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Author Topic: System Sync  (Read 5220 times)

ak909

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System Sync
« on: June 15, 2008, 12:50:35 pm »

What are some ways (if possible) to sync an entire A/V system to SMPTE?

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Brad Weber

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Re: System Sync
« Reply #1 on: June 16, 2008, 07:26:43 am »

Bryan James wrote on Sun, 15 June 2008 12:50

What are some ways (if possible) to sync an entire A/V system to SMPTE?

What are you trying to do?  And what do you mean by "an entire A/V system"?
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Brad Weber
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ak909

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Re: System Sync
« Reply #2 on: June 16, 2008, 10:38:20 am »

Its mainly an idea really. Just wondering if it can be done. What I mean is have all the system components (mixer, recorders, VTRs, Lighting Board, Camera switchers, etc)
syncd to smpte to allow better "syncing" during stage productions

For example:

@ 01:12:00:00
 (FOH)  ENABLE SFX TRK 4&6
 (POST) DAT AUTOSTART  
 (LD)   FADE House to 3
 (STG)  Prepare PROP 8

@ 01:15:10:00
 (FOH)  AUTO FADE SFX TRK 4&6
 (POST) -
 (LD)   TRIGGER Chase 4
 (STG)  -
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Greg Hertfelder

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Re: System Sync
« Reply #3 on: June 18, 2008, 09:39:56 pm »

I think you are really talking about automation to GPS.

SMPTE sync usually means burning an external SMPTE time code onto two or more camcorders or videotape recorders so that the video can be synchronized upon playback in post-production. Anyway, automation would be exorbitantly expensive but could be achieved with the following methods:

1. Professional broadcasting automation software that typically triggers playback and recording machines.

2. AMX or Crestron AV system integration with lots of widgets and custom programming.

3. MIDI sequencer or software, and lots of MIDI widgets.
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ak909

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Re: System Sync
« Reply #4 on: June 18, 2008, 10:16:51 pm »

 SMPTE can be used in real-time. I'm using 24fps when tracking our sermons and 24 fps/df during post allowing us to keep 48k sync during the editing and mix process. Now what I'm looking for is way to have a sync system where all I need is to plug any paticular device to a clock or ctrl system.

Not so much automation but more of a device to sync the team (Tech, camera operators, etc) by either slaving the equipments own internal clock to the house clock or by using an external clock display if the said device does not have one.

I understand it much more complicted. We have a full Crestron system inside the facility. Crestron techs are on staff. I'm seriously intrigued by this idea.
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Mac Kerr

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Operator cues
« Reply #5 on: June 19, 2008, 12:19:13 pm »

Bryan James wrote on Wed, 18 June 2008 22:16

 SMPTE can be used in real-time. I'm using 24fps when tracking our sermons and 24 fps/df during post allowing us to keep 48k sync during the editing and mix process. Now what I'm looking for is way to have a sync system where all I need is to plug any paticular device to a clock or ctrl system.

Not so much automation but more of a device to sync the team (Tech, camera operators, etc) by either slaving the equipments own internal clock to the house clock or by using an external clock display if the said device does not have one.
It is still unclear to me what you are talking about. SMPTE timecode, which is used to keep video machines in time sync is not the same kind of sync as word clock, or house sync the sync that keeps all your video or digital audio devices on the same sample. Neither of these is much use for keeping live crew in sync. Usually in the real world we have a stage manager that does that. SMPTE timecode only tells you where you are in relation to either the start of the event, or where in a video you are. It will not tell you what is happening live in the room. What is happening live in the room is what matters for taking cues in a live event, whether it is a theatrical show, or a religious service supported by A/V. Someone responsible for having all the cues right follows a script or a score, and gives direction via a headset intercom to the operators. If there are impromptu changes in the flow of the event, the stage manager is responsible for changing the cues on the fly to match the new situation.

Mac
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Greg Hertfelder

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Re: System Sync
« Reply #6 on: June 21, 2008, 09:18:54 am »

Quote:

Not so much automation but more of a device to sync the team (Tech, camera operators, etc) by either slaving the equipments own internal clock to the house clock or by using an external clock display if the said device does not have one


I suppose I understand what you are getting at. The broadcast industry's response to control is the General Purpose Interface (GPI), usually a simple contact closure that is triggered by  an automation computer. The computer may be slaved to SMPTE or GPS.

For what it's worth, companies like ESE and Torpey offer Master Clock systems that can be synced to a master clock so that everyone sees the same time display (a Google search on Master Clock reveals a myriad of devices). That time display be optionally linked to Global Positioning Satellite (GPS) for atomic-clock precision.
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Mac Kerr

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Stage managers and cues
« Reply #7 on: June 21, 2008, 03:08:45 pm »

Greg Hertfelder wrote on Sat, 21 June 2008 09:18

Quote:

Not so much automation but more of a device to sync the team (Tech, camera operators, etc) by either slaving the equipments own internal clock to the house clock or by using an external clock display if the said device does not have one


I suppose I understand what you are getting at. The broadcast industry's response to control is the General Purpose Interface (GPI), usually a simple contact closure that is triggered by  an automation computer. The computer may be slaved to SMPTE or GPS.

For what it's worth, companies like ESE and Torpey offer Master Clock systems that can be synced to a master clock so that everyone sees the same time display (a Google search on Master Clock reveals a myriad of devices). That time display be optionally linked to Global Positioning Satellite (GPS) for atomic-clock precision.
The question though is, to what end? Do the operators take their cues from the time of day, or from the action on the stage? What if the pastor take longer to do the sermon? Timecode, or time of day, or wordclock, or house sync, all have nothing at all to do with what technicians and equipment operators need to know and do. They can follow a script, or take cues from a stage manager, but not timecode. When I worked on the Papal Mass in Central Park in NYC in 1995(?) I discovered that even the Vatican has a stage manager. His script is a large beautifully illustrated bible, but it has all the lighting and sound cues notated in it, and the Vatican stage manager calls those cues to the sound, lighting, and video operators so they do the cues in the right place.

Mac
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Brad Weber

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Re: Stage managers and cues
« Reply #8 on: June 22, 2008, 01:38:09 pm »

It may be just the terminology but I have to agree that I am a little lost on the 'sync' of a production.  You may sync individual devices via timecode, blackburst, word clock, etc. but that is signal and device sync rather than automation.  And you may have a show control or automation system that controls events based on a common timing or triggers, however this is usually related to 'canned' aspects that do not vary and that have to be repeated multiple times in exactly the same way.  But I'm not clear on having frame accurate timecode based cues to operators that or of trying to automate everything for a one time live event.  It may be possible, but probably not practical.
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Brad Weber
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ak909

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Re: System Sync
« Reply #9 on: June 22, 2008, 02:30:41 pm »

Okay to clear things up.

The reason I like this idea is becouse of the following

1. Using a global timecode clock that all equipment and personal respond to is much better then having to rely on regular time clocks that 8/10 times our off by a minute or two.

2. It REALLY helps if a piece of equipment can automate itself to start whatever function it has been assigned to do at whatever point in the timecode the director would want it to start at. So instead of having A2 Joe press record at 10:30 am I can just set the machine to start recording at 00:30:00:00 after a 30sc preroll.

3.It benefits the Stage director when giving cues because he or she knows that everyone is looking at the same clock.

4. It REALLY helps during post production and OB becouse all the engineers both live and studio that I personally know work strictly with TC no matter what role or type of production they are doing.

5. Most of our equipment is TC ready so I figure lets do it..

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Re: System Sync
« Reply #9 on: June 22, 2008, 02:30:41 pm »


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