Can I use my NLE with the Lockit Buddy?

At present we only have experience with AVID and Final Cut Pro being able to read time code from audio and succesfully converting it to useable time code. Final Cut Pro needs the files converted with Videotoolshed's FCPauxTC routine before ingesting them to do this, AVID Media Composer can do it straight out of the box. We are always interested to hear from you if you have been successfull doing this with other NLE's or conversion software.

How do I test my workflow before I buy your product?

On the Downloads page you will find some files that you can use to run tests on your NLE. The files are 25FPS because this is the most straight forward workflow to test with if you have never worked with timecode before. True and non true 24FPS and NTSC frame rate workflows tend to have more variables to the whole process. Lockit Buddy will work with any of these other frame rates as well. We wil be adding some more test files for other frame rate scenarios at a later stage. The test files depict a running timecode slate that is in sync with the time code used on a seperate audio recorder and simultaneously fed into the Lockit Buddy on the camera. At the same time there is a reference audio track being fed to the Lockit Buddy and to the audio recorder. There is a video file without auxiliary time code conversion, one where the conversion has been done (via FCPauxTC), and a time code stamped audio file so you can align all the corresponding elements up on your timeline.

I'm getting confused with the frame rates on my Canon DSLR ... what are the actual rates ?

There has been some confusion about real frame rates of Canon DSLR cameras because of changes in software updates for the 5D camera. The early software versions of the 5D recorded true 30fps. Subsequent software updates have brought the camera in line with NTSC standards. To the best of our knowledge all Canon DSLR cameras now record as follows : 30fps in menu = 29.97 fps in reality, 24fps in menu = 23.976fps in reality and 60fps in menu = 59.94fps in reality. 25fps and 50fps are always recorded as true frame rates in line with PAL standards.

Can I use the Lockit Buddy on a consumer video camera instead of a DSLR?

Yes, you can. As long as your camera has a standard 3.5mm microphone level input it should work. Make sure you order the right version for your camera
(AGC / Manual). If your camera is not listed you may have to adjust the internal controls of the unit for it to perform accurately. Procedures on how to get to the controls are described in the user manual that can be acquired from the Downloads section.

Why do I have to keep a time code source connected all the time?

The reason for this is that the Lockit Buddy only adapts the levels that are being sent into the camera to be able to record them in a dependable way. The Lockit Buddy doesn't generate it's own time code, your synchronisation will be as accurate as the time code source you hook up to the Lockit Buddy.

Why can't the internal camera clock jam to the Lockit Buddy?

The internal clock of most DSLR cameras is not accurate enough for audio sync purposes and tends to drift, so this is not supported at this time. However, there is some evidence out there on the web that some third party developers have been working on firmware updates for Canon cameras to include this functionality and it may become possible at some point in the future.

How many times a day will I have to rejam the time code on my source?

This depends entirely on the stability of your used time code source. Usually twice a day if professional lockit boxes are used.Please refer to your unit's manual to get more info about the correct procedure.

What is the difference between the AGC and the Manual Version?

Physically, both versions are exactly the same. The difference is in the way the internal levels of the units are set up. It's perfectly possible to change you unit from one version to the other if your needs change over time. Procedures to do this are described in the user manual. We do not recommend making these adjustments on a regular basis as the internal controls are very sensitive and not designed for frequent adjustment.

Can I plug a camera microphone into the Lockit Buddy while retaining the time code functionality?

The Lockit Buddy standard setup on the audio side is to accept two independent line level audio feeds that get mixed down to one audio track on your camera. Recently we've been getting requests from customers to be able to use a microphone level source as well as a line level feed, while retaining the functionality of the time code section. This can be done, but we will have to build you a special order version where the TA3M input is modified to have one single line level input and one single microphone level input (with plug in powering). If you need a modified Lockit Buddy, please get in touch with us via the contact form in our Online Shop section. This modification cannot be retrofitted to existing Lockit Buddy units as the electronics inside the units are fixed in resin to make the units tough and road worthy. Unfortunately this prohibits further modification. There will be a surcharge of 15 GBP for this modified version.

Do I really need time code on a DSLR shoot and won't it unnecessarily complicate things ?

Double-system sound has been synchronized without time code since the early days of talkies. Time code is not a requirement, especially on simple, single camera shoots with few takes. As the number of takes increases, as the number of simultaneous cameras increases, time code starts to be a real time- and cost-saver and the Lockit Buddy might end up saving your day ...

This page is constantly being updated with questions we receive from our customers.
If you can't find your answer here then please do get in touch with us via our contact form on the Online Shop page.