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Author Topic: Sound guy sending Timecode  (Read 1773 times)

Eddie Ybarra

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Sound guy sending Timecode
« on: October 03, 2022, 01:38:35 PM »

Hi everyone, so at the theme park I work at I'm the A1 and along with that I have to send timecode, LTC, MTC, SMPTE, etc. not only to my self but also to the lighting and video rigs. So for example here's my current set up for our Halloween show, iMac running Logic Pro X and Digital Performer 11 coming through a Motu 828x to send backing tracks. Now the midi out of the Motu splits off via a Midi Solutions Quadra Thru to two different places, the first thing it goes to is my Avid SC48 for the snapshot automation and the second split goes to a Road Hog 4 with midi/LTC widget and that's where the problems start. Now the SC48 can receive midi patch changes or MTC I've used both before and both work fine but for what ever reason the Hog widget will see the incoming midi signal but the board it self won't see it. Now the lighting guy keeps saying that I'm doing something wrong or it's Logic not sending a good signal but if my board works fine why doesn't his so I disagree there but then again who knows but that why I'm here asking for more input. Now the next thing is video side of things, so I don't know the complete specs of the video rig but here's what I know it's a PC running Watchout 6, Novastar switchers, and DVS led video walls. I slave DP11 to Logic because Logic doesn't generate SMPTE or at least from all the research that I've done it doesn't generate it but if it does and I'm not doing it right please let me know I'd really appreciate it. So with DP11 I have a empty session open and I use Logic to start and stop DP11 which generates SIMPTE for Watchout and the SMPTE signal comes out of the timecode output of the Motu and now is where another problem starts.
There are a few things about the video rig set up that I question and the first is the input for SIMPTE on the PC is just the 1/8 inch microphone input on the front of the PC but the signal coming from me isn't strong enough for Watchout's timecode to catch so I put a small mixer to gain up the signal but still it doesn't always work or is intermittent or works flawlessly its just really hit or miss every day then again the cable he gave me is a guitar cable with a 1/4 inch to 1/8 in turnaround on it so that might have something to do with it too. So is the mic input on the PC the only way Watchout can receive SMPTE or is there different or better/robust way for the input side of things on the Watchout PC?
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Paul Johnson

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Re: Sound guy sending Timecode
« Reply #1 on: October 03, 2022, 02:03:31 PM »

Hogs? I'm surprised that's the choice for an automated show - we don;t see them much anymore in the UK - Avo, ETC and Chamsys seem common here. I suspect you are supplying valid code. As the timecode is accepted by the Avid, I suspetc the issue is the widget. I wonder if the timecode facility is unlocked on the software. Chamsys and Avo I know can be quite picky about turning on timecode without the right permissions. Chamsys, that I'm familia with is happy when real hardware is attached, but without it - the clever dongle limits some facilities? Could the Hog be doing something like this? With a PC, connecting external gear can be really difficult theough the 3.5mm sockets - when you connect to audio systems, you usually get buzz, data burts and it's horrid - using an external audio device always cures this - maybe it's corrupting the audio data - and if you can't hear it, you can't cure it.
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Eddie Ybarra

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Re: Sound guy sending Timecode
« Reply #2 on: October 03, 2022, 02:49:26 PM »

I believe everything on the Hog is up to date and unlocked so I'm still thinking that there is a setting some where in the Hog that isn't checked at least that's always been the case with me when something wasn't working right, but is that possible too? As far as "good" timecode is concerned I want to say its good cause when i listen to it it sounds fine not distorted, clipped or anything that sounds bad. So something like simple 1 or 2 channel usb interface would be the way to go for the Watchout PC?
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Jeff Lelko

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Re: Sound guy sending Timecode
« Reply #3 on: October 04, 2022, 06:45:31 AM »

Hi Eddie,

So it looks like you're facing two different problems here - MTC not being handled properly by the Hog 4, and then something not right with the video server (correct?).

The Hog 4 should be easy to troubleshoot - ask the LD if he's seeing timecode on the console's Timecode Bar (Toolbar that displays incoming timecode).  If that's reading back fine you know it's an issue with mapping the timecode to trigger cues on the Hog (and not your problem).  If the clock isn't advancing or is glitchy it's likely an issue with the incoming timecode itself, assuming that the LD configured the MIDI widget correctly in the system network settings. 

As far as video goes I can't speak authoritatively on that, but regarding the SMPTE issue though it's usually transmitted through XLR.  The 1/8" jack works too, but my thought is that there's either a pad or impedance mismatch somewhere that's giving you low gain.  I can't suggest what might work better with Watchout but a basic USB-XLR (input) cable might be able to help.  Please take that advice at your own risk though as it's a bit outside of my experience base!
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Eddie Ybarra

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Re: Sound guy sending Timecode
« Reply #4 on: October 04, 2022, 10:36:35 PM »

Time code is definitely not running and I have seen him configure the board to get timecode and still nothing at the same time Iím not really sure how much troubleshooting can be done either. Some how itís always the audio departments fault when lights and video doesnít work go figure lol
Is there any troubleshooting tips you could give me on setting up the timecode widget for the Hog? And Iím gonna assume that the LD has already done them.
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Erik Jerde

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Re: Sound guy sending Timecode
« Reply #5 on: October 05, 2022, 09:42:36 AM »

Time code is definitely not running and I have seen him configure the board to get timecode and still nothing at the same time Iím not really sure how much troubleshooting can be done either. Some how itís always the audio departments fault when lights and video doesnít work go figure lol
Is there any troubleshooting tips you could give me on setting up the timecode widget for the Hog? And Iím gonna assume that the LD has already done them.

Do you have another piece of gear you can use to test the timecode source thatís going into the hog?  That would be my first go, make sure that what Iím feeding them is verifiably good.  If you can prove that then it should be on the LD to properly setup their equipment.
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Eddie Ybarra

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Re: Sound guy sending Timecode
« Reply #6 on: October 05, 2022, 09:09:55 PM »

Iím sure I could rig something up to test the signal going to the Hog also there is another widget to try as well. But is it true that even though the widget is showing thatís itís getting the midi signal, thereís still a possibility that itís not a clear and healthy signal?
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Erik Jerde

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Re: Sound guy sending Timecode
« Reply #7 on: October 05, 2022, 09:30:40 PM »

Iím sure I could rig something up to test the signal going to the Hog also there is another widget to try as well. But is it true that even though the widget is showing thatís itís getting the midi signal, thereís still a possibility that itís not a clear and healthy signal?

I couldn't say there, it's been a long time since I've worked with hog.  I guess I look at this a lot like I'd look at providing a pressbox.  I just need to be able to prove that the feed is there and that it's good.  Then if someone plugging in has problems it's on them.  Unfortunately MTC is a little bit harder to test than audio with a QBOX but it would be a good idea to have a way to test any signal you're responsible for providing.
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Jeff Lelko

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Re: Sound guy sending Timecode
« Reply #8 on: October 05, 2022, 11:12:20 PM »

But is it true that even though the widget is showing thatís itís getting the midi signal, thereís still a possibility that itís not a clear and healthy signal?

Thatís hard to say, but possibly.  With Hog now part of the ETC Community you can always try calling ETCís support line and see if they have any suggestions.

For what itís worth this is why I have a Motu MIDI Express XT in my FOH rack - it works wonders when needing to sync and broadcast MTC/SMPTE to many destinations simultaneously, and when used with a PC can help diagnose issues like this to a great extent.
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Magnus HŲgkvist

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Re: Sound guy sending Timecode
« Reply #9 on: October 06, 2022, 01:50:09 PM »

Now the midi out of the Motu splits off via a Midi Solutions Quadra Thru to two different places, the first thing it goes to is my Avid SC48 for the snapshot automation and the second split goes to a Road Hog 4 with midi/LTC widget and that's where the problems start. Now the SC48 can receive midi patch changes or MTC I've used both before and both work fine but for what ever reason the Hog widget will see the incoming midi signal but the board it self won't see it. Now the lighting guy keeps saying that I'm doing something wrong or it's Logic not sending a good signal but if my board works fine why doesn't his so I disagree there but then again who knows but that why I'm here asking for more input.

Is the console correctly setup? https://www.etcconnect.com/webdocs/Controls/HOG/HTML/en/sect-midi_timecode.htm

You can't "give more input" with midi.
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Re: Sound guy sending Timecode
¬ę Reply #9 on: October 06, 2022, 01:50:09 PM ¬Ľ


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