5959/ 6048/ 6003/ 6003/ 6003/ 6001/ 6005/ 6001/ 6003/ 6003/ 6004/ 6001/ 6003/ 6003/ 6003/ 6002/ 5955/ 6003/ 5957/ 6048/ 6003

Maximum variation between any two consecutive Sixteenth Midi Note Events:
91 Samples [1.90ms]

Litmus Ranking: 

Akai: MPC-4000/OS Version 1.71

Pattern Mode: Port A

Number of samples [48 kHz] between consecutive Sixteenth Midi Note Events:
5998/ 6000/ 5999/ 6000/ 5999/ 5999/ 6001/ 5998/ 5999/ 6000/ 6000/ 5999/ 5999/ 5999/ 5999/ 5999

Maximum variation between any two consecutive Sixteenth Midi Note Events:
3 Samples [0.06ms]

Litmus Ranking: 

This Test: External Sample Accurate Midi Clock (Cable)

Pattern Mode: Port A

Number of samples [48 kHz] between consecutive Sixteenth Midi Note Events:
5998/ 6000/ 5998/ 6000/ 6000/ 5999/ 5999/ 6000/ 5999/ 5999/ 6000/ 5999/ 5999/ 5999/ 5999/ 6000/ 6001/ 6001/ 6000/ 5998/ 6001/ 5998/ 6027/ 5999/ 6001/ 5998/ 5999/ 5999/ 6000/ 6000/ 5998/ 6000

Maximum variation between any two consecutive Sixteenth Midi Note Events:
29 Samples [0.60ms]

Litmus Ranking: 

This Test: External Sample Accurate Midi Clock (Cable)

Song Mode: Port A

Number of samples [48 kHz] between consecutive Sixteenth Midi Note Events:
5999/ 6000/ 6000/ 5999/ 6002/ 5999/ 6000/ 6000/ 6000/ 6025/ 5972/ 6026/ 6000/ 5999/ 5999/ 6000/ 5999/ 6000/ 5999/ 6000/ 5999/ 5999/ 5999/ 5999/ 6000/ 5999/ 5999/ 6000/ 5999/ 5999/ 6000/ 5999

Maximum variation between any two consecutive Sixteenth Midi Note Events:
54 Samples [1.12ms]

Litmus Ranking: 

Elektron: Octatrack/Main OS Version 1.21B

Number of samples [48 kHz] between consecutive Sixteenth Midi Note Events:
6007/ 5990/ 6009/ 5992/ 6008/ 5991/ 6007/ 5993/ 6007/ 5990/ 6010/ 5991/ 6008/ 5991/ 6010/ 5991

Maximum variation between any two consecutive Sixteenth Midi Note Events:
20 Samples [0.42ms]

Litmus Ranking: 

This Test: External Sample Accurate Midi Clock (Cable)

Number of samples [48 kHz] between consecutive Sixteenth Midi Note Events:
5991/ 6010/ 5991/ 6006/ 5993/ 6007/ 5992/ 6006/ 5994/ 6005/ 5994/ 6006/ 5994/ 6005/ 5996/ 6004

Maximum variation between any two consecutive Sixteenth Midi Note Events:
19 Samples [0.40ms]

Litmus Ranking: 

Sequentix: Cirklon/OS Version 1.0

This Test: Pattern Mode/Cycle

Number of samples [48 kHz] between consecutive Sixteenth Midi Note Events:
6000/ 6003/ 6000/ 6001/ 6000/ 6001/ 6000/ 6001/ 6000/ 6001/ 6000/ 6001/ 6000/ 6001/ 6001/ 6000

Maximum variation between any two consecutive Sixteenth Midi Note Events:
3 samples (0.06ms)

Litmus Ranking:

This Test: Pattern Mode/Cycle - External Sync: Sync-Gen II V1.04

Number of samples [48 kHz] between consecutive Sixteenth Midi Note Events:
6000/ 6002/ 6000/ 6000/ 6000/ 6000/ 6001/ 6003/ 6000/ 6001/ 6000/ 6002/ 6001/ 6000/ 6001/ 6003

Maximum variation between any two consecutive Sixteenth Midi Note Events:
3 samples (0.06ms)

Litmus Ranking:

Akai: MPC-2500/OS Version JJ 3.10

This Test: Pattern Mode/Cycle

Number of samples [48 kHz] between consecutive Sixteenth Midi Note Events:
6004/ 5996/ 6000/ 5999/ 6004/ 5996/ 6000/ 6006/ 5996/ 5999/ 6001/ 6004/ 5995/ 6001/ 6024/ 5980

Maximum variation between any two consecutive Sixteenth Midi Note Events:
44 samples (0.92ms)

Litmus Ranking:

This Test: Song Mode

Number of samples [48 kHz] between consecutive Sixteenth Midi Note Events:
6001/ 6000/ 6001/ 6004/ 5994/ 6002/ 6089/ 5916/ 5994/ 6000/ 6084/ 5918/ 5998/ 5999/ 6067/ 5934

Maximum variation between any two consecutive Sixteenth Midi Note Events:
173 samples (3.60ms)

Litmus Ranking:

This Test: Pattern Mode/Cycle - External Sample Accurate Midi Clock

Number of samples [48 kHz] between consecutive Sixteenth Midi Note Events:
6023/ 5978/ 6001/ 5999/ 6004/ 5997/ 5999/ 5999/ 6006/ 5996/ 6000/ 5999/ 6001/ 6014/ 5985

Maximum variation between any two consecutive Sixteenth Midi Note Events:
45 samples (0.94ms)

Litmus Ranking:

This Test: Song Mode - External Sample Accurate Midi Clock

Number of samples [48 kHz] between consecutive Sixteenth Midi Note Events:
5997/ 5999/ 6001/ 6003/ 5998/ 5999/ 6004/ 5997/ 5999/ 6001/ 6004/ 5997/ 5999/ 6000/ 6004/ 5996

Maximum variation between any two consecutive Sixteenth Midi Note Events:
8 samples (0.16ms)

Litmus Ranking: 

Akai: MPC-3000/OS Version Vailixi 3.50T3

Mansell-Labs Web - http://www.mansell-labs.com/ 

This Test: Pattern Mode/Cycle

Number of samples [48 kHz] between consecutive Sixteenth Midi Note Events:
5998/ 5999/ 6000/ 5999/ 6000/ 5999/ 5999/ 6000/ 5999/ 5999/ 6000/ 5999/ 6000/ 5999/ 5999/ 6000

Maximum variation between any two consecutive Sixteenth Midi Note Events:
1 sample (0.02ms)

Litmus Ranking: 

This Test: Song Mode

Number of samples [48 kHz] between consecutive Sixteenth Midi Note Events:
6000/ 5999/ 5999/ 6000/ 5999/ 6000/ 5999/ 5999/ 5999/ 5999/ 6000/ 5999/ 5999/ 6000/ 5999/ 6000

Maximum variation between any two consecutive Sixteenth Midi Note Events:
1 sample (0.02ms)

Litmus Ranking: 

This Test: Pattern Mode/Cycle - Sample Accurate Midi Clock Sync

Number of samples [48 kHz] between consecutive Sixteenth Midi Note Events:
6002/ 6003/ 5990/ 6005/ 6004/ 5994/ 5999/ 6013/ 5987/ 6003/ 6005/ 5993/ 6004/ 6007/ 5986/ 6007/ 6002/ 6004/ 6000/ 5991/ 5999/ 6006/ 6002/ 6000/ 6001/ 6002/ 6002/ 5994/ 6002/ 5999/ 5992/ 6002

Maximum variation between any two consecutive Sixteenth Midi Note Events:
26 samples (0.54ms)

Litmus Ranking:

This Test: Song Mode - Sample Accurate Midi Clock Sync

Number of samples [48 kHz] between consecutive Sixteenth Midi Note Events:
6015/ 5991/ 5998/ 5997/ 6011/ 5989/ 5999/ 6004/ 6009/ 5993/ 6001/ 6001/ 6004/ 5998/ 6002/ 6000/ 6004/ 5991/ 6000/ 6004/ 6004/ 5991/ 6007/ 6000/ 6000/ 5998/ 6004/ 6001/ 5999/ 5998/ 6001/ 6001

Maximum variation between any two consecutive Sixteenth Midi Note Events:
24 samples (0.50ms)

Litmus Ranking:

Akai: MPC-60 MK1/OS Virmana 3.15B5

 http://www.mansell-labs.com/ 

This Test: Pattern Mode/Cycle

Number of samples [48 kHz] between consecutive Sixteenth Midi Note Events:
6000/ 6000/ 6000/ 6000/ 6000/ 6000/ 6000/ 6000/ 6001/ 6000/ 6001/ 6000/ 6000/ 6001/ 6000/ 6000

Maximum variation between any two consecutive Sixteenth Midi Note Events:
1 sample (0.02ms)

Litmus Ranking: 

This Test: Song Mode

Number of samples [48 kHz] between consecutive Sixteenth Midi Note Events:
6002/ 6000/ 6000/ 6000/ 6000/ 6001/ 6000/ 6000/ 6000/ 6001/ 6000/ 6000/ 6000/ 6000/ 6001/ 6000/ 6000

Maximum variation between any two consecutive Sixteenth Midi Note Events:
2 samples (0.04ms)

Litmus Ranking: 

This Test: Pattern Mode/Cycle - Sample Accurate Midi Clock Sync

Number of samples [48 kHz] between consecutive Sixteenth Midi Note Events:
5999/ 6006/ 6000/ 6001/ 6000/ 5994/ 6002/ 6005/ 5989/ 6005/ 6000/ 6005/ 6000/ 5990/ 6006/ 6000

Maximum variation between any two consecutive Sixteenth Midi Note Events:
16 samples (0.33ms)

Litmus Ranking:

This Test: Song Mode - Sample Accurate Midi Clock Sync

Number of samples [48 kHz] between consecutive Sixteenth Midi Note Events:
5992/ 6003/ 5999/ 6005/ 5991/ 6003/ 6002/ 6003/ 5993/ 6002/ 6006/ 6002/ 5999/ 5992/ 6004/ 6002

Maximum variation between any two consecutive Sixteenth Midi Note Events:
14 samples (0.29ms)

Litmus Ranking:

Elektron: Machine Drum SPS-1MKIIUW/OS = Version 1.62

Number of samples [48 kHz] between consecutive Sixteenth Midi Note Events:
6005/ 5991/ 6011/ 5984/ 6061/ 5991/ 6002/ 5983/ 5998/ 5984/ 5998/ 5983/ 5999/ 5999/ 5989/ 5998

Maximum variance between consecutive Sixteenth Midi Note Events:
77 samples (1.60ms)

Litmus Ranking: 

This Test: Sample Accurate Midi Clock Sync

Number of samples [48 kHz] between consecutive Sixteenth Midi Note Events:
6006/ 5984/ 5998/ 5983/ 5998/ 5985/ 6002/ 5989/ 6014/ 5992/ 6002/ 5992/ 6014/ 5991/ 6057/ 5991

Maximum variance between consecutive Sixteenth Midi Note Events:
66 samples (1.37ms)

Litmus Ranking: 

'Always note the sequencer. It will never let us down'

Rage Hard - Frankie Goes to Hollywood - ZTT - ZCiD22

 

 

 

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