GEAR TALK: Use Bluetooth to Sync Audio with the Tentacle Sync E1 min readReading Time: 2 minutes
The Tentacle Sync E is an independent timecode generator, often used to send Timecode or Audio Timecode to a recording source. It’s useful for writing the same timecode to all recording mediums on set, providing an easier syncing process in post-production.
Why would you need a product like this? Here’s the deal: many digital cinema cameras already record timecode. You can always jam them once every couple of hours and hope for the best.
However, in my experience as a location sound mixer, the clocks in these cameras tend to be inaccurate and drift over time (or lose sync when the camera is powered down for battery changes). Many location sound professionals use what we a call a “lockbox” to act as an independent timecode generator that constantly sends TC (timecode) to the camera.
These solutions were often bulky and added weight to the camera. A system of these independent lockboxes were expensive. Many filmmakers and content creators also added a second camera to their setup via DSLR, which rarely support timecode.
That’s where the Tentacle comes in. In addition to sending regular timecode, it seamlessly sends audio timecode and a “scratch track” to the camera through its internal microphone. This audio timecode can be decoded with many modern NLEs or Tentacle Sync, providing you with its own software to decode the audio LTC and print timecode to your footage.
The benefit to you as a filmmaker is that you can have two independent timecode generators (and the software) to sync your footage for only a fraction of the price of many more complicated systems. These lock boxes are also easy to use.
Image credit: Travis Devin