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Thread: Anyone use Analog and SMPTE sync?

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    hey there,

    i just went through the smpte nightmare with a tascam 16 deck and cakewalk. i read about a lot of problems people were having with the smpte lock up with cakewalk at their discussion site so i was sure their would be problems. people seem to have a problem with cakewalk drifting from the smpte, causing wild pitch fluctuations. i've been using it for about a month now and i can say that i haven't had that problem. i think the key is definitely to use freewheel over full lock chase. my material is at most 4 minutes so my cakewalk is pretty much able to stay in sync right until the end of the song. i say it was a nightmare because i didn't quite understand how cakewalk was getting the signal from the tape through my motu box and then i couldn't figure out what they wanted me to do with the offset. after a couple of days the light went on and it became very clear. i do have some bleed from my smpte track (16) to track 15 but i fear that's my fault for recording smpte to hot (they recommmend NOT going through a board) and my motu box is pumping out more than my -10 deck can handle. the cakewalk discussion site was very helpful. you can access them through news.cakewalk.com

    kind regards

    stax

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    Question

    I have a 4-track that I am trying to sync with Cakewalk using SMPTE. ANyone else mess with this? I know if I had a better computer I could just run it all on it, but I don't and kind of like using the tape. But I can't get the damn thing to sync correctly. Any luck - anyone?


    Ld - in this house

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    Talking

    What is happening when you try to sync? I used a MIDIMAn sync box to tie a Fostex 8-track to MOTU Performer on an ancient Mac. It works well most of the time, but this is a finicky medium.

    Does your sync box register incoming SMPTE signal?

    Does Cakewalk at least recognize incoming MTC?

    Are you suffering code drop outs?

    Lots of possibilities for screw-ups...

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    No It is not recognizing any midi sync - it just sits there waiting. The cards midi ins and outs work fine and there is that "lead" tone coming from the card, but when I run the diagnostic program it does not find the card. This thing is pissing me off - - "please work ..you piece of crap" - excuse me - um.

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    I've had it working for literally years with 3 different versions of Cakewalk with Tascam 424s and a 488, all through a JL Cooper PPS-2. I've had zero problems doing this with MIDI on the computer and SMPTE from the tape. It's a bit trickier syncing computer audio to SMPTE though...what diagnostic program and card are you using?

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    sorry that the info i threw you didn't help. if you're not getting any signal to your computer and you're getting the "waiting for smpte" message you should check a a couple of things. the first being the sound level coming from your deck. when i first striped my tapes they were way too hot and i was picking up the code on track 15 (smpte being on 16) the second time i tried to stripe them they were too low (i had to run my timepiece through the board to lower the output) i recorded with 0db registerng on my deck (a -10 unit) AND THIS WAS TOO LOW! i only got the "waiting" message. i re-striped again at around +3 - +6 and that was good. i'm using a motu box and they explicitly state that you shouldn't go through a board as it may add some eq to the signal and screw up the code. this could be a very real possibilty as even with eq on my board off (an alesis 32) there is still some freguency change on any signal being passed through it. i'm not familiar with the card you are using. is it a pc card with midi and a smpte jack. if it's all on one card and your pc is recognizing the card then all jacks should be available, unless cakewalk is being really fussy (which is the norm). perhaps cakewalk is not recognizing that input. for what it's worth i picked up the motu pocket express for about $160 and aside from the first unit having a bad cable, i've had zero problems with it. most of my frustration comes from cakewalk not being able to record and playback at the same time. (and i've got 256 ram in my machine) to tell you the truth, i don't know how anyone is recording more than a few analog tracks on cakewalk. the midi works fine but it doesn't seem to process multiple analaog tracks well. we'll see how 9.0 handles.

    stax

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    That's pretty weird that you aren't able to get cakewalk to record mre than a few tracks. I have a friend who runs alot of tracks. THe card I have is a midiquest M32. It has 2 midi-ins 2 midi-outs, 1 metronome out, 1 sync out, 1 sync in. Thanks for the help

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    Stax, you have some real problem there for the computer or Cakewalk forum, because I have a lousy 64 MB of RAM and I've run 14 tracks at once plus MIDI. Anyway, Lord D., that's reputed to be a good card. Can it read its own sync off the tape without Cakewalk? If not, your problem probably is in the record/play loop, or the volume settings as someone else said.

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    duh. i forgot to mention one important thing about striping the tape. it's not going to work if you have a built in dbx on the tape deck. if you are using dbx then there has to be a "sync" button (on the deck) to defeat dbx on track 4. if you are not using dbx then it's okay. (but i can't see how your not on a four track) secondly, track 3 shouldn't have any material recorded too hot or any kind of pulsing quality to it. (bass, drums, etc.) as this may bleed over onto 4 and interfere with the smpte pulse. (picky, picky, picky) i did order 9.0 as they claim they've made some smpte improvements. after i e-mailed you i went and tried to use full chase lock again (i had been using trigger/freewheel) and it DOESN'T work. i had forgotten that i went through this litle experiment before and failed miserably. i'm hoping 9.0 will clear this up.

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    dragon,

    didn't see that message until i posted the one above. my problems with analog seem to be coming when i try to record and play at the same time. i do have "simultaneous play/record" checked and i did increase the buffers. every once in a while it schiz's out and i can't do them both. (sometimes re-booting helps but it's a royal pain in the arse to keep re-booting)this is a very frustrating medium and one of the reasons i do almost all of my tracks on analog and then go through the smpte routine for midi. there are some other issues with cw and analog, such at the jittering record levels, and the wave pattern not showing up on the track (just dots). the people at cakewalk are helpful but they need to realize that they have to talk to some of us like we're idiots (which i am)

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