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Henchman

$75 solution for hardwired, multi device TC synch

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I did a ton of googling trying to find out how to set up multiple cameras and record multi mics to a separate recorder , that were all recording the same timecode that could be used to synch everything easily and automatically, that didn't require spending close to $1k on hardware.

Why I couldn't find a single post describing the following very simple, and cost effective solution, that I would think most budget filmmakers would have figured out long ago, is confounding to me

It's quite easy.

You will need the following:
A computer with multitrack software. (Free version of Protools)
A multichannel interface.
Long, balanced 1/4" cables. (make your own) 
And a copy of the Horae software that costs $75

https://sononum.net/horae


If I could find a software app that just generates LTC out of an audio output , there's a free solution, that's not as elegant as Horea.

The beauty of horea is that it allows you to set up multiple LTC analog ouputs, as well as internal MTC streams.

So, you plug your mics into the interface. 
Set your DAW to synch to midi time code
For protools do the following:

Launch Audio MIDI Setup under /Applications/Utilities.
Open the MIDI window.
Double-click on the IAC Driver icon.
Make sure Device is online is checked.
If there are no ports listed, click on the + button to add one.

In Pro Tools:
Go to Setup > Peripherals. In the Synchronization tab, set the MTC Reader Port to the IAC bus you created.
Select Options > Transport Online, or click on the Online button in the Transport window.

In Horea you can create multiple LTC sends to your various outputs on your audio interface.
So, for 2 cameras, you create 2. Plug the respective outputs into the respective inputs of each camera, 

Now you can start the generator running and let it run all day and simply record. On pro tools keep it on quick punch. And you can just punch in and out for every take.

Now, it's very easy to synch a days worth of recording in resolve at pretty much the click of a button.

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And this stays in sync with video cameras all day....how?   Computer clocks are notoriously inaccurate over long time periods.  Having shared TC on all devices is not the same as having them stay in frame-edge sync over a long period of time, unless the clocks in the various devices are very stable (not true of any laptop I've ever come across) or they share some kind of clock signal as well.   What might be "confounding" to the OP would be that the professionals that have been dealing with this issue for decades aren't stupid and have come up with solutions (actually more expensive than $1k) that work nearly flawlessly in real-world shooting situations.

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2 hours ago, Dalton Patterson said:

Yeah, I left out the part where I say I’m using a rosendhal for my TC master clock. 

Yes--good stuff that.

2 hours ago, codyman said:

I feel like this would be quicker and more cost effective by using Reaper which has the built in ability to generate audio LTC on a track.

 

http://anthonymillerdesign.net/blog/reaper-ltcmtc-setup

I wonder if you locked an interface to a good ext clock (like Rosendahl) would Reaper's TC gen then be time-accurate?  I should ask this on the Reaper forum, I'd like to know.

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3 hours ago, Philip Perkins said:

And this stays in sync with video cameras all day....how?   Computer clocks are notoriously inaccurate over long time periods.  Having shared TC on all devices is not the same as having them stay in frame-edge sync over a long period of time, unless the clocks in the various devices are very stable (not true of any laptop I've ever come across) or they share some kind of clock signal as well.   What might be "confounding" to the OP would be that the professionals that have been dealing with this issue for decades aren't stupid and have come up with solutions (actually more expensive than $1k) that work nearly flawlessly in real-world shooting situations.

 

As long as the cameras stop from time to time, it's ok. Normally there's changing camera's batteries, changing flash cards, breaks.

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There is a reason you did not find much when you dug around on google

Pro tools ? Midi ? LTC timecode?...  my 80s music studio called,,,they want their russian dragon back.

  With most of the multi-camera gigs I have been on ,the under 1k soultion for a hardwire sync on cameras is usually some bnc cables...if the cameras are too crappy to have real connectors ,then camera mic and plural eyes or whatever the kids are using nowadays  is kinda normal.

Scrape up the 1K and by some tentacles,they got bluetooth now,,kinda sexy.

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1 hour ago, Mungo said:

 

As long as the cameras stop from time to time, it's ok. Normally there's changing camera's batteries, changing flash cards, breaks.

Sure they can do an eye-sync resync for each new clip.  That doesn't mean that a TC auto-sync (as in Resolve etc) will be accurate, because the TC addresses on the various media will not refer to the same moment in time.  I too have done innumerable low budg concert shoots with shooters who only dimly grasp the concept of frame rate, and eventually it was all sorted out.  I emphasize "eventually".  On a high-end commercial etc with a DIT on the set and creatives wanting to see synced dailies very soon after they are shot accurate TC is assumed, counted on.

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1 hour ago, John Blankenship said:

Under $1k time code solution: 

3 Denecke JB-1s. 

 

If you are using gear (cameras) that will stay stable w/o genlock, or even cameras that will talk to the JB1s.  Meanwhile, back at the laptop....

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It's true.  I tried to use ProTools on a lappy as a backup to my JoeCo via Dante and it just f'ing crashed all the time.  Yes, I COMPLETELY dedicated my MBP to ProTools; no interwebs, no Google, no NYT Crosswords.  Nothing but ProTools, and a little LTC to MTC converter called LockStep that took up about  .1 horsepower.  ProTools, ubiquitous in the studio where a crash means a re-boot and a tower full of CPU can usually get you through the day.  But on location?  Nightmare!  I vowed to NEVER EVER take PT into the field for ANY reason.  Fool me once. . .

 

I am now using Waves Tracks Live (free) for an excellent bit bucket via Dante on a MBP for jobs over 8 tracks and it works well, so far.  Ethernet cables better than USB (or Firewire) cables any day.  Takes LTC in on any Dante input and keeps perfect time for file stamps.

 

Okay, now for the fun part and why any TC post tweeks my interest.  For less than eight channels, for backup only, I am using a cool iPad app called Auria.  Comes into the iPad via a (there's that work again) USB, for me, out of one of my Grace m108 preamps.  Well, as long as the USB cable stays put, it seems to work a treat, all the way up to 96Khz.  Easy to set up, run, nice screen layout, good, big meters, very pro looking.  So no need to carry a laptop and the iPad Pro lives in my briefcase all the time anyway so no extra gear to tote around.  It will run an internal clock that generates some sort of "timecode" at an assignable frame rate but it doesn't stay in sync with a real (ie 788T) TC generator.  It will sync to external MTC (somehow) but I haven't figured out what I need to do to get MTC (derived from the 788T LTC) into an iPad. Still learning of the possibilities and still learning about MTC in general, but I haven't found a way.  Charlie Para at Denecke is looking for me, as are people on the Auria forums but maybe there just isn't a way right now.  Anyway, the Auria timecode is in the ballpark which will make searching for an edit point somewhat easier than having no road map at all.

 

D.

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11 hours ago, Philip Perkins said:

And this stays in sync with video cameras all day....how?   Computer clocks are notoriously inaccurate over long time periods.  Having shared TC on all devices is not the same as having them stay in frame-edge sync over a long period of time, unless the clocks in the various devices are very stable (not true of any laptop I've ever come across) or they share some kind of clock signal as well.   What might be "confounding" to the OP would be that the professionals that have been dealing with this issue for decades aren't stupid and have come up with solutions (actually more expensive than $1k) that work nearly flawlessly in real-world shooting situations.

I take it you missed the part where I said "budget filmmakers"

As far as video cameras staying in synch all day, I've never really seen a case where a camera was run all day. 

 

You do understand this is geared towards people using dslrs cameras liKe the blackmagic cinema camera,  right?

 

Also, we recorded our musical 2 years ago. I recorded wild into my 2010 macbook pro. I think in had to do 3 cuts in the timeline to resynch. In an hour and a half show.

 

I don't  see what the difference is between this, and buying Tentaclesync devices. 

Furthermore,, Reaper is useless as it doesn't timestamps teh wave files, making it useless to auto synch in resolve.

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34 minutes ago, tourtelot said:

haven't figured out what I need to do to get MTC (derived from the 788T LTC) into an iPad.

 

I dealt with issue when producer asked how to use iPad to get timecode accurate display for notes. The software ended up being cost prohibitive. In theory it would have worked with an iRig+TC nanoLockit velcro'd to the back. 

 

This is how to get line level signal into an iPad + software that recognizes it. 

Link, 

iRig

71CyO+LPNWL._SL1500_.jpg

 

 

P.s I am going to check out Auria App for iPad/iOs tomorrow!

Thanks!

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6 hours ago, Philip Perkins said:

.  I too have done innumerable low budg concert shoots with shooters who only dimly grasp the concept of frame rate, and eventually it was all sorted out.  I emphasize "eventually".  On a high-end commercial etc with a DIT on the set and creatives wanting to see synced dailies very soon after they are shot accurate TC is assumed, counted on.

Again, who said anything about a concert shoot, or high end commercial shoot?

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17 hours ago, Philip Perkins said:

Sure they can do an eye-sync resync for each new clip.  That doesn't mean that a TC auto-sync (as in Resolve etc) will be accurate, because the TC addresses on the various media will not refer to the same moment in time.  I too have done innumerable low budg concert shoots with shooters who only dimly grasp the concept of frame rate, and eventually it was all sorted out.  I emphasize "eventually".  On a high-end commercial etc with a DIT on the set and creatives wanting to see synced dailies very soon after they are shot accurate TC is assumed, counted on.

 

I didn't mean that. When cameras stop recording and start again, they are in correct timecode time again, with Hench's method. During the take they may drift of course. But it depends how long the takes are. After 5 minutes for example no camera ever will have produced a notable shifting. 

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I think you mis-understand my need.  Getting TC onto an iPad is fairly easy and I was doing that a few years ago with, IIRC, iTimecode or some other app thru the TRRS connector.  I am looking for an app that will take LTC in in the TRRS and convert it to MTC which, maybe, Auria could see and "sync" to so the TC on Auria would be the same as the TC on the 788T.  It's a multi-step problem and may violate the 80/20 rule.

 

D.

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14 hours ago, tourtelot said:

It's true.  I tried to use ProTools on a lappy as a backup to my JoeCo via Dante and it just f'ing crashed all the time.  Yes, I COMPLETELY dedicated my MBP to ProTools; no interwebs, no Google, no NYT Crosswords.  Nothing but ProTools, and a little LTC to MTC converter called LockStep that took up about  .1 horsepower.  ProTools, ubiquitous in the studio where a crash means a re-boot and a tower full of CPU can usually get you through the day.  But on location?  Nightmare!  I vowed to NEVER EVER take PT into the field for ANY reason.  Fool me once. . .

 

I am now using Waves Tracks Live (free) for an excellent bit bucket via Dante on a MBP for jobs over 8 tracks and it works well, so far.  Ethernet cables better than USB (or Firewire) cables any day.  Takes LTC in on any Dante input and keeps perfect time for file stamps.

 

Okay, now for the fun part and why any TC post tweeks my interest.  For less than eight channels, for backup only, I am using a cool iPad app called Auria.  Comes into the iPad via a (there's that work again) USB, for me, out of one of my Grace m108 preamps.  Well, as long as the USB cable stays put, it seems to work a treat, all the way up to 96Khz.  Easy to set up, run, nice screen layout, good, big meters, very pro looking.  So no need to carry a laptop and the iPad Pro lives in my briefcase all the time anyway so no extra gear to tote around.  It will run an internal clock that generates some sort of "timecode" at an assignable frame rate but it doesn't stay in sync with a real (ie 788T) TC generator.  It will sync to external MTC (somehow) but I haven't figured out what I need to do to get MTC (derived from the 788T LTC) into an iPad. Still learning of the possibilities and still learning about MTC in general, but I haven't found a way.  Charlie Para at Denecke is looking for me, as are people on the Auria forums but maybe there just isn't a way right now.  Anyway, the Auria timecode is in the ballpark which will make searching for an edit point somewhat easier than having no road map at all.

 

D.

I've never tried this but it looks like the Grace takes midi in so theoretically you could get a hardware LTC to MTC converter (the Rosendahl MIF4 comes to mind) and send your 788t TC into the converter, then on to the Grace and then pray the Auria app is able to detect that MTC signal.

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15 hours ago, tourtelot said:

It's true.  I tried to use ProTools on a lappy as a backup to my JoeCo via Dante and it just f'ing crashed all the time.  Yes, I COMPLETELY dedicated my MBP to ProTools; no interwebs, no Google, no NYT Crosswords.  Nothing but ProTools, and a little LTC to MTC converter called LockStep that took up about  .1 horsepower.  ProTools, ubiquitous in the studio where a crash means a re-boot and a tower full of CPU can usually get you through the day.  But on location?  Nightmare!  I vowed to NEVER EVER take PT into the field for ANY reason.  Fool me once. . .

 

 

My PT improved so much after this,  zero crashes

 

https://www.tapatalk.com/groups/prorecordingworkshop/optimizing-mac-systems-for-minimum-daw-latency-t17826374.html#p6668

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15 hours ago, Henchman said:

I take it you missed the part where I said "budget filmmakers"

As far as video cameras staying in synch all day, I've never really seen a case where a camera was run all day. 

 

You do understand this is geared towards people using dslrs cameras liKe the blackmagic cinema camera,  right?

 

Also, we recorded our musical 2 years ago. I recorded wild into my 2010 macbook pro. I think in had to do 3 cuts in the timeline to resynch. In an hour and a half show.

 

I don't  see what the difference is between this, and buying Tentaclesync devices. 

Furthermore,, Reaper is useless as it doesn't timestamps teh wave files, making it useless to auto synch in resolve.

Kind of funny.  Budget filmmakers have the same sync issues as pro filmmakers, just fewer resources, so they should do the work the best they can, right?

I work with those cams all the time, and all the ones that came before them.  Taking care of sync biz makes the whole process go better regardless of budget.  I find Reaper anything but useless, but we won't start a DAW fight here!   Recording on a laptop isn't great idea if avoidable in any case.   Reaper apparently does generate TC in accordance with a clock source fed to its interface.

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Oh, jpb2.  I went through that list and a whole lot more.  PT was so unreliable in the field, and it bit me twice with high-profile clients.  I survived both encounters but never again.

 

The MIDI input on the m108 is for control only, specifically from ProTools HD (curiously enough).

 

D.

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17 hours ago, Henchman said:

You do understand this is geared towards people using dslrs cameras liKe the blackmagic cinema camera,  right?

 

Also, we recorded our musical 2 years ago. I recorded wild into my 2010 macbook pro. I think in had to do 3 cuts in the timeline to resynch. In an hour and a half show.

 

I don't  see what the difference is between this, and buying Tentaclesync devices. 

If you had a tentaclesync on your dslr camera,,,It would have 1 track of in sync Timecode  and one track of scratch camera audio,

  wireless

if you take the bother to set the camera correctly.

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1 hour ago, tourtelot said:

Oh, jpb2.  I went through that list and a whole lot more.  PT was so unreliable in the field, and it bit me twice with high-profile clients.  I survived both encounters but never again.

 

The MIDI input on the m108 is for control only, specifically from ProTools HD (curiously enough).

 

D.

You might be able to get mtc into the iPad via WiFi.  I haven't tried this, but I know ios and macos can communicate midi via WiFi.  A raspberry pi or similar could probably be setup to handle the ltc to mtc conversion and broadcast the MTC to the iPad.  Ping me offline again if you want to play around with this.

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