Tentacle Sync Track E Pocket 32-bit float Audio Recorder– Recording & Transmitting Audio – Newsshooter

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Tentacle Sync recently announced the Tentacle Track E Pocket Audio Recorder which they first showed at IBC 2019.

If you are not familiar with the Track E, it is a small, 32-bit float capable stand-alone audio recorder that can also be timecode synced with other Tentacle Sync devices.

Erik did a comprehensive review of the Track E Pocket Audio Recorder a few weeks ago so please make sure you check that out. The Track E Erik reviewed was the US version and that is different from the version I am testing out. The main issue with the US version is there is no way to monitor the audio once you start recording. The US version shuts off the headphone output once the recording has started. This is due to a Zaxcom patent that prevents a simultaneous recording with wireless output.

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With the international version of the Track E, this is not the case. You can use the headphone output to send a feed into a wireless TX unit. This allows you to not only record the audio from the Track E to a camera, audio recorder, or mixer/recorder, but most importantly it allows you to monitor the audio. Stand-alone audio recording devices have their place, but if you can’t monitor the audio that is being recorded then you open yourself up to lots of potential issues. You wouldn’t record video with your eyes shut, so why would you want to record audio that you can’t hear.

This is what makes the international version of the Track E so much better than that of the US shipping version.

Specifications

Frequency Response20 Hz – 20 kHz
Gain Range+6 to +46 dB
Dynamic Range110 dB typ
THD+N≤ -85 dB (0.05%)
Bluetooth®5.0 (Low Energy)
Remote ControlTentacle Setup App (iOS/Android)
SynchronizationVia Bluetooth® or Jam-Sync via Cable 
Timecode InputLTC via Microphone Input
Timecode OutputN/A
Frame RatesSMPTE 12M / 23.98, 24, 25, 29.97, 29.97DF and 30fps
Power SourceBuilt-in rechargeable Lithium Polymer Battery
Battery Capacity900 mAh
Battery Operating TimeUp to 10 hours
Battery Charging Timemax. 2 Hours
Dimensions47mm x 68mm x 19mm / 1.85 x 2.67 x 0.74 inches
Weight58g / 2.0 oz

It will then be shown with all the other Tentacle Syncs that you are using and you can then choose to jam sync it to whatever you have chosen as your master timecode device.

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Above you can see what all of the LED indicators display and what features the Track E has.

Size & Weight

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The Track E isn’t tiny, but it is still relatively small. It weighs in at 58g / 2.0 oz. Above you can see how it compares in size to a Tentacle Sync and a Rode Wireless GO.

The Track E also comes with a detatchable belt clip which makes it easier to place on your subject.

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Just like with other Tenacle Sync Devices , the Track E comes with a series of colored bands. These are great because you can place a particular color band around a device and then name that device in the app with the same color. That way you always know which Tentavle Sync device is which. It is a simple solution, but it works really well.

32-Bit Float

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A lot of recent audio recording devices that have come to market feature 32-bit float.

It is best to think of 32-bit float in the same way that you think about RAW video recording. The main benefit of 32-bit float is that your audio recordings can’t clip. Conversely, if your audio levels are too low, you can bring the levels back up without almost no additional noise being added. Above you can see a demonstration from SoundDevices that shows you exactly how it works.

By using the Track E and simultaneously transmitting audio you can get the best of both worlds. You can record a time code synched reference track to your camera or audio recorder, while also recording a time-code synched 32-bit float file directly to a MicroSD card in the Sync E. What you need to clearly remember is that the audio you are transmitting via a TX unit is not 32-bit float.

The only real downside to 32-bit float is that it uses up to 33% more storage space than conventional 24-bit files. You get approximately 30hrs (24-bit) and 23hrs (32-bit) on a 16GB micro SDcard. If you are used to shooting video, this amount of data is tiny in comparison.

Now, you don’t have to record 32-bit float if you don’t want to. there is also an option to record regular 24-bit audio files instead. This may work well for you if you are feeding the headphone output into a TX unit and you want to record a decent level in your camera or audio recorder for use as your main audio source. In that regard, the Track E recording becomes more of a back up in case there is interference with your wireless system. You do, however, need to be aware that if you are not recording 32-bit float audio on the Track E, if your audio gets clipped or is too low you may well not be able to salvage it.

Works seamlessly with other Tentacle Syncs

Yes, there are numerous ways to jam timecode using the Sync E, but I am going to focus on how it integrates into a typical system where you might be jamming TC to multiple devices. Above you can see just quickly you can set up the Sync E and two regular Timecode Sync devices, as well as what control functionality is available.

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All you need to do to integrate the Sync E into your Tentacle workflow is to turn it on and launch the app. It is that simple. The Sync E shows up like any other Tentacle Sync and you just add it.



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