Time Code Overview for Audio and Video

In the world of professional video and audio production, it’s really cool for video and audio to be recorded separately. A camera or a dedicated video recorder will contain all the video files. A separate multi track audio recorder will contain all audio files. There are a number of methods of merging video and audio back together in a post production environment. The proper application of time code and other more labor-intensive and time-consuming methods can be avoided by streamlining this critical and necessary step.

In this post we’re going to explore-

► Time code
► Application of Time code
► Time code frame rates and
► Time code modes

Time cold is a clock that counts in frames with comfortable audio and video recorders clocks can be secret eyes. So that the time code values are identical on each device.


Clock’s can be electronically connected or synchronized and run independently. Synchronized two clocks to run in an area are called Jam sinking.

Well there are other methods of syncing sound and picture for instance using a slate or some other visual reference. Manual syncing is time and cost intensive. Time code relies on precise clocks. Two high-precision time code clocks which have been jam-synced will maintain time code sync to ensure matching time code values. At some point the two clocks may drift. Drift is the rate two times code values slowly become different. The more stable the time code clock, the longer the clocks can run separately and maintain time code synchronization. Periodic re-jamming or synchronizing of the time code clocks is standard.

Auto time code display, the front portion indicates the frame number. The time code frame rate setting determines how many frames are counted each second. The list of all kind of time code frame rates are shown here-

It’s really important to note that the time code frame rate may not be the same as the video frame rate. Although the time code frame rate and the video frame rate are directly related. The two rates may be different.

Free run time code mode

Free run is continuously counting time code values regardless if the device is recording or in standby. Free run is the most common used to time code mode in double system production.


Record run time card mode

Record run only outputs for removing time code while in record mode. Once record most is stopped in the recorder interstate in standby mode, the time code generator will no longer output forward moving time code.


External time code mode

External time code modes requires external time code source. This mode can be used to bypass lower-quality internal time code circuitry and replace its time code signal with one general by higher precision time code hardware.


External time code auto record mode

External time code auto record mode is essentially the same thing as external time code mode but is there to be paired with a master device using record runtime code mode. In which mode time code is used to automatically start and stop recording mode on the slope device. In a device in this mode recognizes forward moving time code. The device will automatically enter record mode when for removing time code stops. The slave device will stop recording. This is very useful to remotely control a recorder from an external record run time code enabled device.

So time code is a clock that counts in frames, then we can used to synchronize multiple video recorders or multiple audio recorders.

Updated: June 13, 2019 — 1:55 PM

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