Clock function for BWAV emulation in QU-series

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This topic contains 7 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of skippy skippy 3 years, 5 months ago.

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    Profile photo of croydon_clothears

    Apologies if this topic has been raised earlier – I did a cursory search but found nothing relevant.

    While I’m pragmatic enough to realise that at the QU-series price-point it would be totally unrealistic to expect full SMPTE/BWAV metadata support on the QU-Drive/streaming output, would it be in any way possible to incorporate a time/date function on the mixer so that USB files had a timestamp in their wrapper that reflected their temporal origin?

    I currently work around timecode synchronisation for video by importing SMPTE timecode into the QU-Drive project as an audio track and then recovering it on playback/mixdown to embed it as the time-stamp in the DAW file metadata for sync purposes.
    It’s a bit clunky but so far it’s worked and the accrued cost/benefit makes it worthwhile.

    However, if the files were initially recorded with, at the very least, a metadata timestamp that closely approximated (as in a few seconds) a real-time/date value, it would significantly speed up file ingestion post-performance/recording.

    I’m unsure as to whether this could be done entirely in software.
    I have a feeling that accurate clock function usually requires embedded battery support to maintain some semblance of accuracy.
    I have no idea whether the function exists within the QU-Series hardware but if it doesn’t, and typically conventional means of rolling time/date support are impossible, perhaps exploring clock-sync from connected iOS devices or other network sources might be an option.

    Time sync from NTP-protocol servers would, of course, require Internet access and I fully appreciate that this option would require a number of disparate non-A&H supported connections to be in place.

    Personally I would happily cope with a daily time re-sync through the set-up screens just to know that all my QU-Drive files had a searchable metadata timestamp.
    If there are possible options that partially or wholly automate the process then bring them on!

    Over to you, guys,,,

    Profile photo of Andreas

    Last seen here: Date and Time
    or here: Recording Timestamp
    The Qu does not have a realtime clock, so time would have to be dialed in every start or polled from something external (i.e. connected iSomething).
    Not sure how a proper daytime would help synchronizing stuff to your videos, in fact, since the internal sample clock can’t be slaved to anything both streams will differ after few minutes. Also wondering what happens with the recorded SMPTE stream which will differ after a while also (in terms of sample accuracy).
    I’m doing lot of video work from unsynchronized sources as well and never bothered to establish a global framelock. Of course it will take a serious amount of time synchronizing material from various sources afterwards, I know.

    Profile photo of croydon_clothears

    I don’t personally have a problem with either dialling in the time for each session or if the time can be harvested from an iSomething.
    Where a metadata time-stamp WOULD be useful is for rapidly working out which of the files belongs where, rather than absolute sync.
    At the moment, polling QU-Drive file and folder properties produces a big fat blank and it’s impossible to know what DAY a project was recorded, never mind at what time.
    Your issue with SMPTE stream drift relative to the audio sample rate is, I would suggest, a blind alley.
    While it’s perfectly correct that without a proper lock, SMPTE from one source may frame-drift relative to a data stream from elsewhere (in this case the mixer) the only value that is needed is the SMPTE one at the start of the file. The contiguous but drifting SMPTE stream is ignored as timecode is actually calculated against the audio by backtracking to samples generated since “timecode midnight”.
    In any event, I’m not too bothered about sample-accuracy, what I’d like is just the ability to see at a glance, even in something as basic as Windows Explorer, which of the 40 or 50 folders I’ve recorded in a day happened when.
    I sense that I’m not alone in this frustration from the similar threads you’ve highlighted.

    Profile photo of [XAP]Bob

    No. I think iOS sync (to first QuPad connection? By a button on QuPad?) is the best option, but dialling in is a valid alternative (even if less recommended).

    But first up the QU would need an internal clock, which it just doesn’t have at the moment.

    Profile photo of Andreas

    well, naming a new recording while arming also could help in this case.

    Profile photo of croydon_clothears

    Can you rename? I was under the impression that Qu-Drive was very specific in its file/folder naming architecture.
    Besides, the work-rate in broadcast production is far too high to allow time for touch-screen tinkering that only a separate QWERTY keyboard would possibly allow.
    So…I’m assuming that the Qu-series doesn’t have an internal battery and that stored data is flashed into EEPROM or stored in a similar non-volatile way.
    This, I fully appreciate, precludes any form of real-time clock because, unlike PC/Mac computers, there’s nothing there to keep the clock ticking while the system is shut down.
    However, as a computational device, a Qu mixer DOES have, while operational, a whole bunch of highly accurate clocks running – if it didn’t, the entire digial processing chain would collapse.
    Might I therefore suggest, as this particular forum is focussed towards possible software upgrades, that a future iteration might include some simple user-settable time/date option that retained stability during power-on from the internal CPU clock cycle and was then fed into the Qu-Drive file metadata?
    Personally I don’t have a problem with having to set something like that up every time I switched on – usually that would be once a day and the benefit would more than outweigh the few moments work.
    Obviously all of this is solved using the streaming output because the host computer does all of the file management in ProTools or whatever DAW software one is using, but not every gig requies or allows the luxury of an attached work-station.
    All I want is a metadata timestamp on the Qu-Drive file that allows me to quickly sort the files and identify which one was created when.
    Is that one step too far?

    Profile photo of [XAP]Bob

    No you can’t rename. Your problem is real – we are coming up with “alternative firmware fixes”, since we don’t know enough about how hard each of them would be…

    Profile photo of skippy

    Again, faced with figuring out which show my recording came from, I did search and came up on this post.

    Any chance of having a Qu-Pad software update which would get date/time from iPad and put it on the QU-Drive files or folder?

    So, if we start a Qu-Drive recording from iPad Qu-Pad app, then there could be a date/time for the recording?

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