Synchronising :pulse with a Sound Mixer/Recorder

Synchronising with a Sound Mixer/Recorder

Some sound recorders and mixers, such as the Sound Devices 6-series range, can receive timecode and word clock signals from an external source. You can use your :pulse as the external source - it will provide timecode and word clock signals.

The timecode signal provides the 'time stamp' information that is added to the recording, such as the time and any user-defined metadata. The word clock signal allows the sound mixer to synchronise the timing of its audio recording with the timecode. This significantly reduces the amount of work required in post-production.

If your sound mixer does not support external word clock, :pulse can still provide it with highly accurate timecode. In this situation, there is no word clock signal to synchronise the timecode with the timing of the audio recording, so while the time stamps in the recording will be slightly less accurate. In one day of recording, there should be no, or very little, clock drift. Over a longer period, the clock drift may increase. For this reason, we recommend that you re-sync your :pulse and sound mixer at the start of each day (as a minimum requirement).

When you set up your :pulse to provide timecode and word clock to a sound mixer/recorder, there are three stages:

  1. Set the timecode mode for the :pulse. This defines its relationship with any other Timecode Systems devices and also sets the :pulse to either send or receive timecode data via its TC port.
  2. Set the sound mixer/recorder to accept external word clock and timecode signals.
  3. Set the :pulse to output the type of word clock signal that is supported by the sound mixer/recorder.

The most common arrangement is to set your :pulse to send/receive timecode via the TC port and send word clock via the TC/SYNC port. It is possible for your :pulse to output timecode via the TC/SYNC port, but it cannot be used to output word clock at the same time.

Example:

A :pulse is connected to a Sound Devices 6-series mixer/recorder via the TC and TC/SYNC ports. It is set to run as an RF slave. Another :pulse is set to run as a master and there are also two SyncBac PROs which are set to run as slaves.

The master :pulse sends the timecode to the slave :pulse and the SyncBac PROs via radio (RF). The SyncBac PROs feed the timecode to the GoPro HERO4™ Black cameras to which they are attached. The slave :pulse feeds the timecode and a word clock signal to the sound mixer/recorder (timecode via the TC port, word clock via the TC/SYNC port). As a result, the slave :pulse, sound mixer/recorder, SyncBac PROs and GoPro HERO4™ Black cameras are all synchronised with the master :pulse.

For setup details, see Quick Set Up :pulse Connected to Sound Mixer/Recorder.

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