Time Code

While the cordless crystal drive system guarantees synchronous operation between camera and recorder, it does not provide a start mark. Slating, therefore, must be done either with a conventional clapstick, or by wireless transmission of start and scene information.

A more promising approach is that of absolute time reference or "crystal clock." In this system we use an extremely accurate crystal time-base generator (or clock) capable of marking the film at regular intervals with a precise time reference and other pertinent production data. A similar or identical clock would also be plugged into the recorder to mark the sound record in identical fashion. It is only necessary for both crystal clocks to be time-synchro-nized at the beginning of the day and then be plugged into the camera and the recorder, so that for the rest of the day's shooting, the mark made on the film and on the sound record would always occur at precisely the same time. The effect would be the same as if we operated clapsticks at regular intervals of one second or more during the entire day. As in the case with crystal-controlled synchronization, any number of cameras could be tied to one recorder or several recorders.

The EBU (European Broadcasting Union) proposed such a time-code system in the early '70s. It involved the

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