Hey. I wil be working on student film production soon. The camera for the job is Arri Alexa, I will be using Sound Devices either 744t or 788t. The problem I faced is the lack of time code cables at our state film school. I'll be recording to both, the recorder and the camera, however i might not be able to get ambient cable for tc (that could sound rather dull, but thats how things are here in Moscow).

So my question is, what are possible losses of recording into not synced recorder? Will the sync drift be visible?

3 Answers 3


In my personal opinion you have no loose. You are still able to do sync clicks per shot with flap like in old time movies...

You loose only comfort.

  • 2
    Agreed. Get both the recorders rolling, then slate each take with scene and take # information, and clap with your hands or the arm of a clap-board. In post, you can use the slate information to match each off-camera audio track with its video track, and use the short transient sound of the clap to sync the audio tracks together. Feb 14, 2012 at 16:03

Timecode is very useful as it really does lock the devices together, but we do not live in an ideal world and sometimes it is not possible to record this way. As others have mentioned, slating each take with a clapper will be a good start. And if you are recording the Sound Devices' output on one of the camera channels, this will also be able to be used as the guide track in post.


I'd say jam if you can. It really depends on what sort of thing you are shooting and how good slate discipline is on set! I think for your film you will be fine-and if you dont have the gear they cant expect it!

However, for future stuff the editor will really thank you for being able to sync up automatically without having to manually sync and on a huge project it can save the editor days of work.

I always use timecode now but got away without using it for a long time. Now I wouldn't work without it as it makes me comfortable knowing I am locked to the camera-as long as we are both recording my sound is safely synced. Even so the stuff should always be slated, but too often in my work it's "quick lets just shoot this! Endboard........oh I cut sorry" ;)

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