Running a network to slave the video to another computer is a fantastic way to make the most of old equipment and remove some of the processing power to another computer.
Before setting up the network I thought that this would be a difficult task, but was surprised in how easily this was, and as I’m using an old MacBook Pro this was actually very cheap.
On my main composing computer, I’m currently running Cubase Pro 10 with the following spec:
- Processor – 2 x 2.4 GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon
- Memory – 64GB DDR3 Ram
- Graphics – ATI Radeon HD 5770 1024 MB
- 2 x 2TB SSD Drives (setup in Raid)
- 2 x 4TB SATA Drives
- External 6TB Time Machine Backup
- Apple 27” LED Display
- electriQ 28″ 4K HD
The second mac that I have linked it to a 2015 MacBook Pro
- Processor – 2.9 Intel Core i5
- 8GB Ram
- 512GB SSD
- Thunderbolt Display
I had a spare Thunderbolt Apple display in the studio, which provided the network port and a Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 soundcard on the MacBook Pro as an output for the video audio channels in Video Slave
The only thing I purchased was a gigabit network hub and a couple of cables.
Setting up a network with OSX is really simple, you literally plug in the cables and you’re good to go.
I downloaded Video Slave and followed the instructions to setup the network to get the two computers to talk to one another.
The instructions to set this up can be found here – https://non-lethal-applications.com/support/knowledge-base/general/205-network-midi-setup.
If you’re using Windows, there is an application that you download called rtpMIDI
The instructions to link Cubase (or other DAW) to Video Slave can be found here – https://non-lethal-applications.com/support/knowledge-base/general/209-daw-mtc-mmc-setup#cubase
Using Video Slave is very easy, and you can find the instruction here – https://non-lethal-applications.com/support/knowledge-base/video-slave-4/269-getting-started-with-video-slave-4
I did have one issue which was having everything work together. If you’re experiencing similar problems you might want to check the following:
If the incoming timecode changes and the sync button is enabled on (the button should be blinking) but Video Slave doesn’t follow, there are a couple of things to look out for.
- Timecode rate mismatch
MIDI Timecode and MIDI Machine Control messages both don’t only carry the actual timecode address but also the timecode frame rate. It is important that the incoming timecode frame rate matches the frame rate of the movie that should play in sync. To make sure, please check both the timecode frame rate of the timeline in Video Slave and the timecode output setting in your DAW.
- Timecode range mismatch
Please make sure that the timecode range of your timeline matches the timecode range of your DAW. As an example: if your DAW sends timecode information starting at 01:00:00:00 and Video Slave’s timeline start timecode is set to 10:00:00:00, the movie will only play once your DAW reaches the 10:00:00:00 mark. There are two ways of handling this scenario. The first is to change the timecode range of your DAW or to set the timecode range of the timeline within Video Slave as discussed above.
- Make sure the FPS match in your DAW and in Video Slave.
In Video Slave you can find this here:
- In Cubase go to Project >> Project Setup >> Project Frame Rate