Jump to content
KenLac

Timecode boxes: opinions wanted

Recommended Posts

11 hours ago, Dalton Patterson said:

I just bought a Denecke SB-2 from @Aural Fixation (Thanks!@!!) that is from 2001, That is an 18 year old T/C box. Still runs like a Rolex. 

 

Let that sink in. The year will be 2037 should you decide to use and then sell your T/C box in that same amount of time. Which companies do you truly think will still be profitable and in business in the year 2037.

 

How much is a Denecke SB-2 worth today? Maybe a hundred bucks? If you're lucky! Likely less, perhaps much less. 
How much will a Denecke SB-2 be worth in 2037? Won't even be worth a round of beers I suspect. 

Even if you "splurge out" on one of the modern generation of TC boxes such as USO / Tentacles / JB-1 / NanoLockit / etc, they're all so very affordable, why should we even care much what they're worth in 2037? If you own a couple of them and they've fallen in price by HALF, so what? You've only lost out in a couple of hundred bucks or so over a couple of decades. I'm certain you've got far more value out of them than that!!

Seems a very strange thing to worry about, and should be very low down in your list of priorities when evaluating what timecode box to get. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, VAS said:

We are using over 5 months now, Timecode Systems Ultrasync ONE. No problems so far, we have damage one cable (at BNC termination, not DIN). I am charging them every two days; 20 hours of operation / 10hr continuously and still has battery lifetime for 3-4 hours. Size is small. I like the silicone case with velcro. Is there a 90 degrees of DIN connector?

 I use the UltraSync One as well and I love the RF Master/Slave sync feature as well as the two output from each unit.

When I have done small compact rig film/audio recordings, I fed both Blackmagic and MixPre with a single USO.

 

For a fitting angled cable, just search for something like cable RG179 DIN 1.0/2.3 Mini BNC right angle and many different ones will appear.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
31 minutes ago, Display Name said:

 I use the UltraSync One as well and I love the RF Master/Slave sync feature as well as the two output from each unit.

When I have done small compact rig film/audio recordings, I fed both Blackmagic and MixPre with a single USO.

 

just wondering:

couldn't you do the same with any unit having only one output and a Y splitter cable?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
27 minutes ago, chrismedr said:

 

just wondering:

couldn't you do the same with any unit having only one output and a Y splitter cable?

 

Yes you could if you want to feed the same LTC to both units.

But with USOne you can output either LTC, genlock or word clock on the first Sync output and then output LTC on the second (Input/output) connector output LTC to the second unit.

So Genlock to the camera if it accepts that and LTC to the sound recorder.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

jup, I understand that the USO can output a genlock signal, I just didn't see the benefit in your scenario (MixPre and BM) .

I hadn't had any situations where I needed genlock, but for those who do the USO is certainly a great low cost option.

chris

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
55 minutes ago, chrismedr said:

 

just wondering:

couldn't you do the same with any unit having only one output and a Y splitter cable?


Don't know about the specifics of his scenario, but if for instance I wanted to shoot with my OG BMPCC and a Zoom F4 together on a tripod, then I could feed mic level to the BMPCC audio input while also sending at the same time line level TC to my recorder. 

I don't know of anything else which could do that?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 minutes ago, IronFilm said:


Don't know about the specifics of his scenario, but if for instance I wanted to shoot with my OG BMPCC and a Zoom F4 together on a tripod, then I could feed mic level to the BMPCC audio input while also sending at the same time line level TC to my recorder. 

I don't know of anything else which could do that?

 

The USOne can do different levels on different outputs as well.

170mV or 2.7Vpp on the Sync output and 70mV (mic level), 600mV (low) or standard 3Vpp on the LTC output.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, IronFilm said:

Don't know about the specifics of his scenario, but if for instance I wanted to shoot with my OG BMPCC and a Zoom F4 together on a tripod, then I could feed mic level to the BMPCC audio input while also sending at the same time line level TC to my recorder. 
I don't know of anything else which could do that?

 

sounds like a rather rare scenario, but I'd probably try a Y splitter cable where one of the output cables is padded from line level to mic level, or set the camera to line level in the first place.

 

Not trying to bash the USO, looks like a lovely unit, but pretty much all the TC boxes these days are great, so it seems to me that it's mainly a matter of personal preferences and which kinds of work we do (for me a scratch mic is more useful then genlock for example).

 

chris

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I love the USO too. I haven’t had too many instances where I need genlock, but I like that it’s available. 

 

I keep my one in my “small “bag though, with the second output set to LTC. That way I can use it to simultaneously feed my MixPre6 and my Zaxcom IFB200 to make sure those always lock to the same code. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, IronFilm said:

How much is a Denecke SB-2 worth today? Maybe a hundred bucks?

$150!

 

I have an affinity towards older gear, it is not that I dislike new products, but that I like older equipment that much more. 

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Got Tentacles (Kickstarter edition :D ) , Mozegear ans USOne.

When I only had Tentacles and Mozegear, I ended up using Mozegear most of the times because time saved when having to switch frame rates; a screwdriver and that's it. Sometimes I'd use both of them. I didn't necessarily awalys have my cable for phone at hand to be able to change settings on the Tentacles and anyway, the screwdriver method with Mozegear was faster overall. But I'd say if you have either of the brands, you'll be a happy camper. Oh, I rigged the Mozegear along with G2s to get audio on one track and TC on another with 5Ds and A7s too; just made the cables to do it and it worked great. With Tentacles, the option is limited to the onboard mic on the Tentacle instead of a mix on a receiver mounted to the cam.

At some point, I wanted to be able to actually see my TC on the unit, and wanted to sync wirelessly. A promotion appeared just at the right time for 3 USOnes as a package. Bingo, got them and happy since. I added the Blue unit a few months later to be able to sync a bunch of gopros and A7s too with the Slate app.

When we had C300s most of the times on sets here, I was able to have a peek from time to time on the rear display if the dop was rolling. Nowadays, the FS7 replaced the C300 on sets, that's what made me want a box I could see the TC onto.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
25 minutes ago, Boomboom said:

just made the cables to do it and it worked great. With Tentacles, the option is limited to the onboard mic on the Tentacle instead of a mix on a receiver mounted to the cam

 

Not sure how you could write these two phrases next to each other and not notice the flawed logic?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If Denecke is still in biz in 2037 (I hope) and they can get the parts they need I bet they will repair an SB2 to be just as stable a TC generator as it was when it was new, which is plenty stable enough.  The form factor is what it is, really not bad by modern standards still.   If a newb can get one in good operating shape for $100 and figures out their camera mounting tricks for it then good on them I say.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Dalton Patterson said:

$150!

 

 

Ah, I was supplying my guess of its value based upon similar aged TC boxes I've seen for sale and based on what Denecke SB-2 has sold before on eBay. 

 

But anyway, a couple of twenty notes either which way doesn't really change my point that it's value in 2037 hardly matters 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, Constantin said:

 

Not sure how you could write these two phrases next to each other and not notice the flawed logic?

:D yeah, you're right. I simply meant: with Mozegear you got an ''audio passthrough'' that allows you to plug a receiver on the unit, Tentacle use an onboard mic.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Now from me a +1 for Nano Lockits: bullet proof, easy to sync, light weight, small.

Every camera operator is happy about it.

If you power supply them by USB over the camera, you never have to switch off neither touch them during a whole production, because they keep on running on their own battery over night. All you have to do the next morning is a wireless sync from your master Nano Lockit.

The best thing is that you can expand your system with Genlock Lockits and slates from Ambient which will be fully compatible. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have used Denecke products for many (many!) years.  I recommend them for all the reasons mentioned above, but most of all for the people who work there.  First was Mike and Kim, and now Kim and Charlie Para.  Just the very best people you could ever hope to meet.  They will work through their lunch (or even their sleep) to help you out, and this would be the same whether you had thousands of dollars worth of their gear in your kit. . .or none.  As I spent more time in the business, I found that the best gear for me was that gear that had a personal relationship to back it up, which for me, always seemed to coincide with build quality and reliability.  Years ago, Dan Dugan and Evan Mater for Nagras, Denecke for time code, Jerry Bruck/Posthorn for Schoeps, Schoeps in Germany, DPA all around, both Denmark and USA, Coffee Sound and Audio Services (now LSC).  Now for me, Grace Designs, Cisco, Allen & Heath and Audinate have become professional friends and I have gotten the best customer service from all of them.  The ones with bad customer service get churned out. Bye-bye.

 

So +1 for Denecke all the way.

 

D.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Mungo said:

If you power supply them by USB over the camera, you never have to switch off neither touch them during a whole production, because they keep on running on their own battery over night. All you have to do the next morning is a wireless sync from your master Nano Lockit.

 

Oh, in case you or someone else didn’t know: You can do that with Tentacles, too. Always have one on cam, powered by USB and one on my recorder, also powered by USB. Both are always on. In the morning I often find they still are in sync, but I still do a quick sync all and be done with it. Offsetting TC by 12 hours (for example), takes about three seconds longer. 

 

1 hour ago, tourtelot said:

  The ones with bad customer service get churned out. Bye-bye

 

That sounds like a very healthy approach. Just out of curiosity and since we‘re discussing TC boxes here, which other manufacturer’s customer service have you tried?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Personally I wouldn't look past Ambient. I own a Master Lockit and several Nano's. Absolutely excellent!

Along with rock-solid performance and a great timecode network (compatibility with Slates and several recorders); their meta-data developments are awesome (communication with several Camera Lens and Report Generators).

 

Btw I used Denecke, Ambient, Tentacle, Zaxcom and Betso - and the best performer (in terms of playing nice with Camera's) is Ambient by far!

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, sciproductions said:

Btw I used Denecke, Ambient, Tentacle, Zaxcom and Betso - and the best performer (in terms of playing nice with Camera's) is Ambient by far!

 

 

Which problems did you run into? Say with Denecke? Since they are being highly praised in this thread I would  be quite curious. Or with the others?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 hours ago, Constantin said:

That sounds like a very healthy approach. Just out of curiosity and since we‘re discussing TC boxes here, which other manufacturer’s customer service have you tried?

 

As far as time code goes, I have not had any experience with other manufacturer's devices; maybe a day or so with an Ambient box.  But does that really matter?  Seems to me that if a person is satisfied with their choice, truly satisfied, there would be no need to date another girl/boy.

 

Now I need to admit that I "got out" before the big push to miniaturization which might have temporarily skewed my choices until, maybe, Denecke caught up.  I might have even had such a good experience with another brand that it would become my new "it".  That's okay as well.  I never said the others weren't great.  Just that I was all good with the Denecke products and, while they worked effectively and reliably for me, my main loyalty to the brand was due to the fabulous folks I came to know at the company. 

 

BTW, hearing from my friends about the attitude of camera about insisting on smaller and smaller time code boxes, while feeling just fine about strapping the kitchen sink onto their iPhones strikes me as the height of idiocy.  Probably just as well I'm retired because I think there is a good chance I'd tell 'em to feel free to clap their hands in front of the lens if they felt the need for a sync mark.  F'ing prima donnas.

 

D.

 

PS. The GR1 is nowadays a great bang for the buck in a comprehensive box for the location music recording that I do.  It's a very versatile box, although even in the day, there was no putting it on a camera. :)

GR-1.jpeg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...