Diet Microphone is a powerhouse for incorporating timecode into their slates. With their slate, TC-1 box, and most especially their App timecode is by far easier to integrate into smaller productions. The only problem? It makes us want timecode in places we never thought of before.

Deity made a name for themselves with affordable yet high quality units for a variety of on set audio recording tasks. After dipping their toes into timecode with the highly flexible BP-TRX units, they have gone full on into timecode with an app driven eco-system tied around Sidus Audio.

We spent some time testing it with a variety of cameras and use cases, and our only frustration was that more outside vendors aren’t already supporting the system. It solves a real problem, speeds up workflows, and simplifies timecode so you can get back to worrying about other problems on set.

Why We Use Timecode

Deity Conquers Timecode

Diety Microphone App

Diety Microphone

We use timecode on sets to keep things in sync together, faster. You can use a clap slate to keep your sound and audio in sync on set, and we still think you should do that, if only as a backup. But syncing multiple cameras and audio tracks in post with the clap slate is time consuming (and AI can’t yet read the picture for the clap hit mark, someone still has to look for it).

Timecode is basically instant: highlight the clips you want to sync (or put them in a Resolve sync bin), and they just “snap” right together if their timecode lines up. It’s dynamite. Timecode does this by assigning each moment in time a number (it’s timecode), and it’s very easy to line those up in post.

Deity has rolled out a timecode eco-system that makes this both affordable and easy on independent sets, with units that are simple to understand and use. I’ve been on countless sets of the years were someone was constantly troubleshooting timecode, and even worked on a job once where the sound mixer didn’t seem to fully understand the timecode system they had brought to set (I suspected it was a rental that he claimed to own).

The Deity system solves all that.

Roll When it Matters, Cut When It Doesn't

Roll When it Matters, Cut When It Doesn't

Event Still

While in a traditional narrative you are all going to be rolling and cutting together, with doc and event work, you want the freedom to roll only when something interesting happens. Otherwise you could shoot hours of boring footage, wasting the time of your post team.

Let’s say you are shooting a four hour event; the audio mixer might roll the whole time, but now with timecode sync on your cameras, each operator is free to roll only when they want, cut when they aren't getting a good shot, and in post it will all just automatically line up where it belongs.

How the Deity System Works

Diety Microphone

Diety System

Diety Microphone

The Deity system is a timecode Slate, the TS-1, and a timecode box, the TC-1, both of which sync up with the Sidus Audio app. While the slate is the most impressive item on the list, and the priciest, it’s not nearly as innovative as the app driven ecosystem for keeping your units in sync. There are other competitors in this space (Atomos, Tentacle), but they don’t offer as robust an integrated system or, or the slate, which is what makes this system standout.

With the app, you pair the slate and your timecode units in the app, and you get a visual readout of which one is “in charge,” which units follow, if they are all in sync with each other, and all the available menu settings. It’s fast, easy to use, and gives you confidence that your units are in sync.

It comes with all the standard physical cables as a backup, of course. We found ourselves still using our BT-TRX for a four camera setup, and feeding it timecode from a TC-1, since you can’t connect to the BP-TRX units via Bluetooth. Cabling still works, but bluetooth audio was faster, and gives you a great readout of how you have the system setup.

One wonderful perk of the TC-1 box is that it can run as either a LTC box (giving traditional old linear timecode) or a “timecode over audio” box that delivers timecode AND audio to your camera video the mini audio port. There is a little onboard microphone for getting scratch audio, so you still have an option of getting some listenable audio into your file on the right channel, while the left is listenable waveform audio.

This gives you three systems for sync; timecode first, but if that fails, clap slate as backup, and if that fails, waveform audio. This is robust. There are competitors that offer units that do either LTC or audio timecode, but you have to choose at purchase. With the TC-1 you get both, and you choose on the day of use.

Working with Hardware: The Slate

Diety Slate

Diety Slate

Diety Microphone

The hardware itself is also surprisingly feature packed, especially at the price point. The slate gives a clear, solid reading, and is powered off two small Sony batteries. You can charge them via USB-C, which you’ll have in your office or on set anyway, or swap them with the Sony batteries you already have a ton off, or are affordable if you don’t. The Deity batteries it comes with are even extended power.

You’ve got a handy switch on the side that you can assign to various tasks, but by default is setup for when you used the slate upside down for tail slating. You can go into the app and change display settings, and it comes with a tidy case with room for your dry erase marker. It also feels good in your hand and has a slot for fingers/thumb, which goes a long way to clean, quick, efficient slating.

Even with timecode fed into the camera, you still want a timecode slate as a valuable backup to let you know if your timecode is drifting. It’s very easy to tweak timecode in post, so being able to easily see “oh, after lunch timecode drifted a frame” (which we didn’t have happen, but the world is crazy, things happen) is much easier with a timecode slate, and it’s a much easier fix.

When testing your setup, you might also discover some setups have a consistent timecode drift. For instance, we used our setup with a Fuji X-H2s going to a Blackmagic Video Assist External Monitor shooting to a Samsung T7, and the timecode was 3 frames off. A very easy fix when doing our dailies solved everything, but something much easier to check with a timecode slate. You should test this yourself with your setup; different firmware versions, different SSD or SD card setups, or different recorders will have different offsets. The physical slate makes it much, much easier to test this and gives you more

Working with Hardware: The Box

Deity Box


The TC-1 box itself is a dandy bit of engineering, a nice evolution from the BP-TRX.

Giving up also working as a transmitter pair (a nice feature that honestly we didn’t use that much, even as a backup, on the older units), it is now focused on being a timecode box and nothing more. It’s got one port, which can do input or output, a simple screen with an easy to navigate menu system, and a button and wheel input system that works quickly. On more than one occasion we had confusion in the dark with the cable in the wrong port on the older unit, and while it didn’t cause damage, it wasted time and made us feel foolish. A single port is a definite upgrade.

The menu system of the click wheel and button is much easier to use than the previous generation of buried menu’s and feels like they really took the time to make something faster and simpler at doing it’s primary job the best it can.

It comes with a shoe mount, great for cheese plates, cages, and DSLRs which mostly have shoe receivers, and also built in velcro. As someone who uses a lot of velcro and is always bummed about it slowly peeling in different weather, and the gunky goo at the edges, it’s nice to see a small unit with a built in velcro patch that will stay clean and permanently attached. It would be nice to see wider adoption of built in velcro (or, officially, “hook and loop style fastener”).

Do We Need Timecode to be External?

Diety Timecode

RED Camera


This comes up all the time so it bears repeating; we are likely always going to need external timecode boxes. Even if you can just jam timecode into your camera, you’ll want an external box to keep it honest.

Most cameras are likely never going to have great timecode internally. If you are designing a $4000 or even a $10,000 camera, you are going to be making sacrifices somewhere. You could design a camera with every single feature every user needs, but it’ll be $150,000 and no one will buy it. Or you can leave features out that only some users need, let them add it as an accessory, and actually make something folks will buy.

Audio pre-amps are the classic case for this; high end cinema cameras have bad preamps since they know you’ll be running dual system sound. Affordable cameras have bad preamps since they are trying to keep costs down. But (as pointed out by Tomlinson Holmen), mid-range doc targeted cameras need good audio preamps since the shooters working with $15,000 doc cameras usually aren’t running dual system audio, so you should judge a manufacturer of that camera for it’s audio quality.

Timecode is the same way. Most cameras don’t keep a good clock themselves; it’s just not a great cost benefit analysis when you are designing a camera to pay the money for a good internal clock since not all of your users will use it. Even more, your camera is going to eat through batteries and be turned on and off all day, which increases the likelihood of drift.

So we use an external timecode box, generally with it’s own internal battery to prevent on/off, which is designed with one job; feed in stable timecode all day long.

We don’t usually do this with audio recorders, since they aren’t as power hungry so don’t on/off as often, and sound recorder companies tend to spec more stable timecode systems even at affordable price points.

We tested the Deity system against our Sound Devices MixPre 10-II, and the sound devices stayed in sync with the Deity for 24 hours, perfectly. You aren’t going to get that out of basically any camera.

You can if you want put a timecode box on your audio recorder, and some people do, but our testing hasn’t proved it necessary.

Incorporate the Kondor Blue Cage

Condor Blue and Diety

Kondor. Blue cage

Kondor Blue

It’s not Deity’s product, but it’s worth mentioning the Kondor Blue cage for the TC-1. The TC-1 comes with mounting options, but it’s always nice to have something more secure if you can. Especially for run around, action style jobs, being able to firmly bolt or QR lock the unit to the camera is a big upgrade.

It seemed odd when we first ran across it (a cage for an accessory?), but the cage for the TC-1 box has actually proved itself super useful. The Kondor Blue cage has a built-in male QR plate, meaning you just need a female QR receiver bolted to your camera or cage to feel like you have a secure stable connection that you can also easily pop on or off. Running around, slinging the camera in your lap to jump in a car or on your shoulder, you just didn’t worry about it flying off.

The Benefits of Charging Warning

Never, ever charge these boxes with anything except hte original USC-A to USB-C cable. USB-A is power limited, while USB-C chargers can give out a much larger charge. The macbook pro charger puts out 100Watts! That can overload or cook the circuits in the TC1s. You have to us USB-A cables to charge it or you can damage the system. Convenitetly they include a 3x cable to charge three units if you buy the kit.

Like the original BP-TRX units, Deity wants you charging with traditional USB-A units since they don’t put out as much power. USB-C PD chargers have the potential to over-cook small electronics. While we get it, in 2023 it’s starting to become more and more likely that someone will forget and plug it into USB-C power supply charging, which could potentially damage the device. It would be nice if future revisions enabled PD charging, though we do wonder if the size drawbacks of hardware that can handle it might not be worth the tradeoff.

In fact, we were on a shoot recently where a zealous PA trying to “help” almost plugged a TC1 into an iPad charger, which would’ve been a nightmare. We’re hoping in future revisions this gets worked out.

Not So much a Criticism—But a Dream 

This isn’t so much a criticism of the unit as a dream. It would be amazing if the timecode from the Deity Sidus Audio app could flow into the Blackmagic camera app integrating the timecode.

For doc work this would be stellar. The iPhone 15 Pro camera is so good that on various doc shoots lately I’ve kept popping it out to get another angle, capture another moment, when shooting. Recently on a gig I was walking to the bathroom, away from the camera team, and saw the subjects of the doc having a team huddle and pulled out the phone to shoot it. They were all wired for audio, so if I could’ve flagged the audio team to record over walky, I could’ve had a truly magical experience capturing a true documentary moment without warning.

I suspect this is way, way, way harder than I am imagining, because I think apps in iOs have trouble handing data to each other, or even staying truly “on” in the background, but man, if someone can crack it, it would be amazing to have my iPhone also have full timecode sync.

Even if it was just adding Bluetooth support to the Blackmagic Camera app for the external TC-1 device, I’d be willing to rig up a TC-1 to my iPhone for the day for the moments when I’m going to use it. That seems doable, so if Deity and Blackmagic can make friends (I’ll make introductions if that helps) so that we can flow timecode into Blackmagic Camera directly, that would be even better.

The big competitor out there is Airglu, and while Airglu and Deity will likely never play together (we can only dream), Airglu has two integrations we wish that Deity would get. The first is Fujifilm; Airglu gives Fuji cameras Timecode over Bluetooth, so we know it can be done. We desperately hope Fuji, and every other camera manufacturer that can, adds Deity support soon. Airglu also works with iPhone, though only with a few apps, but now we know it can do it.


Nikon recently launched a feature natively taking timecode from Atomos timecode boxes. It hasn’t gotten a ton of press, and it hasn’t rolled out widely, but it’s a nifty feature and we’re excited to see it.

Please, everyone also figure out how to take it natively from Sidus Audio TC-1 boxes. They’ve all got bluetooth built in, Sony, Canon, Fujifilm, you’ve all got bluetooth built in your camera’s, it would be great if they all supported bluetooth timecode in a coherent fashion.

As I said, you’d still want the box, but this would save you a cable (the fewer loose cables on your camera, the better, for both catch-hazards and also weatherproofing). But being able to drop one of these on every camera for Timecode support would rule.

Right now the easiest cameras are the higher end RED, Alexa, and similar cameras, and Blackmagic cameras which all have a nifty feature where the audio in port automatically detects if it’s timecode and treats it like timecode. The DJI Ronin 4D will take timecode, but you have to tell it it’s timecode (which is fine, we’re just happy it takes timecode).

Camera manufacturers, if you don’t want to have your audio in ports take timecode as a real signal, just enable Bluetooth pairing with these units and we’ll all be grateful. Fuji first, please.

In Conclusion

Diety box and Slate

Diety Microphone

Between the ability to pump out timecode either as timecode or audio, the Sidus Audio app, and the price point, the overall system is truly a game changer.

The best thing about it is how easy it all is. Working with a new audio mixer on a gig, I was able to give a quick overview of the system in a matter of minutes and he was up to speed and running stellar timecode in no time. The B-Camera operator watched along and immediately go it all, and wanted to start running the system on his own shoots.

This system is just so flexible. It's timecode, or audio timecode. It has a scratch mic. It has velcro. It's controlled by app, or synced by cable both. All at a just incredible price.

If you are running dual system audio, or multiple cameras, and you aren’t running timecode, now is the time to look into it more heavily. Your post team will thank you.