Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Adrienne Electronics

Do you remember a BBC2 late-night show called Diners - back in 2002 anything that had the reality label attached to it got commissioned (although admittedly on very late in the evening). If you Google for it now there is scant evidence of it! I did find a John Walsh article from The Independent. Anyhow - one of the problems I had to solve for that show was using cheap Avids (software-only versions - ExpressDV back then) to capture or log live feeds with timecode. Of course the studio or OB sends you audio timecode (the kind that sounds like a fax and comes down a twisted pair cable) but all hardware-less edit stations assumed the timecode comes down the RS422 line as part of the machine control.
Adrienne Electronics do a range of really useful boxes to address these kind of problems - the AEC-Box-2 takes in audio code and has a 9-pin connector. It emulates a VTR but (being a solid box) doesn't actually play or rewind tape - it just tells the Avid it is doing so (in this case it's an Avid MCSoft with SDi Mojo). The really cool thing is that when the Avid asks for timecode down the RS422 the box returns what it is receiving on it's input. It's the ideal solution for using cheap workstations to log or capture proper studio or OB type material.
Now I'd been puzzling about this for ages last night (got home late from the studio where I was working) and it was only over my tea that I remembered solving the problem five years before - kinda like how everyone has forgotten Diners!

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