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Old 11-14-2003, 09:16 AM
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Default OT:SMPTE, LTC, MTC....

Hello all.

This is off topic, but I need an answer.

I am building a small home system and am looking to digitize frame-locked video into FCP (or Premiere or whatever, will purchase the correct solution once I know it will work) from a window burn-in VHS with LTC on Ch. 2. Need to have FCP/Premiere/whatever lock to the LTC, so that I am certain I will sync to the OMF when I finally export QT and open in PTLE, and also back to the original DBeta back at the mixing stage or edit suite.

Horita makes a SMPTE to RS-232 box just for this, but it's about $200 and I want to go cheaper if I can.

I have a GeeThree Stealth serial port, and am wondering if I can use an old serial Motu or Opcode box (found drivers for both) with SMPTE in/out to convert and shoot it down the RS-232 on the Mac, or does that TC signal not show up at the serial port as a standard RS-232 MSPTE signal? I am not a midi user, except for a few pads or odd samples for design work. I am by no means a composer. What is the difference betwen serial TC and MTC to the computer at the computer's serial port?

Goal: I need to be able to ingest VHS video with audio LTC to do design work at home. I need frame accurate lock so that the design will sync when delivered either the mix stage, or the video edit suite, depending on whether I am finishing the project or not.

Thanks for the input. I will buy the Horita if necessary, but I would prefer to get this operability for about $50 with an old serial midi synchronizer on eBay.

Here's my setup (so far... still shopping!)

Mac G4 DP 533mhz, 1.25 Gigs RAM, AMIII, Stealth Serial Port, Miro Video Capture, OS X.2 or 9.2....

Or, if there's a better way to do this with the above hardware, let me know. Due to space limitations, I'd prefer to have the picture lock on the same screen as ProTools, and not have to bring in a second monitor. That's it!

Thanks in advance for your kind assistance.

Brad McIlvaine
Sr. Mixer/Designer
Henninger Media Services
Washington, DC 20036
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Old 11-14-2003, 09:53 AM
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TVPostSound TVPostSound is offline
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Default Re: OT:SMPTE, LTC, MTC....

FCP and Premiere lok at time code through the RS422 port (serial machine control)
Macs use RS422 protocol not RS232, thats a PC protocol.
Horita products are the least expensive products you will find, but they are very good!!

My workaround was to import the video into FCP with a window burn,as QT DV, import the QT in protools, spot the movie according to the first frame window, edit and mix away!!!
26 shows all in sync!!!!! Although the BetaSps had code there was no need to use the code as it didnt stamp the code for use in PT.

Your best bet is to find a window generator, I used my USD, you can find a good Horita on eBay.
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Old 11-14-2003, 10:07 AM
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Default Re: OT:SMPTE, LTC, MTC....

Hey, thanks for the quick reply!

So you had your editor create the QT DV as a file? Or you brought in from DV-video tape video via firewire?

My composer usually gets a TC VHS with burn in and LTC on ch. 2. It would be easy to just dub 2 VHS in one pass, and not have the client tie up additional edit suite time/$$ creating a QT of a ^) minute show.

And this is only for the long format stuff... 30's and 60's will deliver as QT files, as they take no time to render.

Also, I don't want to buy a DV deck, or any video deck for that matter.... I just got married and the wife is already not pleased that the spare bedroom is getting, ummm..... a little crowded. I'm trying stick with the old trusty VHS deck and a shoestring budget!

I guess I should change my question to "is this possible, or how can I achieve my goal with minimal cash outlay?"

Thanks again.

Brad McIlvaine

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Old 11-14-2003, 11:48 AM
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Default Re: OT:SMPTE, LTC, MTC....

BOTH, either the rditor made me a QTDV, or I digitized it myself through a Canopus box via firewire, I also used the Canopus, to do the playback to an NTSC monitor.
FCP4 creates a QTDV in real time, the file for a 1 hour show is around 13 gigs.
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Old 11-14-2003, 12:35 PM
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Default Re: OT:SMPTE, LTC, MTC....

Quote:
BOTH, either the rditor made me a QTDV, or I digitized it myself through a Canopus box via firewire, I also used the Canopus, to do the playback to an NTSC monitor.
FCP4 creates a QTDV in real time, the file for a 1 hour show is around 13 gigs.
Alright, there's something I'm missing here. Are you digitizing VHS? Or are you using a format/deck with a serial port for control/TC? I'm not seeing where you are getting your time reference from.

Let me know if I'm sweating it too hard! hehe. Would you mind running through the specifics of your rig, though?

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Old 11-14-2003, 01:17 PM
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Default Re: OT:SMPTE, LTC, MTC....

Run the time code and video through a window generator, spot the QTDV in PT at the TC on the first frame (window burn) of video.
You dont need nachine control to digitize in FCP
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Old 11-14-2003, 03:50 PM
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Default Re: OT:SMPTE, LTC, MTC....

Thanks again for the reply. I know you've been posting independently for a while, so I appreciate your input.

I'm cool with that, but the VHS will run varispeed (as in, my 52 minute show could wind up being 51 minutes, or 53 minutes) into the video card if not TC locked to the encode machine. This could cause problems syncing to both the OMF and then back with the finished audio files to the original Digi Beta master. UNLESS, you are telling me you've done 1 hour shows with no drift from a VHS with window burn and no gen lock.?

In the mean time, I've found a LTC to RS232 box, which when looped through a Rosetta Stone 232 to 422 converter, should allow FCP or whatever to lock to the LTC on the VHS, thus assuring a sync encode. Yes, I'll still need place the QT with the burn in code on the timeline by eye in PTools to get it sync with the OMF, but this way, I know each frame of QT video encoded from the VHS will match the exact frame of video on the Digi Beta. Remember, my system has no reference... no USD, no Sync I/O, no s/pdif clock, nothing that can jam sync the code and derive word clock for the AMII card. This is not a problem once in PTools with a QT file, but it is essential that the QT encode be done with some kind of timebase. VHS will run at whatever speed it likes, so the Mac must recognize the speed that the VHS is running and match to it. Gen lock has to be achieved by locking to code. Right? Again, unless you've had experience doing it otherwise?

Or, is it possible that the Miro card will derive it's sync from the video in from the VHS? FCP will utilize that?

Looks like I'll run some tests next week here at the office where we have all the toys! Then I'll figure what I need to do.

Thanks again.

Maybe $300 for my option... but the best option I've found yet. Any others?
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Old 11-14-2003, 04:36 PM
Richard Fairbanks Richard Fairbanks is offline
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Default Re: OT:SMPTE, LTC, MTC....

I believe you are trying to make it more complicated than it needs to be. You can use your Miro card in OS9 or you could get any brand of DV to firewire converter, such as Canopus, Miglia, Dazzle, and use iMovie or whatever you like to digitize. You said you have a window burn already on the VHS, which will be useful. If you want to stay with the Miro card, then use Premier that came with it. Either way the basic procedure is the same.

Video frames are kind of self-clocking. As long as each frame gets recorded by the hardware you are in good shape. You want to end up with a quicktime movie which can be played from Pro Tools. You do not need special sync to do this because Pro Tools tells quicktime which frame to play next. There is no real need to worry about sync between audio and video. The video will be playing whatever frame Pro Tools tells it. Pro Tools is the master, quicktime behaves like a "slave". It is not like AVXL, where "the video hardware runs in sync to an external reference and so you better make sure the audio hardware does too". Yes, there is a bit of rubbery sync on the subframe level but over time you will not encounter a significant sync slippage. Your audio files will sync properly elsewhere.

Forget about trying to sync the hardware to timecode. To do what you describe does not require it. We run a couple of rooms in just this way. The sessions and files always sync up the way they are supposed to.

That window burn? It is handy in two ways. You can use it to place the video on the PT timeline so that the PT counter matches the window burn, so that what you see is what you get. Second it is a double-check of the digitize process. If it matches the PT main counter at the head and also the tail of the show then you can be fairly sure that no frames were dropped during digitizing and that your timecode is set to the same standard as the video tape.

I suggest you stay with the Miro card in OS9 until you get a feel for how the process works. Once you have digitized the video tape, Premier can export a medium-bitrate quicktime movie which will play on your computer screen and not eat up a lot of CPU resources or disk space. Try it once or twice to make sure the bitrate is not too low. You want to see every frame of video!
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Old 11-15-2003, 12:44 AM
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Default Re: OT:SMPTE, LTC, MTC....

Wow... all this info from you, and no one until you (including my engineering staff here) could nail it down quite so straight. Well, you, and through my gen locked haze, the other postings here...

Thanks... somethimes you can't see the forest for the trees! I couldn't see the sync for the SMPTE! Thanks... as my machine comes together, I'll double check this, but it was the very first thought I had about this whole procedure.... till an engineer steered me in the LTC direction.

Thanks!

Brad Mc.
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