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25 Jan 2021
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Sync-N-Link X vs Tentacle Sync Studio 24 Jan 2023 12:30 #123795

Hi all,

Which one to prefer: Sync-N-Link X or Tentacle Sync Studio?

Both seem to handle all the iXML data very well and don't seem to cause issues down the line for online conform (e.g. because of badly transferred metadata). But in most professional workflow articles I can find online for feature films, I only see references to Sync-N-Link X and not Tentacle Sync Studio. This while the latter has a Sync Map, offset features for individual clips within a shooting day, and is able to read timecode from audio.

Just curious about people's preferences, and why in specific situations they choose one over the other.

Thanks,
Erik

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Sync-N-Link X vs Tentacle Sync Studio 24 Jan 2023 15:40 #123796

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Sync-N-Link is a great product, esp. for batch syncing dailies. However it requires "file" timecode (not audio LTC timecode), which a few of our cameras don't support. We have many Tentacle devices and formerly used Tentacle Desktop. That worked OK but it was another post-production step.

All our main cameras and recorders now support file timecode and can be jam-synced (typically via Tentacle) or continuously connected to a Tentacle Sync E. Once all devices use file timecode (IOW SMPTE metadata, not audio LTC on one channel) syncing is pretty easy -- without any other utilities. FCP, Premiere and Resolve all support sync by timecode.

We also use a Tentacle to jam-sync our Denecke Slate. That gives an alternative sync method if the camera timecode is wrong: www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/406889-RE...mpact_Time_Code.html

We now have so few cameras that don't support jam sync that I normally just manually preset them by hand. For example on the Sony A7SIII and FX3 you select "free run" timecode then preset it to the current time of day while looking at an accurate clock. I can normally get it within about 1/4 to 1/8th of a second. For some cameras with IR or RF remote it's possible to manually preset them all simultaneously. Dave Dugdale demonstrated that in this video:

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Sync-N-Link X vs Tentacle Sync Studio 24 Jan 2023 17:25 #123798

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I synch all my Sonys using the 845 remote and have extras in case I loose one. Ten bucks, but peruse the listing closely. The 835 looks similar but has a PHOTO button where the 845 TIMECODE button is so don't be mislead by 835/845 + others in the title description.

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Sync-N-Link X vs Tentacle Sync Studio 25 Jan 2023 21:10 #123838

Yes Tentacle Sync Studio has a plus with supporting audio LTC timecode.

Any people here who use Tentacle Sync Studio instead of Sync-N-Link X on film projects with lots of shooting days? (from a assistant editor point of view, e.g. importing / logging / syncing all the footage when it comes in from set)

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Last edit: by Erik ten Brinke.

Sync-N-Link X vs Tentacle Sync Studio 26 Jan 2023 14:52 #123849

I work a lot as assistant editor and use Tentacle when I can trust the timecode. Good program, would like the option to automatically reject the extra audio and would like the option of setting first and last video frame for the synced clip. Overall very happy with it.

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Sync-N-Link X vs Tentacle Sync Studio 26 Jan 2023 15:28 #123850

Ah yes, I also ran into this.
For organizational purposes, it would be ideal if Tentacle Sync would reject the extra audio instead of putting a "synced" keyword to the video, freeing up space for additional visual organization cues by not having a blue bar from beginning to end of clips all the time.

But then why don't you use Sync-N-Link X? That app says it "rejects" the extra audio, although I couldn't get that to work for some reason (hence why I shifted to Tentacle, because it at least gives me a way to filter out the extra audio).

What do you mean with setting first and last video frame for the synced clip?

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Last edit: by Erik ten Brinke.

Sync-N-Link X vs Tentacle Sync Studio 27 Jan 2023 06:40 #123856

First time I had a use for this I had LTC Timecode and I like Tentacle overall.
I mostly work with documentaries and sometimes audio is late, but the keyword doesn't cover the material without audio. It saves some time, but I usually have to check & adjust a lot.

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Sync-N-Link X vs Tentacle Sync Studio 27 Jan 2023 10:07 #123857

Ah like that, yes that's annoying.

I've tinkered around a bit with Sync-N-Link X and it does add "rejected" and "synced" keyword ranges, but for that to work you need to leave the box "Make wrapped Video clips at a different frame size" checked off.

Also a note for people who like to use SimonSays.ai for transcription: when you export synchronized clips created by Tentacle Sync Studio to SimonSays, you cannot import the translated text back as ranges onto those clips. When you have synchronized clips created inside FCP or via Sync-N-Link X, you are able to.

Just a heads up before you sync up 20 days of material and find this out afterwards like me

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Last edit: by Erik ten Brinke.

Sync-N-Link X vs Tentacle Sync Studio 27 Jan 2023 15:16 #123859

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....Also a note for people who like to use SimonSays.ai for transcription: when you export synchronized clips created by Tentacle Sync Studio to SimonSays...

SimonSays has good FCP integration but if you want a high-quality free transcription product with no time limit which is based on the Whisper AI, see this video by Felipe Baez. The "paid" version is a $6.50 one-time purchase that supports various AI modes:

...Any people here who use Tentacle Sync Studio instead of Sync-N-Link X on film projects with lots of shooting days?...from an assistant editor point of view...

I've worked on large documentaries, up to about 50 shooting days, three shooting teams, 150 multicam interviews and 220 camera hours of material. We try to have a separate production mixer and a data wrangler for each team. We have about 10 Tentacle Sync E devices. We formerly used Tentacle Sync Studio.

However over time we got newer cameras (Sony FX6, RED, etc) that support "file" timecode metadata, so we didn't need audio LTC timecode. We now use the Tentacles for continuously-connected timecode sources to the cameras and Sound Devices Mix-Pre II recorders, and we jam-sync the Denecke slate with that.

We never used Sync-N-Link because our workflow and delivery requirements did not mandate immediate turnover of many dailies with synchronized 2nd source audio. Instead, we only needed to spot-check a few for QC.

There is no single best way to handle offload, media organization and sync. There are things more important than Sync Studio vs Sync-N-Link. E.g., just getting all the devices set up with reliable, accurate timecode, making sure the camera time of day clock is correct, making sure there's scratch audio on each camera, etc.

We recently had a problem on a large shoot where the Tentacles just would not sync using the iOS app. There was apparently too much RF interference from wireless intercoms, wireless follow-focus units, wireless video monitors, wireless RGB lights, etc. You can use Tentacle "red mode" and sync them by wire, but we'd never had to employ that before. It took a lot of time to debug.

Since all our new cameras have low-drift timebases, we initially jam-synced them. However there are some issues with variable jam-sync latency. It's just a few frames, but it's unpredictable. It's also easier to remotely check timecode sync and re-sync if a Tentacle is connected to each camera, so we do that.

The RED camera R3D files are especially finicky in post because each clip is composed of file segments within a folder. In addition, there are strict conventions about renaming, possible issues with how FCP handles relink, etc.

Another issue with a distributed post-production team using a cloud workflow is how timecode sync is handled on proxies. That even affects cameras with file timecode because certain proxy formats (e.g, those generated by Amazon AWS) may be MP4 formats where FCP cannot read the timecode due to AV Foundation limitations. AWS can optionally generate Quicktime-based proxy transcodes where FCP can read the timecode but you have to configure that.

Most of our cameras use formats where FCP can read the timecode but a few (e.g., Sony mirrorless that produce MP4) cannot. Those must be rewrapped with EditReady to produce a .mov for FCP to see the clip timecode.

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Sync-N-Link X vs Tentacle Sync Studio 28 Jan 2023 12:13 #123871

That’s a lot of material ;)
And no never fully depend on jam-synced timecode!

Every movie has different workflow needs and no app is better than the other, but still it’s always interesting to hear why people choose one over the other in certain scenarios.
MacWhisper: wow! Thanks a lot for this app, hadn’t heard of it before but it seems pretty amazing.

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