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Old 10-14-2019, 04:21 PM
johnnyv johnnyv is offline
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Default One of the strangest things I've ever seen. Anyone have ideas?

Hey all,

I've been in this game for many, many years. I'm super on top of my equipment and know it super well. But I've run into something that I just can't understand, and I'm wondering if any of you has any thoughts.

We use a Hearback Pro system for our headphones. Lately, and we're not sure whether this issue has always existed or whether it is something new, but lately, we've been hearing tiny little "ticks" or "snats" in the headphones. These ticks are not in our recorded audio.

We've run down a million rabbit holes with Hear Technologies (whose tech support has been GREAT, by the way), chasing down every single approach to find the reason as to why this is happening.

Typically, for the headphones, our systems use a 192 Digital, which sends the headphone channels out its digital outputs straight into the digital inputs of the Hearback Hub (brain). So, there's very little that can get in the way, right?

Anyway, let me cut to the answer and see if anyone has ideas as to why this is happening.

Here's what we have found.

If we clock our ProTools internally to the Sync HD (meaning, in Session Window, we choose Sync HD and then Internal), we get ticks.

If we clock our ProTools from an external clock (meaning, we plug an external clock source into the Sync HD "word clock in" and then in Session Window, we choose Sync HD and then Word Clock), we get NO ticks.

If we clock ProTools from an external video black burst generator (meaning, we plug an external black burst generator into the Sync HD "video ref in" and then in Session Window, we choose Sync HD and then Video Ref), we get NO ticks.

The *only* time we are getting ticks in our headphones is when we are clocking our system using our Sync HD and choosing Internal.

PS. We have our systems set up as many others do, using Loop Sync and 192's. Mac cheese tower, ProTools HD 2018.12.

It's kind of crazy when you think of it; the ticks only happen if we clock internally. Anyone have any ideas as to why that would possibly be?
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Old 10-14-2019, 04:44 PM
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feliponk feliponk is offline
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Default Re: One of the strangest things I've ever seen. Anyone have ideas?

Hi: your problem sounds like a clocking issue, so what happens if you don't use the Sync and just use the internal ref in the 192? can you put the Blackburst ref in the 192 ref input and check?
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Old 10-14-2019, 04:46 PM
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Default Re: One of the strangest things I've ever seen. Anyone have ideas?

No personal experience with the Hearback Hub, but where does it get its clock? If it's using an internal clock or your house sync then it could have trouble aligning with the digital signal from your PT rig when that's not resolved. Anyone else out there using one able to jump in here?
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Old 10-14-2019, 05:02 PM
johnnyv johnnyv is offline
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Default Re: One of the strangest things I've ever seen. Anyone have ideas?

Guys, thanks for jumping in. Yes, we suspected clocking from the beginning, as these def sound like digital ticks

1) When we "bypass" the Sync HD and instead choose "192 #1 > Internal" as our clocking source in the PT Session Window, we get ticks.

2) One could suspect a Sync HD problem, but these ticks appear in both of our rooms, and in one room we have a gray Digidesign Sync HD and in the other, a black Avid Sync HD.

The Hearback Hub gets its clock through the AES cable that runs from the 192 Digital into the Digital Input of the Hearback Hub.
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Old 10-14-2019, 05:02 PM
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Default Re: One of the strangest things I've ever seen. Anyone have ideas?

Clocking. I would make sure to use a common clock to all machines.
Make sure you are all also on 23.98 as reference to all
UNLESS you are working at 24 for a film and then all of them need to be on
24.
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Old 10-14-2019, 05:21 PM
johnnyv johnnyv is offline
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Default Re: One of the strangest things I've ever seen. Anyone have ideas?

Hey Marti! Hope all is well.

Thanks for jumping in.

Yes, the same clock to all pieces is a must; the crazy thing is that we achieve this differently in each of our two rooms. One room simply clocks from the Sync HD to all pieces, with the Hearback Hub getting its clock through the AES cable carrying the audio. (Crazy aside...Hearback has apparently come up with a BNC clocking card, so we got one from Hearback thinking it would FOR SURE solve the problem. However, it changed nothing for us.)

The second room takes Word Clock from the Sync HD to an Isochrone Word Clock distribution device, which sends Word Clock to all external devices except the Hearback, which again gets its clock through AES. But even testing. the Hearback Word Clock card made no difference.

The *only* thing that cures the problem for us - in both rooms - is to clock the Sync HD from either an external clock or black burst.

Very odd.
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Old 10-14-2019, 05:57 PM
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Default Re: One of the strangest things I've ever seen. Anyone have ideas?

How old is your Sync HD? Have you checked if its firmware is up to date?
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Old 10-14-2019, 06:35 PM
johnnyv johnnyv is offline
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Default Re: One of the strangest things I've ever seen. Anyone have ideas?

Yes, Sync HD firmware. I have always been under the impression that firmware in the Sync gets updated when you update the ProTools Drivers as you update your ProTools system software. Perhaps I'm wrong.

I find this page: http://avid.force.com/pkb/articles/Download/en379411

But I don't really see anywhere where the Sync HD has its own driver installers. Am I overlooking something?

As mentioned upthread, one of our Sync's is the older Digi branded and the other is a newer Avid branded model.

Anyone know about online drivers for the Sync HD?
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Old 10-14-2019, 07:29 PM
BScout BScout is offline
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Default Re: One of the strangest things I've ever seen. Anyone have ideas?

The Sync HD gets manually updated from (for macOS)
Applications>Utilities>Avid Digitest>Digitest

You do it from inside Digitest.
Firmwares in the same folder. Only the HDX cards get auto updated with ProTools when you install a new Pro Tools. Digitest gets auto installed with Pro Tools.
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Old 10-14-2019, 08:02 PM
johnnyv johnnyv is offline
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Default Re: One of the strangest things I've ever seen. Anyone have ideas?

BScout,

Thanks for that! When my testing partner returns tomorrow, we'll update one of the Sync HD's and see if that solves our problem. I guess after all these years with PT, I've forgotten how to update the Sync Firmware. Thanks for bringing me back to reality! Let's hope it changes things.
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