Reply To: Has anyone used U track 24 to trigger automated lighting?

Home Page Forums Cymatic Audio Forum uTrack 24 Has anyone used U track 24 to trigger automated lighting? Reply To: Has anyone used U track 24 to trigger automated lighting?

Michell Nielsen

Hahah “Its just some weird .wav file”

SMPTE is a linear timecode that is essentially a soundclip of any desired lenght. It consists of unique high frequencies throughout the duration of the clip, that your lighting console or software is listening to.
Then you record your lighting show on the console, on top of the incoming SMPTE file, so basically you are creating a backingtrack for lights specifically. The TC file has to be alligned to the musical backingtrack for the cues to match, because the lights are triggered in time stamps no matter the sound.
Also, when alligning a SMPTE file to your backingtrack, the TC file has to preroll 2-3 seconds before the actual backing track, to make sure the console recognizes it in time. It’s not too important to make an postroll, but just keep 2-3 seconds before and after, then you should be safe.

A SMPTE file has different key values.
It has to be in the same sound resolution as whatever sound you’re outputting from your backingtrack device. So say your backingtrack device is set to be in 44,1khz – the SMOTE file has to be 44,1khz.

Then you need to figure out if you want it 8 or 16 bit.

On the lighting end, you need to know how many frames the TC file should be in. to mention a few, it could be EBU 24fps, 29,97ndf (no drop frame) or 30fps.

And finally you have to decide if you want unige TC’s for each of your backingtracks, or one single TC for the set duration.

What happens on a show, is that you would pan this SMPTE file to Left OR right, and output a mono audio signal from your backingtrack device. This can also be done from the monitor desk before sending to FOH.
The reason you do this, is that you have to isolate this TC file audiowise, as a TC file sounds like shit, so you dont want that on top of your music for the audience, or your foldbacks.

For preprogramming shows with an LD, he would want you to record your set in your rehearsal space, with master L/R panned to one side, and the smpte panned to the opposite. In this way, he can feed the lighting desk or software with TC, and take the other side to a studio monitor or whatever to just here the music while recording the show.

Final note, beware that the SMPTE file has to output at a high volume for the console to register the incomming TC.