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Concert video/DVD questions Recorders, Players & Tape Machines
Old 6th December 2007
Gear addict
thedoner's Avatar

Thread Starter
Question Concert video/DVD questions

Some questions for all you remotesters who have experience recording multi-track audio for bands who are shooting a multi-camera live concert video or DVD. I’m interested in expanding my remote rig to accommodate this type of work and I’m looking into what this would entail.

First, with regard to how it all happens:

1)Clocking: I’m assuming that all parties should share a common clock source. Do the video guys usually provide the clock, and are there enough outputs from them to feed your primary and backup recorders, or do you sometimes have to provide additional distro.? Are you ever the clock master? Does the type of clock (48k word clock, Black Burst etc) vary from job to job?

2)Time code: Same questions as above, plus this one. How do you keep your primary and back up recorders in sync with the video and each other while still maintaining their independence, in other words so that if one is chasing the other and the primary goes down, the backup continues to record the show without dropping out.

Second, what gear do I need to get my rig video ready?
My primary recorder is a PT HD3 Accel system with an Apogee AD16x/Rossetta 800 front end, with the AD16x as clock master. The backup recorder is an Alesis HD24XR clocked off my Presonus Digimax 96 Pre’s
I know a (Ugh!) Sync I/O is a must…what else???

Anything else I should know?

I know there are a sh*tload of questions in here, but any information at all would be greatly appreciated!

Last edited by thedoner; 7th December 2007 at 06:36 AM.. Reason: No Repliies?!
Old 7th December 2007
Lives for gear
Gerax's Avatar


You are in for a nice deal of stuff to sort out...
The first thing you should be aware is that "you are working with video people", and not to generalize, but I've seen some pretty much contrasting way to get at this...if you understand what I mean.
I've recently completed 2 DVD projects, where I multitracked the performance for the 4 camera shoot.
First thing I noticed is: smaller video crew tend to "forget about" the time code...I don't know how they can...but I've seen it. Last year I did a project for a big theater opera with our national broadcast television, where I was hired to multitrack the show and provide the mix for national radio airplay. They were working by very strict standards, in fact I had timecode (25fps) and video black fed to my recorders, which I had in chase mode. I usually let the backups in frewheel mode, as I just need the timecode to trigger the start of the recording, but I clock them to the same source as the primary machines. In this case I had a Digidesign USD get the timecode and video black and convert them to MTC and WC for my recorders.
If you are working with a PTHD setup then by all means get a sync I/O unit and slave your system to that. Should work well. You may want to put the Apogees in slave mode to the WC from the Sync I/O (converted from video black), and get the SMPTE from the video guys for your positional reference.
I've had some pretty "intense" discussions with video crews about who has to provide master timecode, and I've never seen a crew accept to slave betacam decks or DV camcorders to a source that wasn't theirs...BTW, they have a master timecode generator, so it should be pretty simple to tap into that for your timecode feed.
By locking to those two sources you should be in perfect sync with the video shoot (48 KHz of course).
I usually provide a rough mix back to the video crew (usually to the nearest camera or beta deck) so that they have something to spot to when they start editing.
The fun part is the post phase, when the first thing is to argue on who has to do the editing first, video or audio, and then who has to follow and conform...
If you just had one shot at it, with no rehearsals then you pretty much have the concert, and that's it, but if material from other shoots gets cut in...then you have to have an EDL given by the video editor to find the right material, spot it a the right timecode and edit it in...
In the end, it's a bit of a complicated work, well, a bit more complicated than working with audio alone, but when the video side is done right the big picture is certainly worth it...

Hope it helps

Old 7th December 2007
Lives for gear
Jim vanBergen's Avatar

1) get your clock master and be used to the various ways to set it up. You need to be able to lock to video's TC and video black for clock reference, as well as be prepared to generate TC and clock to your own system if you get hired to do a low budget shoot that uses DVcams or a concert remote with no cameras.

2) if you have enough pieces of gear, consider if you should get a VDA to distribute your word clock on BNC, creating a 'star' cabling system for WC. It's MUCH better than looping clock from device to device.

3) It's great to have a device that can read & resolve both TC and WC. Steve & I both use the Brainstorm electronics Destripalyzer, which reads & shows errors on code & clock sources, and resolves & reshapes signal to your chain. It's a life saver.

4) always, always, always record an audio track of timecode. You have no idea how many times this has saved my butt in post production when the producer/director has magically added or created time in their final cut.


Old 7th December 2007
Gear Maniac
jammybastard's Avatar

This is very simple, without any disparaging remarks about "vidiots" necessary...

Talk to the video folks before the gig. There should be some sort of documentation abou the shoot, a production meeting, sort everything out.
That doesn't mean there won't be a bit of improvisation on-site. There always is.

Find out what kind of gear they are using, because that will answer almost all of your questions.
For example: if they are shooting the show using a remote truck then more than likely you will get black and timcode sync from the truck and audio will chase the video.

On the other end of the spectrum if they are shooting ENG style, all cams untethered to be reassembled in post, then you might be on your own.
Hopefully everyone will agree to time-of-day timecode, and sync the cams to your master clock. This can be done electronically (sometimes called "jam sync" or "crystal lock") or by manually entering the TC into the cameras.
Depends on how experienced the crew is, how prepared they are.

If this is a no budget shoot, with no prep, and no communication then be a pro and set your TC for TOD that way the editor who has to assemble it all in post will spend his time cursing the video crew and not you.

Good luck, have fun.
Old 10th December 2007
Gear addict
thedoner's Avatar

Thread Starter
Thanks so much guys for your excellent and informative responses. Very helpful indeed.
It sounds like I will need a Sync I/O (Or Sync HD as its now called) for PT, which ALMOST has me covered, but not quite I think. I downloaded the manual, and it will provide word clock, reshape incoming LTC for PT, and output MTC, which I can use for positional ref. for the backup (or use LTC if a picked up a (GASP) BRC.) What I think is missing is the ability to send the incoming clock source to more than one WC output. Both my Apogees and the backup have only WC inputs. The Sync has only one of each of following outputs: Video, Video Ref, and WC. Am I right in thinking this can't work with the Sync alone or am I missing something? Maybe a Destripalizer is just the ticket...

Originally Posted by Jim vanBergen View Post

3) It's great to have a device that can read & resolve both TC and WC. Steve & I both use the Brainstorm electronics Destripalyzer, which reads & shows errors on code & clock sources, and resolves & reshapes signal to your chain. It's a life saver.
There are several different models. Which one do you use/recommend?

Old 10th December 2007
Super Moderator
Remoteness's Avatar
SR15+ DISTRIPALYZER timecode distribution amplifier, pilot tone stripper and analyzer.

DCD8 DISTRIPALYZER is the word clock version with the tri-code option when you get the extra module.
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