Course Format

  • Video Lessons

    Watch these lessons at your own pace!

  • Downloads

    Timecode tracks, MA2 showfiles, links to software downloads and more.

  • Quizzes

    No pressure! There's no failing. Think of these as a way to review.

About the Course

I designed this course so that students could learn how timecode works and how to implement it into their showfiles. At the end of the course,  you should be able to program your show to timecode. I want you to be able to  take that timecode gig and feel confident that you'll be able to make edits when the show changes, or troubleshoot any timecode issues that might come up.

Basic grandMA2 programming knowledge is required so that you can build your own cuelists.   You do not need to have any timecode experience. The course can be completed on a computer running grandMA onPC. Access to console hardware is not necessary. 

Ready to start?

This course is available on demand

Instructor - Cat West

Since my first job programming lighting at a small Vegas club back in 2000, I knew that pushing buttons was the gig for me. I've been lucky enough in my career to travel the world, programming shows of all sizes. Some of the acts I've programmed for include: NKOTB, Christina Aguilera, Metallica, J. Cole, Lorde, Ok Go, Melanie Martinez and more. In 2007, I started as a resource of training videos, tutorials and quick start guides for lighting programmers of all skill levels.

Cat West

Lead Instructor

Topics include

  • Understanding Timecode

    What is it, where can we use it, what are the format types and what can we do with it?

  • Timecoded Tracks

    Midi and SMPTE timecode files are included for your project. I'll also cover the 5 things you need to talk about with your Playback Engineer.

  • Getting Signal to Your MA2

    Configuring timecode signals using SMPTE, Midi Timecode and the internal generator: with or without hardware.

  • Showfiles

    Common setups and configurations that work well in a timecoded MA2 Showfile. I'll take you through creating your own, or you can download mine.

  • Recording + Playing Back

    All the setup to reliably record and trigger your timecoded shows.

  • Editing Timecode

    From changing timing to adding, deleting and merging timecode events- there's a lot to know.

  • Macros

    Common macros to make running a timecoded show simpler, including Song Macros

  • How to Troubleshoot

    What to do if you lose signal, how to prevent common pitfalls, and some tips to keep everything working!

  • Bonus Lessons

    How to turn any song into a timecode track, and how to use Markers to create timecoded events in MA2

Easy to follow Video Lessons

Like I'm sitting next to you at your console

Books and manuals are great, but some things are easier to explain through video. My lessons are bite sized: go at the pace that works for you.

Why learn about timecode?

  • Many large scale productions use timecode on grandMA2. If you're going to be programming, or even just operating, timecode knowledge is a must!

  • The ability to program a show to timecode is considered a necessary tool for all professional lighting and video programmers.

Course curriculum

  1. 01
  2. 02
    • Timecode Files and Working with a Playback Engineer

    • Timecode Setups Using SMPTE

    • MIDI Timecode Setups (with and without Hardware)

    • Section 2 Quiz

  3. 03
    • Creating a Cue Structure

    • Start an MA2 Showfile and Build Your Song Breakdown

    • grandMA Timecode Slots

    • grandMA Timecode Show Pool and Show Options

    • Section 3 Quiz

  4. 04
    • Recording with SMPTE or MTC inputs

    • Playing Back Timecoded Cues

    • Recording Timecode Without External Timecode

    • Useful Macros for Timecoded Shows

    • Section 4 Quiz

  5. 05
    • Navigating the Editor Window and Working with Tracks

    • Editing Events

    • When Timecode Gets Changed

    • Merging Timecode Shows

    • Practice Exercise: Song B

    • Adding a Timecoded "Master" Sequence

    • Troubleshooting Timecode

    • Section 5 Quiz

  6. 06
    • How to Create Your Own Timecode Tracks

    • How to Use Markers to Create Your Timecode Shows

    • grandMA3 Timecode Introduction

    • Congratulations!

  7. 07
    • Links and Downloads

Student Reviews

Rob Garcia

5 star rating

“I've been working with GrandMA2 and Timecode for as long as I can remember. This course taught me some new tips and tricks that I'm definitely bringing into my Timecode workflow. I only wish this had been around when I was starting out, as it ...”

Read More

“I've been working with GrandMA2 and Timecode for as long as I can remember. This course taught me some new tips and tricks that I'm definitely bringing into my Timecode workflow. I only wish this had been around when I was starting out, as it is the most comprehensive timecode training I have found to date. Highly recommend!”

Read Less


  • Do I need to have any experience using timecode on grandMA2?

    Not at all. Although, you should already have a basic working knowledge of how to create stage looks and store them as cues in grandMA2. This course will delve into how to trigger those cues with timecode, but it is not an introduction to programming grandMA2.

  • Do I need a console and extra timecode equipment for this course?

    Nope. All you'll really need is a computer that can run the free grandMA2 onPC software. In the course, I'll provide links to other (free) software you can use to bring timecode into onPC without any equipment, and I'll show you how to configure it.

  • Why is this course for grandMA2 and not grandMA3?

    Right now, some things in the grandMA3 software are still changing. Fortunately, the grandMA2 is used by many timecoded production shows.

  • Is there a money back guarantee?

    Yes. If you find that the course is not for you, you can contact me within 7 days of signing up to request a refund: no questions asked.

  • Do I need to complete this course within a set amount of time?

    Nope! This course is self paced. Go at your own speed.

Ready to Learn About Timecode?

Attention Teachers

I offer discounts to students enrolled in higher education institutions. If you are an instructor and you'd like to request a discount for your students, please fill out my form.