SP-1200 Rear Questions

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Rumbler101
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SP-1200 Rear Questions

Post by Rumbler101 » Tue Aug 12, 2014 2:47 am

Hi,

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-Drs0708dzTk/U ... 3gM/s1600/$(KGrHqR,!rYFEskP8B5rBRdE2cWJPw~~60_57.JPG

What do the first 3 slots on the right on the SP-1200 do exactly and what devices would they work on? I know SMPTE is for film and video but what exactly would it do to the SP-1200 and what would SMPTE do to a different device if the 1200 was used as the master? What about Met/Clk. and Clk. in? Is that just the old communication method for syncing old synths? I guess they're also connected by 1/4 inch cables?

Thanks.

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Re: SP-1200 Rear Questions

Post by Stab Frenzy » Tue Aug 12, 2014 10:10 am

Smpte is for syncing to tape machines etc, as well as film.

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Re: SP-1200 Rear Questions

Post by rschnier » Thu Aug 14, 2014 1:24 am

Right...think of SMTPE as similar to MIDI time code (actually the latter was somewhat based on the former) but output as an audio signal that could be recorded onto one channel of a multi-track tape machine, then fed back into the SP1200 to sync things up as you recorded additional tracks. Click track was the same sort of thing only designed to directly drive other pieces of electronics. (I have an SP-12, which has the same jacks, and used it all the time to sync up with my Tascam 48 8-channel tape unit. Ah, those were the days.)
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Re: SP-1200 Rear Questions

Post by Rumbler101 » Thu Aug 14, 2014 8:33 pm

rschnier wrote:Right...think of SMTPE as similar to MIDI time code (actually the latter was somewhat based on the former) but output as an audio signal that could be recorded onto one channel of a multi-track tape machine, then fed back into the SP1200 to sync things up as you recorded additional tracks. Click track was the same sort of thing only designed to directly drive other pieces of electronics. (I have an SP-12, which has the same jacks, and used it all the time to sync up with my Tascam 48 8-channel tape unit. Ah, those were the days.)
What was the connection flow for it all? They were also 1/4 inch jacks too?

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Re: SP-1200 Rear Questions

Post by rschnier » Fri Aug 15, 2014 5:02 am

Rumbler101 wrote:What was the connection flow for it all? They were also 1/4 inch jacks too?
For the SMPTE out on the SP-12/1200, it's line-level output from what I remember. I don't recall if the SP-12 had an output level control, but I'm pretty sure I ran the SP-12 output to one of my mixer channel line-level inputs and routed that channel through the mixer to say, channel 1 of the recorder. (If you're actually recording to tape, it's best to use either channel 1 or channel <n> -- those are on the outside edge of the tape -- to minimize the chance of the SMPTE signal bleeding through and being picked up on adjacent tracks. If you have enough tracks to spare, it's even recommended to leave an unused track in between the SMPTE track and any audio tracks, but that was not really practical for me since I had only 8 channels.) I printed the SMPTE signal at around -3 dB on the recorder VU meter, using no noise reduction (e.g. dbx) on that particular channel -- SMPTE signals sometimes don't do well when going through noise reduction encoding and decoding.

Before recording any audio tracks, I recorded enough SMPTE signal on the tape from the SP-12 to last what the length of my song was going to be plus some extra amount just in case. This step is called "stripeing" the tape.

For playback of the SMPTE back into the SP-12, I'm pretty sure I just ran a 1/4" cable from track 1 line output on the recorder into the SMPTE IN jack on the SP-12, and adjusted the SP-12 level control for SMPTE IN -- there was a setting for that if I recall right. The SP will tell you when it's able to lock onto the SMPTE signal coming in. To set up how things are going to go, you edit a setting in the SP unit to "start" when it sees a particular time code value come in, for example 00:00:03 or some number like that. Once it sees that timecode value come in, it is just as if you pressed the "start" button, and the SP will stay in sync with the incoming SMPTE until you either stop the tape or press "stop" on the SP unit.

If you have Digital Workstation / Recording software that can generate SMPTE time code, you should be able to feed that audio into the SP-12/1200 SMPTE IN jack and have the SP sync up just as if it were syncing to tape. I haven't personally done that, but I know of no reason it wouldn't work.

If you were asking about the connection flow for the clock in / clock out stuff, post again and I will elaborate about the times I used that. The answer above was assuming you were asking about the flow for use of the SMPTE stuff.
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Re: SP-1200 Rear Questions

Post by Rumbler101 » Fri Aug 22, 2014 10:50 am

Very interesting read. Quality read actually.

However, what type of stuff can you do with SMPTE exactly? And could you please elaborate on the clocking information? Because from my knowledge, SMPTE isn't really the same as a clock, so what is it exactly? MTC is virtually the same also right?

Cheers.

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Re: SP-1200 Rear Questions

Post by rschnier » Mon Aug 25, 2014 8:42 pm

SMPTE coding is essentially a kind of clock signal where every 'tick' contains a complete statement of 'what time it is.' Each 'tick' is either 1/30th of a second or 1/24th of a second, depending on which flavor you use (television vs. film). (There are also a couple more-exotic flavors, e.g. drop-frame, where the ticks are a bit off from these values in order to support special cases of usage.)

So, even if you start playback of your tape in the middle of the song (or video, or film), anything synced to that signal can jump right to that point in the song and proceed from there. This contrasts with a plain-old 'click' clock signal where you would always have to start all devices from the beginning of the song.

SMPTE was designed from the beginning to be encoded as an analog audio signal (carrying digital information, but using audio tones) that can be recorded onto tape or printed onto a film soundtrack. As I understand it, MTC is the same kind of thing but is not encoded as as an analog audio signal; rather it's directly digital for transmission over a MIDI network (I suppose it wouldn't need to be limited to just MIDI; any network medium could be used).

The common thing between them, again, is that each and every 'tick' not only marks a unit of time, but also contains all the info for exactly 'what time it currently is.'
-- R.

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Re: SP-1200 Rear Questions

Post by Rumbler101 » Thu Aug 28, 2014 1:32 pm

Cool, thanks man.

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