Time Code Survey Results

Back at the end of May, while working on the new edition of my book, I posted a call for respondents to a quick survey about the usage of time code in shows. I announced the results at Infocomm at the controlgeek.net geekout, and now finally have a bit of time to write things up. 

I had hoped I'd get 20 or 30 responses, but I got 157! Thanks to all the respondents; here's the results:


Three people said they never use it, so I'm not quite sure why they took the survey.


The only "other" response was "FSK" (Frequency Shift Keying), which isn't really a frame rate.  I ran a cross tab to see if (as I suspected) that the 25FPS rate had a geographic correlation, and it did.  74% of the responders from Europe used 25FPS; so did 75% of those from Australia.


I was actually surprised that so many people used drop frame.


The "other" responses were:

  • Pyro Digital FSK, a LTC timecode usually distributed over xlr
  • Both Linear and MTC are common
  • Ltc and Mac equally
  • LTC over Cobranet
  • FSK from an Audio File
  • Midi Timecode converted to LTC

The "other" responses were:

  • Computer running audio and video through either SFX or QLab
  • Show Controller
  • Software for Pyrotechnics
  • varies depending on show, and to be honest... its evenly spread out... either a separate show control system, chasing a video playback device, or chasing a protools system
  • qlab
  • Show Control System

Other responses were:

  • Depends, but usually multiple lighting desks controlling both lighting and media along with other video control systems.
  • 20+
  • 20
  • 16 media servers
  • 10 and above

Other responses were:

  • tv
  • Pyromusicals
  • Particularly dance
  • Cruise Ship
  • Television
  • Live Theme Park Attractions
  • Cruise Ship
  • Live Theatre and Live Theme Park Attractions
  • Pyrotechnics
  • Live competition TV shows
  • Television events
  • Its very spread out actually... I use it on Disney "Book" Shows where everything is too track, we use it on live shows where the band is on click, and believe it or not we use it on shows where the band is playing live not to a click track
  • Television
  • Live Music Television
  • TV shows and night clubs
  • Live family entertainment in an Arena setting, mostly prerecorded audio
  • Cruise
  • Mix bag, Video and Audio
  • video generates and uses, audio distributes and uses, lighting uses it/ manages.
  • (Video is part of audio in most of my venues)
  • Music
  • as the norm audio always creates the files and the source will come from show control or audio.
  • When used recently on Dancing with The Stars TV show, I as the Lighting Director handled it as I had the most experience with the various flavors of TC that all the departments required
  • Tends to be whoever is in in control of the protools system

Of course, as with any survey I've done, this one just leads to more questions for me, but it was interesting nonetheless!