How to Enable a Pull-Down on the Sony PCM-7040 Timecode DAT Recorder

How to Enable a Pull-Down on the Sony PCM-7040 Timecode DAT Recorder

Evan T. Chen
Head of Post-Production
The Los Angeles Film School
April 6, 2000

The Sony 7040 timecode DAT player is a complex beast. If in doubt, always consult the manual.

Setting up the 7040 for "proper" transfers depend on how one defines "proper." The industry standard setting for 35mm film is to record either at 44.1kHz or 48kHz at 30ndf (non-drop frame timecode). If the production company has decided to edit with NTSC color video dailies, as is common nowadays such as on 3/4" U-matic SP or Beta-SP video tape, the reduction in speed/pitch by approximxately 0.1%, due to the 35mm telecine to video, needs to be compensated somewhere in the audio post-production phase. This can often be accomplished by reducing the speed of the audio from the 7040 timecode DAT player. This document provides detailed info on how to accomplish this with timecoded production DATs recorded at either 44.1k or 48k, 30ndf. This is just one of the many ways to deal with this issue, however.

1. While holding down the MENU button, turn the data wheel until you see [SEtGrd]. Then hold the DATA button and turn the data wheel to set this to "EnHAnced" (as opposed to "bASic"). Press the SET button to save this option (it will stop blinking). This opens up some other optional menus on the 7040. The operation with the MENU, DATA, and SET buttons in combination with the data wheel is the basic navigational and setup procedure on selecting various menu items in the 7040.
2. While holding down the MENU button, turn the data wheel to find [Set tc]. Make sure this is set to "oPEn" (as opposed to "cLoSE") with the DATA and SET buttons and the data wheel. This opens up other advanced timecode options in the 7040.
3. Navigate to [dSPGrd] and set this to "EnHAncEd". This allows us to view some other optional settings on the 7040.
4.Navigate to "tAPE tcF". Insert the DAT tape you'll be using and play just a small portion from it. You should see "t-30 ndF". This indicates that the DAT was recorded at 30ndf timecode. If it does not say "t-30 ndF" but something else, like "t-29 ndF", then the DAT was NOT recorded at 30ndF and this note does not apply.
5.Next navigate to "tc rEGEn" and make sure it's set to "on". This allows the 7040 to re-construct the timecode off of the DAT, which makes a more robust timecode signal.
6.Navigate to "tc dLY" and make sure it's set correspondingly either to "d out" or "A out", depending on whether you're using the 7040's digital outputs or analog outpus.
7.Navigate to "tc bASE" and set it to "Auto". This allows the 7040 to automatically use valid data recorded on the DAT.
8.Navigate to "rEF-tcF" and set this to "30 ndF". The 7040 is so advanced that it allows one to output whatever TC rate and format you want, regardless of what the DAT was originally recorded at. Handy in some instances, dangerous in most. Make sure this is set properly.
9.Navigate to "PrE EP" and set this to "oFF".
10.Navigate to "SYnc nrr" and set this to "off". This sets the tolerance of the external video signal to wide, and allows the DAT to be pulled-down by 0.1%.
11.Press the DISPLAY until you see "LOCATE POINT" "P XX L XX" (where XX are numbers). This screen allows you to easily jump to any index point on the DAT. This is not a requirement, but it is handy.
12.Set the SYNC lever all the way down to VIDEO. This allows the 7040 to sync to an external video or blackburst signal. You're front panel display should not be blinking and should say "VIDEO 30 WIDE NDF".
13.You can check the sampling rate of the DAT in the bottom right corner of the screen where it will either say "FS 48" or "FS 44.1"

Copyright © 2010 by Evan T. Chen. All rights reserved.