Tascam HD-P2 XLR Time Code from Canon XL-H1 at DVinfo.net

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Old July 13th, 2007, 01:42 PM   #1
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Tascam HD-P2 XLR Time Code from Canon XL-H1

Apologies if this is in the wrong forum, I wasn't sure whether to post it here in the audio forum, or over in the camera forum.

I'm looking at buying an off camera audio recorder and am quite taken with the Tascam HD-P2 recorder. I plan on feeding two boom mic's to a mixer and then the mixer outputs to the recorder.

Anyway, what appealed to me about this recorder was the time code sync, however, reading through the specs before hitting the purchase button I realised that it syncs the time code through XLR and not BNC.

Does anyone know if it's possible to sync this device with a canon XL-H1? I know the canon does time sync over BNC, but I don't know if it supports it through the XLR connectors.

Failing that, does anyone know if a cable exists to convert SMPTE BNC to XLR? I suspect not, but you never know.

Thanks for any and all answers.

Seri
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Old July 13th, 2007, 02:01 PM   #2
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Please ignore my question. When I used the DVInfo Forums Search I couldn't find any answers, but continuing my trawl through my Google search I found a link to this forum post:
http://dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=94465

Seems like I just need a 75ohm XLR-M to BNC cable.

Thanks anyway.

Seri
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Old July 15th, 2007, 08:55 PM   #3
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Seri - you can use a 75ohm BNC to BNC cable to feed a video signal out of the canon and then into the HD-P2, where it will use the sync info from the video signal to keep the recorders clock in sync with your video. Note this is different than syncing the time code, but the most critical part for longer shoots is keeping the two clocks synced to avoid drift. You just have to tell the tascam to take the clock rate from your camera vs it's internal clock. It works great, esp. on long shoots (events)..this was why I bought the tascam and it has worked out great.
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Old July 16th, 2007, 05:32 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Dave Stern View Post
Seri - you can use a 75ohm BNC to BNC cable
Dave, thank you for the reply, but I do have one other quick question.

You say that the HD-P2 will do clock sync over the bnc connector for keeping it consistent with the camera.
But I'm still wondering if it's possible to do SMTPE time sync over the XLR Time Code In port on the HD-P2 using a BNC to XLR convertor feeding from the XL-H1 BNC SMPTE port.

I know it's not a major issue, but having identical time code across all my devices would make life a lot easier for me...

Thanks again for any feed back on this, and if nobody knows the answer then I'll post my results as soon as the HD-P2 is delivered later this week.

Seri
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Old July 16th, 2007, 06:10 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seri Al-Najjar View Post
Dave, thank you for the reply, but I do have one other quick question.

You say that the HD-P2 will do clock sync over the bnc connector for keeping it consistent with the camera.
But I'm still wondering if it's possible to do SMTPE time sync over the XLR Time Code In port on the HD-P2 using a BNC to XLR convertor feeding from the XL-H1 BNC SMPTE port.

I know it's not a major issue, but having identical time code across all my devices would make life a lot easier for me...

Thanks again for any feed back on this, and if nobody knows the answer then I'll post my results as soon as the HD-P2 is delivered later this week.

Seri
hmm..being that I use an A1 with no time code out (:-( ), I don't know .. haven't had the luxary of needing to know ... but pls. do post back - would be good to know for future reference...
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Old July 18th, 2007, 09:33 AM   #6
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You should be able to make or have made a BNC to XLR cable which will convert the BNC unbalanced TC to the XLR input of the Tascam. Just think of it as an RCA to XLR cable. You can also buy BNC to RCA Adapter and an RCA to XLR cable but this will likely be less reliable. On the BNC the shield would go to Pin 1 on the XLR and the Center conductor to Pin 2. You might want to connect Pin 3 to Pin 1 on the XLR as well (I am doing this from Memory so I may be wrong) This is a fairly common issue in the timecode world.
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Old July 23rd, 2007, 01:37 PM   #7
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Well Mr Dumbass here (me) purchased the wrong cable (BNC to Female XLR) so I've just put a Male/Male XLR adapter on order with B&H. Will post the results at the end of the week when I have everything.

Seri
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Old July 23rd, 2007, 03:53 PM   #8
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There are two things at issue here. One is time stamping and the other is sample clocking. The recorder will time stamp the beginning of the file according to the SMPTE time code it is receiving on the XLR port. Note that while this is an audio signal it is not recorded. When the record button is pushed the time code is read and the value put into the header of the audio file.

The sample clock can be tied to 1)an internal oscillator in the recorder 2) an extenal word clock 3) a video signal or 4) SMPTE time code (LTC) or 5) S/PDIF input. In the first case no input signal is required. In cases 2 & 3 either word clock (from a word clock generator) or video, composite or Y component, from a camera or blackburst or trilevel sync from sync generators are required at the BNC connecter next to the time code connector. In case 4 time code must be present at the time code connector. Note that sync derived from time code is not "sample accurate" but should be good enough for most purposes. In case 5) a digital (S/PDIF) signal must be the source of the recording. Now that I think of it I can't imagine the implications of selecting, say, word clock, with S/PDIF input as S/PDIF is, AFAIK, self clocking. (?)
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Old July 24th, 2007, 03:50 PM   #9
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So if understand correctly, if I connect the Tascam XLR TimeCode in up to the XL-H1 JackPack TimeCode out BNC connector I will only get SMPTE marking and not any form of clock sync. So I would need to run a second cable from the camera's JackPack BNC video out to the Tascam's BNC clock sync in... is that right?

Sorry if I'm asking elementary questions...

Thanks for any replies.

Seri
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Old July 24th, 2007, 05:28 PM   #10
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No - if you send SMPTE time code from the camera (via the Jack Pack) and set the HD-P2 to clock from time code you will get synchronization between camera and recorder but as the time code is a low bandwidth signal (relative to video) the sync will not be as accurate as it could be. For more accurate sync connect a video output from the camera (composite or component) to the clcol in/video ref BNC and set the recorder to sync from video.The recorder will now be more "tightly" synchronized to the camera.
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Old July 24th, 2007, 05:35 PM   #11
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I see... I'm guessing the level of clock skew via SMPTE syncing would be minimal and the two devices would re-align each take?

Am wondering if I should just make a permanent cable by tying a bnc-to-xlr and a video-to-video cable together and using that as the permanent Tascam<->XL-H1 connection...
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Old July 25th, 2007, 07:18 AM   #12
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AFAIK video is always present at the camera video output ports (as long as the camera is on) and, therefore, I assume the oscillator in the HD-P2 will stay continuously locked to the video. The only time the T/C port would be used, under video sync setup, would be when a recording is started at which time the time stamp is read from this port. Tie wrapping a couple of cables together sounds like a good idea to me. One set is handier than 2 cables.
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