Deity TC-1 Timecode Generator Assessment


The Deity TC-1 Timecode Generator system first caught my consideration at Cinegear 2022. I used to be intrigued by the thought of an reasonably priced timecode system ($549.00 for a package of three or $169.00 every) that I may merely throw into my digital camera packages – affording me the posh of not having to fret as a lot about syncing photographs later in put up. Right here is my assessment of the Deity TC-1 Timecode Generator:

Time for a disclosure proper off the bat – I’m not an audio mixer or editor by commerce, and dealing with timecode is normally the province of the audio crew along with the AC crew on my units. But that doesn’t imply I don’t admire dependable timecode syncing, and I’m at all times on the lookout for methods to optimize the put up workflow on my tasks. I additionally assume that, given the fee, the viewers for the TC-1 isn’t the normal of us accountable for on-set timecode, and that this is likely to be an incredible first timecode expertise for a lot of. Let’s dive in.

Deity Microphones, a companion model of lighting producer Aputure, introduced the TC-1 Timecode Generator field alongside a $999 sensible slate, which sadly has been delayed by provide points and wasn’t obtainable for this assessment. So, for our functions, we’ll follow the TC-1 Timecode field for this assessment.

Picture Credit score: Graham Ehlers Sheldon/CineD

Just a few banner options of the TC-1 to start out:

  • OLED Show
  • 2.4 GHz Wi-fi and Bluetooth Management
  • Locking 3.5mm Timecode Port
  • 28-Hour Battery Life (USB-C Charging)
  • Pairs with the brand new Sidus Audio Cellular App
  • Onboard Microphone
  • Generates all SMPTE Timecode Codecs
  • Promised drift fee of 1 body inside 72-hours

First Impressions

The set of three TC-1 gadgets ships in a classy yellow and black field and consists of the next:

  • Chilly Shoe Mount x3
  • Locking 3.5mm TRS to TRS Coiled Cable ($20 Worth)
  • Locking 3.5mm TRS to BNC Cable ($20 Worth)
  • Locking 3.5mm TRS to Proper-Angle 5-Pin LEMO Cable ($45 Worth) – For ARRI Alexa Mini
  • USB Sort-A to Triple USB Sort-C Charging Cable

For this assessment, I primarily used a Sony FS7 MK II with an extension unit, a Canon C300 MK III, a Canon C500MK II and the Canon C70 for numerous tasks over a number of weeks of testing. All of those cameras have a BNC / SDI port for timecode and thus, I rapidly needed to purchase two further 3.5mm TRS to BNC cables as a result of the package solely included one.

Picture Credit score: Graham Ehlers Sheldon

This highlighted a niche within the 3-unit package for me proper out of the gate – I’d have assumed {that a} package like this could ship with three of every of those several types of cables. The person $169.99 TC-1 package solely ships with the locking 3.5mm coiled cable. My guess right here is that Deity wished to depart this resolution a la carte for the proprietor, on condition that timecode cables range from model to model (RED Cinema, for instance, is infamous for switching cable platforms from digital camera physique to digital camera physique).

My impressions of the TC-1 out of the field are formed by my time spent with the $229.00 per unit Tentacle Sync E system (actually the principle competitor for Deity right here when it comes to worth level and Bluetooth management). It’s value noting that the Tentacle Sync E solely ships with a 3.5mm to three.5mm cable. The largest distinction between the Tentacle Sync E and TC-1 is that the Tentacle lacks an OLED show and is 100% reliant on the app to get it working – extra on the variations in a second.

A Energy, Sync and Pair LED indicator all line the highest of the gadget and the three.5mm port on the aspect rounds out the outside together with a easy energy button and a brilliant, simply readable OLED show – it’s all very minimalist in an approachable form of method. This looks like a timecode system that wouldn’t be too laborious to rise up and operating proper out of the field.

Deity additionally features a triple charging cable with the trio that makes charging all three gadgets that a lot less complicated. Heaps to love right here – time to energy on all three models.

Operation

Here’s a video displaying the setup that’s created by Deity Microphones:

There’s a component to the operation of the TC-1 that basically is ideal for a timecode novice like myself, and the Sidus Audio app is ranging from a extra polished place than even the Sidus Hyperlink lighting app was again at model one.

Sidus Audio App in motion discovering and syncing the gadgets.

The OLED Show on the TC-1 unit tells you a couple of bits of helpful data at a fast look:

  • Timecode Information
  • A letter designation (I modified this to correspond to the digital camera metadata of the digital camera the given TC-1 was mounted on)
  • A “BT” indicating the unit is being managed by Bluetooth
  • Frames Per Second (23.98F, 24.00F, 25.00F, 29.97F, 29.97DF, 30.00F and so on)
  • Battery Life (displayed as hours and with a small bar)
  • A lock and unlocked display indicator within the backside left. This retains you from bumping a key setting by chance.

Need to check out the brand new Sidus Audio app? You will discover it obtainable for obtain HERE.

Onboard microphone. Picture Credit score: Graham Ehlers Sheldon/CineD

For starters, except you need time of day timecode, you don’t even have to open the Sidus Audio app to get all three TC-1’s paired and sync your cameras. I personally don’t love having to hope I’ve sufficient battery life on my cellular gadget on the finish of a 12-hour shoot day away from energy to make modifications in a given app, and the truth that you’ve got a ton of management by way of the OLED show itself is an enormous plus for me.

I used the TC-1 primarily to sync a number of cameras and didn’t personally use a mixer on any of my shoots, however you can completely set a mixer paired with a TC-1 as your “foremost node” sending timecode to varied digital camera packages. In case your digital camera package deal doesn’t have a devoted BNC timecode port, you can additionally ship audio timecode utilizing the included 3.5mm cable (it takes up one in all your audio channels with timecode audio that sounds a bit like you’re getting into the Matrix).

As soon as the TC-1 Field is powered on and paired, it rapidly enters a display sleep mode the place the brilliant show shuts off to keep away from getting caught in a shot in a pesky reflection.

The Sidus Audio app exhibits all the TC-1 Containers in play, and I assume it can someday present the Sidus Good Slate as nicely when these start to ship.

You can even create totally different gadget teams for bigger exhibits, the place maybe totally different clusters of TC-1 bins are divided into totally different digital camera teams.

Deity Microphones claims a minimal one body drift after 72 hours and I personally didn’t encounter any drift throughout any of my shoots with the Sony FS7 MK II, C500 MK II, C300 MK III or the Canon C70 – though we by no means left a number of cameras operating for 3 days. The truth that I didn’t expertise any drift is an enormous deal and the first promoting level of those gadgets.

Conclusion

Picture Credit score: Graham Ehlers Sheldon/CineD

For years, I’ve thought-about timecode dealing with and operation to be purely an audio crew job and the truth that I can sync timecode on quite a lot of cameras in a matter of seconds utilizing my iPhone can’t be dismissed. The TC-1 simply works – it isn’t rain-proof or bullet-proof, however neither is your favourite digital camera or mixing gadget.

I’ve used Deity Microphones prior to now and there’s a lot to love there, however it is likely to be time for the corporate to alter their title to Deity Timecode, as a result of the TC-1 ecosystem and Sidus Audio App are unbelievable and exist at a worth level that is smart. I might be to see how the upcoming, pricier Good Slate modifications the dynamic, however it is a promising gadget in a market section that basically wanted some wholesome competitors, after years and years of the identical gadgets getting used on set with restricted innovation.

What do you assume? Will you be including a couple of TC-1 bins to your package? Do you want timecode in your workflow? Tell us within the feedback beneath!



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