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Old 2005-05-10, 06:04 AM
Steviebone Steviebone is offline
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transfers from hi-fi vhs tape

I have quite a few VHS Hi-FI hispeed masters from 15-20 years ago I want to transfer to the digital domain many of which will be good torrent material. This collection includes u2 and alot of other classic oldies as well. Most are from TV simulcast broadcasts. Many from early MTV days.

I have a good capture card, dvd-lab Pro, Pro-Tools, and Cool-Edit which should be sufficient to aid in good capture and re-mastering. I want these to end up with the best possible audio and video. I know simply capturing audio and video in one pass through the video capture card may result in unecessary mpeg encoding of audio and loss of quality.

I was thinking of doing two passes one for video and the other for audio straight to Pro-Tools, then re-synching in DVD-Lab Pro where I would make menus, etc. This would also give me audio only tracks for audio only torrents.

I am looking for any and all information to educate myself in performing these transfers. I do not wish to play these older tapes any more times than necessary so I want to get it right the first time.

Can anyone point me to some resources for this? I am not looking for anyone to perform the transfers for me... no way would I ever let these tapes out of my hands, sorry.

Any advice or instruction would be greatly appreciated, however.
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Old 2005-05-10, 08:49 AM
4candles 4candles is offline
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Re: transfers from hi-fi vhs tape

When you say "good capture card", which card are you referring to?

My recommendation would be to buy (or borrow) a good standalone DVD recorder, ensuring that it can record uncompressed LPCM audio tracks. You can then rip the contents of those DVDs to your PC, losslessly edit them (using something like Womble MPEG editor) and then compile your final DVDs.

The advantage of going the PC route would be that you have a lot more control over the editing and encoding process. But the hardest part of the whole process is good analog->digital conversion of the video. You should spend as much money and time on this part of the process as possible.

If you want to preserve your master tapes, then you can, of course, experiment with other tapes (of a similar age and quality). But I do think you will need to experiment in order to get the best possible results.

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Old 2005-05-10, 09:56 AM
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Five Five is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Canada
Re: transfers from hi-fi vhs tape

after you've looked around the sites try starting a thread on these guys are really helpful.

Sounds like you're on the right track, great project!
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Old 2005-05-10, 01:30 PM
New Homebrew
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Re: transfers from hi-fi vhs tape

Separate audio capture is not a bad idea. You might get a better result from using your protools for A>D versus PCI card video conversion, or hardware video conversion that includes audio. You would simply use the original audio track as a reference to synch the new audio. You can not do that in DVD Lab Pro, however. You would need a timeline audio and video editor to lay out the start points and do some minor time stretch/timecompress (the "new" audio will wander by a few frames over the course of an hour of video from the original audio).

I don't recommend a standalone DVD recorder. Once your video is mpeg-2 you are handcuffed.

I am very happy with my Canopus ADVC-100 as a conversion device. I connect it with an S-video cable to a high-end VCR, which also makes a major difference. I like the JVC HR-S9800U which does HiFi, SVHS, built-in time-based correction, video noise filters, everything you need. Capture video as uncompressed avi, then edit/tweak/filter in the editor of your choice (Adobe Premier, Sony Vegas), and render to mpeg-2 for video and wav for audio. Marry the results in DVD Lab Pro.

The best resource for getting started is although there are some things on there I don't agree with, esp regarding audio.

The video section of the FAQ on my trading site has some helpful hints as well.

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Old 2005-05-11, 08:02 AM
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ssamadhi97 ssamadhi97 is offline
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Re: transfers from hi-fi vhs tape

Separate pass for audio? Depends on several factors, but generally it's not preferable.

If you can capture video and audio together using your capturing card without any weird issues (ground loop, buzz, high noise levels, whatever), this should be the best option, since most capturing cards ensure that audio and video strictly stay in sync.

Syncing up the audio later on can be a pain, since you can't rely on vhs being played back at constant speed. Audio recorded in a second pass might be longer, shorter, or even fluctuating in speed/pitch in a way that does not match the first pass (video recording). Compensating for this can be a painfully tedious (and somewhat lossy) process.

Furthermore I'd advise against the standalone dvd recorder option as well, both for the reasons New Homebrew brought up (it'd prevent you from applying further filtering unless you introduce another lossy step) and for the simple fact that these often come with mpeg2 encoders that are inferior to good software solutions like the CinemaCraft encoder (even the basic version of that blows most standalones outta the water afaik)
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