My setup is analog. My Soundcraft Ghost console has mute automation, which I'd really like to start using in order to get my noise floor down without having to sacrifice audio quality with gates. I think the only way to go about this is to stripe track 24 with SMPTE and feed that into the console SMPTE input. (You can also use MIDI timecode, but I'm pretty sure that's only viable with a DAW setup.)
Anyway, I found this SMPTE WAV generator website and I was wondering what frame rate, bit depth, and start time I should use:
Also, how hot do I need to record SMPTE? I want to record as low as possible so I don't get crosstalk on channel 23, making it unusable. I'm recording at 30 IPS.
There are converters between SMPTE and MTC (in both directions) but since you have to record something on analog tape, SMPTE is the way to go. If this project doesn't have have to sync to video, keep it simple and use 30 frames/second. I see that program generates a WAV file which you'll then have to play from a DAW (or a media player, maybe even a phone) to get audio. Or you could burn a CD from it. I see that program gives you a choice getting your time code as an 8- or 16-bit WAV file. Might as well use 16 bits. It might make for cleaner audio, and that's what counts. Disk space is cheap, and you can put an hour's worth on a CD.
For your application, start time is really arbitrary. By starting the time code at 58 minutes (the generator program's default), you can have some slop and start the actual program at 1 hour even. But it might be less confusing to just start it at zero.
Generally -10 dB on the VU meter is about as high as you should go, but try it and see what your console needs to reliably read it and record at a lower level than -10 if you can. And if you're using noise reduction, bypass it on your time code track. And you really shouldn't count on using the adjacent track unless you have to. Most people feel reasonably safe putting bass on the track next to the time code because you can roll off some of the high end (where the SMPTE hash is most noticeable) and the bass will still sound OK. You don't want to put something on the adjacent track that's hot and has a lot of high end or transients or crosstalk from that might interfere with your time code.
You should experiment a bit before you do anything important.