Knowledge Base

Using Spanner with Video Sync 5

Spanner Pan Lines in Video Sync

We teamed up with The Cargo Cult to add Spanner integration directly into Video Sync. This allows you to display Spanner’s pan positions as overlays in Video Sync. While previous versions of Spanner already offered overlays over Pro Tools’ internal player window, an integration into Video Sync allows for the same overlays to be displayed on external display devices as well.


The setup of Video Sync with Spanner is as straight forward as it gets. Spanner will send MIDI data to Video Sync using Video Sync’s virtual trigger input port. As virtual ports are not propagated over the network, Video Sync needs to run on the same machine also running Pro Tools hosting the Spanner plugin. Please make sure Video Sync’s trigger input is set to “Video Sync Trigger In (virtual)” in the General preference’s MIDI section.

When you now open up Pro Tools and add an instance of Spanner in either configuration to a track and open the Spanner window, it will send MIDI data to Video Sync causing Video Sync to draw the pan information as vertical lines (currently, only X values are supported). You will notice that Video Sync will draw the pan lines in an almost completely transparent way 5 seconds after the last pan information was received. This is used to both reduce the distraction but also to allow for a better workflow when several instances of Spanner are used. The pan lines will only be shown when a Spanner window is opened. They will disappear when the Spanner window is hidden. While the position updates will feel very “direct” when using Video Sync’s internal display, there will be a short delay involved when using external video devices.

I have both Spanner and Video Sync opened, but I don’t see overlays in Video Sync, what’s wrong?

There are a few reasons why this can happen. The first is on Video Sync’s end. Spanner pan lines are treated as any other overlays and will thus only be shown if the display device has overlays enabled.

There will also not be any overlays displayed if Spanner couldn’t establish a connection to Video Sync e.g. because Video Sync was launched after loading the session in Pro Tools. If you only have a few Spanner instances, it’s probably easiest to Ctrl-Cmd-Click each instance twice to disable and enable it. This re-establishes the MIDI connection and will solve the issue. If you have several instances of Spanner, then it’s maybe easier to just reload your Pro Tools session in order to get Spanner and Video Sync connected.