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Final Cut Pro Output to VHS

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Joseph Manzoli
Final Cut Pro Output to VHS
on Jul 19, 2013 at 5:03:36 pm

Hey Everybody,
Im relatively new to FCP and video in general. Im working on this music video with a friend, and we're going for a lo-fi VHS look. I'm sure this has been covered before, but I couldnt find it. Bad-tv and other similar plugins simply aren't going to cut it. The video is done being edited and I want to lay it out to VHS 3 or 4 times over to degrade the quality, but I do not know how.
I don't know:
a) what cables will allow me to do this
b) what kind of VCR i should have to do this
c) what steps I need to go through in FCP in order to prepare it to output to VHS

Alternatively, if there is a way to just record what my computer is seeing to VHS, that could work too.
I'm using a MacBook Pro, running Lion OSX 10.7.5. Final Cut Pro X 10.0.3.

If anyone could point me in the right direction, that would be greatly appreciated.

Cheers,
-JOE


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Shane Ross
Re: Final Cut Pro Output to VHS
on Jul 19, 2013 at 5:54:35 pm

a) Firewire to camera, RCA to VCR

b) ANY VCR...if you don't have one...good luck finding one. Hit yard sales.

c)You'll need a video IO card (not graphics card...one designed for outputting video to TVs and monitors and decks)...that has COMPOSITE out. OR...if you are cutting a DV sequence, simply output via firewire to a DV camera or deck, and then send that signal to a VCR via composite (RCA plugs)

Shane
Little Frog Post
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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Mark Suszko
Re: Final Cut Pro Output to VHS
on Jul 19, 2013 at 6:42:08 pm

Burn a DVd of your footage.

VHS machines are cheap to get at any salvation army or goodwill thrift shop, for maybe ten bucks. Get two of them. DVD players are 30 bucks at Walgreens.

Take the RF out cable from a DVD player, or the analog audio-video RCA outputs, plug that into the inputs on the first VHS machine. Set the DVD's output for channel 3 or 4, tune the VHS tuner to channel 3 or 4 until you can see the DVD signal coming thru. Record at the slowest speed (SLP).

If there are no RF outputs on the DVD player, use the yellow and white RCA connectors, those cables are available at any drugstore or hardware store, and take the output from the DVD to the input on the VHS, adjust the VHS machine's tuner to "input". Make your first generation DVD to VHS dub. Welcome to 1981:-)



Your crummiest dubs, i.e. the look you want, are achieved by setting both VHS machines to the long-recording speed (slowest), called LP or XLP/SLP, and re-recording back and forth. That's the speed that gets 6 hours on a 2-hour tape. Use the antenna RF connectors for worst quality: take the output machine's RF out, (the cable that goes o the TV's antenna input), run that to the second VHS machine's antenna input, and select either channel 3 or 4 for the recording VHS machine, until you get a picture.

Next, while the dub is running, mess with the player machine's tracking adjustment knob or buttons, and jiggle the RF cable. Try operating an electric shaver next to the cable too.

After one pass, swap the VHS tapes in the machines, rewind, and repeat.


Getting the VHS BACK INTO the editing system after all of that requires a DV camcorder with firewire, as well as RCA inout jacks on it. These are cheap at pawn shops and some thrift stores.
Record to DV tape, then ingest for edit using log and capture, perhaps with "uncontrolled device" checked.


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Shane Ross
Re: Final Cut Pro Output to VHS
on Jul 19, 2013 at 6:43:28 pm

Oooo...I like that.

Now...do you need to re-capture that VHS tape when done? I assume so, because who takes VHS tapes anymore?

Shane
Little Frog Post
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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Mark Suszko
Re: Final Cut Pro Output to VHS
on Jul 19, 2013 at 7:10:16 pm

The cables needed look like these:



On the right is the antenna or "RF" cable: they come in press-on and screw-on types. The little center piece of copper wire is not a mistake, it is supposed to protrude and go into the center hole of the connector.

The cables on the left use RCA connectors; these give a better quality signal transfer, the opposite of what I'm telling you to do, but this may be the only option to connect the DVD player's analog-output to the VHS analog input. It will also connect the final VHS output to your DV camcorder's input, to make a DV dub which then can be loaded into final cut using the camcorder's firewire connector.


MAN, you make me feel old, answering this question! :-(


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