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Pro Tools Express and SMPTE

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Anyone know if Pro Tools Express will read and display SMPTE TC? I've been searching Avid and the web like crazy and cannot find out!

Thanks,

Billy

 

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I don't have Pro Tools - so grain of salt - but just spent 2 years next to a Pro Tools Op on Smash...

If I remember my on set lessons correctly...

Pro Tools LE or what is becoming Pro Tools Regular does not have Time Code capabilities.

Pro Tools HD does have Time Code.

You can run Time Code out of an LE system, but it will need to be an audio file of Time Code and then sent through a resolver/reader for display. 

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All copies of Pro Tools now have TC capability. Unfortunately, it's not SMPTE LTC, but MTC.

You can get small boxes which will seemlessly transcode between the two though... Which will make it more useful for the work we do. Let me know if you want a link or have any further questions. I don't know that I would consider myself an expert in this, but I do know PT pretty darned well and have done what you are looking to do in the past.

Offhand, I can think of the Avid Sync I/O, or even better, a small Rosendahl unit (which I don't have the model number of at the moment)

Best,

Wyatt

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I don't have Pro Tools - so grain of salt - but just spent 2 years next to a Pro Tools Op on Smash...

 

And BTW, you guys did excellent sound work on Smash.  I was just telling a friend of mine the other day: "in a perfect world, NBC would dump Smash, then Showtime would snatch it up and turn it into a 12-episode a year cable show with more adult situations and nudity, and the show would become a big hit." 

 

David Mullin also does excellent lighting on the show, too. Yet another terrific show that I watch that gets zero ratings!

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And BTW, you guys did excellent sound work on Smash.  I was just telling a friend of mine the other day: "in a perfect world, NBC would dump Smash, then Showtime would snatch it up and turn it into a 12-episode a year cable show with more adult situations and nudity, and the show would become a big hit." 

 

David Mullin also does excellent lighting on the show, too. Yet another terrific show that I watch that gets zero ratings!

Thanks Marc! I owe a lot to Gregg Harris (Boom), Terence McCormack Maitland (Utility) and Jason Stasium (Pro Tools Playback)...and others who came in (I think we topped out at 6 Sound People on our crew a few days, not counting second unit tandem days). And David Mullen was great to work with - very calm, professional, helpful and talented. 

 

It's a shame the show couldn't hold the ratings, there was a lot of hard work put in from a lot of departments. But it strayed really far from that idea of a Showtime show that was The West Wing on Broadway.

 

There's an old joke I heard when I started on L&O: New director comes in and says "Something new for this scene I want the camera to go down this hallway, up the stairs, double back through this room, exit through the window, come back inside, look down, go over the shoulder and end in the close up." The DP turns to his crew and says, "Alright. Shot 27, boys."

 

That didn't really seem to apply to this show. We never really fell into routine scenes or shots and so you had to really stay up on top of things day in, day out. And of course, we basically kept a 12 hour work day with a sort of in-house cap. Exhausting and Rewarding to try to make a TV show seem big and cinematic...until the ratings come out. Arg. 

 

Editing: just wanted to add that Bob Chefalas and Mike Graham have been tackling the Post side of Sound for us and we get a lot of help and support from them. 

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Thanks Marc! I owe a lot to Gregg Harris (Boom), Terence McCormack Maitland (Utility) and Jason Stasium (Pro Tools Playback)...and others who came in (I think we topped out at 6 Sound People on our crew a few days, not counting second unit tandem days). And David Mullen was great to work with - very calm, professional, helpful and talented. 

 

The other thing I chuckle at every time I see it is that you guys manage to keep the mic boom and the camera out of the mirror reflections in the rehearsal hall, and some of those are long, extended scenes. That's gotta be a nightmare. Mullin told me that all the mirrors were on swivels, and I can appreciate the precise rehearsals and placement needed to get that just right.

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Mirrors and windows that gimbal are so essential in these stage sets that have so much glass. Of course, there's a limit to how far you can cheat the turn or until you remove the boom but see a light. The rehearsal room mirrors could all gimbal and you could turn them in a way to make a little pocket that wasn't in reflection. But then we'd add a 360 steadi-cam shot with dialogue, playback and live singing. I would get spoiled by Gregg being able to work with our camera op to be able to take so much on the boom, but I would still have to wait while they worked it out before we got to the "you take this line and I'll take this line" part. Splitting characters, lines and zones in the final seconds before "roll sound" is called = sometimes exhilarating, a little nerve-wracking.

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If you want full timecode functionality with Pro Tools, you need an HD rig with the Sync peripheral. If you're using a limited version of the software, better to go with the previously-mentioned LTC-MTC conversion, which is accurate enough for most sync uses.

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Also, I have run across some situations where the MTC devices won't talk to each other. I think one was with Adobe Audition, but I don't remember which interface box it was right now.

 

--S

Many of those MTC to LTC convertors have a delay--check carefully.

 

philp

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If by timecode capabilities, you mean the timecode ruler, yes. But you still will not be able to directly chase or generate LTC (though a product like Lockstep can be useful).

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I'm a little dense when it comes to Pro Tools,but all I want to is be able to playback a file with time code and have the time code read in a  window.

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The Timecode will never play back in any audio file in any program. Time code is a static number in the metadata. Nothing more.

There is nothing to play back.

If you want to put the file on the timeline and then show the Timecode for the timeline you can do that, but not the file itself.

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The Timecode will never play back in any audio file in any program. Time code is a static number in the metadata. Nothing more.

There is nothing to play back.

If you want to put the file on the timeline and then show the Timecode for the timeline you can do that, but not the file itself.

That's a bit misleading for what Billy asked. Yes, time code is a stamp in the file's header and the computer calculates where you are at any point in the file, but that's what he wants -- a system that is designed to do just that and show the resulting time code in a window. ...Not an uncommon, nor out of the ordinary, request.

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I'm a little dense when it comes to Pro Tools,but all I want to is be able to playback a file with time code and have the time code read in a  window.

 

 

Unless you have HD or CPTK the timecode ruler is disabled. You can get minutes/seconds, but no frames.

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That's a bit misleading for what Billy asked. Yes, time code is a stamp in the file's header and the computer calculates where you are at any point in the file, but that's what he wants -- a system that is designed to do just that and show the resulting time code in a window. ...Not an uncommon, nor out of the ordinary, request.

Thanks John, I thought I was going crazy!  Every program I have has a SMPTE window and the option to set the frame rate and df/ndf, but all of them revert to 00:00:00:00 instead of defaulting to the start number in the metadata. 

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I'm sure you know this bigmaho but 'Wave Agent' has a good playback screen that shows TC.

Not sure this helps you in this case though.

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Thanks John, I thought I was going crazy!  Every program I have has a SMPTE window and the option to set the frame rate and df/ndf, but all of them revert to 00:00:00:00 instead of defaulting to the start number in the metadata. 

 

Courtney Goodin's BWF-Widget Pro will do this... but it's Windows only. I have a little tiny $200 netbook I use mainly just to run this for playback situations, like music videos.

 

You can also do this fine in Pro Tools, but you have to spot the track first on the time line so that the timecode coming out of Pro Tools matches the file's timecode.

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If by timecode capabilities, you mean the timecode ruler, yes. But you still will not be able to directly chase or generate LTC (though a product like Lockstep can be useful).

Thanks for the suggestion. I just bought Lockstep and it works great! At only $19, it's worth it.

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Hey everyone sorry if this is a rookie question but does anyone know of a way to get the timecode ruler in pro tools express 10.3.4 via some sort of plug-in or something? So far I have not been able to find anything. Thanks guys!

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