How does one get timecode onto a 5d at the same time as hopping an audio feed from the mixer?


Hey people,

A question:

I have a shoot coming up in a few days where the client would like to be able to have timecode as well as be able to play back footage shot on 5d mk2 WITH audio...i.e a feed from my mixer.

I was planning to send that audio for playback wirelessly to the camera with a Sennheiser G3 TX/RX kit.

Is it possible to hop timecode on the same signal? How on earth is this done. I've just started my researches and discovered this:

What do you know about this?

Kurt Human

Posted 2012-02-17T10:54:30.033

Reputation: 825

Are you planning on using a seperate recorder for recording audio and generating timecode? Also, which mixer are you planning to use. – Mark Durham – 2012-02-17T12:05:17.433



My first guess is no. In order to get synchronous playback from your recording device, while playing video back from a 5D, you would need one device to chase timecode from the other. The 5D has no provisions for timecode whatsoever (and they can have slippy internal clocking for video to begin with, so watch out for that in post). In that post you linked to, the author is running time-code to an audio track. That's an idea from older analog workflows. It might be possible if you can get the audio from the camera to feed an input to your clock generator, but that means you're going to require a fancier rig than that simple Horita box. You'd also then have to be careful that it doesn't reset the timecode being generated by the don't want overlapping timecode between shots.

My suggestion would be to look into the rental costs of a Sound Devices Pix system, or convince them to buy one. they can play back from that device, with audio, and it will create native Apple or Avid format files with time code.

Shaun Farley

Posted 2012-02-17T10:54:30.033

Reputation: 14 704


Yes, it can be done, but you'll have only mono sound on the 5D. Next week I'll start the post of a project where they've done it this way:

For the audio to get in the 5D, they used this mic adapter:


The sound girl send a mono mixdown signal, wireless to the 5d from her Cantar recorder.

For the timecode, they used a Clockit


Jammed every now en then with the recorder set on free run, and then hang the Clockit on the camerarig with timecode out in an audio signal.

When they got the workflow right, it all went great. But be shure that, if you want to do it this way, you test it a couple of times (also with the editor) before the shoot.

Good Luck!

Ps I'm not sure if the 5D has an video sync input. If so, you can sync the video from the clockit too, then you'll really have no sync problems anymore

Taco Drijfhout

Posted 2012-02-17T10:54:30.033

Reputation: 203

Do take note of the levels when you record timecode onto an audio track. You will run into problems decoding it if it is distorted or recorded too low. – None – 2012-02-17T14:04:56.553

Yes, this will work. But if a confidence playback is done on site (which is what I think Kurt is really asking about), you're going to hear the time code track as well. Did you find a work around for this problem? Does the 5D output stereo if you monitor from it (with or without headphones), such that you could split and turn off one channel? With a camera dedicated to video you can hear just the production audio, or even listen to audio from the recorder as it chases the camera's timecode. Most clients I work with would be pissed if they had to listen to an audio based timecode track. – Shaun Farley – 2012-02-17T14:20:56.363

Just after I asked this question I came upon the solution that @Taco has mentioned above, but hadn't thought about the TC track being audible... So, er, thanks fr the heads-up @Shaun. I'll be doing tests with the DOP on Monday and see what transpires.

Thanks for the info guys! – Kurt Human – 2012-02-17T18:44:31.387

@Shaun Farley They used the audio on the 5D to watch rushes every day after shooting. They plugged it to their macbook and sat down to see what they actually shot that day, so they could kill the timecode track in FCP. It was for a documentary in which there was no time at the set for playback on site. The only solution for that would be to have a small stereo output mixer with volume control for the two dedicated tracks. But by that time you'll get stuck with a really unhappy camera operator cause of all the shit he has to carry while shooting I guess.. – Taco Drijfhout – 2012-02-17T19:23:57.303