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Dubbing mini dv tapes


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#1 James Hoyt

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Posted 05 December 2005 - 08:08 PM

Hello,

I need to dub some mini dv tapes onto other mini dv tapes. How do you do this? And what equipment would be required?

any help is much appreciated. thanks.
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#2 Michael Collier

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Posted 05 December 2005 - 08:16 PM

The best way to do it is an all digital pipe. So you need a camera to playback and a deck to record to. Most decks and some cameras have menu options to set the DV to input. The other will toggle as output. Though I am pretty sure if you set it up and press play on one, the other should toggle as an input automaticaly.

If this doesnt work for you or you cant get enough equipment to do that, you can always hook your camera up to the computer, ingest all the footage onto hard drive and playback. However your timecodes will change, and it will take at least twice as long. not to mention the fact that if the computer glitches out, you have to start that dub over.
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#3 James Hoyt

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Posted 05 December 2005 - 09:15 PM

thanks Michael. I just have a couple of follow up questions. do most small consumer cameras have dv input? which cable connects the two cameras? is dubbing a fairly simple exercise or do I need to look into it more?

you also mentioned that the timecode will change if I dump it onto a hard drive. won't it change if I do it the other way? the reason I am dubbing it is because I have broken timecode and I'm under the impression that dubbing will give a fresh timecode.

a lot of questions, I know. thanks again.
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#4 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 06 December 2005 - 08:11 AM

Hi,

You need two devices, it's not necessary that one of them be a camera - but most people have a camera, so that tends to end up being the playback unit.

> do most small consumer cameras have dv input?

Yes, in most of the world. Some territories (such as the UK, notoriously) double-tax imports of cameras which are also VTRs, and don't. Usually this is a simple software-based switch-off which can sometimes be defeated. If you are in the US, your camera probably has DV input. If you are in the UK, it probably doesn't.

> which cable connects the two cameras?

A firewire cable. There's two styles of firewire connectors - six or four pins - giving rise to three possible cable configurations. Most camcorders have four pin connectors, but larger set-top style firewire devices such as a firewire VTR or many computer inputs tend to be six, so ensure you get the right thing. They're pretty obviously physically different and it's not possible to mistakenly plug the wrong thing in. I'd be very surprised if you didn't get firewire cables with both your playback and record devices.

> is dubbing a fairly simple exercise

Brutally simple. Connect decks. Play one. Record the other.

> you also mentioned that the timecode will change if I dump it onto a hard drive.

This is not necessarily, or even usually, so - so long as your record device bothers reading the timecode out of the incoming firewire stream. Many consumer-level miniDV devices don't have any option other than rec-run generation when it comes to timecode, that is it won't read the timecode in the DV stream. Most computer programs capture DV timecode by default as it's embedded in the frame data, even if they don't know how to do anything with it.

To ensure proper timecode recovery, you'll need a better record deck, such as a DSR-45. That's a piece of full studio equipment, though, and many thousands in cost, so if that's the requirement it's probably better to send it to a dubbing facility and let them do it.

> won't it change if I do it the other way?

If the record device won't listen to incoming DV timecode, it doesn't really matter what the playback device is - either a VTR or a computer.

> the reason I am dubbing it is because I have broken timecode and I'm under the impression that dubbing
> will give a fresh timecode.

Ah. If you have actual breaks in the recording, then you will probably want to either assemble edit them out - by pausing the record deck while the playback one rolls over a gap. If this is the aim, it might well be easier to capture it into a computer. Doing this tends, handily, to automatically cut out dead tape, because the computer will often, depending on software, only save frames when there's frames incoming. If it's not terribly important what the new timecode is, that would be the way I'd do it. And you don't need a second DV deck!

Phil
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#5 James Hoyt

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Posted 06 December 2005 - 11:58 PM

thanks for the detailed reply Phil. that was very helpful.
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