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sean miller
best cheap method of digitising VHS tapes into FCPX
on Jan 28, 2015 at 3:43:04 am

... been given some ancient footage, they only have vhs tapes. Any reccomendations for the most affordable solution to digitise the footage for use in FCPX?

thanks


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Noah Kadner
Re: best cheap method of digitising VHS tapes into FCPX
on Jan 28, 2015 at 5:44:59 am

Buy an old VHS deck on eBay and get a Blackmagic Intensity.

Noah

FCPWORKS - FCPX Workflow
Call Box Training


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Mark Smith
Re: best cheap method of digitising VHS tapes into FCPX
on Jan 28, 2015 at 1:52:18 pm

I use a black magic ultra studio so not the cheapest interface solution. THe hard part is the VHS deck. There are tons of them for sale on EBAY dirt cheap but the problem is most are junk. I too have a project that involves lots of legacy VHS that I had to digitize and finding a VHS with solid playback was a bit of a project in and of itself. Once I had the deck it was a matter of feeding tapes and capturing pro res lt files.


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Mark Suszko
Re: best cheap method of digitising VHS tapes into FCPX
on Jan 28, 2015 at 2:56:26 pm

The alternate system I use is to get a VHS to DVD dubber deck: picked up a tunerless model at the local Goodwill, no lie, for five bucks last month, to replace my Mother-in-law's dead VHS deck. Brand new ones are under a hundred. Refurbs from Amazon are around fifty. One-button dub from VHS to DVD, then rip the DVD with Mpeg Streamclip to whatever format you want to work in. If these are VHS, copying to MPEG 2 isn't going to hurt them any, if at all. And you don't need to tie up the editing station two or more hours at a time to do it. Many of these decks also have analog inputs to connect to camcorders as well, which covers non-VHS legacy sources like video-8, hi-8, 8mm, etc...

The MIL can easily copy off her old VHS recordings now, unattended, which is also a plus.


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John Rofrano
Re: best cheap method of digitising VHS tapes into FCPX
on Jan 29, 2015 at 12:58:37 pm

[Noah Kadner] "Buy an old VHS deck on eBay and get a Blackmagic Intensity."
Noah, could you elaborate on this workflow a bit more? What format would the VHS tapes be captured in? What software would be used to capture? (can I capture right in FCP X?)

I ask because I have a lot of VHS tapes that I need to capture and I already have a Canopus ADVC-300 that I was planning to use to capture to DV25 via firewire. The problem is that DV uses the 4:1:1 color space. Then when I render to MPEG2 for DVD delivery they are converted to 4:2:0 except with DV as the source it becomes 4:1:0 which is color loss that I'd rather avoid.

If I bought a Intensity Shuttle for USB 3.0 what format video would it capture to?

Would using the Intensity Pro PCIe version yield better results than the USB 3.0 version or are they the same?

Thanks,

~jr

http://www.johnrofrano.com
http://www.vasst.com



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Claude Lyneis
Re: best cheap method of digitising VHS tapes into FCPX
on Jan 30, 2015 at 6:33:40 am

I still have a working VHS deck and then I used a ADVC55 Grass Valley/Thompson which took analog in and put out a digitized firewire stream and then just captured directly into FCPX. The inspector calls is DV/DVCPRO-NTSC 720 x480.


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Michael Gissing
Re: best cheap method of digitising VHS tapes into FCPX
on Jan 30, 2015 at 7:01:08 am

I would do anything to avoid DV codec. My choice would be Decklink with anaolg in and capture as ProRes. DV really is a horrible codec, even with VHS material.


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Mark Suszko
Re: best cheap method of digitising VHS tapes into FCPX
on Jan 30, 2015 at 7:23:32 am

Isn't Pro Res a bit of overkill to capture color-under VHS?


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Brian Thomas
Re: best cheap method of digitising VHS tapes into FCPX
on Jan 30, 2015 at 12:49:47 pm

Just adding a bit of recent experience here: when capturing, I've just occasionally had the video get stuck while the audio carried on. Probably something to do with the old windows machine I've got for this and little else. Anyway, when this has happened I've rewound the cassette ten mins or so, restarted the capture and eventually I've got to the end. So, several AVI files (or whatever) to synchronise on a timeline... Multicam to the rescue! Might take an age but so what.

FCPX and PPro 6. iMac 24 + MBP 17". Near Geneva, Switzerland


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Michael Gissing
Re: best cheap method of digitising VHS tapes into FCPX
on Jan 30, 2015 at 11:27:08 pm

[Mark Suszko]" Isn't Pro Res a bit of overkill to capture color-under VHS?"

The problems with DV codec are many. In PAL is has the wrong field dominance so shift fields filters are required. Any attempt to colour correct or sharpen the VHS footage will reveal pixel blocking and if the footage is being uprezed to HD then the DV codec will further cause image degrading based on the digital codec. Sure the original will have lots of problems with banding, dropouts etc but why go to a clunky old codec which limits further restorative work on the VHS original.

DV was a great codec for the 20th century but we really need to move to modern codecs in a world where grading, uprezing and good screens now are the norm. I would be happy never to have to grade and deal with DV footage again.


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Claude Lyneis
Re: best cheap method of digitising VHS tapes into FCPX
on Jan 30, 2015 at 6:47:31 pm

The DV code was how the Grass Valley converter put it out digitally. There is not much you can do with the analog stuff coming out of the VCR tapes, but maybe there is a better way.


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olof ekbergh
Re: best cheap method of digitising VHS tapes into FCPX
on Jan 30, 2015 at 9:27:35 pm

I have used a Matrox MX02, an old AJA M100 board set and BM Ultrastudio. They all work quit well.

Just be aware that often old tapes in VHS machines drift so sometimes it takes a few tries to get everything working smoothly.

It is a good idea to FF all the way and the rewind before trying to play tapes that have sat so a long time. And always store tapes upright like a Book rewound all the way. If lying on their side for years the tape actually sags and can cause problems in playback.

On really bad tapes/decks it is a good idea to run through a live mixer with TBC (time base correction) this can help if you get jittery video when playing back. Some of us still have this ancient equipment around I still have, VHS, S-VHS, Hi8, miniDV, Umatic, DAT, DA88 and Betacam decks. Make me an offer... I still have an 8 track somewhere as well.

Actually I still use them sometimes. A lot of times I have to open them up to physically help the rubber bands to turn togged them to run. I love solid state... Head cleaning and alignments of heads used to be thousands
of $$ every year.

Olof Ekbergh


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Alan Lacey
Re: best cheap method of digitising VHS tapes into FCPX
on Feb 11, 2015 at 11:46:18 am

Olaf, that really takes me back. I remember out first TBC had enough memory for 16 lines of PAL SD! Even then the manufacturer (IVC) designed the system and then had to wait for delivery of the memory chips.

Alan(UK)

XdcamEx & HD, C300, DSLRs, all sorts of production & post gear and a very untidy desk. On the East Coast of the UK


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