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Pro Tools time code question...

Discussion in 'Pro Tools' started by JamieTate, Aug 11, 2005.

  1. JamieTate

    JamieTate Active Member

    Hey everyone,

    I've been using RADAR's since the mid 90's and mix through an automated analog console. I'm toying with the idea of changing my rooms over to Pro Tools but have a question about the time code options I'll have.

    The thing I'm concerned about is doing offline mix adjustments. With the RADAR's I will just scroll to the point I want to make the change (like a head mute) and write that change into the computer. It's quite easy since RADAR's output a static timecode, meaning whatever spot the curser is on, whether it's being played or stopped or scrolling, etc... it's constantly outputting the curser timecode. This means I don't have to type TC locations into the computer... they're already there.

    Will Pro Tools output static timecode?

    Thanks. :D
  2. hociman

    hociman Active Member


    If you are using a SYNC I/O, you can configure it to continuously output MIDI Time Code.
  3. JamieTate

    JamieTate Active Member

    Re: MTC

    Thanks for the reply. This is the first time this question hasn't stumped the band. :D

    I need SMPTE. I guess out of Pro Tools I can send the MIDI time code to one of my RADAR's and have that send out the static SMPTE time code for my console... or is there an easier way to do that?
  4. Dosser

    Dosser Active Member


    The Sync I/O also has a dedicated SMPTE out via XLR, but it doesn't normally output static TC addresses while stopped; and I don't believe there is an option to allow that function.

    When hooked up to an SSL, the computer only sees the Protools SMPTE once I hit play. I have to give the console a small burst of timecode, and all my offline commands usually include "FROM HERE" in them.

    You could try having Protools loop play a tiny section at the location of your automation edit, thereby having it remain in play at relatively the same address. What I don't know is how sensitive the TC reader on your (I believe Otari) console is. With an SSL, it takes it a bit to start seeing code, so it makes this time consuming enough that I would rather type in commands at the console, like "AT 1:13 JOIN" for a head mute than loop play code from PT.

    The MTC output resends the current TC address every 200 ms when online, for MIDI gear that need to always see code. That would make your RADAR a fairly expensive MTC to SMPTE converter

    Sorry this doesn't help much.

    John Saylor
  5. JamieTate

    JamieTate Active Member

    Hey John,

    Nice to hear from you. Hope you're doing well. Thanks for the reply.

    Does this cause any other engineers problems? I guess I got used to having that timecode always fedding the computer. I'm still fighting the pressure to "upgrade" :roll: to Pro Tools and just want to make sure the pro list is longer than the con. But so far...
  6. Dosser

    Dosser Active Member


    I checked this morning and there is no menu option to allow constant output of static TC from the SMPTE Out on the Sync I/O. I guess it all comes down to if you can find some slightly altered way to use the console commands to compensate, without having to completely abandon your current routine. With the SSL, I was already entering in a lot of commands at the desk, so I just got used to a few different ones, along with giving it the occasional burst of SMPTE from PT (by hitting play).

    You can get a cheap MTC to SMPTE converter (MIDIMan used to make one for $130), but I would wonder if the accuracy of MTC would make your automation timing suffer.

    As far as advantages from using PT, here are a few I dig over RADAR:

    1. Visually lining up two tracks to sample accuracy. Like a ribbon and a dynamic on EGT, spaced differently during tracks. I can zoom in a lot more with PT to make the ribbon mic phase accurate to the dynamic. You can't zoom in that much on RADAR.

    2. Obviously, the occasional tuning of notes with autotune.

    3. Using Pitch-n-Time to change the key of a song to allow for two versions of a demo; one in a male key, one in a female key.

    4. Being able to stretch or squeeze parts to correct timing problems.

    Once you get used to the shortcut keys, and have your favorites as trackball buttons, you can edit pretty fast; as I'm sure you're used to doing on the RADAR.

    The disadvantage - its a MUCH bigger money pit than RADAR. Once they hook you, Digidesign prefers that you give them money often, and in large sums :cry:
  7. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    Are you related to Skip?
  8. Dosser

    Dosser Active Member

    No relation.

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