ClipSMPTE

This free Max For Live device outputs a SMPTE (LTC) audio signal with the current playback position of the active clip, taking warp markers and tempo changes into account to guarantee a time sync that is always aligned with the clip playback.

clipSMPTE test

This audio signal can be used to drive any lighting desk or media server that supports audio time code input.

Download

Download the ClipSMPTE plugin version 0.8 beta here.

System requirements

- A computer (Mac only for now) that runs Ableton Live 9 with Max For Live using Max 6.1.2 or later.
- A separate audio output for the SMPTE output signal.

The separate audio output can be a virtual sound device, such as an aggregate device that uses Soundflower if you want to route audio on the same computer to another application.

How to use

  • Add a separate audio track to the Live set.
  • To send the resulting audio timecode to an external destination, select this output in the Audio To drop-down of your new track.
  • Now add the ClipSMPTE plugin to this audio track.
  • In the “Track to listen to” drop-down, choose which track you want the plugin to latch onto.
  • Clips played in that track will now determine the SMPTE output time.
  • Optionally, adding a time like +30 to the end of the clip name adds 30 seconds to the resulting SMPTE time.

Note 1: for warped clips, the plugin uses the warp markers stored on disk to determine the current playing position. Whenever the SMPTE position doesn’t seem correct, first press Save in the Sample panel of your clip to make sure the current warp markers are stored correctly.

Note 2: the plugin will start sending timecode audio immediately after adding it to the track, you probably don’t want the track routed to your speakers at a high volume.

Below is a video of a quick test with an MA desk and an early version of this plugin:

Credits

  • The SMPTE output is based on the libltc library by Robin Gareus.
  • Calculating the clip playback position taking warp markers into account is done with the getwarpmarkers external by Timo Rozendal.
  • Thanks to Michel Suk for testing and feedback.