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Michael Chambers

Working with LTC(tentacle sync to be specific) and client

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Hello JWsound world. 

 

I'm looking for some insight into how tentacle sync and LTC users are working with their clients. 

I am aware that you can't just give them the audio files at the end of the day and have them sync the audio and video themselves unless they are using Avid media composer or some other app that can convert LTC. So assuming that they do not have the means to do the conversion themselves, are you LTC users receiving the video files at the end of the day, syncing the audio, and then delivering a xml file? If that is the case how do you bill that?  Also, do you give the client the tentacle sync XML and the raw audio files from the recorder so post sound has something to work with?

 

Thanks for the help

 

Michael

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I would never offer LTC as audio timecode as an option to a production unless they either request it or approve the workflow in advance.  As far as sound handling video files as an intermediate between field and post, never happens unless you somehow hire yourself on as a DIT type.  Tentacle sync seems like a good option for owner operators and for mixers working on long-form projects with such a specific workflow, but for most projects, we are either all operating LTC capable cameras and recorders, or you fall back to digital timecode slate.  My opinion.

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+1 to above, with an add: there are so many workable ways to skin this cat anymore that I'd really recommend getting together with whoever will be receiving your files (like the editor) and figure out what works for them.  The industry standard at the moment is that the audio files have metadata TC.  Beyond that, like if that TC matches the camera TC, whether or not there is a TC slate involved and so on are all choices you and your clients should make together.

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Absolutely agree with both above replies. 

That not withstanding I have on one occasion loaned a Tentacle box to the dp who would also sync the material at his hotel room using the TentacleSync software. This was a tiny doco shoot and the dp a friend of mine. They were really happy with this as it worked fast and flawless. On anything else I would charge for the additional Tentacle rent, but I don’t really  see that happening for the reasons stated above 

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How much material might they need to sync up? If it is just a few long takes then you could make it as simple as a finger click or hand clap at the start of each take.

Does the Tentacle not have the ability to put an audio guide track on one channel of the camera/DSLR audio, and the TC on the other? You could match the audio files to the guide track? sb

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2 hours ago, Bash said:

Does the Tentacle not have the ability to put an audio guide track on one channel of the camera/DSLR audio, and the TC on the other? You could match the audio files to the guide track? sb


Yes, the Tentacle can do that. But if the audio guide track is going to be your main method of syncing, why even bother with the Tentacles?!

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7 hours ago, IronFilm said:


Yes, the Tentacle can do that. But if the audio guide track is going to be your main method of syncing, why even bother with the Tentacles?!

 

To be sure, to be sure...... sb

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I really recommend against using the only audio track of a DSLR for TC.  Rigs I've used that attempted to send LTC to one side of the DSLR stereo input and audio (esp mic audio) to the other were pretty lousy--there is TC bleed all over the audio.  Being able to hear what's going on in a shot, even via a terrible DSLR built in mic, can turn out to be pretty important later on in post.  Built-in cam mic audio isn't very good for post syncing, but it's better than nothing.  Best is some kind of recorded common start mark picture and sound (like a slate, bloop light, handclap etc).

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On 1/5/2018 at 6:53 AM, Michael Chambers said:

So I think I will just purchase a standard slate for now


Arguably you shouldn't even need to buy a dumb slate, as that is what camera department should provide. 

But the number of times they forget it....

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On 1/3/2018 at 3:28 PM, Philip Perkins said:

I really recommend against using the only audio track of a DSLR for TC.  Rigs I've used that attempted to send LTC to one side of the DSLR stereo input and audio (esp mic audio) to the other were pretty lousy--there is TC bleed all over the audio.  Being able to hear what's going on in a shot, even via a terrible DSLR built in mic, can turn out to be pretty important later on in post.  Built-in cam mic audio isn't very good for post syncing, but it's better than nothing.  Best is some kind of recorded common start mark picture and sound (like a slate, bloop light, handclap etc).

 

Using DSLR with a tentacle box results in 2 clean channels for me - LTC on L, and clean reference audio on R.  My workflow is INCREDIBLY faster than previous audio only synchronizing.

 

I purchased 4 tentacle sync boxes a month ago.  I use them on small shoots where I'm responsible for Video and Audio recording - the whole thing.  I run 3-4 tentacles: DSLR. Audio Multitrack (One track LTC), and Stereo Safety Record (plus 3rd track of LTC).  Everything syncs instantly in the Tentacle Sync Studio software, and I output XML or AAF which opens flawlessly in Premiere and Logic Audio, or I can actually transcode Video and Audio with digital timecode added to the video and audio files.

 

EDIT (4/10/2019): I lied. 🙄 Well, about the clean DSLR audio channels anyway.  My DSLR is a Nikon D810.  The workflow does work very well, but the mic sound recorded on R of the DSLR is not completely clean.  I do get a very small amount of bleed from the timecode into the reference audio recorded on R channel in DSLR from the tentacle's built-in mic. In my case, the timecode bleed was so soft that I didn't notice at first, and the reference audio is perfectly suitable as reference.  At this point, I don't know if the L-R bleed problem is in the tentacle or in the Nikon.  Tentacle sells a L/R split cord, or you can buy a cheap one on amazon to input 2 separate sources into the L & R 1/8" TRS input of the DSLR.  I plan to feed LTC from the tentacle and reference audio from a separate source like a wireless receiver to see if I still get bleed.

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At some of the projects i worked (documentaries for cinema/tv) we used audio tc for some reason, either recording to a dslr/gimbal rig or for small sets where mobility is important - Sony fs without the v-mount/tc plate or dslr... absolutely no poblem... files are synced by the videodepartment...

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