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Locking gear to Time Code
Old 16th August 2002
  #1
Moderator emeritus
 

Talking Locking gear to Time Code

I was thinking about this earlier today, and thought I'd ask y'all about it - How regularly do you use time code (SMPTE or MTC) to synch different pices of gear, especially diferent computers, to operate together?

I'll often run Pro Tools and DA-88's in sync, but that's about it. Does anyone regularly run a second computer with a sequencing program, or video machines or other things that I'm simply not thinking of right now?

The most I've ever done here is lock up 7 DA 88 machines, Pro Tools (on a mac, of course), Cakewalk's sequencer (on a PC) and another PC which controls my console's automation. The way I usually do it is to let the DA-88's provide SMPTE to a Digi USD, then sent time code to everything else from the USD. What methods to y'all use?
Old 16th August 2002
  #2
I picked up a Sony Umatic for $75 in a sale, It's been used several times...

On Ad's at my place...

But not by me...

With USD & video sync from the house clock - Nanosync

Apart from that nada, zero, ziltch.
Old 16th August 2002
  #3
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Steve Smith's Avatar
 

I take TC from My DA78's ( 6) to my USD which locks PT, sends MTC to Cubase, and SMPTE to my DMX...

Works great!
Old 16th August 2002
  #4
Moderator emeritus
 

Quote:
Originally posted by Steve Smith
I take TC from My DA78's ( 6) to my USD which locks PT, sends MTC to Cubase, and SMPTE to my DMX...
That's pretty much the same way I do. And how often do you need to run all that at once? That's a lot of tracks...
Old 17th August 2002
  #5
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Well, thankfully not often

I generally track to the 78's transfer to PT edit, then back to 78's to mix from ( I find it makes me listen in longer segments, I am learning to control my urges to loop small sections in PT though...) There are very few times I need to lock up an external sequencer anymore, I am using the midi in PT more and more ( let me clarify, I use the Midi in PT because I am not a player, it is just loops and stuff for me, when i have a player neeeding to acually compose something, I use Cubase) as a side note, I did spend 6 months in sync hell with a MOTU MTP before getting the USD, boy was that stupid. The USD locked right away the first time I plugged it in, and nary a hiccup since.

So general session using sequencer:

Program in Cubase, transfer Midi to PT ( via files ) then either transfer clicks and 2 mix midi data to 78's to track free of the computers, or if tempos are not set in stone, lock Slave PT to the 78's to play MIDI data.

If I Mix from the 78's or from PT I still print mixes digital into PT as well as two tracks of a 78 deck.

Geez, it seem way more cumbersome in writing than in action.....


By the way Dave, great to have you here, I have learned a bunch!
Old 17th August 2002
  #6
jon
Capitol Studios Paris
 
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Sync is a daily necessity here to run together a Studer A820, a ProTools/Apogee system, an MCI JH114 and a 3348.

House black/video from a nanosyncs is fed to a Microlynx and the SSL. When an ATR is online, it provides the position, and all the machines slave to it. The ATRs are always running slaved except when we're recording TC to them.

The most frequent configs are the A820 and PT/Apogee for 22 analog and 24-48 digital tracks, or the A820 and JH114 for 44 analog tracks. Sometimes someone will just use the 3348 alone or PT alone, in which case no sync is involved.

Most mixes nowadays come in as PT sessions with 48 to 64 tracks to deal with. I like to transfer the most vital tracks to the A820 and leave the rest in PT and run the two machines in sync.
Old 17th August 2002
  #7
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Before Pro Tools supported 24 bit audio, I used to lock two computers together playing 24 bit sources out in Sound Designer II and then use outboard gear and Pro-Tools automation to create dithered 16 bit master files.

I discovered that I didn't even need MIDI interfaces, just a serial cord between the printer ports and the computers couldn't tell the difference.

I'll ramble a little,

The biggest black hole I've run into in sync is Otari machines. It seems if you connect the port on the locator to blackburst, it will totally override any kind of synchronizer control over the machine. This little factoid is buried so deep in the manuals that some leading facilities haven't ever really had their Otaris locked up properly.

One important thing is to only convert between video sync and a digital clock at one point in your system. This is because there is no standard mathematical relationship and every manufacturer except Sony uses a different fudge factor with Sony using a different one for each machine! (The XLRs on my Sony time code DAT are pin 2 hot for audio and pin 3 hot for timecode! Sony is always amazing... but they manage to make essential gear despite themselves)

Another is to avoid chasing timecode as your clock especially if it's coming off an analog machine. The amount of jitter in most timecode sources is stupendous. DA-88s chasing each other seem to be one of a very few exceptions. Another consideration is making sure your timecode is resolved to everything.

I like using a Timecode DAT or a DA-88 as my synchronizer for that reason, one machine resolves video-sync, wordclock AND timecode all at once. I then slave Pro Tools to that machine and it's bulletproof. Even $200 ProTools-LE locks up bulletproof! I consider digi's sync box a non-product because if you need more than a DA-88 or a timecode DAT, then you REALLY need something like a Lynx anyways.
Old 18th August 2002
  #8
jon
Capitol Studios Paris
 
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Yes, we use one single clock (nanosyncs black) for the entire system...it goes to the SSL and the lynx, and the lynx sends it to the multitracks and PT. All the machines are slaved and locked to that clock.

When an ATR is online, it provides the position and the digital machines and SSL follow. Why? Digital jumps to a position much faster than analog, so I always let the analog determine where we are.

With the microlynx, it is possible (and highly useful) to separate the clock source from the position source in this way. No additional jitter is introduced to the system.
Old 19th August 2002
  #9
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I've used a MicroLynx as well for our little post sound facility somewhere in Northern California. Our only problem was that Lynx got mad at us for refusing to deal with their local dealer. We refused to deal with them because we wanted support from the only dealer who knew more than we did which was Audio Intervisual Design down in L.A..

Post can be such fun...
Old 20th August 2002
  #10
Gear Addict
 
RobMacki's Avatar
 

Cool Sync for film and video

I've used PT on location for film.
USD master at 48.048
Jam sync Fostex PD4 (w/slate) for transfer.
PT=Transport. (Magma 4 w/G4Ti & Lacie Firewire)
Location FX and sync audio is captured into Pro Tools and I get to do the post.
The director and I swap OMF files to and from his Ti w/ FCP
Haven't synced w/ 24p yet but soon.
Old 20th August 2002
  #11
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As far as I know, nobody is shooting using 24 but HDTV stuff is being shot at 23.??, whatever the pull-down rate is, so that an EDL can be generated using an NTSC video Avid.

As a friend of mine quipped, "HDTV, it's the first time the FCC has ever approved vaporware!"
Old 20th August 2002
  #12
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Cool 24p

I've captured audio into 24p a couple of times, just boom operation.
If I was going to do the post, I would still split audio into PT (if possible and not in the woods remote)to have total control of audio and keep location pristine and untainted through the process. I would have to have a pre-pro meeting w/ Director and DP and bring USD to see who would control TC; Sony or USD. To the best of my understanding, no pull up needed on location, I think it transfers direct. Record location @ 29.97, But I always check w/ DP, Director, Transfer house. The thing I don't like about 24p is that now you are totally tethered to the camera and have to deal w/ grudge Camera Assistant
Old 21st August 2002
  #13
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BRC via MTC to MOTU Miditimepiece AV to DP3.

By the way, anyone who understands this kind of talk spends too much time on their studio tan. yuktyy
Old 22nd August 2002
  #14
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Problem is that the BRC's MTC isn't resolved so a MOTU MTPAV can't help...
Old 22nd August 2002
  #15
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David R.'s Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by Bob Olhsson
Problem is that the BRC's MTC isn't resolved
Bob, could you explain this to me? I am somewhat of a late bloomer when it comes to midi.

Resolved?
Old 25th August 2002
  #16
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C.Lambrechts's Avatar
 

occasionaly a VCR with a smpte track on it and lately an MCI JH16 to PT ..... smpte generated by sync I/O.
Old 28th July 2008
  #17
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logicll's Avatar
 

can somebody diagram this setup? I am stoopid....

CAN'T GET PT USD to lock to da-88, I feel stoop-id!!!!!
9-pin MMC would be nice to..hehe


USD >time code to DA-88 sy card?
USD MTC OUT TO DA-88 midi in?
Time code on 88 tape wc ok with terminator.



Have a midi time piece if necessary to transfer SMPTE to MTC

kick my assthumbsup.....
Old 28th July 2008
  #18
Quote:
Originally Posted by logicll View Post
CAN'T GET PT USD to lock to da-88, I feel stoop-id!!!!!
9-pin MMC would be nice to..hehe
This thread is a blast from the past. I wonder if Dave Martin owns anything that even uses SMPTE these days...

Back when I still did projects on MDM's, I used to fly tracks in and out of my DAW using SMPTE triggering. Note that I said triggering, not chasing. I ran both rigs off the same word clock and I didn't need to chase when I just wanted to drop a corrected bass line the right place.

As I recall, the DA-88 could chase the DAW, but the DAW couldn't chase the DA-88. (It could start playback or drop into record at a particular timecode, but then it would free run.) But you wanted to avoid having the DA-88 chase if you didn't really need it to, because it was accomplished by doing a pretty rudimentary real-time sample rate conversion.

Now I'm pretty much Pro Tools illiterate, and I don't know whether your version of PT can chase or just trigger. But USD stands for "Universal Slave Driver", which suggests that PT will want to be the timecode master. If that's true, then you have basically the two options I outlined above, and you can decide for yourself which to use.

David L. Rick
Seventh String Recording
Old 29th July 2008
  #19
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"The thing I don't like about 24p is that now you are totally tethered to the camera and have to deal w/ grudge Camera Assistant. "

Funny and totally understandable, considering how long film shoots tend to be, with all the unending lighting and camera angle adjustments. When hours later, you want to take 15 seconds to turn off a noisy air conditioner, before starting to start shoot take after take of actors who don't know their lines...
Old 29th July 2008
  #20
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huub's Avatar
I know..
Everybody being pissed off that the rehearsal starts 30 seconds later because someone is being miked up, and then ' oh, we'll have an hour break, lighting has to be adjusted' and nobody is pissed off or nothing..
Old 29th July 2008
  #21
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The same dudes will say "sound is half the movie", because it's the cool thing to say. When someone says that you know you're in
trouble.
Old 30th July 2008
  #22
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Remoteness's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by aracu View Post
"The thing I don't like about 24p is that now you are totally tethered to the camera and have to deal w/ grudge Camera Assistant. "

Funny and totally understandable, considering how long film shoots tend to be, with all the unending lighting and camera angle adjustments. When hours later, you want to take 15 seconds to turn off a noisy air conditioner, before starting to start shoot take after take of actors who don't know their lines...
Remember...

You "hold' for lighting, but "wait" for audio!

And, that dynamic will never change.
Old 30th July 2008
  #23
Lives for gear
Locking Computer to MCI JH24

I use smpte code to lock between my JH24 and my computer. The computer is the master in my setup and via an Adam Smith Zeta III everything gets locked.
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