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Community Tip - Getting Timecode From Pro Tools Without A Sync Interface

With the support of iLok, more tips & tricks from the community. Here is one from Michael Berry….

How to get SMPTE time code from Pro Tools without using a Sync interface. I need to drive time code displays in the studio from Pro Tools to read the position in a session.  Displays are obtainable for very low prices these days on ebay but Pro Tools only generates Midi Time Code unless you have the Sync interface which costs about $2100 USD.  For years I have been fooling with converting MIDI Time Code to SMPTE and distributing it to the displays.  This does work but not very well.

I recently tried generating SMPTE time code and recording it to an audio track.  Routing that track to the displays works very well and only requires cables.  You don’t need to ‘stripe’ every session.  You can just make a file of timecode and drag it into each session.  I generated my timecode from a MOTU Micro Express but you don’t need to purchase anything.  

However if you have an iOS device, there is a free app in the iTunes store called TC Toolbox that will generate timecode in any of the popular formats.  Of course, you must be careful not to edit or use elastic audio on the timecode track.  This isn’t perfect but works better for me than the MIDI Time Code did and it’s free except for the cost of the displays.

Jivey says - I like this one…. Sometimes we forget the old ways of doing things.

If you would like the chance to win a stormtrooper iLok, courtesy of iLok, send in tips you think no one has thought about.  Please don’t just send shortcuts which are easily found elsewhere, or pull ideas from the manual; instead, be creative about your tips & tricks. Please use the Contact Us page to send us have your tips.

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