Timecode... at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > The Tools of DV and HD Production > All Things Audio

All Things Audio
Everything Audio, from acquisition to postproduction.

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old May 29th, 2009, 12:00 PM   #1
Regular Crew
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: bend, oregon
Posts: 32

I've been looking for a new field recorder for indoor and outdoor video production, but I'm a little confused with the timecode. When a field recorder says it does/has/records timecode, does that mean it's jam syncing to a camera, recording it to the actual file (.wav, etc.) for use in a NLE, or both. I want a recorder with an option for free run timecode so I can sync it once at the beginning of the day.

For example the "R-4 Pro 4 Channel Portable Field Recorder with SMPTE Time Code" versus the "R-44 Solid-State Four-Channel Portable Field Recorder."

Are one of the these recorders not going to give me timecode if I drop the audio file in my timeline?

Thanks in advance.
Dan Quintero is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 29th, 2009, 12:07 PM   #2
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: New York, NY
Posts: 1,261
Some recorders can jam to timecode (the Tascam comes to mind) and some can generate their own and or Jam which separates the R-4 Pro 4 from the R-44. Not sure if they put a date timestamp on the track with the R44 which could be used as quasi timecode in your NLE. Don't expect professional features from the lower end models. Check the specs to see if they have inputs and outputs for the signals you want to record. If they say they record timecode then yes it is part of the file which your NLE should be able to access but that is also something to check depending on the software you are using.

Last edited by Daniel Epstein; May 29th, 2009 at 07:45 PM.
Daniel Epstein is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 29th, 2009, 05:54 PM   #3
Inner Circle
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 5,742
Tiimecode with file-based recorders is a different critter from traditional linear timecode such as used in analog recorders or DATs. With a broadcast wave (BWF) file, there is a single timestamp marking either TOD, timecode, or "00" at the instant of the first audio sample. There is NO linear timecode recorded continuously parallel to the audio in the file itself. Because of this, the timecode provides a TIME reference for when the file starts, just like a slate provides a "clack" sound reference to a specific frame, but it does not provide a SPEED reference to maintain sync as the scene plays out.

When you drop a timestamped BWF file into an editor that recognizes the embedded timecode, it places the first sample at the matching point in the timeline.

Timecode-capable recorders will jam to a camera that sends them 'code, however with most prosumer cameras there remains the problem of getting its timecode OUT to send it to the recorder. Only a few cameras have TC output terminals to allow for that. The other option is to use the audio recorder as the timecode master, sending code to the camera, but again, only a few prosumer cameras have inputs for external timecode.
Good news, Cousins! This week's chocolate ration is 15 grams!

Last edited by Steve House; May 30th, 2009 at 02:03 AM.
Steve House is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 29th, 2009, 08:13 PM   #4
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: New York
Posts: 1,731
Well said Steve! I was just going to mention the BWF time stamp issue with no word-clock or video black-burst reference present.
Rick Reineke is offline   Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

Omega Broadcast
(512) 251-7778
Austin, TX

(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

(800) 238-8480
Glendale, CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > The Tools of DV and HD Production > All Things Audio

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 03:07 PM.

DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2015 The Digital Video Information Network