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Time Code and Word Clock. Syncing Audio with Video and MIDI And syncing digital devices. What is Time Code?. It is a way of SYNCRONIZATION It allows different kinds of devices to communicate and sync together This can be useful with: Audio for Video MIDI systems Various digital devices.

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Time code and word clock

Time Code and Word Clock

Syncing Audio with Video and MIDI

And syncing digital devices

What is time code
What is Time Code?

  • It is a way of SYNCRONIZATION

  • It allows different kinds of devices to communicate and sync together

  • This can be useful with:

    • Audio for Video

    • MIDI systems

    • Various digital devices

Smpte time code
SMPTE Time Code

  • When audio is added to video, they need a way to be perfectly in SYNC

  • VIDEO is made up of individual frames

  • DIGITAL AUDIO is made up of SAMPLES

What is smpte
What is SMPTE?

  • The Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers

  • They decided on a UNIVERSAL standard.

Frame rates
Frame Rates

  • The time codes depend on the frame rate of the video

  • It is usually one of the following:

    • 24 FPS (Common for film)

    • 25 FPS (PAL European format)

    • 29.97 FPS (NTSC American)

    • 30 FPS (HDTV)

Audio video communication
Audio/Video Communication

  • The audio and video streams are generally produces from different devices

  • Using a universal SMPTE format allows for the audio to stay perfectly in place with the frames

  • For example:

    • Take 24 video FPS and 48k audio

    • That’s 2,000 audio samples for every frame of video!

Telecine and 3 2 pulldown
Telecine and 3:2 Pulldown

  • TELECINE is the process of converting motion picture film to a video format

  • 3:2 pulldown makes 24 FPS film look proper on a TV broadcasting NTSC 29.97 FPS.

  • Luckily, audio is not affected by this process

Midi time code mtc
MIDI Time Code (MTC)

  • Remember that MIDI is simply data information

  • MTC is simply another form of syncing audio and video

  • These are called ‘Quarter-frame’ messages

Word clock
Word Clock

  • Word Clock is DIFFERENT than timecode

  • It is for syncing digital devices to avoid data errors

  • This can also be useful with:

    • Tape machines

    • CD Players

    • Multiple digital devices

Master word clock
Master Word Clock

  • These devices are used to sync it all perfectly

    • Antelope

    • Drawmer

    • Lucid

    • Digidesign


  • Jitter is distortion of high-frequency signal

  • It is caused during transmission between digital devices

  • This is often caused by clock errors and can be avoided by:

    • Using a Master Word Clock

    • Using quality A/D converters with Jitter reduction

    • Jitter reduction built in to digital units

Syncing in the modern studio
Syncing in the modern studio

  • Syncing is often now done “In the Box”

  • Software is designed to sync internally

  • Modern digital devices have technology to sync properly and avoid jitter

Surround sound
Surround Sound

  • Most common format is 5.1

  • 7.1 is also supported on Blu-Ray

  • The ‘.1’ refers to the LFE channel (Low-Frequency emmissions)

  • Generally, this is a crossover for the subwoofer, incorporated by the engineers

Uncompressed audio for video
Uncompressed Audio for Video

  • PCM: Pulse Code Modulation

  • This is a completely uncompressed file, just like we would save from Pro Tools

  • Blu-Ray TrueHD: Linear PCM 8 Channels fully uncompressed! Wow.

Dts and dolby digital
DTS and Dolby Digital

  • Support surround sound, but are compressed audio formats

  • They are considered a ‘CODEC’ almost always found on DVD discs

  • About 640 kbps compression rate

Some other formats
Some Other Formats

  • DVD Audio

    • Up to 192k stereo, 96k full surround

    • 24-bit audio

  • SACD

    • Sampling rate up to 2822 khz! (CD is 44.1)

    • 120dB Dynamic Range (CD is 96)

    • Nearly 8GB capacity