timecode universal studio display recording indication indicator Studio Warning Lights Signs Lamp Strip USB

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Q: Is there an easy way to control these products on Linux?

A: The PunchLight USB utility jar bundle that can be run on Linux to configure the device is available here: https://punchlight.com/files/PLU.jar

On Linux, we have tested the Lamp with Ardour. When the Lamp is set up as a Mackie Control surface, it works as expected - it indicates playback in Ardour by a green or yellow light and recording by a red light.

The Punchlight USB Lamp can react to transport data from Mackie HUI and Mackie Control protocols. So it works out of the box with applications that support those MIDI control protocols.
It supports also Apple Logic specific Recording Light mode, which is much simpler than HUI and MC protocols. In this mode, the light is triggered by Note On and Note Off MIDI messages. Note 24 (decimal) controls the Record Ready signal and note 25 controls the record.

Windows 7 and Pro Tools

Q: I'm running Windows 7 64-bit Pro and Pro Tools 10.3.2. Are these both compatible with this unit?

A: Yes, under Windows 7, Pro Tools (any version) needs to be run as Administrator in order to correctly communicate with PunchLight products.

Multiple USB units off the same PC or MAC?

Q: Is it possible to use multiple Studio Display USB and Recording Lamp USB units off the same PC or MAC?

A: Yes, it is possible to control multiple PunchLight USB units simultaneously from one PC or MAC. Just set up two or more HUI controllers in an appropriate audio application. (max. 4 in Pro Tools)

GPI versus MIDI

Q: Should I choose the PunchLight GPI (GPI ThruBox) or the PunchLight MIDI (MIDI SwitcherBox)?

A: If you use Pro Tools and have the Sync HD (I/O) interface, the GPI is the better option:

  • Because the PunchLight MIDI is being configured as a MIDI controller in Pro Tools, it has to have several assigned tracks. It can cause some problems when used together with another MIDI controller. Command 8 users cannot use the PunchLight MIDI or MIDI SwitcherBox at all, because the Command 8 controller cannot be combined with any other MIDI controller.
  • You can be sure that any future Pro Tools version will work with the PunchLight GPI (GPI ThruBox) as long as the Sync I/O or its successor has a GPI port and will still be supported by Digidesign. Support for the MIDI version will be determined by the particular MIDI controllers Pro Tools support in the future.
  • You can spare one midi port.

MIDI output on the TimeCode Display

Q: Why does the TC Display have Midi output?

A: Because the TimeCode Display can also visualize the timing information from an application, in addition to the standard Midi Time Code. While e.g. Pro Tools and Logic Pro require to receive periodical data from any attached external device, Cubase, Nuendo, Digital Performer and Samplitude on the other hand does not need any midi response. So whether it is needed to connect the midi output from the TC Display or not is determined by the application in use.

Q: Is it possible to use MTC (Midi Time Code) for example from SYNC I/O instead?

A: Yes, you only need one midi cable, from the MTC source to the TC Display Midi In.

The last segment blinking

Q: The last segment of my SMPTE Time Code Display is always blinking.
It is connected to MTC port on the SYNC I/O.

A: MTC is normally output whenever LTC is output.
Whenever LTC output stops, the SYNC I/O will continue to output MTC in bursts of one frame every 200 milliseconds. This allows any connected IDI-reading device to be continuously updated as to the position of VITC or Bi-Phase (either of which might be operating at slow or still speeds). Thus, you can still use a connected MIDI device for Auto-Spotting from VITC or Bi-Phase. Optionally, this constant output can be set to mute when time code (LTC) is idle.

To mute idle-time MTC output:
From the front panel:
1 Press the Set, Up and Down switches to display Idle MTC (IdLE 7C).
2 Press Set to display the current state (On or Off).
3 Press Up or Down to toggle the Idle MTC setting.
4 Press Set.

From the SYNC I/O Setup software utility:
1 Launch the SYNC I/O Setup.
2 Deselect the Idle MTC Enabled option.

From SYNC I/O manual p. 53

Q: My TC Display is connected to a Digidesign SYNC I/O and it only works if Pro Tools is in Recording or Playback. I cannot see time code information if I just click and move the cursor to another position or during Scrubbing/Jog operations.

A: The SYNC I/O MTC output sends just time code information if Pro Tools is in Recording or Playback. There is no time code information during Srubbing/Jog operations.

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