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Anyone with Aatoncode (origin c clock) experiences?


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#1 Benjamin Cameron

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Posted 15 February 2008 - 09:31 PM

I'm wondering if there is anyone out there who has shot with Aatoncode, using the OriginC clock. I have some documentary work that I am going to be using it on, shooting with my XTRprod. It seems straightforward enough, I have done all the reading I can about it, but I hoped to hear some real-world stories from film people about their experiences with it. We'll probably be using a Tascam Dat recorder, as well as my camera and an HD camera. Any and all opinions will be useful. Thanks...
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#2 John Brawley

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Posted 15 February 2008 - 11:32 PM

I'm wondering if there is anyone out there who has shot with Aatoncode, using the OriginC clock. I have some documentary work that I am going to be using it on, shooting with my XTRprod. It seems straightforward enough, I have done all the reading I can about it, but I hoped to hear some real-world stories from film people about their experiences with it. We'll probably be using a Tascam Dat recorder, as well as my camera and an HD camera. Any and all opinions will be useful. Thanks...



Ive done a lot of aaton code shoots.

It's a great system that gets a lot of bad press, mainly because of bad implementation.

The BIGGEST issue is usually the sound recordist and the post facility.

First, the sound recordist really should have a seperate GMT clock rather than using the Origin C itself (which is possible).

Now, you say tascam dat. Does it have timecode ? I'd say not, in which case i wouldn't recommend using the system. If you try to record the timecode on one of the audio tracks, it will inevitably BLEED into your one last remaining good audio track.

So get a propper timecode DAT for starters.

Then getting it's own GMT clock rather than the DAT's internal clock ensures that the orgin c is simple a reference clock, not the generator itself. DO NOT TRUST THE INTERNAL DAT RECORDER CLOCK OR ANYONE THAT TELLS YOU IT'S ACCURATE.

It's possible to shoot without slates, but there can be a little drift over time. Also, many post facilities have different types of delay between image and sound in telecine.

At the very least ensure that you put a camera ID on each new camera roll that is a SYNC slate. This ensures that the telecine operator can type in the corect offset.

Make sure set the Aaton's lightmeter to the correct ASA of the film stock, even if you aren't using the internal meter. This ensures that the aatoncode is exposed correctly.

Some post facilities will sync in telecine. Some will want to do it after the session. I prefer to do it in session, because then you can more easily sort out issues with offset's and so on. Although you can chase from a DAT player, the best thing is to use a disk based chase solution. Instasync (part of the aaton keylink) or INDAW which is an aatonbuilt audio station.

Post facilities always resist doing aatoncode and complain about it being painful, but it's really not as long as they have the correct attitude.

Make sure you rejam every 4 hours if you can (lunch time is good) although i have shot for over 10 hours without re-jamming. This means that the offset might change little but your sync slates take care of that.

The final issue can be letting the camera run out of power and forgetting to re-jam the camera. ALWAYS leave a battery on the camera, even if it's flat. It will still keep the aatoncode going. Have a new one in your hand before you change it.

And don't take longer than a minute top change the battery or the same thing happens.

It is such a bulletproof system and works very very well (much better than arricode) if you follow the *rules*

And it's so great to not have to have slates when you shoot !!!

jb
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#3 John Brawley

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Posted 16 February 2008 - 01:43 AM

I'm wondering if there is anyone out there who has shot with Aatoncode, using the OriginC clock.



Forgot to mention, and Im sure you've seen it but just in case....

http://www.aaton.com...altimebible.php

jb
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#4 Benjamin Cameron

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Posted 22 February 2008 - 11:35 PM

Forgot to mention, and Im sure you've seen it but just in case....

http://www.aaton.com...altimebible.php

jb



hey john, thanks for the very informative replies. yes, i've read aaton's site thoroughly. a couple of clarifying questions:

i'll be using the tascam DA-P1 DAT recorder. can i jam sync the camera, and then leave the originc plugged into the DAT?

i've read that this recorder is a good match for the system. true?

the lab i use has an InDAW station, and i have a very good working relationship with the head transfer tech, so that should be straightforward enough.

when you say "At the very least ensure that you put a camera ID on each new camera roll that is a SYNC slate. This ensures that the telecine operator can type in the corect offset.", do you mean shoot an ID card for the first couple seconds, or simply write the ID on the film can (along with SYNC)? also, what do you mean by camera ID?

thanks again...
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#5 John Brawley

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Posted 25 February 2008 - 05:31 AM

i'll be using the tascam DA-P1 DAT recorder. can i jam sync the camera, and then leave the originc plugged into the DAT?

i've read that this recorder is a good match for the system. true?


do you mean shoot an ID card for the first couple seconds, or simply write the ID on the film can (along with SYNC)? also, what do you mean by camera ID?

thanks again...


Gday Benjamin.

I don't think the tascam is a good machine, mianly because it doesn't have timecode IN...

You could record SMPTE timecode onto one of the audio tracks if you put the origin C into SMPTE mode, but i would never do it myself, because smpte tc recorded on a regular audio track has a way of bleeding into everything.

DON"T DO IT !

Get a Timecode DAT recorder. And I still recommend you get a GMT and not use the Origin C as the timecode generator.

I meant to say camera roll id. So burn the first 10 feet on a slate that identifies that you have a new camera roll on and make it a sync slate...


jb
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#6 Benjamin Cameron

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Posted 26 February 2008 - 05:01 AM

Gday Benjamin.

I don't think the tascam is a good machine, mianly because it doesn't have timecode IN...

You could record SMPTE timecode onto one of the audio tracks if you put the origin C into SMPTE mode, but i would never do it myself, because smpte tc recorded on a regular audio track has a way of bleeding into everything.

DON"T DO IT !

Get a Timecode DAT recorder. And I still recommend you get a GMT and not use the Origin C as the timecode generator.

I meant to say camera roll id. So burn the first 10 feet on a slate that identifies that you have a new camera roll on and make it a sync slate...


jb



so what exactly do you mean "bleed into everything"? audibly on the audio tracks? do you have a specific recommendation for a timecode DAT recorder? i own the originc, so i've gotta use it and i don't have access to a GMT right now.

and for part B, in other words be sure to identify each roll as distinct and sync for clarity in the transfer lab, right?
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#7 John Brawley

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Posted 27 February 2008 - 03:00 AM

so what exactly do you mean "bleed into everything"? audibly on the audio tracks? do you have a specific recommendation for a timecode DAT recorder? i own the originc, so i've gotta use it and i don't have access to a GMT right now.

and for part B, in other words be sure to identify each roll as distinct and sync for clarity in the transfer lab, right?



Yep.

I guarantee you will hear it on your other audio track. Even if you record it way down at -40.

You can look at a HHB or a Fostex PD2 or PD4.

And yes. Each new camera roll should have at the least, a sync camera roll ID. Of course if you are shooting with sync slates for your other *takes* then this isn't such an issue. You just need ONE sync reference on the roll.

Make sure you also set the right audio frame rate for the SMPTE generator in the orgin C as well. The beauty of aatoncode is that it is REAL time and fame rate agnostic. But the dat recorder will want a frame rate. I think it's *5 ???

jb
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#8 Benjamin Cameron

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Posted 29 February 2008 - 11:30 PM

Yep.

I guarantee you will hear it on your other audio track. Even if you record it way down at -40.

You can look at a HHB or a Fostex PD2 or PD4.

And yes. Each new camera roll should have at the least, a sync camera roll ID. Of course if you are shooting with sync slates for your other *takes* then this isn't such an issue. You just need ONE sync reference on the roll.

Make sure you also set the right audio frame rate for the SMPTE generator in the orgin C as well. The beauty of aatoncode is that it is REAL time and fame rate agnostic. But the dat recorder will want a frame rate. I think it's *5 ???

jb


john,

so i'm convinced that i can't use the tascam DA-P1, so what about the HD-P2? i have read some very good things about its compatibility with the aaton timecode system (it has a dedicated timecode in). it's a little more attractive to me than anything i've found by fostex. what do you think?

flash-based recording with a firewire out would work very well for me too, and this also gives it an edge for me.
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#9 John Brawley

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Posted 02 March 2008 - 04:07 AM

john,

so i'm convinced that i can't use the tascam DA-P1, so what about the HD-P2? i have read some very good things about its compatibility with the aaton timecode system (it has a dedicated timecode in). it's a little more attractive to me than anything i've found by fostex. what do you think?

flash-based recording with a firewire out would work very well for me too, and this also gives it an edge for me.



I haven't used it but that looks like just the ticket ! For extra safety you should use the Orgin C as the TC generator. All the manufactures seem to lie about how accurate their internal clocks are. So i would be very wary of trusting that a jam sync was accurate over more than an hour.

Good luck with your shoot.

jb
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#10 Benjamin Cameron

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Posted 02 March 2008 - 06:09 AM

I haven't used it but that looks like just the ticket ! For extra safety you should use the Orgin C as the TC generator. All the manufactures seem to lie about how accurate their internal clocks are. So i would be very wary of trusting that a jam sync was accurate over more than an hour.

Good luck with your shoot.

jb



awesome, yeah, i think i'll be using it, and leaving the originc plugged in just to be sure. i'll post my results.

thanks for the recommendations,

benjamin
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#11 Gareth Roberts

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Posted 05 March 2008 - 03:03 PM

I worked as the camera assistant on a shot up north in the winter where we were traveling for over a month and spent nights in igloos at times. We had 2 Aaton prods a hhb dat and the Origin C. The Origin C worked beautifully there was not a moment when we lost sync. I jammed the cameras and dat every time we either changed mags or batteries. It got so cold that the lcd screen on the Origin C would fade after being exposed to the elements (I kept it tucked under my Canada Goose parka). I would have to reset the info on the Origin C and then re-jam both cameras and the dat before it faded again. The Origin C that I was using had not been used for a while and I had the cables re-built at the rental house (Whites) I would recommend the system to anyone shooting a doc with Aatons.

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#12 John Brawley

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Posted 05 March 2008 - 04:35 PM

It got so cold that the lcd screen on the Origin C would fade after being exposed to the elements (I kept it tucked under my Canada Goose parka). I would have to reset the info on the Origin C and then re-jam both cameras and the dat before it faded again.

Gareth Roberts



You can actually *re-jam* the origin C from the XTR as well. That way you don't have to re-enter the data. Leave it plugged into the camera and then activate it as normal. It will see the code and reinitialise that way.

Also, from memory you can hit *4 to get the internal temperature of the origin C. The reason it's so accurate as a clock is that it's temperature controlled. Same for the XTR's and the GMT's.

So although the LCD contrast wasn't working, you'll find the Originc C is more accurate if it's kept in the same temperature conditions as the camera. (but we're talking 10 th's of a frame here.

jb
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#13 George Leon

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Posted 04 May 2008 - 12:09 AM

I'm wondering if there is anyone out there who has shot with Aatoncode, using the OriginC clock. I have some documentary work that I am going to be using it on, shooting with my XTRprod. It seems straightforward enough, I have done all the reading I can about it, but I hoped to hear some real-world stories from film people about their experiences with it. We'll probably be using a Tascam Dat recorder, as well as my camera and an HD camera. Any and all opinions will be useful. Thanks...



Hi Benjamin,

I used the AatonXTR/OriginC 16mm several times when it was a brand new product to shoot a Honda TV spot and a Chanel Perfume TV spot and others. I rented it from Zellan in LA those days. Circa 1996-97-98.

Also I used the same rig in NYC. This recount reminds me, George Gault SR at Hand Held Films -(owner of Duall Camera in NYC) Circa 1997 and changing gates and collimating 12-120 Angenieux's, so they won't look so soft. Good Times.

Those days I used to shoot all the spots with an ARRI III or Panaflex, but the Agency producers were cheap
so I considered Super16: Beautiful images...and great Sound- An Aaton XTR , the Origin C mounted into the body
and synchronized (sync) to the Nagra IV. Always in-sync. after several cans per spot per job of 7245 or the old AGfa color-best emulsion for fashion shoots- and then prep it for telecine (Rank Cintel or DavincI) at Duart,Technicolor, in NYC Monaco Labs in SF, or Fotokem in Burbank. No 2K-4K-DI or any digital jargon those days. Their comment was how good sound and picture was synced right out the telecine.

Just adjust the frame speed settings of the Aaton/OriginC and Nagra IV and let the camera go to speed and re- adjust the frames sync accordindgly-Voila! Pix and sound in harmonious sync. It even worked with the old Walkman PRO.

I never had a shoot were none of the parts of the AatonXTR/OriginC/Nagra IV failed. I shot over 40 music videos with this rig.
It was perfect for lip sync. playback.
It is still one my favorite camera AatonXTR/OriginC/NagraIV. Now Cantara.

Enjoy your shoot...

Check my blog dedicated to the craft of Cinematography, Camera Operating
and Post.
http://www.filmcaste...nt.blogspot.com
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#14 Mitch Gross

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Posted 04 May 2008 - 11:26 PM

Of course we have all this gear at Abel (except for the 12-120!). We even have an old Walkman Pro sitting on the shelf somewhere.
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