In this Mantis How-To, learn how to use a Tentacle Sync E timecode box!

Tentacle Sync E Tutorial: Learn How to Use a Time Code Box

In this blog, we are going to go over the Tentacle Sync E and how to use it. Tentacle Sync has been in the limelight for at least a decade now. They are an incredible company and put out amazing Time Code devices that have simplified a somewhat confusing theory for most. The Tentacle Sync E is no exception to this rule. The Tentacle Syne E is revolutionary in its size and feature set, causing a wave of new ingenuity amongst other manufacturers in the past years. This is an upgrade from the original Tentacle Sync and has a load more features, with the most important being connectivity with a mobile device.

Tentacle Sync E Time Code Sync BoxTentacle Sync E

The Tentacle Sync E Standard Set is a complete hardware/software solution to get started with timecode syncing. It includes two super-small and user-friendly timecode generators as well as a free Tentacle Sync Studio Software, which we will go over in a later blog. The Tentacle Sync E will help you to accelerate your syncing workflow from shooting to post-production.

The new Tentacle Sync E takes all the good things from the original Tentacle and adds a range of new features, putting a world of possibilities into your hands. Now it comes with Bluetooth Low Energy, which makes the setup even easier and allows you to monitor all Tentacles on your mobile device. The Tentacle Sync App (available for both iOS and Android) can tell you with frame accuracy how well your boxes are syncing.

Link to iOS App

Link to Android App


  • Super Small and Lightweight
  • Bluetooth 4.2 (Low Energy) for Monitoring and Setup via Mobile Device
  • Frame Rate and TC Output Level Adjustable via Tentacle Setup App
  • Two Tentacle Sync Studio Software Licenses Included
  • Tentacle Clamp Locks a Right-Angle Mini Jack Connector
  • Improved Built-In Reference Microphone
  • Generates All SMPTE Timecode Rates or Jam-Sync to Any External Timecode Source
  • High precision TCXO: Accuracy Less than 1 Frame Drift in 24 Hours (-30°C to +85°C)
  • Designed and Made With Love in Cologne, Germany

Time Code Versatility

It doesn’t matter what camera you are using. The Tentacle Sync E Time Code boxes will work with any camera. In fact, it will even work with cameras that do not have a Time Code input (which we will go over later). What makes it even simpler is that this time code box uses a 3.5mm mini-jack. This is without a doubt the most common and versatile connector in the world, and that means it is easy to find cables for your specific camera anywhere.  There is also a clamp that locks the cable into the Tentacle and keeps it from falling out or being removed. I cannot stress how much I love the fact that Time Code Boxes are steering away from LEMO connectors and utilizing these more affordable and versatile connectors. It is much easier to replace a stereo mini cable (or connector) in the field rather than a 5 Pin Lemo Cable…

A Tentacle Sync Primer

Let’s get our Tentacles in working order. They make it very easy to do. The first thing to do is to pair the Tentacle Sync E devices to your mobile device. You will need Bluetooth enabled on your phone in order to accomplish this task. If you need help, look below to see the process first hand:

Red Mode, Green Mode

One thing you must know about tentacles is about Red Mode Green Mode. Red Mode is the status of a tentacle when it has NOT been jammed. This happens when you turn on a tentacle the first time (or any time for that matter). Green Mode is when a tentacle has been jammed (either by a manual Time Code source or from the app).

Once all of your Tentacles are shown in your Tentacle App, you are ready to start getting things in sync. The first thing we need to decide is who our Time Code Master is going to be for the shoot. Are you recording on a Standalone Multi-Track Recorder like a Sound Devices MixPre-10T 2? Or, are you using the Tentacles themselves to generate the Time Code Source?

If you are going to generate your Time code source using the Tentacles themselves, you can use the apps to program a specific time code starting point or have them use Time of Day Time Code. The app can push the identical TOD Time Code to each tentacle (aren’t you glad you paired all of them to begin with?)

The Sound Devices MixPre-10T and Tentacle Sync E

If you are using a Time Code Master, the process involves jamming a device manually using a Time Code Sync Cable. Once you have one unit jammed from Red Mode to Green Mode, then you can use the app to transmit the signal from the jammed tentacle to all others. It is a fun thing to see multiple Tentacles switch from Red Mode to Green Mode instantly.

Mounting on Cameras

Regardless of your camera setup, it’s fairly easy to mount the Tentacle Sync E onto your camera. The easiest way is using the included velcro that comes inside of the box. These devices have an ingenious backside that mimics the hook side of the velcro. Just slap a soft side piece of velcro onto the camera and stick the tentacle on the camera. They are so lightweight the camera operator won’t even notice the weight difference. They are so small they can be placed easily on the sides of the camera, just make sure you route your cable out of the way of any switches or areas of importance for your camera operator.

If you need something more “permanent” on the camera, there are loads of mounting accessories that can connect to a frame or even hot shoe mounts that give you the confidence they will stay put completely the entire shoot. I highly recommend using these types of attachments if your camera operator will allow the room to attach them. Never assume though, and be ready with the velcro.

From here, it is all about ensuring your camera is set to receive the time code of your device!


If you decide that these Tentacle Syne E devices are perfect for your production, there are 2 different options to consider when purchasing.

Tentacle Sync TE1 (Single Set)

This is a single-unit box. If you are trying to sync a recorder to a single camera, this is the unit to get.


  • 1x Tentacle Sync E Box with Bluetooth Connectivity
  • 1x Mini Jack Cable (3-Pin) for Syncing and Connecting to Cameras
  • 1x USB-C Cable for Charging and Setup
  • 2x Tentacle Clamps for Locking your Cables to the Tentacle Sync E
  • 10x Velcro Loop Pads for Mounting Tentacle to your Device
  • 4x Colored Rubber Bands
  • 1x Quickstart Guide

Tentacle Sync TE2 (Standard Set)

This package comes with 2 units instead of just one. This is a much better option when buying in bulk.


  • 2x Tentacle Sync E Boxes with Bluetooth Connectivity
  • 2x Mini Jack Cables (3-Pin) for Syncing and Connecting to Cameras
  • 2x USB-C Cables for Charging and Setup
  • 2x Tentacle Clamps for Locking your Cables to the Tentacle Sync E
  • 10x Velcro Loop Pads for Mounting Tentacle to your Device
  • 4x Colored Rubber Bands
  • 1x Quickstart Guide

How many Tentacle Sync E Boxes do I need on my set?

You will end up purchasing a lot of these as a sound mixer or camera operator needing to sync sound during interview recordings. They have to be placed on every camera, and a lot of protocols need to be put into place. Make sure you know your stuff when you start introducing Time Code into your productions. It can make or break you…

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