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DA88 Audio capture with Blackmagic HD Extreme

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Steve Kirkham
DA88 Audio capture with Blackmagic HD Extreme
on Apr 21, 2009 at 12:57:36 pm

Is it possible to somehow hook up a DA88 deck to my Blackmagic HD Extreme Card and capture the audio? We have a 5.1 surround sound sent to us on DA88 and to get it capture to WAV/AIF files by a facilities house seems quite expensive... so thought i could get a cheap DA 88 player from eBay and maybe latch it up to my capture card and do it that way...

Is this possible? Would I need any extras leads apart from the breakout cable?

Any help appreciated...


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Luke Maslen
Re: DA88 Audio capture with Blackmagic HD Extreme
on Apr 22, 2009 at 1:08:20 am

Hi Steve,

DeckLink HD Extreme has two channels of balanced analog audio input compared with the 6 channels of output you need to capture from the balanced analog audio outputs of the DA88. One way you might be able to capture all 6 channels if to use the just released Mini Converter Audio to SDI. It will take 4 channels of analog audio and embed them in to SDI video. The other two channels could be ingested via the analog audio inputs of the DeckLink HD Extreme card itself. The cost of Mini Converter Audio to SDI is US$495.

Alternatively, if you have the AES/EBU module (IF-88E) for your DA88, the Mini Converter Audio to SDI accepts up to 8 channels of professional balanced AES/EBU audio and embeds them in to SDI video which you can easily capture with the SDI input of your DeckLink HD Extreme. I'm not sure how many channels of audio the IF-88E module supports with the DA88 but I'm guessing it outputs all the channels you would need and in which case the Mini Converter Audio to SDI would be the perfect way to bring your audio in to the SDI input of your DeckLink HD Extreme card.

Regards,

Luke Maslen
Blackmagic Design


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Baz Leffler
Re: DA88 Audio capture with Blackmagic HD Extreme
on Apr 22, 2009 at 2:31:31 am

[Luke Maslen] "I'm not sure how many channels of audio the IF-88E module supports with the DA88 but I'm guessing it outputs all the channels"

We use the IF-AE8 (similar to the IF-88AE) and it takes the TDIF (8 ch digital audio) and converts bi-directional to AES so to confirm Luke's assertion, it will handle all 8 channels at once.

Also with the DA88 you have a RS422 deck control which a Decklink/multibridge can control.

But if you are going to buy a deck try and find the Sony version of the DA88 as it has built in 8 channel AES which will also connect to the mini converter. Otherwise its a DA88 + IF-AE8 + TDIF cable (reverse 25 way DB25 ribbon)

Baz

What would I do without the 'UNDO' button!!!!


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Luke Maslen
Re: DA88 Audio capture with Blackmagic HD Extreme
on Apr 22, 2009 at 2:57:16 am

Thanks Baz,

I didn't know that and that's very helpful info.

Regards,

Luke Maslen
Blackmagic Design


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Steve Kirkham
Re: DA88 Audio capture with Blackmagic HD Extreme
on Apr 22, 2009 at 7:54:19 am

Hi Baz

Sorry to be a bit dumb but can you break it down for me. As far as I can see what you are saying is it IS possible to use the HD Extreme card to capture the audio from the DA88 (all at once) but I'll need some more bits to do it. I can currently get a very cheap very low use DA88 on eBay (assuming I win it :-) so that's the route I guess I will take (we are only going to use it occasionally but the way I always look at these things is if it's going to cost me more to send it to a facilities house than it is to purchase all the bits I need then next time I need it I'm in profit as it were...)

Thing is I'm not an audio engineer - I'm a DVD author and graphic designer so any help gratefully received

From what you are saying I'll need an IF-AE8 plus TDIF cable (I'll google these so I know what you are speaking of). So how do I then hook it up to the Blackmagic HD Extreme? What inputs? Capture how? in FCP? Soundtrack Pro?

Are these extras expensive

Thanks again (sorry if i then ask more questions once you respond :-)

Steve Kirkham
Tree Frog Communication


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Baz Leffler
Re: DA88 Audio capture with Blackmagic HD Extreme
on Apr 22, 2009 at 8:18:51 am

Here's the setup...

DA88 >> TDIF >> IF-AE8 >> 4 AES cables >> Blackmagic Audio to SDI >> HD Extreme

each AES cable carries 2 audio channels.

The Blackmagic Audio to SDI is this one...

http://www.decklink.com/products/miniconverters/

... but I am not sure if it needs an SDI input or can 'add' the audio channels and create an SDI data stream - I will leave that one for Luke to answer.

Just as a side issue be warned that a lot of DA88's on Ebay can be a little dodgy and some are not fully optioned up but you may not need all the options. For just playing back you may find the DA38 will do the job sufficiently.

Baz

What would I do without the 'UNDO' button!!!!


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Steve Kirkham
Re: DA88 Audio capture with Blackmagic HD Extreme
on Apr 22, 2009 at 8:32:16 am

Is it not possible to get some kind of TDIF to AES cable thereby negating the need for the IF-AE8?

Or is that too simplistic?

Steve

Steve Kirkham
Tree Frog Communication


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Baz Leffler
Re: DA88 Audio capture with Blackmagic HD Extreme
on Apr 22, 2009 at 11:47:52 pm

Sorry Steve no shortcuts. TDIF is a Tascam format that cannot be 'passively' converted. How else are they going to make money!

Baz

What would I do without the 'UNDO' button!!!!


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Bob Zelin
Re: DA88 Audio capture with Blackmagic HD Extreme
on Apr 23, 2009 at 4:06:08 pm

Steve -
everyone here is giving you the wrong answer. If you are working with a 5.1 delivery requirement, and old DA88 analog tapes, the easiest thing for you to do is to go to a post hose that has a DA88 and assorted digital VTR's (like Digi Beta's, HD Cam's, etc. - whatever you are used to dealing with), and have them dub this off for you - so you have black on the tape, with your 8 channels of embedded audio. Then, you can simply capture the tape with the 8 channels of embedded audio.

What you will find as you get into more professional work, it that everything - EVERTHING - requires a lot of equipment. Whatever you buy will never be enough. You can spend $130,000 on a Sony SRW HD VTR and then your client will want delivery on a Panasonic D5 or HD1400. It's never over, and there is never a "cheap way out". This is why rental houses make all this money. This is why all the companies like Sony, Panasonic (and even Tascam) have all these countless option cards that you need to get thru every job. And you just say "can't I just buy a cable" - or "cant Blackmagic just stick more connectors on their product". Blakcmagic does an amazing job of putting every possible connector within reason on their boards (and so do their competitors), but there are COUNTLESS FORMATS - and guess what - more are coming. And between all the old formats, and all the new formats, and all the formats that are about to be released - you are DOOMED ! You will keep spending money over and over and over - and it will never end.

Welcome to the video business. Just thank companies like Blackmagic, who try to make it possible for people like you to have inexpensive solutions. Sony will NEVER be that nice to you. Again, my advice is to forget eBay, forget the IF88, forget all the setup menus - just have an older post house with a DA88 and an IF88 make a dub for you onto a digital VTR, and be done with it.

Bob Zelin





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Steve Kirkham
Re: DA88 Audio capture with Blackmagic HD Extreme
on Apr 23, 2009 at 4:46:50 pm

that seems like a great way of doing it (and normally cheaper than getting them to capture the tracks to computer files)

So if they 'dumped' to Digibeta that would carry all the audio right? Then I can use my Sony J3 to capture!

Genius!!!

I know what you are saying about constant spending though!!!


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Baz Leffler
Re: DA88 Audio capture with Blackmagic HD Extreme
on Apr 24, 2009 at 12:16:33 am

[Bob Zelin] "everyone here is giving you the wrong answer."

Hey Bob - did you actually READ the original post? He wasn't asking questions about 'technique'... ala...

[Steve Kirkham] "Is it possible to somehow hook up a DA88 deck to my Blackmagic HD Extreme Card and capture the audio? "

If he asked a question of technique he would have gotten a totally different answer. He already decided his technique ... ala ...

[Steve Kirkham] "We have a 5.1 surround sound sent to us on DA88 and to get it capture to WAV/AIF files by a facilities house seems quite expensive... so thought i could get a cheap DA 88 player from eBay and maybe latch it up to my capture card and do it that way... "

He already knew of the 'out sourcing technique' so neither I nor Luke covered it. So how can "everyone here be giving him the wrong answer"?

Incidently Steve, Bobs suggestion IS going to cost you more than a second hand DA88 in monetry terms but it could cost you a lot more in time and associated issues.

[Steve Kirkham] "So if they 'dumped' to Digibeta that would carry all the audio right? "

Digibeta can only do 4 channels at a time (unless you use dolbyE at both ends) so it will require 2 passes and 2 tapes.

A cheaper way would be to get someone with a DA88 to dump to wave/aiff files. We do that all the time here so it shouldn't be hard to find someone in your area to do it.

Baz


What would I do without the 'UNDO' button!!!!


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Luke Maslen
Re: DA88 Audio capture with Blackmagic HD Extreme
on Apr 24, 2009 at 1:07:36 am

Hi Bob,

That sounds like sound advice (sorry I couldn't help it!). As Baz mentioned, decks like the Digibeta and HDCAM will only support up to 4 audio tracks so Steve might need to use a D5 (which supports 8 channels) if he wants all 6 channels on tape. Of course the HDCAM SR supports up to 12 channels but would be more expensive to use.

Thanks for introducing another approach to Steve's workflow. It's good to consider completely different ways of approaching the same problem.

Regards,

Luke Maslen
Blackmagic Design


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Michael Gissing
Re: DA88 Audio capture with Blackmagic HD Extreme
on Apr 27, 2009 at 5:45:55 am


Firstly ask the audio facility that did the mix to supply wav or aif files. I have been trying for the past few years to have deliverables changed from DA-88 tape to files, because that's what we all use anyway. I now refuse to supply DA-88.

Forget converting to SDI for recapture and forget dubbing to video tape. None of those options makes sense. If files are not available get an audio facility to dub the tape to files. DA-88 machines are rubbish. I spent more on the maintenance of my machine than I ever made in dubs.


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Steve Kirkham
Re: DA88 Audio capture with Blackmagic HD Extreme
on Apr 27, 2009 at 8:22:55 am

Trust me that's the first thing we ask for but unfortunately lots of producers still lag behind the times... and if you ask them to transfer the DA88's to files they charge a fortune.

In the end we will just use a facilities house to capture for us - not enough of this kind of work to warrant a purchase. Thanks everyone for their help and advise

Steve Kirkham
Tree Frog Communication


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Luke Maslen
Re: DA88 Audio capture with Blackmagic HD Extreme
on Apr 23, 2009 at 2:06:12 am

Hi Baz,

[Baz Leffler] "... but I am not sure if it needs an SDI input or can 'add' the audio channels and create an SDI data stream - I will leave that one for Luke to answer."

Thanks for raising this point. Yes, to embed the AES/EBU audio channels in to SDI video, an SDI video signal is required. It could be any SD or HD format but some kind of SDI video signal must be present, even just color bars. In Final Cut Pro, one can then choose to capture both SDI video and audio or just capture the audio.

Regards,

Luke Maslen
Blackmagic Design


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