This short document will guide you through using the Sunrize Industries AD516 card's SMPTE reader to control ProStationAudio, giving PSA rudimentary SMPTE chasing ability.
For this to work effectively, you will need the following things:
Run both ProStationAudio and Studio 16. Also, make sure the REXXMast server is running on your machine. After doing this, flip to the Studio 16 screen and find and load the cuelist that was included with this document, called SMPTE_For_PSA (download the cuelist here). Your cuelist should look something like this :
As you can see, two AREXX events are pre-programmed in the cuelist; Preload Audio and Begin Playback. Playback is set to begin at 00:02:00:00 in the usual fashion for audio-for-video. The preload command is set 10 seconds earlier than playback, giving PSA a chance to fill its buffers and bein playing exactly in sync.
Flip to the ProstationAudio screen, and load the project you wish to work with. Nothing special needs to be done with PSA. Simply make sure PSA's SMPTE setting (24 / 25 / 29.97 / 30fps) matches the setting in Studio 16, which in turn must match your SMPTE source.
PSA's SMPTE settings are in the Settings menu. Studio 16's SMPTE settings are in the Preferences.
Connect your SMPTE source deck or timecode generator to the SMPTE in jack on the AD516 card. Make sure that the AD516 is configured to read external timecode (in the Preferences.) Use good, shielded cable!
Decide what timecode you wish to begin playback from. The cuelist comes set up to play from 00:02:00:00, so we'll use that figure for now. Wind your tape to a bit before your start point (~00:01:47:00 in the case of the default cuelist) and roll tape. Studio 16's cuelist will begin playing, indicating that it is chasing the timecode.
Try flipping to the ProStationAudio screen. When the timecode reaches 00:01:50:00, PSA's cursor will automatically jump to 00:02:00:00, and it will begin preloading the project. When timecode reaches 00:02:00:00, PSA will begin playing from that point, and will be in sync with your SMPTE source.
To stop playback of your audio, you must hit Stop from within PSA. Simply stopping your SMPTE source will not stop PSA.
If you wish to start your SMPTE source from another timecode location, flip to the Studio 16 screen and drag the sync events to somewhere near the time you wish to playback from. The two preload/playback events are 'grouped', so that when you grab one in Studio 16, they move together.
How it Works
This system uses Studio 16 to send AREXX events to PSA's AREXX port at precise timecode locations. It is not the ideal way to work with timecode, as it is not chasing the SMPTE source in realtime, but merely getting a start point from the timecode. Once PSA has started playback, it ignores the SMPTE source, which could lead to 'drift' between video and audio. Expecting everything to stay in sync for extremely long projects is unrealistic, but for working on short projects, or small sections of larger projects, this system will suffice.
Adding More Control
You can easily modify this cuelist to do other things at certain timecode locations, such as stop playback or begin recording. This is done from within Studio 16.
For example, let's say you'd like to change the location that preloading of audio should begin. Go to the cuelist in Studio 16, and double click on the Preload Audio event. You should see a window display like the one at the right.
As you can see, you can send up to nine commands at any one timecode location (more than a few is not recommended under real-world conditions though.)
At this point, all you need to do is click on the Cmd1 line and edit the LOCATE time directly.
It's easy to create new events in the Studio 16 cuelist to do other things with PSA such as recording, monitoring incoming audio, stopping playback, etc.
Experimenting with modifying the cuelist is the best way to find what works best for you.
Check the AREXX documentation in your ProStationAudio reference manual for more information.