Ok, so, there are a million different format, framerate, bit depth, sample rate, etc combinations out there, especially now that you have DSLRs shooting video, prosumer cameras that shoot in "24P" (which isn't actually 24fps) etc...

How do you deal with this as a professional? What resources do you use to keep yourself up to date on these ever changing standards? (I heard a good joke today at a post production seminar: "We love standards. That's why we have so many of them!) Heh :-)

What are the most common flubs / mismatches you come across, and how do you deal with them? Do you do external syncing? Hardware gear ups / downs? Change the metadata on a file to force a pulldown (Avid users, I'm looking at you...)?

3 Answers 3


I usually track the developments of such best practices on Jeff Wexler's forum, which seems to be where people are going when they tire of the craziness on RAMPS. :-) The amount of info there can get very camera-specific, which is very handy for search purposes. It seems like most people there usually work backwards from the film speed and the telecine company's needs, make heavy use of smart slates, run at the appropriate 23.976 or 29.97 rates, and seem to prefer TOD (time of day) timecode, while admitting that free-run and rec-run have their uses. When last I checked. :-)

SIDENOTE: Me, though, I've recently been avoiding timecode altogether! :-) I only pitch in for production sound help on HDSLR shoots (or when I do such shoots myself as camera operator or director). We shoot double-system and use a manual slate for sync (following proper practice and tail-slating when appropriate). With Sound Devices recorders, we don't lose sync for at least 10 minutes, two minutes shorter than the max HDSLR clip length and way longer than any single take I've seen on-set under normal circumstances. Handy, that. We shoot audio at 24b96k for latitude. When manual sync in post isn't time-efficient (despite that it's pretty easy), we use the PluralEyes plugin to auto-sync to the on-camera scratch track. For sync sound for longer takes like interviews, we mix externally and then feed the camera bypassing its preamps. FCP is used for post, which isn't really that timecode savvy. No time code needed in that workflow! (I was both a grip and 2nd AC back in my video days, so I'm loving being TC free for a while.)

  • How is fcp not timecode savvy? You have to set your sequence to the proper specs but they are all available.. I don't know what you mean exactly
    – bpert
    Jul 31, 2010 at 15:21

This very subject is why it is so important on films to have a meeting BEFORE the shoot between the production sound recordist, picture editor & assistant & the dialogue editor and to do a sync camera test & to verify the workflow from shoot through to post. This also requires that the sound post team be confirmed before the shoot, which is also very important.

In the last few years all the films I do are 23.976 but depends on camera as to sample rate & timecode in the field (film vs digital etc)


To be honest, to keep up to date with timecode just check on ambients new products every so often.... theyre are pretty much the leaders in timecode products.

but tbh it wont change so much

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