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What delay device is best?


Izen Ears
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  Hello everybody!  So I'm up for a gig that has live video conferencing in scenes.  The video delay is bad and they want to delay the sound so it is within a few frames.  It's for the actors mostly but the producer really wants to get the sound and picture in sync.

  Anyone got a recommendation on a nice and precise delay device?  It's got to do milliseconds and be fairly easy to manipulate on the fly.
  To cap it off - the video delay delay drifts!  So some poor soul will have to ride the sound delay, by sight!  
  Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.  Thank you!!
  Dan Izen
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It sounds like you may need different delays for different people. Our ERX monitors will allow for each person to have their own delay. We are just adding the ability to remote control the feature so all ERXs can be changed at one time from Nomad or the IFB transmitter. Hope this helps. It is adjustable in milliseconds.

Best Wishes

Glenn

 

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  Thanks Josh that DSP110 does look like a good fit!  Max delay is 2.5 seconds so that may be limiting.  (I haven't gotten the intel on how long the video lag is.)  For the price that box looks banging!  AC is no problem as these scenes will be on a stage.

  And thank you Glenn for your input, and I'd love to use a Zax system but I just need a mono delay that's adjustable.

  I know lots of video assist fellas deal with their video lagging behind sound so maybe I should ask them what they use.  But I figured there were some sound guys who have had to deal with this also.  If I find a device that does this outside the board I'll post it!  Thanks everybody!

Dan Izen

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The Shark is a pain in the ass in terms of adjustment. Lots of button pressing, and minute gain adjustments to get proper levels. Unless it's user error and someone here has a better secret way I haven't found. The last time I used it, it was also unhappy with various signals I attempted. I was trying to use it to delay my audio to video assist. Ended up just using a direct feed from the 788T with appropriate delay.

I have used it before with success, one or two days here and there, but wanted to warn you it is not without its idiosyncrasies.

 

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+1 to what Robert says. The Shark is a beast, power hungry, overheats, difficult to set up and use. I had one on one movie where I needed to delay my feed to Video Assist (just as Robert has described) and it wasn't any fun. Haven't needed it or used it since.

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I guess I should add that I bought a Shark for "Smash" in case producers/directors needed the comteks to be delayed to watch for lip synch during music playback scenes. The Alexas seemed to have a slight delay and even more when video was sent wirelessly through the Box system. I ended up never using it and spent more energy shooing the music performance people towards watching for lip synch live instead of on the monitors. So take my suggestion with a pail of salt as mine still sits in a box. 

 

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Huh!  That is really good to know.  Thank you both for that!  

I don't want to use a guitar pedal because of signal degradation, and a laptop ProTools plugin seems like it could provide its own set of problems (like buying  laptop with ProTools on it!).  And personally I'm just not a computer guy.

  I really have to research exactly what system these fellas are using and what kind of delay we're talking about.  This post was a preliminary effort to see if there was a product out there (like the Shark) that is commonly used for this.  Kind sounds like there isn't.  Looking at music delay units is like wading through a sea of matchsticks looking for one that lights on both ends.  (I made that up but you get the idea.)

A friend said they've seen 744s used for this but of course, that requires that the delay isn't that bad and that one owns a 744...

  Dan Izen

  

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There's this. I bought one for the movie to replace the Shark, but never used it because we just used 788T, as described about.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/760361-REG/AV_Toolbox_AP_411_AP_411_Lip_Sync_Corrector.html

It's not very precise, with only 50ms increments, but it's easy to use.

I can't imagine your delays are seconds.  If they are, there will be bigger issues.

 

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There's this. I bought one for the movie to replace the Shark, but never used it because we just used 788T, as described about.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/760361-REG/AV_Toolbox_AP_411_AP_411_Lip_Sync_Corrector.html

It's not very precise, with only 50ms increments, but it's easy to use.

I can't imagine your delays are seconds.  If they are, there will be bigger issues.

 

​I bought the AV Toolbox Lip Sync Corrector also to replace my Shark unit. I have it wired up and ready to go inline with my Comtek transmitter. It works quite well but as Robert points out it has rather corse adjustments.

AV_Toolbox_AP-411_Lip_Sync_Corrector.thu

Also, I had to build up a little dc-to-dc box since it requires 5 vdc (and I wanted to power it from my cart power supply.

Edited by Jeff Wexler
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Jeff, how many milliseconds is a'usual' delay?Do you just dial up while testing ("testing1,2,3..Test")?I can see the 'rather corse adjustments': from 0-50 has a  different scale than from 50 to 100..(you have to be in the middle of the '100') David C.

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I think on the one job I used it on the 100ms setting was what we arrived at --- and yes, the setup procedure was just talking into a mic and looking at a screen, trying to find some setting that would work. Billy Sarokin has said (in a different thread and on Facebook) that the problem with us finding even a very precise delay, the cameras and all of the other support devices along the way to the monitor on set, all seem to have rather arbitrary and not fixed delays. Something to consider.

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Datavideo AD-100 Audio Delay Box?

​  That thing looks perfect!  I would hope the delay isn't more than 700ms.  I love that it has a big rotary adjust knob, and it works off DC.  It's not that expensive either.  Gotta dig up some reviews...

  Yes the drift is a known thing, so they know it's impossible to get it perfectly in sync 100%, but with a device like this with what appears to be easy to adjust on the fly, it could be pretty darn close!

  Dan Izen

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I didn't mention the Datavideo unit which I had looked into when I was trying to find an alternative to the Shark. It was so far superior to anything else I had looked at but I was not ready to pay $400. for something which I thought I would rarely use, just to solve a problem on one particular shoot. It does look to be a very good unit, mice display, big rotary knob as you describe. Could be a winner for you.

Datavideo_AD-100_Audio_Delay_Box.thumb.j

Markertek online

Edited by Jeff Wexler
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Wow that is a brilliant thought and the price is right.  I love the knob too, however it could be a little imprecise.

An angel off-board clued me on to this baby:

Kramer Tools VA-256xl.  This is a good fit.  It does lack the knob, but button pushes are easy too!

http://www.kramerus.com/products/model.asp?pid=568&sf=563&pname=VA-256xl

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I've had good luck with the Sescom branded delay Jeff mentioned.  RCA i/o but it was cheap and did the job, even when I had to chase delays around live due to internet issues etc..  For monitoring, we found that absolutely precise sync wasn't necessary, it just needed to be closer than it was as-was.  I've run that unit off 4 AA batteries in a homemade battery pack and it worked just fine thus w/o the AC wallwart.  I still have an old Alesis Qverb4 which allows much more precise delay settings and the ability to recall them (so you can prepgm precise delays for diff frame rates), many old rack type studio multieffects will do this, can be had off CL cheap.  But anymore I find myself using the little Sescom mostly, for size and convenience.

p

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Wow that is a brilliant thought and the price is right.  I love the knob too, however it could be a little imprecise.

An angel off-board clued me on to this baby:

Kramer Tools VA-256xl.  This is a good fit.  It does lack the knob, but button pushes are easy too!

http://www.kramerus.com/products/model.asp?pid=568&sf=563&pname=VA-256xl

​Great thanks, up to 5.4 seconds, that should accommodate any camera design including Red for a while!

Twin channel, 12v DC,  balanced +12dBu line ins, analog in/out, 48kHz, 24-bit A/D D/A, very compact, I'm going to have to get one.... :)

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  So it turns out the main problem was that they were marrying the sound and picture together at the source, and then using an SDI splitter box to separate them again.  Totally wack.  The solution is to do separate systems with an audio delay box, easy.  The lag was less than a second and the drift was due to the single system thing.  So any of these delay boxes will work.

  Thanks everybody!!
  Dan Izen
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  • 5 years later...

Reviving this thread for 2021. On my current feature, the VTR guy is using someone else's barebones cart and he has extremely limited flexibility. The DIT sends him the live feed and he outputs to the monitors, but whatever processing/compression is going on on his end in Qtake (and there's no VFX or anything like that) will SOMETIMES introduce a delay that the director finds completely unusable. If we take him out of the signal path, no issues. I have been unable to see for myself how bad the delay is but I want the ability to help delay my comtek feed on the fly if necessary. My 744T can do 30ms but they say it's way more than that.

 

I've looked around online and there are some cheap options for little boxes, but they're either RCA, AC powered, or can't do more than 300ms. Is there anything nowadays that fits a more modern workflow (DC powered, XLR or 1/8" jacks) that can feed my base station? Not looking for a rackmount solution (smaller is better). And cheap!

 

Thanks!

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How much delay do you need?  More than 300ms?  For 300 and under the cheap small Sescom has worked well for me (AC via wall wart).  For longer or more precise delays I have an old Alesis Quadraverb which can store the delay patches.  There was the Behringer "Shark", also around used pretty cheap.  But all AC powered...

 

Maybe you could daisy-chain a couple of the Sescoms to get a longer delay (since this is for monitoring only)--and I think the wall wart is feeding DC power...  But figuring out just how far out of sync you are first would help.

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1 hour ago, Philip Perkins said:

How much delay do you need?  More than 300ms?  For 300 and under the cheap small Sescom has worked well for me (AC via wall wart).  For longer or more precise delays I have an old Alesis Quadraverb which can store the delay patches.  There was the Behringer "Shark", also around used pretty cheap.  But all AC powered...

 

Maybe you could daisy-chain a couple of the Sescoms to get a longer delay (since this is for monitoring only)--and I think the wall wart is feeding DC power...  But figuring out just how far out of sync you are first would help.

It would be nice to be able to do at least 2-3 seconds, I'm thinking. 300ms is about 8 frames, which might be enough for most applications?

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