Integrating Time Code Equipment Into My Location Sound Kit: Where to begin?

Carl Welden
Production Sound Mixer

I've moved up to a Sound Devices 552 field mixer (from my old Shure FP33) and I'm loving it! Loads of connectivity and features.

It has TC input, meaning it supports time code, but does not generate it.

If I want to get started with integrating TC into my gear, what sort of outboard units are recommended?

I'll likely be buying used equipment to save a few bucks, but I'd like to invest in a unit that is stable and reliable enough that I won't outgrow its usability any time soon. What will I need to get started?

Feel free to post links to forum discussions, product reviews, tutorials, pictures if your own rigs, etc.

Thank you kindly for your insights and expertise!

-Carl Welden, Location Sound.

Freelance boom-op, sound mixer

Based in New York's Hudson Valley


  • 5 years ago
  • 1,132
  • 5
Kenneth Altman
Producer

Hi Carl,

I recently traded in my 552 for a SD 633 so I know exactly the capabilities you're looking for in a timecode unit. Perhaps the best option for you is the new Microframe D8010 SMPTE Time Code Sync Master. At $199 brand new it gives rock solid performance. Alternatively, the Tentacle Sync units are pretty nice. You have to set them with a computer but they're really small (like a camcorder battery) so you can connect one to your mixer and each camera.


  • 5 years ago
  • 1
Carl Welden
Production Sound Mixer

I've had a few recommendations for the Denecke SB-3, which I can get used for about $400. They make rock-solid, proven TC gear.
I have not heard of the Microframe D8010 but will research it.
It certainly sounds more economical!


  • 5 years ago
  • 2
Carl Welden
Production Sound Mixer

The Microframe 8010 looks really wonderful, plus the fact that it is a display unit at that price is really something!
I snagged a used Dencke SB-3 for $350, but I might just pick up one of these as well. Thanks for the suggestion.
There isn't much out there about these units (reviews, etc.) other than the manufacturer's info. Are they still pretty new on the scene?


  • 5 years ago
  • 3
Carl Welden
Production Sound Mixer

The Tentacle sync also looks like a real game-changer, as for size an weight...especially to Denecke. Needing an external computer or smartphone app to set it is an extra step, but still very appears quite user-friendly.


  • 5 years ago
  • 4
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