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Sync Me Please

Discussion in 'Microphones (live or studio)' started by Modumscrotum, Dec 9, 2003.

  1. Modumscrotum

    Modumscrotum Guest

    I figure I will post this in as many relavent places in this forum as I can, cause I really need help :d:

    I am having a hell of a time trying to sync my gear....I am time-code unsavy to say the least. I am very frustrated to tell the truth and any help you guys/gals could offer would be much, much appreciated. MUCH!
    Ok...I am trying to sync a 192 I/O/Pro Tools HD-3 (PowerMac G-4 Quicksilver 933) with a PC
    (P-3/900mhz) running Acid Pro 4.0 and LOGIC platinum through a MOTU 2408. I would like to be able to use them all with the MOTU MTP AV we have.

    192 I/O
    Pro Tools HD-3
    MOTU 2408

    I'm sure you can see why I am so frustrated.

    I can do without the MPT AV if I could just get the two computers synched up.
    Would Word Clock be the best option??....Does it matter what ohmage the BNC cables are (50 or 75)?

    Many tools...Many questions... Thanks in advance for any help at all!
  2. AudioGaff

    AudioGaff Well-Known Member

    Feb 23, 2001
    Silicon Valley
    Well the short answer is that something has to be master and everythihg else has to be slave. And yes, 50 or 75 ohm cables could make a difference depending on how or what they are connected to as well as how they terminate. I think you have way to many variables and other unknown details to get an exact answer from your basic question around here. But mabe someone else will chime in.

    You might have much more luck going over to the Digidesign forum where those guys deal with these exact same kind of issues on a daily bassis. Mabe even with the same set up as you have.
  3. Modumscrotum

    Modumscrotum Guest

    Thanks Gaff...Actually I have posted on DUC and I did get1 reply from someone kind enough to try, but as you say, maybe I am not specific enough to get a specific enough answer...Thanx again!
  4. AtticMan

    AtticMan Guest

    Word clock and timecode are two different, though related, things. Word clock will keep digital devices in sync (to avoid sample timing issues, aka "jitter") but does not contain any timestamp information. Timecode, using the HH:MM:SS:FF format (hours:minutes:seconds:frames) tells you where you are in the song/project, and allows multiple devices, both analog and digital, to run in sync.

    AudioGaff is correct in that the KEY to both WC and TC is to have one -- and only one -- master. (You can, and probably will, have different WC and TC masters.) I'm not sure which of the devices in your setup can be WC masters, though I think the MTP-AV cannot. I have one, but it's been a while since I've run WC through it.

    Regarding timecode, say you set up ProTools to be your TC master. Not being familiar with PT, I assume there's a dialog box/radio button/check box where you can select whether PT will be the master/slave and whether it will generate/read timecode. You may have to use Midi Time Code (MTC) which is simply SMPTE timecode information translated into MIDI messages, and therefore, able to travel along MIDI cables.

    Once you have your TC master (here, PT) everything else is considered a slave, and should be set up to READ the incoming SMPTE/MTC from PT and "chase" the code, meaning that Acid, say, will follow along in sync with PT. (It may take a few seconds for everything to "lock up" and run in sync, so if you're doing overdubs, for instance, you'd want to set your preroll time to be long enough so that everything is locked up and running in sync before you need to punch in.)

    You *should* be able to use the MTP-AV's MIDI routing capabilities to accept the master TC from PT and distribute it out to all the other units that need to see code (although it will be in the form of MTC, not that it necessarily matters).
  5. Duardo

    Duardo Guest

    If you just want to record from one computer to the other, Word Clock is all you should need. I'd use a 75-ohm video cable and go out of the 192 into the 2408.

    If you actually want to have one computer follow the other, you'll need to have some source of timecode as well. You'd need a synchronizer, or at least a MIDI interface, for each computer. Do you have any other MIDI interfaces lying around? Or is your 2408 a MkIII?

    Actually, sample timing issues and jitter aren't the same thing. If you don't have both digital devices' clocks locked together you'll get clicks and pops. Even if you have the two clocks locked together, though, you will still have jitter. It will be minimized if you have the device with the better clock as the master, but in many cases you won't hear a difference so it may not be a big issue. (In this case I'd imagine the 192's clock would have less jitter, but I'm not sure and again, it may not be noticeable even if it does.)

  6. AudioGaff

    AudioGaff Well-Known Member

    Feb 23, 2001
    Silicon Valley
    Actually, that is not always true or that simple. Some device are not as good syncing to, or reclocking as they are with their own internal clocking ability. Each device in the chain needs to have it's clocking ability understood in order to have the least amount of problems and issues. On top of all that, the software has to have as good or better master and or slave sync capability to match the capability of the hardware.

    If you bought the Motu stuff new, you should qualify for customer support where they might have experience in doing what your trying to do. But honestly, I can't imagine that you'll ever get all of this stuff at the same time running smooth and consistant yet alone to be very reliable every time you use it. Not only that, but the chance of it crashing or having many issues when you need it work perfect the most is very likely. If you do get it all working well, write it down and post it so that other may learn from it.
  7. Duardo

    Duardo Guest

    Sorry, I should have stated that as "you should use whatever setup sounds best". Typically, that should be using the device with the better clock as the master, but there are devices out there that don't do so well if they can't be the master. The 2408 should have no problem locking to the 192, though. The software does need to be able to follow whatever you have selected as the master source, but word clock isn't really an issue with the software...if it is, there's something very, very wrong.

  8. johnclark2

    johnclark2 Guest

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