The best thing about Ableton Link is that it’s so simple and, for the most part, fuss-free. The worst thing about Ableton Link, though, is that it isn’t implemented in much hardware, especially modular synths, sequencers, samplers and drum machines. Well, until now, that is…
Completely ruining our chances of delivering the most obvious pun ever is a new piece of hardware designed to bring Ableton Link syncing to anything with a Clock/MIDI connection: The Missing Link.
Launched at last year's Knobcon event in Chicago, the folk behind The Missing Link have been feverishly beavering away at a software update, which now sees the device support MIDI clock.
Circuit Happy has created what is essentially a desktop modular clock with wireless integration. WiFi set up seems pretty painless, especially if The Missing Link can’t find a WiFi network to connect to, as it will just go into Access Point Mode. Then all you need to do is connect directly to the device to configure it with your network.
The unit sends clock and reset information out via the Clock and Reset 3.5mm ports, allowing you to directly connect your modular unit of choice. To connect via MIDI, you will need a USB OTG adapter; this can then connect to any class-compliant MIDI interface which may or may not be built-in to your hardware instrument, so another device may be required there.
However, once you’re all set up, you’ll be able to connect two units wirelessly and incorporate any Ableton Link- enabled iOS app into the mix.
The Missing Link is available for $200 and can be purchased, direct, from the Circuit Happy website.
Missing Link features
- Ableton Link integration for wireless sync with compatible devices
- Built-in web interface for easily connecting to your WiFi network
- 5V clock output with user-settable PPQN (pulses per quarter note)
- 5V pulse output at the start of loop
- Push encoder for editing user settings
- Tap tempo for quickly setting tempo
- Built on a Raspberry Pi Zero W platform
- Open source software and hardware designs