Master and Slave

Calling one device the master and another one the slave can lead to confusion. Therefore, the timecode relationship and the machine control relationship must be differentiated in this regard.

  • Timecode Master

    The device generating position information or timecode.

  • Timecode Slave

    Any device receiving the timecode and synchronizing or locking to it.

  • Machine Control Master

    The device that issues transport commands to the system.

  • Machine Control Slave

    The device receiving timecode commands and responding to them.

Cubase can be the machine control master, sending transport commands to an external device which in turn sends timecode and audio clock information back to Cubase. In that case, Cubase would also be the timecode slave.


In most scenarios, the machine control slave is also the timecode master. Once it receives a play command, that device starts generating timecode for all the timecode slaves to synchronize to.