SMPTE (LTC) Picture Sync
Information you need to know about Remote Picture Sync
What is SMPTE?
SMPTE is a frame accurate time code which can be used to lock multiple devices to play together.
How can this be of benefit for our Voiceover session
If the VO talent is in our studio and they are overdubbing to picture, we can send timecode to the remote studio via ISDN which (provided they have similar functionality with a SMPTE>MTC controller) can frame locate, play and stop their system automatically. This means you and your client can watch the session pictures at a remote suite as the VO talent records here with us so you can be absolutely sure you are happy with their performance and timing.
What do we need to do to arrange this for our session?
- Firstly you (or your chosen studio) will need to have the functionality to run the remote system from SMPTE (LTC). This is usually achieved via a SMPTE>MTC converter, or vice versa if sending time code to run our system. Get in touch if you are unsure.
- There are some limitations, so decide which of the scenarios you require as listed below.
- Send us your pictures and scripts as usual.
- Configure your codec in accordance with our transmission info below
- Arrange a line test with us well in advance of your session so we can ensure everything works as required.
Running The Session
In most circumstances, we will record the talent at our studios and you can view the synced pictures whilst listening to the VO talent audio and direct the session remotely. We will send timecode down Channel 2 of our ISDN line. Channel 1 will be the VO Talents direct mic feed and also any talkback from our control room to you and the talent. Each ISDN channel is 64K which is only standard phone quality so not good enough for most broadcast applications, so the audio you receive can be recorded at your studio for reference purposes and we will simultaneously record the session and send you the master files after the session.
There may be situations where you need to record at your studio and control our video playback by sending us a SMPTE feed. This is possible but not recommended as there are audio quality and remote sync transport limitations. In these circumstances we suggest a link up via Source Connect Pro which is now an industry standard and superb. Please ask about this if you don’t already use it.
Offsets There may be a short delay (usually between 1-3 seconds) in your system receiving and processing our SMPTE code, so you should create offsets on your recording system so what you see and hear matches close enough for your reference purposes. We can help you determine this value on your line check by sending an audio cue against the picture timecode.