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Tentacle Sync 'Track E' - New minirecorders with timecode


pillepalle
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3 hours ago, PMC said:

I bought the 2-pak special earlier this summer and received two licenses. The software must be registered by plugging in a Tentacle unit to a USB port on the computer and registering the serial number.

 

1124201037_HDR_resize_6.jpg

thanks! So I guess it’s not possible to use the software when I sold the unit and someone else activates it. So I will buy the standalone license

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5 hours ago, Sound said:

Does anyone know if the license key for tentacle sync studio is directly linked to the device or do you get an unlock key thats independent of the device?

Right now I dont need these tentacle boxes as I am using ultrasync but I really need the software, 

so maybe I will buy a tentacle sync and maybe resell it later without the software. 

Yes, the software is related to the TC-Boxes. But why would you need the software? The Track E writes the TC metadata directly into the files. There is no need for the Tentacle software  (only usefull when the TC is written on an audio track of the camera, for example). You can use the files directly in your NLE or DAW.

 

Greetings

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9 hours ago, pillepalle said:

Yes, the software is related to the TC-Boxes. But why would you need the software? The Track E writes the TC metadata directly into the files. There is no need for the Tentacle software  (only usefull when the TC is written on an audio track of the camera, for example). You can use the files directly in your NLE or DAW.

 

Greetings

I don’t need or use the track e. I use three ultra sync ones. Avid media composer for example is able to read audio Timecode as well but doesn’t sync it flawlessly - like most editing applications. And constantly working with grouped clips in avid is not that easy. For example if you do a match frame edit you only get to the video file - not to the attached audio. It’s easier just to sync everything first and after that just import it into my editing application. 

I don’t want to use the track e because it’s too annoying using a second unit without a lockable minijack connector to my wireless transmitter. I think it’s easier and cheaper to use the new deity trx once it comes out. This way I can remotely check battery and record status and have more peace of mind. And I only have to rely on a single lockable connector. And even with the wireless Transmitter it’s cheaper that the track e.

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@ sound

 

Ah, ok. But in the worst case (if the jack of the headphone pulls out) you just loose your monitoring, and you will notice it immediately. By the way I also use, beside the Track E the first generation tentacles, an Ultrasync One in combination with an AtomX Sync module on the camera. They work together like a charm :) Although the UltraSync Unit is the better one (because of it's capabilities and the RF sync) it's a lot more fiddly than the tentacles. What I really love about the tentacle units is the ease of use. And they keep the settings for month. The Ultrasync forgests the current time as soon as you switch it off. 

 

I also thought about the Deity ones. But they are still not available and i find the 19ms of delay to the receiver quite annoying. Maybe that's no problem if you use it only for monitoring and record on the unit itself.

 

Greetings

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On 11/26/2020 at 2:34 PM, pillepalle said:

@ sound

 

Ah, ok. But in the worst case (if the jack of the headphone pulls out) you just loose your monitoring, and you will notice it immediately. By the way I also use, beside the Track E the first generation tentacles, an Ultrasync One in combination with an AtomX Sync module on the camera. They work together like a charm :) Although the UltraSync Unit is the better one (because of it's capabilities and the RF sync) it's a lot more fiddly than the tentacles. What I really love about the tentacle units is the ease of use. And they keep the settings for month. The Ultrasync forgests the current time as soon as you switch it off. 

 

I also thought about the Deity ones. But they are still not available and i find the 19ms of delay to the receiver quite annoying. Maybe that's no problem if you use it only for monitoring and record on the unit itself.

 

Greetings

Hmm, 19ms really is a lot. Especially when compared to my sony analog units. I think I would have to set the same delay for my other units in the mixpre 10 Ii as well and somehow compensate in the Timecode settings, because mixpre and camera is synced via tc as well. But I don’t know if a tc compensation Settings exists there. Does it affect monitoring your audio? Is it annoying to live monitor audio with a 19ms delay?

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2 hours ago, Sound said:

Hmm, 19ms really is a lot.

 

well, it's half a frame at 24/25fps - not sure if I would call this "a lot".

 

2 hours ago, Sound said:

Hmm, 19ms really is a lot.

Does it affect monitoring your audio? Is it annoying to live monitor audio with a 19ms delay?

 

if you're standing 6meter away the real world audio will arrive at the same time as the transmitted audio (ie perfectly in synch)

 

if you have a zero latency wireless system then the real world sound will have a 20ms "delay", so you decide how annoying that is : )

 

 

 

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20 hours ago, chrismedr said:

 

well, it's half a frame at 24/25fps - not sure if I would call this "a lot".

 

 

if you're standing 6meter away the real world audio will arrive at the same time as the transmitted audio (ie perfectly in synch)

 

if you have a zero latency wireless system then the real world sound will have a 20ms "delay", so you decide how annoying that is : )

 

 

 

I 'liked' the post but TBF the latency thing is isn't so bad on any system at 6 metres unless someone is shouting, but it is annoying when you're closer to the source, like testing TX on your own voice 😂.

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Sure, there are situations where latency is annoying or even downright unusable, but as always there is a trade off features,  quality and price. 
 

I‘d love to have a great sounding wireless system with no latency, tons of features, excellent range for a low price, but at the moment it seems to be hard to do or somebody would have done it.

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Ok, think someone might have pointed it out, but you can currently not use this to generate TC into something else at the moment. Thought this was one of the selling points from before the actual release, but I might have just hoped for it. Might be good to know if you previously planned to use it as a spare TC machine 

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2 hours ago, Mattias Larsen said:

Ok, think someone might have pointed it out, but you can currently not use this to generate TC into something else at the moment. Thought this was one of the selling points from before the actual release, but I might have just hoped for it. Might be good to know if you previously planned to use it as a spare TC machine 

 

Yes... I was hoping they could be used as extra TC boxes when you don't need audio recording.  

 

But this way they can still sell you the standard Sync E boxes for each of your devices...  😎

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17 minutes ago, Michael Scrip said:

 

Yes... I was hoping they could be used as extra TC boxes when you don't need audio recording.  

 

But this way they can still sell you the standard Sync E boxes for each of your devices...  😎

Or buy a Deity BP-TRX instead - a bit tongue in cheek but there is an overlap in function.

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On 11/29/2020 at 10:04 PM, chrismedr said:

 

if you're standing 6meter away the real world audio will arrive at the same time as the transmitted audio (ie perfectly in synch)


but you’re not listening to real world audio. You’re listening to lavs which are as close to a source as possible and probably to a boom with a varying delay and latency. Some time ago I mixed Zax wireless with other wireless and if I remember correctly Zax has (or had) a latency of around 6ms. I found that to be very annoying when matching to other sources. Can’t imagine to be listening to even greater latency. But I also wouldn’t be comfortable to delay everything else by 19ms. 
OTOH if you’re exclusively working with 19ms devices there’s no real issue. Do not even think about compensating the TC for this

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yeah, as you said it depends on several factors - one question was about monitoring live audio and I understood that as phasing between real world live sound and transmitted audio, therefore my comment about the 6meter distance.

 

if you're mixing boom and wireless, things will be different.

if 6ms of delay is already very annoying to you and you don't want to delay the boom, then you'll likely want to use a zero delay wireless (which you probably do).

 

this clearly is a low budget device though (350USD per channel), and we all know that if we're working on low budget there's usually compromises involved.  if latency is a deal breaker, this is probably not the right unit.

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  • 1 month later...

Ok, maybe I will keep my Sony UWP-D units - I think its easier and a better connection if I am using four or five of the analog units as to use four or five 2.4 ghz units..

 

I was still hoping that I can just use them to monitor the signal and record directly on the talent with timecode and then just sync everything up in post. Would be much more reliable and I could get rid of the heavy soundbag. But I havent found a single test with more than one unit of the tentacle track e or the zoom f2. I think there will be phasing issues with the tentacle as its not constantly syncing TC.

And some people say that syncing timecode via the bluetooth app isnt as accurate as syncing via cable but again: I havent fount any tests.

 

Maybe the zoom f2 CAN sync timecode constantly like the ultrasync one but even the zoom customer support cannot tell me how many F2-Units a single ultrasync blue can sync. They just say, you can connect only one at a time with the smartphone app..  

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48 minutes ago, Sound said:

But I havent found a single test with more than one unit of the tentacle track e or the zoom f2. I think there will be phasing issues with the tentacle as its not constantly syncing TC.

And some people say that syncing timecode via the bluetooth app isnt as accurate as syncing via cable but again: I havent fount any tests.

 

 

I use two of the Track Es (for my lavalier mics) and had no issues till now. Even on longer takes no issues with drift. I always try to use both (boom and lavalier) to have more flexibility post.   Beside the Track E I use an Ultrasync one (for my field recorder) which is synced wirelessly with the camera unit. The Track Es work like a charm and I love the easy setup and to have TC also on my lavaliers. If you prefer you can also jam them via cable, but the phone app works great. You only have a visual representaiton of the sound levels (on your phone) but no audio monitoring with the Track E. If you want to monitor during the take, you have to add a wireless transmitter to the headphone-out of the unit (works only with the non us version). 

 

Greetings

 

 

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3 hours ago, pillepalle said:

 

I use two of the Track Es (for my lavalier mics) and had no issues till now. Even on longer takes no issues with drift. I always try to use both (boom and lavalier) to have more flexibility post.   Beside the Track E I use an Ultrasync one (for my field recorder) which is synced wirelessly with the camera unit. The Track Es work like a charm and I love the easy setup and to have TC also on my lavaliers. If you prefer you can also jam them via cable, but the phone app works great. You only have a visual representaiton of the sound levels (on your phone) but no audio monitoring with the Track E. If you want to monitor during the take, you have to add a wireless transmitter to the headphone-out of the unit (works only with the non us version). 

 

Greetings

 

 

Thanks, good to know that the timecode sync is accurate enough! Still I think Zoom F2 is the better option to pair with my ultrasync one.. I often have to let them run for more than 10 hours a day so swappable AAA-batteries seem like the better option - or even lithium-batteries that should stay on for 18 hours. Did you use them only as a backup or as the only recorder on the field as well?

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Mainly I use them for my lavalier mics, as I have no high-end wireless system. It makes my workflow so much easier to have TC on all my audio files. But also for plant mics the mini recorders are quite usefull. Next I want to get a DPA 4097 which will give me a quite tiny setup that's easy to hide everywhere. I didn't make a runtime test, but I think they will last about 10 hours which is usually enough for me. And they charge quite quickly. I think it takes something like 90 or 120 minutes to be fully charged. 

 

I also though about the F2-BT from Zoom, but I didn't like that they can be jammed only with the Ultrasync blue, because as far as I know the F2-BT has no Sync-Port. The Track E can be jammed with any TC Generator and I can integrate them in any setup. And you can control them remotely from your phone and check the settings. 

 

Greetings 

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12 hours ago, Sound said:

I think there will be phasing issues with the tentacle as its not constantly syncing TC.


No regular device is constantly syncing TC while rolling. A lot of them can sync all the time when they are not rolling. The F2 will not sync to Bluetooth TC mid-take, just simply not how timecode works. They will always just grab the tc value when you press record (although it is technically possible, bu that’s perhaps a discussion for another day). So once they’ve grabbed all devices will roll on their own and whether or not there will be phasing depends on how well the digital clocks run, which is different from the tc clock. Most likely there will be phasing of some sort. 
There are ways to truly lock two digital devices together, but regular tc isn’t one of them, in normal situations. Doesn’t matter where the tc is coming from. 
I haven’t tried my Track E yet, but on the Sync E it doesn’t matter how you sync them, be it Bluetooth or cable, they will be 100% in sync either way afterwards. And they will continue to verify that they are still in sync via the app. 

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There are multiple reports (mostly on youtube) of a flaw in the input jack of the F2, where moving the lav plug even with the lock tightened will cause pops in the audio.

 

Hopefully they'll sort it out soon, but maybe best to hold off if you're considering one. On the plus side, maybe by the time the hardware is stable they'll have actual docs on how to use them with timecode…

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5 hours ago, Allen Rowand said:

There are multiple reports (mostly on youtube) of a flaw in the input jack of the F2, where moving the lav plug even with the lock tightened will cause pops in the audio.

 

Hopefully they'll sort it out soon, but maybe best to hold off if you're considering one. On the plus side, maybe by the time the hardware is stable they'll have actual docs on how to use them with timecode…

I saw this as well. Hope they will fix it, at least they have a lockable input and output connector. Tentacle does not.

6 hours ago, Constantin said:


No regular device is constantly syncing TC while rolling. A lot of them can sync all the time when they are not rolling. The F2 will not sync to Bluetooth TC mid-take, just simply not how timecode works. They will always just grab the tc value when you press record (although it is technically possible, bu that’s perhaps a discussion for another day). So once they’ve grabbed all devices will roll on their own and whether or not there will be phasing depends on how well the digital clocks run, which is different from the tc clock. Most likely there will be phasing of some sort. 
There are ways to truly lock two digital devices together, but regular tc isn’t one of them, in normal situations. Doesn’t matter where the tc is coming from. 
I haven’t tried my Track E yet, but on the Sync E it doesn’t matter how you sync them, be it Bluetooth or cable, they will be 100% in sync either way afterwards. And they will continue to verify that they are still in sync via the app. 

That’s a good point. I knew that there can be some drift on video cameras when I don’t use word clock. But I wasn’t too sure about audio - I was hoping that software like tentacle sync could compensate for drift when the Timecode track is updated during recording just like plural eyes compensates audio drift by stretching the audio. And indeed tentacle sync studio can compensate at least the starting point a little when it detects that the audio Timecode doesn’t start exactly where the recorded frame starts.. but I guess the Timecode on the zoom will not update during recording at all so there’s no point in having it update. Do the tentacle track e units constantly update the Timecode via the app even if you don’t open it on your phone and update manually?

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2 hours ago, Sound said:

I saw this as well. Hope they will fix it, at least they have a lockable input and output connector. Tentacle does not.

That’s a good point. I knew that there can be some drift on video cameras when I don’t use word clock. But I wasn’t too sure about audio - I was hoping that software like tentacle sync could compensate for drift when the Timecode track is updated during recording just like plural eyes compensates audio drift by stretching the audio. And indeed tentacle sync studio can compensate at least the starting point a little when it detects that the audio Timecode doesn’t start exactly where the recorded frame starts.. but I guess the Timecode on the zoom will not update during recording at all so there’s no point in having it update. Do the tentacle track e units constantly update the Timecode via the app even if you don’t open it on your phone and update manually?

 

Also the Track E has a lockable mic-input.

 

No the Tentacles don't resync constantly, only once you jam them. But the app tells you, if the different units  are all in sync or not. So there could be drift during long takes. I don't know if I was particularly lucky, but even on documentary shoots, where I didn't touch the units a whole day I've never experienced any drift issues. 

 

With the Ultrasync System the slave-units make constantly a softsync via rf or bluetooth to the master unit, similar to a hardwired setup. But on TC mode it obviously couldn't prevent drift on long takes, for the reasons constantin mentioned. But as soon as you start and stop the recording it resyncs automaticly. So once you've setup the units you don't have to worry to resync them for the time they are in use.  

 

Greetings

 

 

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The Track Es have as their tc part essentially a Sync E inside and they will stay in sync with each other for at least 24 hours. There will be no drift of tc. 

There seems to be some confusion here of what timecode is amd what it is not. 
There can and may well be drift and phase issues between two or more recording devices, even though they are synced by timecode. This is regardless of which tc system and manufacturer is being used and regardless of their method of updating their tc sync. On long takes there will be some drift between two or more devices. 
The only way to get around that would be to lock the digital clocks of these devices. Although this camb be done, such as the Alexa Mini can do, from a regular TC signal, usually a separate Genlock or Wordclock input is needed. This will indeed lock the clock and make sure there will be no drift. 

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2 hours ago, Constantin said:

The Track Es have as their tc part essentially a Sync E inside and they will stay in sync with each other for at least 24 hours. There will be no drift of tc. 

 

Exactly.

 

That's the whole point of Tentacle boxes.  They have VERY accurate clocks inside them.  And once they are jammed or synced together... they will keep consistent time for a long time.

 

If they didn't... then they wouldn't be very useful...  😀

 

I haven't heard many complaints from owners of Tentacle boxes.  They seem to work very well and are usually highly recommended.  Though you should probably slate whenever you can.  Just to be safe.

 

You can still use the Tentacle Sync Studio software to arrange all your clips... even if you have to adjust them a tiny bit manually from the slate.

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Michael Scrip

 

You don't need the studio software for the Track Es, because they write the timecode as metadata in the audio file. Any NLE can sync them immediately. The studio software is only used for TC recorded as some kind of morse code onto an audio channel.  Which is usefull for devices without TC cababilities. The Track E is a recorder that adds TC to your files. It can't be used as a TC-Generator or jam other devices, like a master unit. 

 

Greetings

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