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Old June 29th, 2007, 10:18 PM   #1
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Cloning Master Tapes

I'm having to clone my mini-dv master tapes and get them off in the mail immediately, and I would so appreciate any help you can give me.

I've got to make exact clones (with original time code) of about twenty 60-minute mini-dv cassettes.

I've got two decks to work with: the Sony DSR-80 and the JVC BR-DV600U.

I've never done this.

Can someone please tell me what setting to use on the DSR-80 to generate the original timecode from the master tapes?

And which would be the best connecting cable? Can I use firewire?

Thank you so much!

Kevin
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Old June 30th, 2007, 01:48 AM   #2
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hello kevin,

i am not so familiar with jvc deck. the best solution for you is to find TWO decks like sony dsr 80 or similar.

here is why:

jvc deck has only analog and firewire connectors (at least in "standard" option). as i said i do not know enough to say everything about jvc deck, but i think that you cannot find one with SDI (digital) board for that model.

the best solution for you is to use two decks with sdi boards and timecode boards on them.
you can use one recorder and one player of course, but SDI connector is a must. time code connector is nessecary for solution you need ( in player - you need just output TC).

so the list may look like this:

a) sony dsr 80 with sdi board and timecode board ( which are usually already included on this model) - treat this unit as RECORDER.

b) any sony player (or recorder) with timecode output and SDI output (i.e. drs 60) - treat this unit as PLAYER ( you can use i.e. sony's dsr 1500 deck instead but there are more similar decks also from panasonic's dvcpro line)

the key issue is to set recorder deck to receive TIMECODE from EXTERNAL SOURCE!!! this means that your source tape is sending timecode from TC output connector on player deck to TC input connector on recorder deck.
SDI (digital) signal is also sent from player to recorder. so your dub cassette will have same timecode as source and will be same quality as original.

usually decks with SDI boards can also transfer timecode via SDI signal, but since i do not know which two decks you will have during your work it is safer to do that thru TIMECODE connector.

if you can find/rent decks with SDI i will do that without any worries.

FIREWIRE connector can be also used, but the idea is the same - recorder must be set to receive EXTERNAL timecode.( and of course cappable for this function, since not all decks are cappable to receive TC external!)

in MY opinion - you can find different thoughts about this - firewire in this case is not as good as SDI. but you must see for yourself. i am ALWAYS doing it this way and it looks for me that this way (via SDI, not firewire) is better. but i am not electronic engeneer, just user of those formats.

that's it. maybe someone who is more oriented in this can add his (and different from mine) thoughts.

all the best in your efforts.

filip
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Old June 30th, 2007, 12:13 PM   #3
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Filip, thank you for being kind enough to type out that long answer! I really appreciate it.

After talking to the vendor from whom we periodically rent machines, I gather that I need to hook up cables for a video connection, audio connection, time code connection and sync connection. (Would an SDI cable take care of both video and audio?).

I've got to figure out which cable to use for the sync. After connecting the cables, I've been told I need to go into the record deck menu and set it for proper sync.

I'm looking forward to learning how to do this correctly.

Thanks again.

Kevin
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Old June 30th, 2007, 06:25 PM   #4
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kevin,
i beleive that term "sync" is not proper here. you will need SDI cable - which is normal BNC cable (sometimes you can find really proper ones designed for SDI, but) - any well prepared BNC cable with 75ohms resistance will be ok.(i am not purist, but during different testing i didn't saw any difference in video quality when using normal BNC cables comparing to "designed to SDI" ones ("designed" are more sexy :))

so:
a) you need 1 BNC cable for SDI. the decks you are using - dsr80 or i.e. dsr 1500 are both cappable to deliver audio and video inside SDI - it's called "embedded". which means ONE cable is enough to deliver video and audio to another deck.
b) you MAY need another bnc cable for timecode. maybe even simple converter to go from XLR to BNC. it deppends how timecode conection is made. sometimes you can find timecode connectors as BNC, sometime as XLR (canon), or even as chinch (RCA) connector. so you must (potencially) find a way to change one shape to another. there is no need to change anything in electronics. the difference is just in shape. TC signal is the same despite the shape of connector.
so - you link timecode out - on player (where your source tape is located) to timecode in - on your recorder.

BUT - it depends what decks you will have - maybe if you are lucky - you can use the very same SDI bnc cable to send also timecode thru it. together with audio and video. ALL IN ONE cable!
you just need to check in setup and press proper option. (and check does this solution works. it's visible on display - i.e.: is timecode the same on both machines - player and recorder.

important thing - sometimes recording machine is receiving EXTERNAL time code with little delay, so don't resign after half of second. wait for 3-4 sec. and if then you cannot see proper TC - this means that something is wrong.

on certain machines external TC works just when in RECORDING mode, not during preparing, testing connections etc. i.e. when deck is in pause mode.

also avoid used tapes, for recording. these cassetes already have timecode on them. it may make your life difficult when editing. you can find 2 different timecodes on them. you can CLEARLY see that display on VTR displays proper timecode, but when digitising the very same cassette to editing computer - computer reads something absolutelly different.

so double check all your connections and setups, record small amount of your masterpiece on tape, check again is everything on VTR's display ok, and if yes - digitize small piece to editing computer, and compare TIMECODEs shown in bin of your editing computer. if both (one you saw on VTR's display and one digitized to computer) TCs are the same - you are ok.
you can finally start your journey!

sorry if this looks like horror story, but i made tons of those type of recordings, and if you are lucky enough you may ecounter some of mentioned problems right at the begining. so read carefully and treat this as my little expirience.
but again, i am not engeneer - someone will tell you absolutelly different story, and he is wellcome also.

and - back to begining - the "sync" thing. i cannot say that this is proper name for any connector on these machines - you can find REF (reference) connector. but not "sync" - at least on sony machines. (which i have).

all the best,
if you have additional questions, and think that this is maybe too boring to others to read - mail me private message ( you can find it in my personal info) and if i can - will help you, of course on my level of expirience.

all the best,

filip
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Old June 30th, 2007, 06:44 PM   #5
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i forgot one possible , but RARE option

if you find decks with SDTI(QSDI) connector - you are lucky!

use this conectors as the best and simplest option to dub your tapes. (you will need also remote 9 pin 422 sony protocol cable to connect both decks during this operation)

this is superior but rare option you can find on best equiped decks.
it's like copying data. bit for bit. nothing is lost. like when you are copying i.e. text file. input = output. no difference, and EVERYTHING is included - video, audio, timecode and metadata (if you are using specific tapes with this feature).
filip
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