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Forums Field Production Using timecode

  • Using timecode

     Bouke Vahl updated 8 years, 2 months ago 2 Members · 2 Posts
  • sergio reynoso

    July 15, 2012 at 10:08 pm


    Can someone explain to me to how you would use timecode in your shooting workflow? I understand why it is used and its importance. The part I don’t understand is how you actually implement it at preproduction.

    So lets say I am shooting a short and simple scene with 2 cameras pointing at 1 subject while speaking. Sound will be recorded to an external recorder via a boom mic. And lets say both cameras and audio recorder can receive and generate timecode. Which one do I select as the timecode generator? Would it be the audio generator, and have both cameras plugged into it?

    Also, I am not clear as to what happens when you stop recording to do another take. If I have the audio recorder generating timecode, should I stop it first then the cameras, or vice versa? Same question on starting to record, which device would I start first?

    Any input on this would be much appreciate it as I have never taken a formal film class and by far this is the only subject I am totally in the dark.

    Thank you very much in advance for any input.

  • Bouke Vahl

    July 20, 2012 at 12:28 pm

    If you have a decent audio recorder that outputs timecode, it should not stop sending out TC unless you turn it off.

    But that ‘should’ go for any device.
    As long as you put the master into ‘free run’, and slave the other devices, it should not matter who of the three is the master.

    If unsure, you can listen to the timecode. It’s an audio signal at app. +4 Db. You can hear if it is running or stopped (sending out the same frame over and over again), and of course you can hear if it is there or not 🙂

    Before the shoot, you can slave (jam sync) all devices and remove the cabling, but most cams have a drift up to a second a day. So if you can, leave the cables on. If that’s not an option, get back together as often as you can and re-jam.


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