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11 Synchronization

11 Synchronization

If you need to synchronize playback and recording in Pro Tools to some external device (such as a video deck or a multitrack tape recorder), this chapter will be of special interest to you. It includes both basic concepts and some fairly technical information. You may not absorb it all at first reading, but it will provide some context for dealing with synchronization issues when they arise.

As you will see, various levels of synchronization are possible with Pro Tools. Your synchronization requirements may be no more complicated than simply triggering playback at the correct position in the session’s Timeline, when the corresponding time code location is received from the master device (trigger sync). More sophisticated techniques lock the internal audio clock of Pro Tools to a very stable external reference (for example, video sync, a digital reference known as word clock or word sync, or a timing reference generated by an external synchronization peripheral, such as the Avid Sync HD). When Pro Tools and the master device share a common reference sync, they can stay perfectly locked together over longer periods of time. Sample-accurate sync is also extremely important when Pro Tools audio channels are combined with other audio playing simultaneously from another source, especially where there might be some shared information in these signals (such as microphone leakage!). Otherwise, phase cancellation can occur due to slight differences in playback speed on the two devices (for example, between Pro Tools and a multitrack tape recorder).


  

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