Lockit Buddy is a small
interfacing device that is aimed at the professional
sound recordist, currently being confronted with
increasing amounts of footage shot on Digital SLR
cameras, and to the owners of such cameras who want to
work with a professional sound recordist using double
system sound linked by time code.
Lockit Buddy takes care of the level and impedance conversions needed to record an accurate and dependable time code signal and confidence audio track to the Digital SLR camera. It also works on consumer video cameras with 3.5mm mini-jack mic inputs.
As long as your camera has the capability to record movies, has a mic input and a standard size flash bracket you will be able to use Lockit Buddy on your camera.
All you'll need is a
constantly attached standard time code source, (Lockit
box, broadcast camera TC out, hard disk recorder TC
out etc ...) a sound source with a line, standard
headphone, or microphone level output (IFB receiver,
mixer output etc...) and a NLE that can handle audio
TC. (Avid, FCP) There are no brand new expensive
lockit boxes to be purchased that only work on your
Digital SLR mini-jack connector... just use your
industry standard equipment!
The all new Lockit Buddy II accepts standard SMPTE LTC via the built in BNC connector, and unbalanced line or microphone audio level signal via a 5-pin Mini XLR (TA5M) connector. You now also have the option to attach your plug in power mic's directly to the unit via this connector, so you can use your lavaliere mic's or external camera mics that require powering from the camera.
(previously this was only possible with a special order modified version)
All connections into the Lockit Buddy unit are made with professional grade locking connectors to ensure a trouble free long life and dependable signal transfer.
Why put your reputation on the line by forcing pro line level signal (+4dB) and time code into powered microphone level inputs? (+/- 50dB more sensitive) Many people turn the camera's input level all the way down in manual mode and are willing to live with horrible crosstalk between channels, no signal headroom and compromised reliability of their signal, not realising it could also cause permanent damage to their expensive DSLR's inputs over time. Worth it ? You decide ...
So how does Lockit Buddy overcome these problems?
Lockit Buddy provides a separate pre-set attenuation and impedance compensation circuit for both of it's line level inputs (timecode and audio), so that any equipment attached is 'seeing' the right set of conditions to deliver it's signal into, without straining the device's outputs. In line level mode it also cancels out the 'plug in power' being sent back from the camera microphone input to the attached equipment. As a result the Digital SLR is receiving reliable signal at the level it's expecting, without the crosstalk associated with sending hot signals down unbalanced connections. Microphone level audio inputs (with or without plug in power enabled) are unattenuated direct connections to the DSLR'S input.
There is a difference in setup between the camera's which have the option to use manual gain (like the Canon 5D, Nikon D3s/D7000, Lumix GH2 etc...) and camera's with AGC mode only (Canon 7D/T2i/550D, Lumix G2 etc...)... Hence there are Lockit Buddy units available for each system. Both versions are physically identical, but have been factory set up to attenuate signal in a different way. Always use manual gain if your DSLR provides you with the option.
If at some point in time it becomes necessary, your Lockit Buddy can be user modified by adjusting two internal trim controls. Details on how to do this can be found in the user manual. (Please note that to use Lockit Buddy on Lumix cameras you will need to buy a conversion plug from 3.5mm to the 2.5mm Mic input)
(On the Canon 5D for example, this feature
can be accessed via the 2nd setup menu /
Live View - Movie Func. Set. / Sound Rec.)
When paired with AGC
cameras the Lockit Buddy uses the constant signal of
the time code input to defeat the auto gain feature
and produces an audio input free from the usual 'noise
floor' artefacts. This will open up the entire dynamic
range of the audio channel so a good quality reference
audio track can be recorded on the camera.
For cameras that have the option to use manual gain control we strongly recommend using this setting and downloading the latest firmware update for your camera. This way a reference tone and time code signal can be put into allignment with one another and can be referenced to the audio meter display available on most cameras.
Lockit Buddy sends your reference audio track to channel 1 (L) and the time code to channel 2 (R).
This is conform to channel arrangements needed to ingest material with LTC recorded as audio with Avid editing systems. For editing in Final Cut Pro we recommend processing the video files using FCPauxTC by VideoToolshed to extract your time code and turn it into an Auxiliary TC track.
In terms of mounting
options, Lockit Buddy II now comes standard with a
durable red anodised aircraft grade aluminium mount
that slides into the camera's flash bracket **. This
mount also comes with industry standard 1/4 inch
thread to allow more options mounting on rigs,
spigots, etc ... or it can be taken off completely by
removing two screws from the units bottom lid to allow
you to use it with Velcro or an alternative way of
Because of the multitude of possible wiring and plug arrangements connecting the Lockit Buddy to various third party devices, and due to the diversity in available rig setups and required cable lengths, we are currently not providing any cables with the unit.
There is a wiring reference available in the downloads section with some standard industry connections that you can take to your trusted audio electronics supplier to either have your cables made to order or choose from their already available range of cables to suit your specific needs. Whatever you do, always make use of quality cables, keep cable lengths to a practical minimum to reduce interference and always carry spares when you're out on a shoot ! It's common sense really !
Since we first started producing these units two years ago, Lockit Buddy has been intensively field tested on productions all around the globe with great reviews from users ...
But don't just take our word for it! Head over to the downloads section, get our test files, drop them into your NLE and see what the Lockit Buddy can do for you!
You are visitor number
| * F.A.S. is not
affiliated in any way with Canon, Nikon, Panasonic
(Lumix), Apple (FCP), Digidesign (Avid),
Videotoolshed (FCPAUXTC). All these companies are
of their respective product names and registered trademarks.
** Take care when mounting on camera's that have the flash unit built in like the 7D/T2i/550D/60D as the flash unit may hit the Lockit Buddy housing when popping out.
In this case it's best to either attach an adequate strip of self adhesive rubber to the bottom of the housing to protect the flash unit or to mount the Lockit Buddy
elsewhere. No liability shall be accepted regarding damage caused as a result of ignoring this advice.