Simon Charles Sound - Dubai based location sound recordist
Production Sound Recordist

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Tentacle Sync Timecode System

While working on a recent project, a DIT I regularly work with showed me the Tentacle Sync devices he bought. I had heard about them and thought they were very interesting, so it was great to be able to test them out. Although it wasn't the best project to use them on I still managed to test out the functionality.

The units are incredibly small, about the size of a match box, and don't weigh much more! They have a built-in Velcro back so they are easily mountable, and as they are so light and small don't get in the way at all.

The TC output from the unit is via a 3.5mm jack connector and the cables that were supplied (none are included and each have to be ordered separately) were well made and worked perfectly. I was using the cable for RED which is a very small LEMO connector so it was good to have the cable already made up.

There is only one button on the unit, and this just turns it on and off. All the other functionality is programmed using either a PC or MAC via the USB cable or using IOS or Android (app coming soon) via a TRRS cable. The interface on PC, MAC and iOS is very simple and easy to use. Just set the frame rate and and you're ready to go. User Bits can be set as well as the MIC / LINE level settings, although I found it's best to leave the level setting on auto. The is also a timeout setting, I set it to 12 hours as this should last a whole day. The battery life is said to be 2 days, I have yet to test this.

Jamming is as simple as turning the unit on and plugging in the jack, and plugging the other end into the mixer. I use the LEMO as I have Sound Devices, but you can also sync via BNC with the correct cable. The light on the unit flashes red and then  fast flashing green when jamming and slow flashing green when jammed.

After using them for a few days I was thoroughly impressed and decided to make the DIT and offer for them. He agreed and i'm now a very happy owner of the system.

For more information check out www.tentaclesync.com