Jump to content

TIMECODE - Main Timeline not in sync with External Timecode


Recommended Posts

I am working on a project and receiving timecode for show control. When timecode is being received, the main timeline does not sync with the external timecode. There seems to be some drift. Both the video file, timecode, and wo settings are all 29.97 NDF. Not sure why this is, hoping someone might have some input. 


Thank you,


Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Moderator

Sounds normal.

The timeline is calibrated in clock / stopwatch time, not timecode time. With NTSC 29.97, drop or non-drop, the timecode time will NOT match clock / stopwatch time - that inaccuracy is inherent to NTSC timecode.

If you want to see timeline position in NTSC timecode format, add a status timeline position display, double click on the time readout, and change the display to the matching timecode type.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Dataton Partner

There was also a bug in an earlier version of WATCHOUT 6 (don't remember which one right now) where the incoming timecode and the WATCHOUT timeline position could be off by a few seconds with NTSC timecode. This was resolved shortly after so make sure that your WATCHOUT version is quite up-to-date.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you JFK and RBeddig for you help. 


We have been able to achieve stable timecode input into watchout. It turns out that the timecode plugin for Ableton was wavering based on tempo, Watchout did not like that and we have moved to using a striped audio track.

The new issue we are having is the sync between the video track and the striped audio track sending the timecode from Ableton. The video track in Watchout is consistently ahead of the music click track that is playing along side the timecode. 


29.97 NDF (setting in watchout)
Striped audio file 48k, 8bit, 29.97 NDF (playback from Ableton)
29.97 NDF (video file)
WO 6.5

We are considering getting both the Ableton computer and the Watchout computer synced on an external clock source. 

Any thoughts would be appreciated. 


After further testing, there seems to be about a 2 second discrepancy between the audio click track and the video playback in WO. WO is ahead.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Dataton Partner

I just checked that we had something similar on a project with LTC @ 30fps and WATCHOUT 6.4. In this version, all incoming timecode was interpreted as 25fps and WATCHOUT was appr. 4 sec. ahead of the timecode while the timecode tester app in the WATCHOUT folder was accurate. This behavior was fixed in 6.4.1 and versions before 6.4 were not affected either.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That is interesting. It seems that is the exact issue we are running into, about 2 seconds ahead for us. 

We tested last night with Watchout set to drop frame rather than non drop frame and this seemed to align the visual with the audio. Very strange since everything has been build around NDF. 

We run the show tomorrow and I will report back if this fixed the issue. 



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...