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Canon XL H Series HDV Camcorders
Canon XL H1S (with SDI), Canon XL H1A (without SDI). Also XL H1.


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Old March 20th, 2006, 03:24 PM   #1
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Another timecode question

I'm recording much of my HDV audio now with a Tascam HD P2 , which accepts external reference timecode. I've been using a blooper for sync.

I used to shoot with my soundman sending me a wireless audio signal from the Shure mixer, the receiver obviously mounted on my camera.

I'm not much of a technical person, but can anyone tell me a reason why I couldn't reverse the wireless set-up and send timecode from the camera to the recorder? The Tascam has an XLR input for TC, which I could plug the wireless receiver in to.. I would have to create a cable for the sending unit at the camera end - BNC to XLR - but other than that, it should be a bolt-on...

Is there likely to be a frequency issue or something that the Lectrosonic wireless can't handle?
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Old March 20th, 2006, 06:03 PM   #2
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Steve,
Certainly you can try it and see if the Tascam can read it. Timecode is a difficult signal for radio mics to send. Line level into the transmitter (you will need to wire this correctly and might need a pad to keep from blowing out the transmitter), line level out of the receiver. Not all the Lectrosonics Receivers do line level. Might not be strong enough if it is mic. You might also need sync for it to work on the Tascam I believe. This is one of the problems of the Tascam not having a generator just a reader. Doesn't the Tascam remember the timecode if you leave it on after Jamming? I thought someone said it did.
The solution I was looking at was like this. Horita makes a timecode Generator with Sync, runs on batterries and is cheaper than a radio mic and would let you sync the camera and deck. Runs about $400 if memory serves correctly. This makes the Tascam a little cheaper than a Fostex FR2 with Timecode. Some debate about the sound quality would remain between the 2
There are also boxes (the name escapes me) which can be jammed and then provide sync and timecode to other units. Much more accurate than timecode alone..
I still think you want to send a audio signal to the camera as an option

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Rosen
I'm recording much of my HDV audio now with a Tascam HD P2 , which accepts external reference timecode. I've been using a blooper for sync.

I used to shoot with my soundman sending me a wireless audio signal from the Shure mixer, the receiver obviously mounted on my camera.

I'm not much of a technical person, but can anyone tell me a reason why I couldn't reverse the wireless set-up and send timecode from the camera to the recorder? The Tascam has an XLR input for TC, which I could plug the wireless receiver in to.. I would have to create a cable for the sending unit at the camera end - BNC to XLR - but other than that, it should be a bolt-on...

Is there likely to be a frequency issue or something that the Lectrosonic wireless can't handle?
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Old March 21st, 2006, 04:51 AM   #3
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RF timecode

You can definitely use the Lectrosonics to transmit timecode. We do it all the time. We used to use 4, to send timecode to the audio 2 track of our Sony Z1's. But now we are switching over to Canon's and won't be needing to do this anymore. But it does work, beautifully.

sandy
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Old March 21st, 2006, 09:41 AM   #4
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Sandor: How do you wire the output? Do I need a pad as Daniel suggested? Don't want to trash the sending unit or the camera...

Jam syncing can be done with the Tascam, as Daniel mentioned. But in my experience, that means setting both machine's timecode to Free Run, which creates big problems with Batch Capture, which I need since I'm rough-editing in SD and recapturing for HDV when done... Steve Rosen
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Old March 21st, 2006, 10:37 AM   #5
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Steve,
If you are going to try and use Rec Run on the camera then you have to be careful how you start and stop the Tascam or other decks. Definitely need to be careful if you are using a second or multiple cameras. You could end up with a track which has bad timecode ie higher numbers in front of lower numbers or the same number repeated..
This would happen if you stop the camera while leaving the second deck running. Or starting the second deck before the camera is running. This is why free run ends up being a used method. Each deck can start independently and you can still have good timecode.
Of course the compact flash track is transferred in as a file so this might not be as bad an issue with it as it was with other linear recording systems which needed to be digitized into the computer.
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Old March 21st, 2006, 02:04 PM   #6
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[QUOTE=Daniel Epstein]Steve,
If you are going to try and use Rec Run on the camera then you have to be careful how you start and stop the Tascam or other decks. Definitely need to be careful if you are using a second or multiple cameras.

Yeah, I know, but Rec Run is the only option, otherwise you end up with start point problems when capturing, which means leaving 15+ seconds at the head of every shot, which is impractical for documentary shooting.

I will just continue using the old (and I mean that literally) blooper for sync I quess... I really like the audio quality of the Tascam compared to the HDV audio, especially when there are loud percussive sounds or bass rumbles that need to be dealt with... it allows more room to "fix it in post"...

I do record a simo input from the wireless in the H1, so I always have that as a reference too... Steve Rosen
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Old March 21st, 2006, 10:03 PM   #7
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Steve,
Not sure which edit system or systems you are using (some are better than others at timecode breaks) but the best technical solution for Rec Run double system and digitizing for docs would be a slaved timecode deck/harddisk triggered by the cameras Rec trigger. Apparently the Sound Devices Harddisk system can be set up this way based on the timecode moving. Don't know (but doubt) if the Tascam can be rigged for this.
As for whether or not the Free Run method is a killer for doc... digitizing it does become part of the process. I remember the old film days pre timecode with double system and having to coordinate slates and beep tones. I have also been on both sides of the soundman not rolling cause he didn't see the cue from the cameraman.
This is one of the issues that digitizing has come to be more of an impact on the process than it should. The time it takes you to digitize free run video probably works out very similarly to syncing up sound without a good beep tone or slate mark.
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Old March 22nd, 2006, 07:28 AM   #8
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[QUOTE=Steve Rosen]Sandor: How do you wire the output? Do I need a pad as Daniel suggested? Don't want to trash the sending unit or the camera...


It depends on your wireless packs. We use both Lectrosonics, and Audio Technica (AT100's) that will let you select MIC/LINE on the transmitters. Make sure you are in LINE and your fine.
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Old March 22nd, 2006, 08:24 AM   #9
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Steve,
If you are not sure how to wire the cable you might want to call the local Pro Sound shop and have them wire it for you. Especially if they have a rental part of the business. I get most of my special cables made so I don't have to learn how a particular connector works. There is a good chance they will make exactly the cable you want for a reasonable price.
If there isn't a local dealer then you can try places like Systems Wireless in VA. Also Lectrosonics website can point you in the right direction.
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Old March 22nd, 2006, 09:38 AM   #10
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Thanx Daniel, I actually started on that treck yesterday (looking for an AV guy who can make a cable for me).. I know an engineer at a TV station here and am waiting for his call back...

The H1 provides options to us with it's outputs and this is one that I want to explore for the future because:

If someone comes up with a reliable, portable way to record uncompressed HD from the Canon, it seems that the best way to record audio will be double system, using a deck like the Tascam...

I'm comfortable with manual slating, but if the technology is there I want to explore it...
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