Artnet Timecode?

HI guys

Anyone used artnet to receive Timecode ? Is this possible ?

Hi Manuel,

it is possible if you write your own patch for it UDP-Receiver and extract the information you need, I personally tried it, it is working, but there are some problems in the concept of Art-Net timecode implementation it’s a simple packet which just contains the actual timecode information in HH:MM:SS:FR format and the type of the timecode. First of all there is not defined how often the packet is sent which leads to timing issues. Second, as it is a broadcast UDP packet there is no Data-Link-Layer so you have to implement some logic on client site to validate the incoming time which also leads to timing issues.


depends where the timecode its comming from
its just data, you can do it by osc midi dmx rs232…
where is the timecode comming from ? what do you need to do ?

well, it is part of the Art-Net© specs – (see page 18 of the specs:

if the artnet nodes don’t have it, you’ll have he downside of implementing it :)

MIDI not an alternative?


Yeah, for this project I ended up using Midi Timecode. But I wanted to avoid that archaic technology.

This was coming from MA.

Thanks BK, I understand the problem with UDP packet, but maybe is even better that the normal situation I see when using midiTimecode over long distance. Midi-over network, then back to midi…

:) MIDI might be archaic, but it is f… stable and reliable. from a data point if view, it is sufficient dor transmitting timecode well.
when u send MIDI pver network by using the packages arround , they also use UDP most of the time. so, kind of a ‘milchmädchenrechnung’ ;) the possible overhead by the the virtual MIDI driver shouldn’t cost too much.

good luck!

I agree with you,

the thing is, if you have to do:


I wanted to know if doing


would work the same.

I don’t say that it works bad. It’s just because you are, at least, reducing the variables of possible problems, and probably, costs.

Yes, i understand the reason and reasoning; I asked myself the same question.

But it still leaves you with the part of encoding and decoding a timecode somehow – in what ever format is preferable. So building on top of a proven reliable protocol actually saves you some error probabilities imho.
And there are some things theMIDI time code – or specific the MIDI clock signal – tries to use the smallest possible siez of payload, whereas on a network packet you have a bit more flexibility concerning the minimum size.

Question is also: what are your endpoints? If this is from vvvv to vvvv then it might be more interesting to patch your own module, which packs the time into some bytes (more preferable than strings!) and another that decodes those again. Sounds more complex than to implement and you should look up what the actual payload for an UDP packet is (can’t remember by heart).
If want to have a more general approach, then using existing protocols widens the usage – think of controlling a Live Session on another machine, etc. As you mentioned ArtNet, this actually gets interesting to be kind of a ArtNet to MIDI time code transcoder – or plain ArtNet Timecode sender/reciever!?

It bugged me to see, if it could be done :) so, here is a (quite rough) implementation as modules. It complies to the specs and i checked the packets with wireshark and tested with itself. See, if it might be of any help:

direct link to zip file:

It is plain vanilla vvvv, so addonpack shouldn’t be necessary.

Love to hear if it works with your ideas!


This week im going to try this out. Now I don’t have MA board, so will try to use MA on PC

thank you !

The MA board sends the time code? Coriuous to know if it works with it!
There might be an issue regarding the start time, time zero so to speak. Just let me know!

one more note , if you are in boygroup system i would consider getting the calculatuion by using the node Clock (Network) Boygroup which is very accurate for things like that.