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Can you output timecode with Final Cut?

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Scott Heitman
Can you output timecode with Final Cut?
on Feb 5, 2011 at 4:22:09 am

Does anyone know if there's a plugin for Final Cut or a device that allows you to output timecode digitally? Basically I want to use Final Cut as a timecode generator. Our studio records audio on one computer using ProTools and captures the video with Final Cut on another computer. Both computers are receiving timecode from the same source. How do we listen to the audio from the ProTools computer while watching a synced video from the Final Cut computer? I was thinking that if there was someway that we could output the timecode from Final Cut we could use that to lock in the audio from ProTools. Has anyone successfully done anything like this?


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Can you output timecode with Final Cut?
on Feb 5, 2011 at 5:07:38 am

[Scott Heitman] "How do we listen to the audio from the ProTools computer while watching a synced video from the Final Cut computer?"

Why not simultaneously capture the audio in to fcp?


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Scott Heitman
Re: Can you output timecode with Final Cut?
on Feb 5, 2011 at 7:53:57 am

We are capturing a stereo feed from the audio board but when we play back the video we want the musicians to be able to have control of the audio from ProTools (like adjusting the individual levels from certain instruments) while watching a synced-up video from Final Cut.


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Can you output timecode with Final Cut?
on Feb 5, 2011 at 3:41:51 pm

Unfortunately you can't control fcp like this. You need something like virtual VTR.

http://www.virtualvtr.com/

Basically, if i am understanding this correctly (sorry your posts are a bit vague) you want musicians to be able to control a multitrack protools session and also have sync video playback in which the video comes from fcp and is rs422 controlled. Basically using fcp as a VTR of sorts?

Why not load the video in to Protools? The video quality won't be all at awesome, but you will have sound and picture (and one playback source)

If this isnt correct, please take one step back and explain the entire scenario.

Jeremy


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Scott Heitman
Re: Can you output timecode with Final Cut?
on Feb 5, 2011 at 9:19:33 pm

Yeah, Jeremy. You've got the situation correct. Sorry I didn't do a good job explaining everything. Basically we're a music recording studio but with video capabilities to make music videos or stream to the web. We're capturing the audio with Protools and all our video is going live into Final Cut. We want to be able to play back the high quality ProRes 422 video while locked to the audio in Protools so the musicians can have all the controls offered by Protools while watching the uncompressed video.
We've looked into Virtual VTR but have heard mixed reviews about its reliability. It might be our only option though.
We've also tried exporting the Final Cut video and load the video into Protools but the image quality was not very good. What is the best file format we can export from Final Cut that would look good in Protools?


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Jean-Christophe Boulay
Re: Can you output timecode with Final Cut?
on Feb 7, 2011 at 7:25:44 pm

As regards video formats in PT, you are limited only by the video interface on the PT machine. The setup that is probably most used these days for sound post is a BMD Intensity Pro in the PT machine and a Prores file on the timeline. You can go up to 1920x1080 without problems this way. The video file should probably be kept on a separate hard drive from you audio session, unless your track counts are pretty low. If the video will not be output from PT and will be monitored only on the computer monitors, you can go for pretty much any QT video format you may want.

IHTH,

JC Boulay
Technical Director
Audio Z
Montreal, Canada
http://www.audioz.com


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Bouke Vahl
Re: Can you output timecode with Final Cut?
on Feb 5, 2011 at 8:41:44 am

What i think Jeremy means, capture the common house timecode in FCP.
This is an audio signal.
If you put it on the timeline, and have ProTools listen to that, it should slave.

Your questions is a bit strange, you ask for 'digital timecode output'.
That is probably MIDI timecode.
In a video setup, LTC is mostly used. It is a digital signal, as it are 0's and 1's, but they travel as a normal sound signal.
(Used to be balanced over XLR / audio cables, nowadays the connectors are mostly BNC with video cables (unbalanced), but the signal is the same.

Another way to output LTC is to use this:
http://www.videotoolshed.com/product/44/ltcgenerator/3

It can create LTC based on QT TC and paste it in a movie, or create a new BWF file that can be synced to the clips.
I can get you an XML tool that creates merged clips as well...

hth,

Bouke

http://www.videotoolshed.com/
smart tools for video pros


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Scott Heitman
Re: Can you output timecode with Final Cut?
on Feb 5, 2011 at 9:30:18 pm

Bouke, by digital timecode output I meant LTC. We're not using MIDI timecode.

You said, "capture the common house timecode in FCP.
This is an audio signal.
If you put it on the timeline, and have ProTools listen to that, it should slave."

That might be the answer to my whole problem. I was not aware that you could capture the timecode as an audio track. But if I can do that and then playback the video while sending audio to Protools timecode input then maybe it will slave to it.
Otherwise I'll look into the LTCgenerator from Video Tool Shed.

Thank you both Jeremy and Bouke. I'll let you know how it turns out.


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Can you output timecode with Final Cut?
on Feb 5, 2011 at 9:35:03 pm

Do you have a capture device with ltc for fcp?


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John Heagy
Re: Can you output timecode with Final Cut?
on Feb 6, 2011 at 7:04:15 pm

Forget about using FCP as an RS-422 master or slave. Buy or rent a Aja KiPro and export your video as ProRes from FCP with TC and audio (mono tracks only, stereo doesn't work) and copy the .mov to the KiPro drive. Connect the KiPro to your ProTools machine, via RS 422, and put the KiPro in remote. The KiPro will slave to your ProTools timeline and output video via any of it's many outputs.

Hit the "Easy" button!

John Heagy


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Kris Merkel
Re: Can you output timecode with Final Cut?
on Feb 6, 2011 at 9:00:09 pm

Oh, the good ol' days of striping SMTPE timecode to track 24 on the 2" Otari deck. Oops wrong forum. Most video peeps do not know that timecode can be generated as an analog signal nor that this was "the" method of slaving the 4 channel protools, ADAT's, console automation ect to the master analog clock.






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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Can you output timecode with Final Cut?
on Feb 7, 2011 at 7:57:33 pm

[John Heagy] "Connect the KiPro to your ProTools machine, via RS 422, and put the KiPro in remote. The KiPro will slave to your ProTools timeline and output video via any of it's many outputs."

Just curious John, but have you tried this?

Jeremy


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John Heagy
Re: Can you output timecode with Final Cut?
on Feb 7, 2011 at 10:19:57 pm

[John Heagy]" "Connect the KiPro to your ProTools machine, via RS 422, and put the KiPro in remote. The KiPro will slave to your ProTools timeline and output video via any of it's many outputs."


We've controlled a KiPro via RS-422 with FCP/Kona3 and a DaVinci 2K and it syncs first time every time. I also tried it with a Sony 9100 edit controller and while it cues, jogs and plays, it will not sync. This is not too surprising as Sony's protocol is "to the letter" including command received timing and machine ballistics.

I have not tried it with ProTools, we use Fairlight.

I suppose I should revise my statement from "will slave" to "should slave".

John Heagy


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Can you output timecode with Final Cut?
on Feb 7, 2011 at 10:31:30 pm

[John Heagy] "I suppose I should revise my statement from "will slave" to "should slave"."

And perhaps the "not so easy button"? ;)


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John Heagy
Re: Can you output timecode with Final Cut?
on Feb 7, 2011 at 11:17:15 pm

We've used the KiPro aka: the "Easy Button" to solve many file<>tape requests. It's a perfect tape replacement in many cases and much less "virtual" than Gallery's VirtualVTR. While syncing to a ProTools timeline may not be guaranteed, all Tim needs is a solid LTC output for the ProTools timeline to sync to. This the KiPro can definitely do.


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