In this video, we’ll talk about syncing your cues to timecode by both LTC and Midi. We’ll look at some hardware options to do this, but I’ll also show you how to Simulate Timecode- which requires no hardware- so you can try this for yourself on Hog4PC.
The setup is slightly different depending on whether you’re receiving MIDI timecode or LTC timecode over an XLR cable.
If you’re going with Midi timecode, you can connect the midi cable to the IN port on the back of your Hog, or if you’re on Hog4PC, you can use the USB midi box of your choice.
Press SETUP select Control Panel. Go to the MIDI tab. From the dropdown, select your device- be it your console, or an external USB box. I’m using a MidiSport 2×2- which is inexpensive and very reliable. Click APPLY. When you first set this up on your PC, you will need to log out and log back in for this to take effect.
Now press SETUP and go to NETWORK. For midi input, click on CONSOLE, then press SETTINGS. Select the Midi Timecode tab. Click on VIEW TIMECODE TOOLBAR, so we can see Timecode while it’s running. For the format- select whichever frame rate your timecode source has been generated with. A common one in the states is SMPTE. The regenerate and jump options have to do with whether you’d like the console to simulate timecode your external timecode was to stop. I generally don’t do this, because on tour, timecode starts and stops between almost every song.
The simulation jumps allow you to start the console’s simulated timecode at any point. Since you can’t fast forward or rewind the simulation, this is quite handy. I want to keep one at the zero mark so I can always start from the beginning. If your timecode started at one hour in, you might set one of the simulation jumps to 1 hour.
Its handy to know that these settings are also available to you to change at any time by clicking the clapperboard icon at the top of the timecode bar.
If you’re using LTC input, plug the XLR cable into the back of your console or into your USB timecode widget. The Widget can also be plugged into a computer running Hog4PC or a DP8000. Press SETUP and select NETWORK. LTC timecode is managed by the DP8000 software process, so select the processor and hit SETTINGS. Go to TIMECODE WIDGETS and select yours from the drop down. You’ll also want to click the VIEW TIMECODE TOOLBAR icon so you can follow the LTC feed and access the settings. This is where you’ll see the real timecode coming into your console. Remember that timecode needs to be nice and loud. A low volume won’t be read by the console.
Regardless of where your timecode is coming in, the next thing you’ll want to configure is the timecode setting for the cuelist or lists that you want to timecode. In the cuelist view, select OPTIONS. Pick the physical source of your timecode from the dropdown menu. Click ENABLE TIMECODE and choose whether or not you want the console to only trigger as timecode moves forward. If you’re going to be rewinding your physical timecode, don’t select this. BTW- if you know you’re doing the type of show where most or all of your cuelists are timecoded, you might want to set this as the default in the CUELIST tab of the PREFERENCES window.
Back in your main cuelist window, notice that you can also ENABLE or disable timecode right from this button.
When you’re ready to associate timecode with each of your cues, those time frames will be entered in the WAIT cell for each cue. You can even manually enter them in if you know the times. The format is hours, SLASH minutes SLASH seconds DOT frames. Alternatively, you could use the LEARN TIMING function and play along with the incoming SMPTE. If I was to turn this on, run the timecode physically into my console and then play back the cues with the music- the console would record the timecode moment of each GO in the wait column for me.
We can also do the exact same thing by simulating. In the TIMECODE TOOLBAR, click SIMULTATE. If I click GO, the console will generate timecode for me. Click GO again and it will pause. If I want to reset this to the beginning, or any other timepoint of my choosing- that’s where those JUMP options come in handy. I’ll click zero and I’m reset. Now, I’ll click LEARN TIMING, then I’ll simulate my timecode and play along on the console. After you’ve played the cues, stop the simulation and be sure to turn off LEARN TIMING so you don’t accidentally record over these. In the WAIT column, I can see all of my timecode marks based off when I played these cues in the simulation. Now anytime timecode gets to these points, my cues will trigger. Again, you can test this playback with real timecode or simulated timecode. I’m going to reset my simulation, and press GO. All of my cues are now being triggered by timecode.
If any of these times look wrong, you can just grab the cell and type in the appropriate mark. Another handy trick- if you need to offset a range of cues forward or backwards, you can select them in order from the WAIT column, hit SET and type in the new value for the first cue – lets say we move it 2 seconds later- and the console will automatically add 2 seconds to the other cues in your selection. This is also super handy when the client decides to change the timecode file on you after you’ve set all of the timecode cues.
Since the Hog bases timecode triggers off individual cuelists, it can sometimes be time consuming to set up triggers on songs where you are using multiple sequences. Lets say in this example, that I also have a chase that I need to trigger during the song. Instead of timecoding that chase, I prefer to use COMMENT macros to run the triggers. So let’s say we want to start the chase at the same moment we start cue 3. (if you need to trigger it at a time where you don’t already have a cue- just store a blank cue) Here, from the dropdown, I’ll select GL for GO CUELIST and type 4- since that’s the list number of my chase. I personally prefer GO LIST and no GO MASTER only because if I end up moving my cuelists around, a GO MASTER macro won’t update for the move and could trigger the wrong list. Another benefit of GL is that my cuelist can just live in the CUELIST directory and still be triggered- which I might do if I need to free up some masters.
And while we’re talking about these cuelist macros- take a look further down the list and you’ll see some other timecode related macros, like the option to enable or disable timecode, and even options to disable all other timecodes on other cuelists. Remember, if you do use the timecode macros, enter the cuelist number after the text.