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bottlegardener

Tin Man

Posts: 10 Member Since: 03/01/2012

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Mar 14 17 10:53 AM

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Hi all,
After some failed experiments with a really convoluted Timeline Micro Lynx setup (AGC card output as word clock; blackburst from MOTU Digital Timepiece; and Lopic Pro's MIDI time code as positional reference) the 'code-only master' suprised me by working without any hassle.
(Code-Only master is where you feed the Microlynx SMPTE from an audio track in the DAW and set the reference to VSO master.)
Apart from sacrificing an audio interface output, does anyone know of any pitfalls to this method? 
The manual's warnings don't seem applicable to use a DAW as Code-only Master:
=11.000000ptThis mode will allow the time code source to provide the speed reference for the transports being synchronized. Please be aware that this type of reference selection will only be as reliable as the incoming master time code source. Any irregularities in speed will be applied to the synchronized slave machines. 

I mostly use the Microlynx to sync a 1" 8-track and 1" 16-track and I'm happy with the sync tightness for ATRs. 

Peter Woodford

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dr funk

Platinum Blonde

Posts: 1,606 Member Since:24/12/2011

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I use a Micro Lynx to sync my DAW (Lynx Aurora/AES16e) and Studer A80 2" 16 track, but I'm not one of the experts here, so take what I say with a grain (or ten) of salt!

After trying various configurations (including a similarly convoluted one with a Digital Timepiece and black burst), I came to the conclusion that the ACG is a dreadful master clock! I ended up abandoning black burst altogether and using word clock as the system reference, courtesy of an old Apogee Rosetta AD. That solved the problem of my Lynx Aurora not having a black burst input, and my system works well. The lack of black burst is not a problem for me, as I don't need to exchange tapes with anyone else.

My Micro Lynx group is: a T*, which makes the Micro Lynx TC generator the clock and timecode master (referenced to the ACG, which in turn is resolved to the Apogee). The Apogee word clock output is split and feeds both the ACG and Lynx Aurora word clock inputs, which gives the Micro Lynx and DAW the same word clock reference. The Studer is a slave (both clock and timecode) and the DAW is also a slave (via MTC). This setup has worked well for me for 6 or 7 years now.

I haven't tried the code-only master option, but it certainly does seem much simpler!  I wonder if code-only sync is enough for the frame edges to be properly aligned, as is the case with properly resolved code and clock sync?  Maybe someone else might offer an opinion? 

Frank

Last Edited By: dr funk . Edited 2 times.

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ssltech

Aqua Marine

Posts: 4,034 Member Since:22/01/2011

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The full answer is longer than I have time to type right now, but "Code Only" sync should be within ±50µS, unless the incoming code is wobbly.

I would NEVER expect a DAW to introduce wobble; and in the days of"fully-synchronized" analog machines, with tach and direction sense to take care of fast wind loose-sync, as soon as you hit play and the slave hunts down the frame, then the edge of the frame, then the 80-pulse biphase clock, then the edge of the 'pulse', it was only EVER as stable as the master clock.

Short answer: Keep doing what you're doing.

long answer: for video sync, and ALWAYS for analog video... use frame edge black-burst (or applicable variant) resolution.

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seth

Ruby Baby

Posts: 5,470 Member Since:26/01/2011

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I know I'm not being helpful, but I have to say I'm glad the days of sync (or suction, as a friend of mine called it) are over for me. I saw more time wasted trying to get things to sync than any other "acceptable" factor in a session.

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bottlegardener

Tin Man

Posts: 10 Member Since:03/01/2012

#4 [url]

Thanks for the excellent info folks.
My ML is fitted with the ACG-1 which only have word clock output. That's very good to know that the ML clock itself is problematic.
I can certainly live with +/-50µS with code-only master! (My interface's supposed 'latency-free monitoring' is a 1.6mS delay at 48KHz).
So far the lockup times have been fast too.

Just one other question: I have a spare keyboard unit with a broken LCD that I'd like to get up and running . Does anyone happen to know if generic 40x2 LCD displays (like the type people use for Arduino) will work? I can live without a backlight (or maybe salvage the old one, it seems like the crack in screen itself is the issue). I can't seem to find any Micro Lynx schematics.

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bottlegardener

Tin Man

Posts: 10 Member Since:03/01/2012

#5 [url]

seth wrote:
I know I'm not being helpful, but I have to say I'm glad the days of sync (or suction, as a friend of mine called it) are over for me. I saw more time wasted trying to get things to sync than any other "acceptable" factor in a session.

Wow even more than percussion overdubs and vox harmonies?
I am a bit nervous to offer sync to any clients until I test it a lot more. 

Last Edited By: bottlegardener . Edited 1 time.

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seth

Ruby Baby

Posts: 5,470 Member Since:26/01/2011

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bottlegardener wrote:

seth wrote:
I know I'm not being helpful, but I have to say I'm glad the days of sync (or suction, as a friend of mine called it) are over for me. I saw more time wasted trying to get things to sync than any other "acceptable" factor in a session.

Wow even more than percussion overdubs and vox harmonies?

I said "acceptable" factor....which means I got paid to sit around and wait until the sync issue was fixed. Unless I got poor-mouthed by a guy with three houses and a Lamborghini or two.

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bottlegardener

Tin Man

Posts: 10 Member Since:03/01/2012

#7 [url]

seth wrote:
I said "acceptable" factor....which means I got paid to sit around and wait until the sync issue was fixed. Unless I got poor-mouthed by a guy with three houses and a Lamborghini or two.

Ouch. The rich ones have been the most slippery for me too. 
Was it a Micro Lynx that was giving you all the sass or was it a Zeta3 or something?

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seth

Ruby Baby

Posts: 5,470 Member Since:26/01/2011

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I think more often a lynx, but I'm not really sure since I was usually in the studio, not the control room. I had a Zeta 3 for a while and I found it pretty reliable once I learned how to use it.

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