SMPTE Operation Guide

Setup and Listen to the SMPTE Signal

Confirm that System Settings / Privacy & Security / Microphone / HiWire Prompter is checked.

1) Click the Timeline button, it opens the Timeline Recorder window. 

Note: the Timeline button is disabled when editing the text. 

2) Make sure the Audio Interface is plugged. 
audio device
3) Click the Audio Device button 
audio devices

4) Select the audio interface, the channel and the frame count. Auto means that HiWirePrompter will automatically calculate the FPS.

SMPTE signal

5) Click the SMPTE Signal button to start listening


6) Here is the display if everything works fine

If FPS auto was selected, Auto will appear in red the time required to calculated the effective rate, so up to 1 second. Then it displays the actual rate, e.g. 30. 

As long as the white dot at the bottom keeps running, it means the signal is 100% healthy. 

If the signal is way too weak or there is a problem with the setup: 

If the signal is strong but not consistent, there could be yellow 

(1 or 2 invalid frames in a row) or red dots 

(more than 2 invalid frames in a row)


While listening to the SMPTE signal, make sure to select the next line in the list and click either Slow, Medium or Fast at the right time. This choice means at which speed the prompter will move to the line.

Once you clicked a speed, the current SMPTE time stamp is assigned to the selected line and the next non-empty line is automatically select.

It is possible to edit the time stamp and change the speed by clicking on it in the list.

If the stamp is orange, it means that there is not enough time since the previous line to move to that line at the selected speed. It will work fine but at a fastest speed.

A red stamp means that the line is set in time before the highest time so far.


Close the Timeline Window and simply click the Sync button.  SONG MUST BE IN THE SETLIST WINDOW IN ORDER TO BE READ BY SMPTE.

Working with Demo Tracks and SMPTE Signal

Download the 3 Demo audio tracks provided and import them into a DAW of your choice. (ProTools, Ableton, Logic, etc).

Once you have the Active SMPTE Version of HiWirePrompter, download the sample HWP Library (and unzip it).

Each stereo track contains the SMPTE signal – 

PANNED 100% LEFT and the audio reference track – PANNED 100% RIGHT.

For each song, create 2 audio tracks within your DAW and pan one 100% to the LEFT and the other 100% to the RIGHT. 

For instance, there should be two identical tracks, exactly lined up – Track 1 will be panned LEFT and Track 2 panned RIGHT:

Using an audio interface, route the track PANNED LEFT (SMPTE signal) out of the interface and into the computer you will use to prompt. 

You will not need to listen/monitor this signal. 

The track which is panned 100% RIGHT will be used for your reference and should be routed for you to listen via the interface (monitor speakers, headphones).

Now that your SMPTE signal track and audio track are lined up and routed correctly, you may begin to record the timeline with the prompting computer and reference the song with the playback computer.

SMPTE Practice Files

Demo Audio Tracks


Don’t Let Them Take you Down.mp3

NY Lights.mp3


Sample HWP Library

If you found these sample files useful please consider donating a few bucks to my friend Jesse Malin’s Recovery Fund. https://www.sweetrelief.org/jessemalinfund.html

Long story short, Jesse suffered something called a “spinal stroke” (I never heard of it either) in 2023 and is currently on the long road to recovery. He is trying several types of treatments with varying degrees of success, but it is safe to say his medical bills are overwhelming.

Years ago when I asked if I could use his tracks and lyrics on the website to help customers test the softwares features he gave a quick “absolutely” without any mention of compensation and just hoped that it would help.