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Syncing a 2'' machine to PT or Sequencer

 
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southsider
pluggin' in mics


Joined: 05 Apr 2011
Posts: 31
Location: US of A

PostPosted: Sun Feb 07, 2016 9:34 pm    Post subject: Syncing a 2'' machine to PT or Sequencer Reply with quote

Hey everyone, I hope this post is in the right spot.

What I'm wanting to do is an experimental project, mainly being an older style electronic song. I'll be recording to a studer 827, but using PT to trigger my drum machines, and bass synth, and most likely lead synths, pads etc.

From what I gather I need
-1 track on studer striped with time code, which will talk to the SYNC I/O
-I think i'd like to have the studer be the master, so when i push play, then pro tools also plays.

The PT system will fire off midi to the various drum machines and synths, and my plan is to record a good chunk of the instruments to tape in one pass. I will most likely go back and add in other things, some midi triggered, some real instruments and vocals.
-anything not midi will just go straight to tape.

I hope this works, but it also leads me to another question...

How did people in the 80's sync tape machines to sequencers to make electronic music?

I think it would be really cool to do a session without any computer, just using drum machines, synths, etc with MIDI and a tape machine.
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southsider
pluggin' in mics


Joined: 05 Apr 2011
Posts: 31
Location: US of A

PostPosted: Sun Feb 07, 2016 9:53 pm    Post subject: Re: Syncing a 2'' machine to PT or Sequencer Reply with quote

I should mention that the studer 827 does not have the optional sync module installed (sits under meters)
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tactics
steve albini likes it


Joined: 07 May 2003
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Location: Australia

PostPosted: Mon Feb 08, 2016 7:01 am    Post subject: Re: Syncing a 2'' machine to PT or Sequencer Reply with quote

southsider wrote:
Hey everyone, I hope this post is in the right spot.

What I'm wanting to do is an experimental project, mainly being an older style electronic song. I'll be recording to a studer 827, but using PT to trigger my drum machines, and bass synth, and most likely lead synths, pads etc.

From what I gather I need
-1 track on studer striped with time code, which will talk to the SYNC I/O
-I think i'd like to have the studer be the master, so when i push play, then pro tools also plays.

This should work fine, I've done it with PT HD8 & a Studer A820.
The Sync I/O can generate time code & then read time code once recorded, from the tape machine. Don't know anything about midi though.
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Nick Sevilla
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Joined: 03 Mar 2008
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Location: Los Angeles California USA

PostPosted: Mon Feb 08, 2016 2:42 pm    Post subject: Re: Syncing a 2'' machine to PT or Sequencer Reply with quote

Did this for years,
It should be ok the way you describe your setup.

Be SURE to stripe the SMPTE code all the way from the beginning to the end of the tape, in ONE go. I recommend you use one of the edge tape channels, check the Studer manual to see, but typically it is channels 1 - 24 which are on the edges of the tape itself. This will avoid print thru of the code onto more than one adjacent track.

I used to always start my SMPTE time code stripe, at 00:59:30:00, and give about 20 seconds of preroll inside my Pro Tools sessions, by setting up the session to 00:59:40:00.

On the tape itself, the first song would start recording AFTER the 01:00:00:00 mark.

This gives Pro Tools enough time to seek, resolve, and lock to the incoming timecode, and enough time for the Studer to achieve a stable velocity, so that things run more smoothly. I cannot stress how important it is for the tape to already be running "at speed" before you start recording and syncing. Otherwise you'll end up with a shitty sounding song intro, with weird timing issues. Also, when you roll tape back, you'l have enough extra tape to not risk spooling it off... LOL.

And yes, always make Pro Tools the Slave. It runs better this way, less stress on the Studer's motors.

Cheers Very Happy
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southsider
pluggin' in mics


Joined: 05 Apr 2011
Posts: 31
Location: US of A

PostPosted: Mon Feb 08, 2016 9:38 pm    Post subject: Re: Syncing a 2'' machine to PT or Sequencer Reply with quote

Great, thanks for the input. I'll give it a go and see what happens.
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Gregg Juke
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Joined: 12 Jun 2010
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 09, 2016 4:32 pm    Post subject: Re: Syncing a 2'' machine to PT or Sequencer Reply with quote

>>>>This gives Pro Tools enough time to seek, resolve, and lock to the incoming timecode, and enough time for the Studer to achieve a stable velocity, so that things run more smoothly. I cannot stress how important it is for the tape to already be running "at speed" before you start recording and syncing. Otherwise you'll end up with a shitty sounding song intro, with weird timing issues. Also, when you roll tape back, you'l have enough extra tape to not risk spooling it off... LOL.<<<<

Reminds me a little bit of crappy Adat syncing back in the day. Start one machine, wait for the next, wait for the next; lather, rinse, repeat...

GJ
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Nick Sevilla
speech impediment


Joined: 03 Mar 2008
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 10, 2016 11:45 am    Post subject: Re: Syncing a 2'' machine to PT or Sequencer Reply with quote

Gregg Juke wrote:
Reminds me a little bit of crappy Adat syncing back in the day. Start one machine, wait for the next, wait for the next; lather, rinse, repeat...

GJ


Must we revisit this horror?
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A.David.MacKinnon
mixes from purgatory


Joined: 07 May 2003
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 15, 2016 10:01 pm    Post subject: Re: Syncing a 2'' machine to PT or Sequencer Reply with quote

Nick Sevilla wrote:
Gregg Juke wrote:
Reminds me a little bit of crappy Adat syncing back in the day. Start one machine, wait for the next, wait for the next; lather, rinse, repeat...

GJ


Must we revisit this horror?


Hit play and watch things go crazy as one machine start fast forwarding while the other rewinds. Stop. Try again. Try again. Try again. Wait. Wait. Wait. Wait. Wait............... OK! Good to go!
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joninc
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 16, 2016 11:16 pm    Post subject: Re: Syncing a 2'' machine to PT or Sequencer Reply with quote

Oh analog Smile
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southsider
pluggin' in mics


Joined: 05 Apr 2011
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 20, 2016 11:57 am    Post subject: Re: Syncing a 2'' machine to PT or Sequencer Reply with quote

Hello again everyone. I have an update. I got a SYNC I/O and hooked it up. I recorded time code (LTC) to one channel on the studer 827. Then, I switched the clock source in pro tools to LTC (4 - smoothest), and sure enough, PT slaves to the tape machine. Exactly what I was wanting to do.

However, sometimes I hear the audio drop out, kind of like a cd player skipping. I tried doing the time code on two different channels on the tape machine, but the same thing occurs. The level of the time code on the VU on the studer is about -7db.

I'm guessing that the time code signal, at certain points, is degraded and the SYNC IO can't properly read it and it messes up the session playback.

Anyone have any advice for this? I know they make units to "clean up" time code, but I want to make sure everything is set properly first.

Thanks in advance.
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Nick Sevilla
speech impediment


Joined: 03 Mar 2008
Posts: 4422
Location: Los Angeles California USA

PostPosted: Sun Mar 20, 2016 1:07 pm    Post subject: Re: Syncing a 2'' machine to PT or Sequencer Reply with quote

southsider wrote:
Hello again everyone. I have an update. I got a SYNC I/O and hooked it up. I recorded time code (LTC) to one channel on the studer 827. Then, I switched the clock source in pro tools to LTC (4 - smoothest), and sure enough, PT slaves to the tape machine. Exactly what I was wanting to do.

However, sometimes I hear the audio drop out, kind of like a cd player skipping. I tried doing the time code on two different channels on the tape machine, but the same thing occurs. The level of the time code on the VU on the studer is about -7db.

I'm guessing that the time code signal, at certain points, is degraded and the SYNC IO can't properly read it and it messes up the session playback.

Anyone have any advice for this? I know they make units to "clean up" time code, but I want to make sure everything is set properly first.

Thanks in advance.


Several issues:

"The level of the time code on the VU on the studer is about -7db."

HOLY SHIT BATMAN!!!

That is ENTIRELY TOO LOUD. I would typically record it at about -24 dB or even -30dB from peak VU.

"LTC (4 - smoothest),"

Try a different setting, but please for the love of SPMTE, turn down that loud signal!!!

The SYNC is probably freaking out. If you are knee deep into editing after the fact, just turn down the SPMT signal via the playback trim pot for that channel. Otherwise I highly recommend re recording the SMPTE again, at a lower level.
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southsider
pluggin' in mics


Joined: 05 Apr 2011
Posts: 31
Location: US of A

PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2016 12:20 pm    Post subject: Re: Syncing a 2'' machine to PT or Sequencer Reply with quote

Ahh cool, thanks so much. I'll see what I can do.
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