Timecode syncing question.. R4-Pro w/ digital Slate and Panasonic HPX-300 at DVinfo.net

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Old June 30th, 2010, 01:34 AM   #1
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Timecode syncing question.. R4-Pro w/ digital Slate and Panasonic HPX-300

So Im on a feature next week that is using a smart slate, and my previous experience is all indie movies using the old school method of slate n' marker, so I'm a bit green here.

What would be the best way to sync using my Edirol R4-Pro, a Denecke Slate, and the HPX-300?
Do I generate the TC from my recorder, jam the slate and camera simultaneously? Or use my recorder as a slave running the TC from the camera? Should all 3 pieces of gear be wired together when the jamsync is done?

Any guidance here by somebody experienced would be so much appreciated.

Thanks in advance :)
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Old June 30th, 2010, 03:50 AM   #2
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Camera is usually the TC 'master'. The exact setup depends in part on whether post wants continuous, record-run code or TOD code. For TOD, set all devices to free-run. Jam the recorder from the camera, then the slate from either the recorder or camera, whichever is more convenient - the numbers on the slate actually aren't 'mission-critical' in this situation. Rejam at lunch and after any camera or recorder battery change. Or if post wants continuous, record-run code, hard-wire a feed from the camera TC Out to the recorder TC In and don't bother with the slate's display. (Still slate every take, just in case, but the slate's display doesn't matter.)
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Old June 30th, 2010, 05:39 AM   #3
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great, thanks a lot Steve. Also, I was told I should sync all at once for better accuracy (like 3way connection), like cam to recorder and recorder out to slate. Is this even possible? And my recorder has bnc jacks and I think the cam does too, would I need adapters for the slate?

sry for all the questions, Im just trying to wrap my head around all this stuff quick before going on set.
Thanks!
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Old June 30th, 2010, 07:52 AM   #4
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Don't recall the connectors on the Deneke but in any case you really don't need to jam it at all. Smart slates come into their own for film-style workflows where the camera doesn't support TC I/O at all. Since in your case the camera and recorder can talk to each other and be synched, the slate's TC display drops out of the equation.
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Old June 30th, 2010, 01:57 PM   #5
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oh.. ok. The DOP asked me on email if I could jam the slate. Maybe that means he doesnt want to be bothered with doing anything on his cam for TC?

So I gather it's either..

A: Sync the slate to my recorder and the camera just shoots the timecode display

B: Sync the Camera to the Recorder not needing a digital slate

C: Sync the Camera to the recorder and slate which would be overkill ?
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Old June 30th, 2010, 04:51 PM   #6
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I go for number 3. Sure, you can go ahead and jam 'em all but the slate's code is redundant since matching code is on the camera and recorder already, Couldn't hurt anything though and it is always better to be a little paranoid. Backup is good <grin> If post wants to see a smart slate, might as well give it to them.
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Old July 1st, 2010, 07:41 AM   #7
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Hey Chris,
If you are dealing with only one camera I would go with option A. Jam your slate to your recorder and the camera shoots the slate. The Deneke slate, I'm assuming , is a TS-3 and has a phono in, so you'll need a BNC to 1/4" cable. Find out what frame rate they are shooting and set the recorder and slate. Simple.
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Old July 1st, 2010, 03:47 PM   #8
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sounds easy breezy, thanks!
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Old July 4th, 2010, 01:37 PM   #9
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From what I've seen, syncing camera and recorder to slate is usually done when there are multiple cameras.
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Old July 4th, 2010, 02:44 PM   #10
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The idea is that you want to have matching code on the video and on the audio, If you jam the slate to the recorder and shoot the slate, the numbers appear in the image of the slate on tape. If you jam the recorder to the camera's TC output, you have the numbers in the timecode recorded on the tape. Either way you get the desired result. Most film cameras don't have timecode at all, hence shooting the slate is the only option. Most prosumer video cameras also don't lack TC I/O connections so there's no way to jam them with an audio recorder no matter which one is to be the master, leaving the film-style method of shooting the slate the only option. But since the camera in question DOES have TC in/out connectors, you can also jam the camera and recorder together and the slate becomes irrelevant. With TC output from the camera, you have the option of recording unbroken 'record-run' code while continuously sending it to the audio recorder as well, so that matching code is continuous both on the tape and on the audio. In that scenario, the camera is typically the timecode master.
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Old July 7th, 2010, 07:08 PM   #11
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Awesome, thanks for all the help.
So I just got back from the tech meeting (start shooting tmrw) and turns out there are 2 cameras and they want all the gear synced. I was able to jam the 2 identical cameras together fairly easily, jam the ts3 from the r4-pro easily. But cant for the life of me jam the camera from the r4-pro or vice-versa..

maybe its a cam function? is it possible the gear just doesnt like ea other? the slate jammed no prob...
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Old July 8th, 2010, 12:05 AM   #12
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figured it out. 24PN doesnt spit TC.
Anyways this timecode stuff is way easier than anticipated. Thanks guys
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