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MIDI timecode

MIDI time code embeds the same timing information as standard SMPTE time code as a series of small 'quarter-frame' MIDI messages. There is no provision for the user bits in the standard MIDI time code messages, and SysEx messages are used to carry this information instead. The quarter-frame messages are transmitted in a sequence of eight messages, thus a complete timecode value is specified every two frames.

Unlike standard SMPTE timecode, the eight-message MIDI timecode sequence carries a two-bit flag value that identifies the rate of the timecode, specifiying it as either:

  • 24 fps (standard rate for film work)
  • 25 fps (standard rate for PAL video)
  • 30/1.001 fps (Drop-Frame timecode for color NTSC video)
  • 30 fps (monochrome US video)

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