Recording with Ardour while slaved to external SMPTE...?

Hey all/Paul: as above, syncing up my old Tascam TSR-8 tape machine with Ardour…

Wondering if I can record with Ardour while the machine is synced… (via SMPTE striped to tape read by a JL Cooper PPS-2 coming in as MTC to Ardour)…

The online manual says ‘no’ - - I get that, but it seems like I can, so my first question is… is the manual out of date?

My second question - although it seems like I can indeed, each time I do this the accuracy varies… it seems to be a function of how hard the computer is working (DSP resources, etc.), and of which boxes I check in the preferences window… drift compensation, read SMPTE as 29.97 as opposed to 30, etc… could it be that I need a faster computer to do this consistently/accurately?

I note also that in the lengthy post about upcoming updates for Ardour, sync is one of the issues addressed - is this feature part of that update?

Thanks, in advance, for any insight/tips…

  • Dave

System: Macbook Pro 2013 2.4 ghz running 10.12.6, recording to an external Thunderbolt La Cie drive, with a UA Twin Duo (also Thunderbolt)

The manual is still correct (for Ardour5). Ardour cannot vari-speed while recording.

When recording, Ardour 5 can only initially sync to an external Timecode Source only and will drift if the timecode-source is not word-clock synced.

Do you have the option to use Ardour to generate the Timecode and slave the external player to Ardour?
I did that successfully with a HDR (using MTC in that case and ADAT to share the clock).

As for the 2nd question: No it’s not CPU-power related. Since Ardour cannot initially vari-speed to adjust to the external TC source, some random offset is expected when recording while slaved.

Lastly, yes, vari-speed recording is on the ToDo list for an upcoming version, but I would not hold my breath for it, just yet.

Thanks Robin. I guess I just got lucky that one time recording while slaved… there are some pieces of long-obsolete hardware that will allow me to slave the tape deck to timecode… I’m on the lookout for those…