Does any of the handheld 24/96 mini recorders have timecode at DVinfo.net

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Old January 1st, 2007, 10:05 PM   #1
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Does any of the handheld 24/96 mini recorders have timecode

Hi guys,

Does any of the small portable 24/96 recorders in the size/quality class of the zoom h4 or the m-audio microtrack have timecode? I'm looking to get a hand held (preferably mini xlr) recorder with timecode.
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Old January 2nd, 2007, 05:17 PM   #2
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Guess not???
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Old January 2nd, 2007, 07:29 PM   #3
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No, the only recorders that are even close to that class that have TC are the Tascam HD-P2 and the Edirol R-4 Pro (not the regular R-4). From there it's up to the Sound Devices recorders. None of these are hand-held... but good in an audio bag, on a table, hanging below a tripod, or over your shoulder.

As far as I know.

However... Timecode is not the magic dust for sync. There are other methods, and it does well to design/discover/test your workflow before settling on any particular method of sync and spending money on it.

TC-sync requires (at least):
*Camcorder and audio recorder both to record TC free-run.
*Tape capture into NLE that preserves camera TC.
*NLE that is aware of where in the file your camera manufacturer decided to put timecode (standardized for cameras that do TC for DV25... but woe, woe, woe for HDV which has no TC standard, but may work for your particular HDV camcorder/NLE combination.)
*NLE that handles broadcast wave files and can find the TC.

So... what did you want to do with TC in your handheld recorder?

(I own an HHB MDP-500 minidisk, a Zoom H-4, and an Alesis HD24, none of which have TC... but have done a lot of sync with them. I've rented a Sound Devices 744t which has TC, and synced with HDV on Vegas)
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Old January 3rd, 2007, 08:12 AM   #4
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Also the only thing in miniDV you can count on timecode being able to do for you is aiding you in lining up sound and picture. (Shooting on film or transferring video to film is another story). It does not necessarily guarantee the two will stay in sync over the duration of the scene. One major hurdle is just getting code from the camera to the recorder or vice versa - very few prosumer DV cameras actually have TC I/O. Then free-run timecode means that there is no lock between the clocks on the two devices - they're set to the same time but are not master/slave. So while you have the code timestamps acting as a sort of numerical slate to line them up, there's no guarantee they'll run at the same speed. Even the DV standard itself can be working against you - miniDV audio is not "locked," meaning that audio and video sample rates are not locked to each other (DVCAM audio, OTOH, is locked, and locked audio is also an advantage offered by the Canopus analog capture cards versus those from other manufacturers). If it turns out the audio and video happen to have been recorded at slightly different sample rates, when played back together they will run at slightly different speeds and gradually drift out of sync.

One of the nice things going for the Tascam HDP2, possibly more important than its actual timecode abilities, is the fact that it can lock its sample clock to video blackburst sent to it from the camera video out, insuring audio and video are recorded at exactly the same sample rate and even if you use an old-fashioned clapper slate as the lineup marker, once sync'ed in editing they'll stay in sync for the scene.

Not poo-poo'ing the idea of the desirability of timecode, just saying there's much more to using it to preserve audio video sync than simply having a recorder with a TC generator. We're actually pretty lucky that the clocks in most devices today are stable enough that they're not going to drift too much over the length of a typical scene.
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Old January 3rd, 2007, 10:03 PM   #5
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True, though I am not trying to be a stickler on this particular point. I just find it helpful to have timecode throughout the process. I already have a marantz 671 and will probably go with the H4 if I need a more discrete recorder.
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