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Old April 21st, 2009, 03:30 AM   #1
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Edirol R-44 and timecode

I just got the Edirol R-44 this evening and am getting to know it a bit.

For those who might have been wondering if the Edirol R-44 can embed time-of-day timecode and be able to read it in Final Cut Pro, the answer is: Yes!

I recorded a 4-track test in the BWF format. The result was four .wav files on the SD card. I drag/dropped them into Final Cut Pro and double-tapped it. The file appeared in the viewer along with the time-of-day timecode embedded.

This is an important feature for me. I want to be able to record audio separately from video. The EX1 records only two channels and quite often I need to put four people on discrete tracks. This would allow me to lav four people on discrete tracks, and have two more tracks with my on-camera mics.

The camera give me time-of-day timecode. It's then a simple matter of finding the matching codes to locate the associated audio tracks.

The only thing I have to figure out is how to drop all four individual WAV files into a sequence without having to drag/drop each one so they all line up properly. Would be nice to be able to get them to align themselves.
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Old April 21st, 2009, 03:41 AM   #2
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More experimentation: To make a 4-track clip out of four individual clips, highlight all clips in the bin, then go to Modify --> Merge Clips. Select the "timecode" option and it creates a four-track clip that can be dropped into a sequence.
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Old August 7th, 2009, 05:23 PM   #3
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R-44 Questions

Dean,
what do u know about the following:

Clock drift. I record a lot of 2 hr theatre shows. Does it drift out of sync?

Word clock: Is the word clock jack an input, output or can be either?
thx
dm
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Old August 7th, 2009, 06:30 PM   #4
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Hi David...

I haven't tested for drift but should.

When I do I'll post the results here.
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Old August 12th, 2009, 06:08 PM   #5
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The Tascam HD-P2 takes composite video in to sync with a camera - no drift.

/BILLW
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Old November 25th, 2009, 06:49 PM   #6
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@Dean

How does the day of time and day of time in the camera stay together for the Edirol. Like what are your steps on making sure it matches up. Say using a HVX200. Cause the R-44 has no TC on it.
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Old November 25th, 2009, 10:24 PM   #7
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Nicole...

The TOD TC free-runs in both devices and can drift independently from one another over the course of a day. It's not a perfect solution. It's a good idea to back it with a "slate" every so often.

However what it does provide is a quick and easy way to correlate video and audio media. In my case it's a few very large audio clips and a few hundred video clips. SequenceLiner will match up audio and video to within a few seconds. And I'll mass-sync a large number of clips by dragging them en masse, using the waveform as a sync reference.

Here's a sample of coverage that was shot with this system.

Hi Ho Silvers, Part 1
Black cod at Anchor Point Lodge, part 1.
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Old November 25th, 2009, 10:24 PM   #8
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I can tell you that I did a 30 minute recording test with the following devices and they did not go out of sync, not by even a single frame.

Fostex FR2-LE
Zoom H4N
Sony Z1
Sony Z5
Canon 5D Mark II

I doubt very much that the Roland will go out of sync.
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Old November 28th, 2009, 09:32 PM   #9
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I use an Edirol R-4 and three Canon GL-2 cameras. I use a slate for syncing and have done single shots up to an hour long with ZERO sync drift. I am extremely happy with this set up!
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Old December 7th, 2009, 03:13 PM   #10
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timecode

oops.. didnt see this thread
Edirol R44 Timecode?
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Old December 7th, 2009, 05:51 PM   #11
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When you guys claim these inexpensive consumer grade recorders maintain dead sync with various cameras, all sorts of alarm bells go off. Many network QC departments require zero tolerance off of dead sync for sound to lead picture and a maximum of 1/4 frame from off of dead sync for sound lagging picture over the duration of the entire program. To obtain that level of sync lock between multiple cameras and sound recorders requires all the devices to be slaved to a common timebase signal. Broadcast studios go to elaborate and expensive lengths to provide stable house clock to the devices in the studio, even to the point of correcting for the propagation delay in the cables. Location shoots where untethered operation is important put tuned and synchronized Lockit boxes on every camera and recorder and at a kilobuck each that's not a trivial cost. I'm sorry, but I just can't believe that a recorder costing half the price of a Lockit and a camera costing the same as one will have sufficiently stable timebases to deliver the sync performance claimed. Why would any dollar conscious producer put a $1000 Lockit on a camera and sync it with a $2500 SD 702T if he could get the same result recording sound without the Lockit by simply using a $400 Zoom recorder instead? Sorry guys, it just makes no sense. No offense, but your testing process must be faulty.
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Last edited by Steve House; December 8th, 2009 at 03:40 AM.
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Old December 7th, 2009, 06:05 PM   #12
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Steve, you're right. If you're not sync'd to color black (or some other signal), you're not sync'd.

It's absolutely possible that a given test would sync up great when unlocked. Try the test again in Death Valley and then on Mt. Whitney and the results will probably be... different.
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Old December 7th, 2009, 07:45 PM   #13
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For my own work my first concern is correlating audio with video shot during the day. As long as it's within a reasonable vicinity it's a huge help to keep it all organized.

Between starting and stopping the camera, and changing batteries on the recorder and the camera, wild sync is bound to shift. And for me it does, but I work with what I got.

For precision sync, my shots need to be in sync only for a few seconds. Maybe 15 or 30 seconds at the most as almost everything is shot in short bursts. I'll listen for phase shifting to quickly see if clips are out of sync after the first of a group of clips are lined up en masse.

Otherwise I'm using a simple slate at the beginning of a multi-cam shoot to make sure everything is in sync. It's more tedious that way but it's affordable and accurate.
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Old December 9th, 2009, 01:50 AM   #14
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I've tried locking an R4-Pro to my 702T a few times only to see the R4 drift rather quickly once pulling the TC link off and let it free run. The crystals in these lower end devices are not reliable I've found.
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Old December 9th, 2009, 04:14 AM   #15
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Dean I would like to record audio separately from now on also. I think it will make all productions more professional.

I have just been given a loan R-44 from Factory Sound to test. I will buy it if it does the following (and i am pretty sure it will):

I wish to record four channels of audio on the R-44 Pro and then use the "Timecode Out" connection to send out a timecode signal to a cheap wireless transmitter and then receive the signal on using a receiver plugged into my camera (left or right channel).

I would then be able to "sync to timecode" on my editing software. All the footage would automatically sync up to the four channels of audio.

In simpler terms, I would be able to record four channels of audio instead of two in the camera, and the quality is much higher, and I would no longer have to waste time syncing up audio to the video.
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