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Tentacle Sync 'Track E' - New minirecorders with timecode


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1 minute ago, pillepalle said:

You don't need the studio software for the Track Es... the studio software is only used for TC recorded as some kind of morse code onto an audio channel.

 

Yes I know.  🙂

 

I was simply using that as an example of how TC would still be useful even if someone is worried about a tiny bit of drift.

 

Whether you use the Studio software for audio-based timecode files... or your NLE's built-in syncing function for metadata-based timecode files... having TC is definitely awesome.

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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 au

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

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 wor

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48 minutes ago, pillepalle said:

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

You don’t need tentacle sync studio at all if you don’t want. Most editing software can decode audio tc like resolve or avid. But tentacle sync studio is the fastest way, it can output the video files together with the synced audio channels without reencoding the video, so it’s very fast, and it has no problems when the audio recording restarts during a video take - for example when you reach a file size limitation (4gb) on some recorders. Editing software mostly only syncs one video file to one audio file, no matter if audio is recorded simultaneous or subsequently, or it just messes everything up when that happens.. and it’s easier to edit if you sync before editing (for example when using match frame you still have synced audio..)

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On 1/9/2021 at 11:16 AM, 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. 

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. 

I would be very curious how Timecode works on a smartphone.. for example you can sync the ultra sync blue to five zoom f2 plus the Mavis app on an iPhone. But I am not sure if this works as the frame rate on a smartphone is not constant at all. Even if you set it to 50p it’s constantly changing by a frame or two.. so no way to lock the variable frame rate. 

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4 hours ago, Sound said:

I would be very curious how Timecode works on a smartphone.. for example you can sync the ultra sync blue to five zoom f2 plus the Mavis app on an iPhone. But I am not sure if this works as the frame rate on a smartphone is not constant at all. Even if you set it to 50p it’s constantly changing by a frame or two.. so no way to lock the variable frame rate. 


Well, the Tracke E‘s don’t record to the iphone, they only record to their own sd card. So drift of the video will not cause any  damage to the audio. However, the ability to sync audio and  video may suffer as a consequence of the video drift, but that would be the case with any external audio recorder. At least with the Track E you‘ll get (presumably) rocksolid audio and can sync and align your video to that. 

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On 1/12/2021 at 11:21 PM, Constantin said:


Well, the Tracke E‘s don’t record to the iphone, they only record to their own sd card. So drift of the video will not cause any  damage to the audio. However, the ability to sync audio and  video may suffer as a consequence of the video drift, but that would be the case with any external audio recorder. At least with the Track E you‘ll get (presumably) rocksolid audio and can sync and align your video to that. 

That’s a misunderstanding. I was talking about the ultra sync blue which syncs Timecode to the f2 and the iPhone mavis Video App. But I’m not sure how this can work at all as there is no reliable fixed frame rate even with third party software on a phone.. 

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On 1/14/2021 at 12:57 PM, Sound said:

 I would be very curious how Timecode works on a smartphone.[...]I was talking about the ultra sync blue which syncs Timecode to the f2 and the iPhone mavis Video App. But I’m not sure how this can work at all as there is no reliable fixed frame rate even with third party software on a phone.. 

Correct. Basically, you can't sync an app (or software for that matter). "Sync" as we refer to is a hardware level process which needs a constant, clocked connection. Neither the "host" platform mobile phone nor the source, Bluetooth allow for this.

 

Instead, the process we are looking at her e with these implementations is actually a TC jam where the timecode value is aligned at the begin of recording. On from then the jammed unit  is running completely on its own internal clock speed. From a professional perspective it is pretty much like having TC but no genlock - and we all know how "good" that works with even higher profile BMD, Canon, or Sony cameras. So, draw your own conclusion for flaky-shaky sensors, encoders and engines on a mobile phone.

While the same would go for the F2 and TrackE, given the record of Zoom's F8(n) and particularly even more so with Tentacle we can just asume the accuracy of F2 and TrackE good enough for the intended application.

 

Bluetooth again actually consists not of just the radio (IEEE802.15.2) but also so called profiles. "Official" BT profiles however, as all package based netowrk protocols, are not suited for meticulously time critical transmission (otherwise we would see this a widely available  feature with e.g. all various BT speakers playing in sync).

Thus, TCS (and also Tentacle for that matter) have introduced their proprietary protocol to achieve frame accurate jam which is utilizing the network stack IEEE802.15.2, Bluetooth operates on. Again, without consideration of native timecode devices such as the UltrasyncBlue, overall system accuracy will also depend how time critical the global BT software stack is implemented  on the "receiving" end and the app can pipeline the custom protocol. Just saying as Apple has a good record of throwing curve balls accessing the hardware directly.

Just to be clear enough that it may give workable results and for sure is better than going totally without, but no matter what you do a mobile device as recording platform cannot be  "synced" in a literal sense.

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On 1/22/2021 at 3:45 PM, Klaus said:

Correct. Basically, you can't sync an app (or software for that matter). "Sync" as we refer to is a hardware level process which needs a constant, clocked connection. Neither the "host" platform mobile phone nor the source, Bluetooth allow for this.

 

Instead, the process we are looking at her e with these implementations is actually a TC jam where the timecode value is aligned at the begin of recording. On from then the jammed unit  is running completely on its own internal clock speed. From a professional perspective it is pretty much like having TC but no genlock - and we all know how "good" that works with even higher profile BMD, Canon, or Sony cameras. So, draw your own conclusion for flaky-shaky sensors, encoders and engines on a mobile phone.

While the same would go for the F2 and TrackE, given the record of Zoom's F8(n) and particularly even more so with Tentacle we can just asume the accuracy of F2 and TrackE good enough for the intended application.

 

Bluetooth again actually consists not of just the radio (IEEE802.15.2) but also so called profiles. "Official" BT profiles however, as all package based netowrk protocols, are not suited for meticulously time critical transmission (otherwise we would see this a widely available  feature with e.g. all various BT speakers playing in sync).

Thus, TCS (and also Tentacle for that matter) have introduced their proprietary protocol to achieve frame accurate jam which is utilizing the network stack IEEE802.15.2, Bluetooth operates on. Again, without consideration of native timecode devices such as the UltrasyncBlue, overall system accuracy will also depend how time critical the global BT software stack is implemented  on the "receiving" end and the app can pipeline the custom protocol. Just saying as Apple has a good record of throwing curve balls accessing the hardware directly.

Just to be clear enough that it may give workable results and for sure is better than going totally without, but no matter what you do a mobile device as recording platform cannot be  "synced" in a literal sense.

Since I didnt receive an answer from the MAVIS-app-developer for two weeks and Zoom and Timecode Systems (which is owned by Atomos now) didnt seem to have tested syncinc the F2 to an US blue, I tried testing the timecode drift on two iphones using the native camera app (which has variable framerate obviously).

I recorded half an hour on an iphone 11 and 12 pro and added a sony a7 iii. As expected, the a7 iii drifted from the iphones (as the framerate is different, but sometimes davinci resolve can compensate for that).

But to my suprise both phones stayed in perfect sync in these 30 minutes when I aligned them in Resolve.

So I guess for recording educational content for 30 to 40 minutes just using multiple Iphones for multicam could work - even (or especially when) using the native iphone app!

No need to set "fixed" framerates with third party apps, which are not fixed at all and tend to drift anyways on these phones.

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