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article by Rob James which appeared in Studio Sound

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CB Electronics also manufacture a vast range of boxes which help glue highly complex systems and production routes together. These are some examples;


This is the heavyweight controller for major installations.
The MR series of Multi-Format Remote Control Systems are found in many film dubbing theatres. The MR series can handle 9-pin, Bi-phase and parallel remote control and synchronisation. There are also recorder control panel options for dubbing or ADR operation. A PC can be used to prepare loop timings which are downloaded into the controller. The system also interfaces with console automation systems from the major manufacturers.


The MC-1 Master Motion Controller functions as a virtual master with four bi-phase outputs, (Bi-phase standards from one PPF (Pulse Per Frame) to 100 PPF), timecode output and 9-pin output. A 9-pin input is also provided. Gearboxing allows mixed frame rates and there is an additional bi-phase output fixed at 25fps. Parallel remote facilities allow the unit to interface with existing transport control keys and recorder functions.


The 'Giant' Display is an eight character time counter. Dubbing theatres always have a large 'Footage Counter' above or below the projection screen. This saves eye fatigue from constant re-focusing. The Display elements are 5" high, high brightness red LEDs. I wish the company would offer green LEDs as an option. The older you get the harder it is to focus on red. The GD-1 takes a time-code input in any format or, when used with other CB electronics products, will show film feet. Frames display can be turned on or off and the brightness is adjustable.


The VS-1 Video Streamer offers a variety of functions designed to make life easier in mixing for picture and ADR applications. It is customary to physically mark wipe lines onto film to cue talent for ADR loops or to cue scene changes. The VS-1 can hold up to 500 events in its cue list which are used to trigger electronically generated cue wipes which may be inserted into a composite video signal. The events can be entered and edited on the VS-1 or prepared 'off-line' on a PC and downloaded to the unit. As well as the wipes the VS-1 has beep or click outputs. The beeps are used to help talent hit cues and to get the pace of the loop. The unit also has a multi-standard time code reader / generator and display or the numbers can be inserted into video. Options are available to add relay outputs and Opto / Audio Trigger inputs and VITC reader / VITC to LTC conversion.

TC-1, TC-2, SS-1

The TC-1 is an LTC multi-standard, multi-reference timecode reader / generator. The TC-2 adds video inserts and the SS-1 is a TC-1 with a 9 pin synchronizer. Options for the TCs are VITC reader / VITC to LTC converter and a multi standard VITC generator.


FC-1 FC-2 BS-1

These Film Coders deal with converting to and from bi-phase. Bi-phase pulses are commonly used by film dubbers, recorders and projectors for synchronization. The bi-phase pulse stream carries directional information in addition to what can be thought of as electronic sprocket holes. It does not carry absolute positional information. The FC units convert a bi-phase input to LTC and also 'gearbox' between frame rates. Bi-phase standards from one PPF (Pulse Per Frame) to 100 PPF are catered for. The FC-2 adds video insertion.
The BS-1 does the opposite and generates bi-phase from a time-code or 9-pin input. This allows a DAW or VTR to control a film chain. This device also includes a gearbox.

ED-1 ED-2

These units are used to generate an EDL from discontinuous timecode. One post production route where the need for this arises is where the picture editing takes place on celluloid and the sound is to be tracklayed on a DAW. The cutting copy sound is on magnetic film with time-code. The trick with this process is to register the point at which time code appears even though it cannot be read. Then, as soon as a reliable reading is established, to extrapolate backwards to identify the first frame of the piece. The unit works with a PC to generate EDLs in CMX format. Reel numbers can be taken from user bits or time-code hours. A second time-code reader is included to enable listing against existing code. The units also regenerate time-code with new user data if required. The ED-2 adds video insertion. There are options for VITC. CB Electronics won an Academy Award for technical innovation with these units.


This device, when used with a suitable ISDN audio unit E.g. Dolby or CCS, enables an ISDN audio connection to be used to synchronise machines. This is a requirement in some methods of international ADR recording where a remote video machine is locked to a local recorder. The unit includes a 9-pin synchronizer with a programmable offset to suit the encode decode delay.


The TC-4 is a portable, light (100g) and compact battery powered multi-standard LTC reader / generator for location work. The temperature controlled crystal gives a claimed accuracy of around one frame in 12 hours. A real time clock is included and the unit can be jam synced. User bit assignments are in either AMPS or Aaton for Date, Month, Unit and reel. A video output is optional.

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