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A Question or two about BoomRecorder


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Hi there.

This is a great discussion group. I've been dropping by to read the posts now and then, but recently decided to take the plunge and join.

My background is in music recording and production - studio and live - so I am a big fan of recording digitally directly into a computer using an interface and DAW program.

But for doing location work it's sometimes impractical to set up a laptop and rack recording gear, so I have a couple of field recorders for when I am working "out of a bag".

Here is my question...

I am interested in being able to offer time code enabled work flows to my clients. BoomRecorder looks like a very cool  application for tracking location sound. From what I can understand it can grab LTC striped to an audio track and map it to the proper metadata bucket so I can generate BWFs with any computer recording rig. Is this correct?

If so, can I record field audio using a dedicated field recorder and import the mono WAV files into BoomRecorder? I am thinking if I can use a SMPTE TC generator like a Denecke SB-T or SB-3 or something comparable to jam and stripe LTC to one of the tracks, I can time code enable my current rig instead of having to get a new multi-track field recorder like a Sound Devices 7xx-T.

Can you do a simple mix of a multi-track to say a stereo BWF in BoomRecorder? My clients aren't interested in mixing audio in their video NLEs and just want a stereo file from me. If I can deliver a mixed stereo BWF with time code then that would be great.

Finally, I was wondering if anyone here can give me a recommendation as to a good standard DAW with native support for SMPTE time code and surround. I know Pro-Tools LE with the DV toolkit does this, but I would like to steer clear of Digi. I don't want to have to get their hardware to be able to use the software.

Thank you!

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But for doing location work it's sometimes impractical to set up a laptop and rack recording gear, so I have a couple of field recorders for when I am working "out of a bag".

- snip -

BoomRecorder looks like a very cool  application for tracking location sound. From what I can understand it can grab LTC striped to an audio track and map it to the proper metadata bucket so I can generate BWFs with any computer recording rig. Is this correct?

If so, can I record field audio using a dedicated field recorder and import the mono WAV files into BoomRecorder? I am thinking if I can use a SMPTE TC generator like a Denecke SB-T or SB-3 or something comparable to jam and stripe LTC to one of the tracks, I can time code enable my current rig instead of having to get a new multi-track field recorder like a Sound Devices 7xx-T

I'm having a little trouble getting my head around what it is you're trying to do with Boomrecorder. It sort of sounds like you're saying you would like to record in the field with a standard semi-pro non-timecode recorder (file based so it is "recording" wav files) and then slap timecode on it after the fact using Boomrecorder. If this were even possible, doesn't it defeat the whole purpose of production timecode on the sound that matches timecode on the image media?

In any case, Boomrecorder IS the recorder, it is just that it is a software based recorder that requires a host computer (Mac) to do its work. Boomrecorder is fully timecode capable but does require an external smpte TC source (which it uses to timestamp the file --- there is no LTC, linear timecode track, in just the same way that other software recorders, like ProTools or any DAW do it. The dedicated hardware/software recorders (Deva, Sound Devices, Cantar, etc.) do the same: timestamp the file.

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Basically, yes, Jeff.

But I wouldn't be slapping TC in "after the fact". The time code would be generated by a sync box (Denecke or Ambient Lockit etc.) that is also simultaneously jamming a camera during the take.

LTC coming off the TC generator would be recorded to one of the audio tracks on my field recorder as it is an audio square wave signal.

I think what you're saying, Jeff, is that BoomRecorder is a tracking program only and not an editor. I am used to using full featured DAWs that can edit and modify files, mix etc. as well as track.

From what I can tell in reading the discussions on this board, BoomRecorder is used in conjunction with interfaces like the MOTU Traveler and RME Fireface to record multi-track audio and can then take in LTC through striping an audio track. I've used the Fireface (an excellent piece of hardware, btw) but I don't recall any specific place on the box where it would take in a standard SMPTE time code signal - like a BNC connector I see on time code capable hardware.

I haven't seen the new Traveler Mk. III in the flesh, but I have handled the older version... and again I don't recall any time code in/out connector. These units have Word Clock but that's to sync them with other digital sound devices like mic pres coming in through ADAT lightpipe.

I'd like to know how the user bits get from the time code generator (be it the camera, sync box, smart slate etc.) to BoomRecorder if the interfaces don't have a specific avenue to take in the info. Am I missing something?

I am also interested in getting the flexibility of using a "semi-pro" field recorder to support time code. (Although I don't think these recorders are "semi-pro" at all. I've used the Zoom H4n to record a live acoustic blues album that's coming out on CD. The sound quality is fantastic.)

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I'd like to know how the user bits get from the time code generator (be it the camera, sync box, smart slate etc.) to BoomRecorder if the interfaces don't have a specific avenue to take in the info. Am I missing something?

Take a look at section 5.3.4.4 of the Boom Recorder manual, which you can download here. It starts on page 16. Take explains how his application finds and stamps a timecode value and other considerations like accuracy pretty well.

Best regards,

Jim

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I think I now understand what you want to do. If you use a semi-pro non-timecode recorder in the field and use an external timecode generator that is feeding TC as audio and recorded on let's say track 2 of your recorder, and this same timecode is available to the image device (dare I say camera), then that will work. No need to involve Boomrecorder all you need is a DAW running software that can read LTC of an audio track. DAW's, file based recorders, software based recorders, all handle timecode in the same manner: timestamp, not linear timecode track (unless you record an audio track with the audio being timecode). Also, Boomrecorder software is designed to "see" incoming timecode coming in to any input including the audio input on your Mac. It is NOT recorded to a track but it is used to timestamp the file. So, it does not require that the interface have a timecode input, only an available audio input. It does not tie up any available tracks but if you do go in through the interface (MOTU, RME, etc.) it does tie up an input.

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