Sync a MCI JH24 to Protools in 2020
« on: October 13, 2020, 12:38:06 PM »
Hello,

I'm looking for a good and if possible simple method to synch my MCI JH24 to my DAW (Protools 2019)

As far as I Know, the good way is to have blackburst generator a gear like Zeta 3 or Lynx Timeline 2. So the DAW is the master and the Tape machine is the slave.

In our studio we have an Apogee Bigben Clock and a midi timepiece... is there a new way or any new gears in 2020 to make it simple ?

Also, how can I build a cable for the Sync of the mci (or any profesional able to do this for us) ? ( I mean the custom cable between the Mci and the Zeta 3 for exemple... ?)

Many Thanks

 


JohnRoberts

Re: Sync a MCI JH24 to Protools in 2020
« Reply #1 on: October 14, 2020, 09:20:45 AM »
Hello,

I'm looking for a good and if possible simple method to synch my MCI JH24 to my DAW (Protools 2019)

As far as I Know, the good way is to have blackburst generator a gear like Zeta 3 or Lynx Timeline 2. So the DAW is the master and the Tape machine is the slave.

In our studio we have an Apogee Bigben Clock and a midi timepiece... is there a new way or any new gears in 2020 to make it simple ?

Also, how can I build a cable for the Sync of the mci (or any profesional able to do this for us) ? ( I mean the custom cable between the Mci and the Zeta 3 for exemple... ?)

Many Thanks
Not easily...

Back in the 80s/90s I worked on machine synchronization. The classic method was to print SMPTE time code to one track of the recording tape (usually an outer track to not corrupt audio). Controlling the tape machine to follow a master SMPTE source is not trivial, involving knowing or learning the ballistics of the tape machine to reduce overshoot and hunting around.

A little easier is to print time code on the tape and let that be the master for your software to follow.

JR
It's nice to be nice....

Re: Sync a MCI JH24 to Protools in 2020
« Reply #2 on: October 14, 2020, 09:50:11 AM »
I would second the idea of going with slaving PT to the tape machine.  Unless you want to become an expert on that machine, it would be much easier to print SMPTE on the tape machine and use a Sync I/O or the like to get PT to chase. You can find Adams Smith or Timeline units fairly cheap these days, but setting them up is no trivial matter, not to mention building a custom cable.

abbey road d enfer

Re: Sync a MCI JH24 to Protools in 2020
« Reply #3 on: October 14, 2020, 09:58:55 AM »
Hello,

I'm looking for a good and if possible simple method to synch my MCI JH24 to my DAW (Protools 2019)
Why would you want to do that? You understand that it would slow down terribly anything you do, particularly when overdubbing and mixing, do you?
Usually the reason is to keep the tape "mojo", so I would suggest you copy the 24 recorded tracks to PT and go along with what you want to do.
I've had enough headaches with synchronisers to warn you that they are the most frustrating pieces of gear I have ever met.
Who's right or wrong is irrelevant. What matters is what's right or wrong.
Star ground is for electricians.

Re: Sync a MCI JH24 to Protools in 2020
« Reply #4 on: October 14, 2020, 11:39:06 AM »
Hi every one, and many thanks for all your answers.

I would second the idea of going with slaving PT to the tape machine.  Unless you want to become an expert on that machine, it would be much easier to print SMPTE on the tape machine and use a Sync I/O or the like to get PT to chase. You can find Adams Smith or Timeline units fairly cheap these days, but setting them up is no trivial matter, not to mention building a custom cable.

I really want to do the things properly, after reading many threads about this subject, the second solution (even if it's a bit tricky) seems to be more professional. Of course the custom cable is the gonna be a problem to find / build. Hopfully I found this website pretty usefull https://rickaustin.com/2007/07/18/adams-smith/

what do you think of it ?

[/quote]
Why would you want to do that? You understand that it would slow down terribly anything you do, particularly when overdubbing and mixing, do you?
Usually the reason is to keep the tape "mojo", so I would suggest you copy the 24 recorded tracks to PT and go along with what you want to do.
I've had enough headaches with synchronisers to warn you that they are the most frustrating pieces of gear I have ever met.

I want to be able to record the drums and bass guitar (for exemple) on the tape machine, and everything else on protools. This why I need a perfect sync between the daw and the tape machine (for overdubs for exemple...) I don't care if it's going to be a bit slow... I was just thinking that in 2020 some products (or softwares) would be more userfriendly to do the trick... but may be there is no simple solution :'(

gyraf

Re: Sync a MCI JH24 to Protools in 2020
« Reply #5 on: October 14, 2020, 02:09:00 PM »
Record to tape first, then just dump into digital when you run out of tracks or need to overdub easily?
..note to self: don't let Harman run your company..

Ricardus

Re: Sync a MCI JH24 to Protools in 2020
« Reply #6 on: October 14, 2020, 05:54:56 PM »
Scrap Protools and just use the JH24. If you can't say it in 24 tracks it isn't worth saying...

Criminy. We do projects with an MCI 16 track at our analog studio.
Audio mastering for hire..

Re: Sync a MCI JH24 to Protools in 2020
« Reply #7 on: October 14, 2020, 06:08:20 PM »
Record to tape first, then just dump into digital when you run out of tracks or need to overdub easily?

So you're telling me that when I'm recording a live session with a band to dump the take into protools... seems a bit restrictive to me :(
I just want to be able to rec some sources straight into PT and som others into the tape machine in Sync. So I can have more I/O in my whole setup :) (yes I know it's complicated to set up, but it would be so cool if it worked!)

Scrap Protools and just use the JH24. If you can't say it in 24 tracks it isn't worth saying...

Criminy. We do projects with an MCI 16 track at our analog studio.

I just can't work on 16 tracks at the studio. Too many sources to handle. but thanks for your comment.


Piermo
« Last Edit: October 14, 2020, 06:11:38 PM by Piermo85400 »

Ricardus

Re: Sync a MCI JH24 to Protools in 2020
« Reply #8 on: October 15, 2020, 01:37:19 AM »


I just can't work on 16 tracks at the studio. Too many sources to handle. but thanks for your comment.


Piermo

Sure you can.  People do it every day.   :)

A friend with a studio uses this, but I have no idea if they make this anymore, or something similar:

http://www.endlessanalog.com/products-page/analog-hybrid/clasp-24
Audio mastering for hire..

Re: Sync a MCI JH24 to Protools in 2020
« Reply #9 on: October 15, 2020, 05:42:59 AM »
Sure you can.  People do it every day.   :)

A friend with a studio uses this, but I have no idea if they make this anymore, or something similar:

http://www.endlessanalog.com/products-page/analog-hybrid/clasp-24


Yeah I ve seen this before but it's discontinued... and a bit to costy for me :D


Walrus

Re: Sync a MCI JH24 to Protools in 2020
« Reply #10 on: October 15, 2020, 06:18:06 AM »
Link for building Lynx Cables....  https://www.technicalaudio.com/pdf/TimeLine/Timeline_Lynx_Cables/
Also contains info about the Mod needed to the JH16 transport to stop the 22V power being shorted out.
Kevin.

Re: Sync a MCI JH24 to Protools in 2020
« Reply #11 on: October 15, 2020, 11:48:17 AM »
Link for building Lynx Cables....  https://www.technicalaudio.com/pdf/TimeLine/Timeline_Lynx_Cables/
Also contains info about the Mod needed to the JH16 transport to stop the 22V power being shorted out.

 :o Thank you so much !

Michael Tibes

Re: Sync a MCI JH24 to Protools in 2020
« Reply #12 on: October 17, 2020, 05:15:33 AM »
Sure you can.  People do it every day.   :)

A friend with a studio uses this, but I have no idea if they make this anymore, or something similar:

http://www.endlessanalog.com/products-page/analog-hybrid/clasp-24

This is basically a clever solution to record to tape, read from the repro head and record to your DAW with a negative offset to correct the delay in one go. Simplified a bunch of relays and a lot of wiring, apart from having to handle the offset. Sounds like a good diy project?

I haven't used tape for a long time, though I'd love to. There are two basic priciples of synchronisation, have the tape machine follow the daw or have the daw follow the tape. The first reqires a tape synchronizer. That means complicated, outdated (pre Atari ST) and therefore unsupported digital hardware. I remember there were books with extremely detailed machine specific cable descriptions for the Adams / Smith synchronizers we used back in the day - which had to be programmed in hex code. Seems rather complex and nothing I'd want to dive into any more.
Having the daw follow the tape is a little more modern and easier, there were synchronizers which read the smpte from tape and controlled the positioning and the wordclock for the daw - but it was quite difficult to achieve a high timing accuracy with most synchronizers. Plus controlling the wordclock can introduce jitter - another can of worms.
So the clasp approach would be my first choice. Probably the best synchronization is no synchronization. Plus you'd only have to spool the tape back every once in a while - when it is at the end. That is a big gain in convenience.
I don't use protools, so I don't know how to handle the offset problem. The audio hardware might be pretty straight forward to design and not terribly expensive. You'd also need an interface to pass the transport commands from the daw to the tape machine. There should be something adoptable from the arduino world I guess. Like I said, an interesting diy project?

Maybe this sparks some ideas,

Michael

Gold

Re: Sync a MCI JH24 to Protools in 2020
« Reply #13 on: October 17, 2020, 01:02:51 PM »
SRC has come a long way since the old days. Many converters use An SRC IC to buffer the converter from jitter. I’d think the old arguments about having the DAW chase the tape machine are less relevant.

abbey road d enfer

Re: Sync a MCI JH24 to Protools in 2020
« Reply #14 on: October 17, 2020, 05:09:38 PM »
SRC has come a long way since the old days. Many converters use An SRC IC to buffer the converter from jitter. I’d think the old arguments about having the DAW chase the tape machine are less relevant.
Give PT a dose of good ole wow & flutter...  :)
Who's right or wrong is irrelevant. What matters is what's right or wrong.
Star ground is for electricians.

Spiritworks

Re: Sync a MCI JH24 to Protools in 2020
« Reply #15 on: October 18, 2020, 05:00:54 AM »
SRC has come a long way since the old days. Many converters use An SRC IC to buffer the converter from jitter. I’d think the old arguments about having the DAW chase the tape machine are less relevant.

Was it true that the DAW chasing the tape was a bit more desirable because the tape runs more slowly and can't keep up with the DAW?

abbey road d enfer

Re: Sync a MCI JH24 to Protools in 2020
« Reply #16 on: October 18, 2020, 05:22:50 AM »
Was it true that the DAW chasing the tape was a bit more desirable because the tape runs more slowly and can't keep up with the DAW?
Yes. The DAW chasing the tape shakes electrons. The tape machine chasing the DAW shakes many mechanical parts.
Who's right or wrong is irrelevant. What matters is what's right or wrong.
Star ground is for electricians.

pucho812

Re: Sync a MCI JH24 to Protools in 2020
« Reply #17 on: October 20, 2020, 02:16:03 PM »
We still run a tape machine, an otari mtr90 MKII and pro tools at our studio. We do get folks who want that "mojo" tape provides.  While I have no preference on which format gets used, both  are maintained well, I used to be a die hard tape head. But now in 2020 we have come so far that tape is not a necessity. The owner of the studio will disagree, as he is a die hard tape head. But anyway. 
When we do use tape, we stripe timecode on the tape as you normally would have done years ago. From there we have a couple of lynx synchronizers  but they often are not used any more. We also run an Avid SYNC HD and usually just feed time code from our time code track on the tape machine to the LTC reader  of the SYNC HD.  boom, pro tools locks up and we are good.  If tape is used, basic tracks are cut to tape, then we lock pro tools up to time code and make a sub mix of the tape tracks down to pro tools.  Basically it's treating pro tools as a slave tape machine like we used to do back in the day.  After we record over dubs in pro tools, we then can lock  the tape and pro tools machines to time code and do a mix on our console/desk with uptown automation reading the same time code.
You tell me whar a man gits his corn pone, en I'll tell you what his 'pinions is.

Re: Sync a MCI JH24 to Protools in 2020
« Reply #18 on: October 27, 2020, 03:57:21 AM »
This is basically a clever solution to record to tape, read from the repro head and record to your DAW with a negative offset to correct the delay in one go. Simplified a bunch of relays and a lot of wiring, apart from having to handle the offset. Sounds like a good diy project?

I haven't used tape for a long time, though I'd love to. There are two basic priciples of synchronisation, have the tape machine follow the daw or have the daw follow the tape. The first reqires a tape synchronizer. That means complicated, outdated (pre Atari ST) and therefore unsupported digital hardware. I remember there were books with extremely detailed machine specific cable descriptions for the Adams / Smith synchronizers we used back in the day - which had to be programmed in hex code. Seems rather complex and nothing I'd want to dive into any more.
Having the daw follow the tape is a little more modern and easier, there were synchronizers which read the smpte from tape and controlled the positioning and the wordclock for the daw - but it was quite difficult to achieve a high timing accuracy with most synchronizers. Plus controlling the wordclock can introduce jitter - another can of worms.
So the clasp approach would be my first choice. Probably the best synchronization is no synchronization. Plus you'd only have to spool the tape back every once in a while - when it is at the end. That is a big gain in convenience.
I don't use protools, so I don't know how to handle the offset problem. The audio hardware might be pretty straight forward to design and not terribly expensive. You'd also need an interface to pass the transport commands from the daw to the tape machine. There should be something adoptable from the arduino world I guess. Like I said, an interesting diy project?

Maybe this sparks some ideas,

Michael


Yes that would be a nice project ! I'm more into Rasperry but I know there are a lot of good projects on arduino. I'll will tallk about that with a good friend of mine who is really skilled on programing software... But It's sad that there's no alternative to the Clasp system in 2020 :'(

fazer

Re: Sync a MCI JH24 to Protools in 2020
« Reply #19 on: October 27, 2020, 07:43:08 PM »
I did a blues album about 6 years ago on a 24 track Otari and protools.    We recorded to tape like pucho said and slave you sing a sync i/o for chasing LTC. I mostly used protools to clean up some tracks.  I had an Adam smith for protools to be master.   In the end the LTC chest with avid sync I/o works great and much faster.   I don’t like recording with both daw and tape running and advise against that.   As Abby says this can be a frustrating thing and to be avoided.   In the end I mixed everything from tape only and used half the equipment needed due to the sound being so flattering with tape only.   The project dictates the necessity of daw/tape or just daw or just tape.   Try it both ways.   Avoid over dubs with both systems running.  It’s mind numbing slow.   A happy artist Is a happy project.   A happy engineer is second to the project.   The song rules.


 

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