Jump to content

Recommended Posts

Has anyone used lockstep by figure 53 to slave the pt transport to Ltc?  How reliable was it?  Would it ever glitch and cause transport errors?

I'm considering it as one possible solution, and I thought I'd get some user feedback before I buy it and try it out .  

Thanks for your thoughts.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Wandering Ear,

yes - I use Lockstep, as well as SMPTE Reader and its current replacement Horae, from sononum.net. I also am a major user of Figure 53's other software - Qlab (which contains the code from Lockstep as it's timecode engine). I find Lockstep can drop connection to the sound card you are feeding TC to if left running for more than about 4 hours, experienced this on several systems. The TC module in QLab does not suffer this in my experience, and I've had some clients computers running Lockstep and ProTools that have never exhibited this problem, so it's probably dependent on what else is going on in your computer. 

I switched to Sononum's SMPTE Reader (now free, as "legacy" software - supposedly good up to Mountain Lion) and it works day in day out like a charm. If you need Yosemite or higher compatibility, the current (paid) version is the much expanded "Horae", which does MTC-LTC both ways. Unlike Figure 53, who are large by developer standards, Sononum is one guy in Germany, who has recently decided not to continue supporting other products of his, so be aware of that if buying for long-term use in a corporate environment.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

QLab's pretty much the de facto sound, video and (in some cases) show-control software for theatre these days. It pretty much stomped all over the competition when it arrived some years ago and has been regularly updated, with much input from its users. It does rely quite heavily on the audio and video capabilities built into the Mac's OS which can occasionally lead to bugs when Apple changes something that been standard for ages.

I've been using it for many years, since a beta version came my way, and if you watched the opening ceremony of the 2012 Olympics, much of the sound element, put together by a colleague, was controlled by QLab. A typical theatre installation will run a pair of Mac Minis for redundancy with a changeover switch, although it's rarely needed. Video-heavy shows will use Mac Pro machines for their extra processing headroom.

Early on, I had a job persuading one of the major rental companies here in the UK to build a system for me (the first QLab system in London's West End for a show starring Orlando Bloom) but they did it as a special favour. Most playback systems were Windows-based back then, whereas most designers were using Macs for content creation. These days it's rare to find a theatre show that doesn't run QLab. Part of the success of the system is that it's scaleable from the basic, free version, to the all singing and dancing professional version, plus the fact that you can rent a licence for a few bucks a day, if you don't want to lay out the cash for a full licence.

Chris Ashworth, who runs Figure 53, is a very nice chap, as are the folks who work with him.

Regards,

 

John

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

QLab isn't the most intuitive app around but it's very deep.  They also have the market figured out--the free version is all a lot of people need mostly, esp for building shows, then they can rent the full app for their show if they don't want to (or can't ) buy it.  This shows me that these people understand their market very well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think that license plan is a really smart way to approach their market.

I ended up going a different direction for this project, but I haven't ruled out using lockstep going forward.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now


×