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Deity TC-1 Timecode Generator Assessment

The Deity TC-1 Timecode Generator system first caught my consideration at Cinegear 2022. I used to be intrigued by the thought of an inexpensive timecode system ($549.00 for a equipment of three or $169.00 every) that I might merely throw into my digicam packages – affording me the luxurious of not having to fret as a lot about syncing photographs later in submit. Right here is my evaluation of the Deity TC-1 Timecode Generator:

Time for a disclosure proper off the bat – I’m not an audio mixer or editor by commerce, and dealing with timecode is normally the province of the audio group together with the AC group on my units. But that doesn’t imply I don’t respect dependable timecode syncing, and I’m all the time on the lookout for methods to optimize the submit workflow on my tasks. I additionally suppose that, given the price, the viewers for the TC-1 isn’t the normal of us liable for on-set timecode, and that this may be an excellent first timecode expertise for a lot of. Let’s dive in.

Deity Microphones, a companion model of lighting producer Aputure, introduced the TC-1 Timecode Generator field alongside a $999 good slate, which sadly has been delayed by provide points and wasn’t out there for this evaluation. So, for our functions, we’ll follow the TC-1 Timecode field for this evaluation.

Picture Credit score: Graham Ehlers Sheldon/CineD

A number of banner options of the TC-1 to start out:

  • OLED Show
  • 2.4 GHz Wi-fi and Bluetooth Management
  • Locking 3.5mm Timecode Port
  • 28-Hour Battery Life (USB-C Charging)
  • Pairs with the brand new Sidus Audio Cellular App
  • Onboard Microphone
  • Generates all SMPTE Timecode Codecs
  • Promised drift charge of 1 body inside 72-hours

First Impressions

The set of three TC-1 units ships in a trendy yellow and black field and consists of the next:

  • Chilly Shoe Mount x3
  • Locking 3.5mm TRS to TRS Coiled Cable ($20 Worth)
  • Locking 3.5mm TRS to BNC Cable ($20 Worth)
  • Locking 3.5mm TRS to Proper-Angle 5-Pin LEMO Cable ($45 Worth) – For ARRI Alexa Mini
  • USB Kind-A to Triple USB Kind-C Charging Cable

For this evaluation, I primarily used a Sony FS7 MK II with an extension unit, a Canon C300 MK III, a Canon C500MK II and the Canon C70 for numerous tasks over a number of weeks of testing. All of those cameras have a BNC / SDI port for timecode and thus, I rapidly needed to purchase two further 3.5mm TRS to BNC cables as a result of the equipment solely included one.

Picture Credit score: Graham Ehlers Sheldon

This highlighted a spot within the 3-unit equipment for me proper out of the gate – I’d have assumed {that a} equipment like this could ship with three of every of those various kinds of cables. The person $169.99 TC-1 equipment solely ships with the locking 3.5mm coiled cable. My guess right here is that Deity needed to depart this choice a la carte for the proprietor, provided that timecode cables differ from model to model (RED Cinema, for instance, is infamous for switching cable platforms from digicam physique to digicam physique).

My impressions of the TC-1 out of the field are formed by my time spent with the $229.00 per unit Tentacle Sync E system (actually the primary competitor for Deity right here by way of value level and Bluetooth management). It’s price noting that the Tentacle Sync E solely ships with a 3.5mm to three.5mm cable. The most important distinction between the Tentacle Sync E and TC-1 is that the Tentacle lacks an OLED show and is 100% reliant on the app to get it working – extra on the variations in a second.

A Energy, Sync and Pair LED indicator all line the highest of the machine and the three.5mm port on the facet rounds out the outside together with a easy energy button and a vivid, simply readable OLED show – it’s all very minimalist in an approachable type of manner. This looks like a timecode system that wouldn’t be too onerous to rise up and working proper out of the field.

Deity additionally features a triple charging cable with the trio that makes charging all three units that a lot easier. Heaps to love right here – time to energy on all three models.


Here’s a video exhibiting the setup that’s created by Deity Microphones:

There’s a component to the operation of the TC-1 that actually is ideal for a timecode novice like myself, and the Sidus Audio app is ranging from a extra polished place than even the Sidus Hyperlink lighting app was again at model one.

Sidus Audio App in motion discovering and syncing the units.

The OLED Show on the TC-1 unit tells you just a few bits of helpful data at a fast look:

  • Timecode Knowledge
  • A letter designation (I modified this to correspond to the digicam metadata of the digicam the given TC-1 was mounted on)
  • A “BT” indicating the unit is being managed by Bluetooth
  • Frames Per Second (23.98F, 24.00F, 25.00F, 29.97F, 29.97DF, 30.00F and so on)
  • Battery Life (displayed as hours and with a small bar)
  • A lock and unlocked display indicator within the backside left. This retains you from bumping a key setting by chance.

Need to check out the brand new Sidus Audio app? You will discover it out there for obtain HERE.

Onboard microphone. Picture Credit score: Graham Ehlers Sheldon/CineD

For starters, except you need time of day timecode, you don’t even must open the Sidus Audio app to get all three TC-1’s paired and sync your cameras. I personally don’t love having to hope I’ve sufficient battery life on my cell machine on the finish of a 12-hour shoot day away from energy to make adjustments in a given app, and the truth that you’ve gotten a ton of management by the OLED show itself is an enormous plus for me.

I used the TC-1 primarily to sync a number of cameras and didn’t personally use a mixer on any of my shoots, however you possibly can completely set a mixer paired with a TC-1 as your “primary node” sending timecode to numerous digicam packages. In case your digicam bundle doesn’t have a devoted BNC timecode port, you possibly can additionally ship audio timecode utilizing the included 3.5mm cable (it takes up one in all your audio channels with timecode audio that sounds a bit like you might be coming into the Matrix).

As soon as the TC-1 Field is powered on and paired, it rapidly enters a display sleep mode the place the brilliant show shuts off to keep away from getting caught in a shot in a pesky reflection.

The Sidus Audio app reveals the entire TC-1 Packing containers in play, and I assume it would sooner or later present the Sidus Sensible Slate as properly when these start to ship.

You may as well create completely different machine teams for bigger reveals, the place maybe completely different clusters of TC-1 packing containers are divided into completely different digicam teams.

Deity Microphones claims a minimal one body drift after 72 hours and I personally didn’t encounter any drift throughout any of my shoots with the Sony FS7 MK II, C500 MK II, C300 MK III or the Canon C70 – though we by no means left a number of cameras working for 3 days. The truth that I didn’t expertise any drift is an enormous deal and the first promoting level of those units.


Picture Credit score: Graham Ehlers Sheldon/CineD

For years, I’ve thought of timecode dealing with and operation to be purely an audio group job and the truth that I can sync timecode on a wide range of cameras in a matter of seconds utilizing my iPhone can’t be dismissed. The TC-1 simply works – it isn’t rain-proof or bullet-proof, however neither is your favourite digicam or mixing machine.

I’ve used Deity Microphones up to now and there’s a lot to love there, nevertheless it may be time for the corporate to vary their identify to Deity Timecode, as a result of the TC-1 ecosystem and Sidus Audio App are incredible and exist at a value level that is smart. I will probably be to see how the upcoming, pricier Sensible Slate adjustments the dynamic, however this can be a promising machine in a market section that actually wanted some wholesome competitors, after years and years of the identical units getting used on set with restricted innovation.

What do you suppose? Will you be including just a few TC-1 packing containers to your equipment? Do you want timecode in your workflow? Tell us within the feedback beneath!

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