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Focus Enhancements FireStore
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Old March 8th, 2005, 12:50 PM   #1
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FS-4 duping tapes

I have 200 or so 1 hour tapes shot on an XL1 that I need to capture & burn to DVD for archiving. Is it possible to use the FS-4 to capture pre-exicting footage so I can be using the computer to do editing and rendering?

How about if I use 2 cameras hooked together (using firewire) with one of them capturing using the FS-4?

Steve
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Old March 8th, 2005, 02:27 PM   #2
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Hi Steve,

I just tried capturing from tape to the beta FS-4 that I have been testing, and it captured without a problem. The timecode is also intact. So the answer to your first question is (most likely) yes (the beta device I have been testing is not necessarily the same device that Focus is releasing). But I think that the chances are very small that they will deactivate that function.

As for your second question: I have no idea what you are trying to do with such a set-up. Do you want to duplicate your existing tapes to another DV tape and capture them simultaneously? If so, this will work, but you will need to put a Firewire hub between the source camera and the FS-4 and recorder camera to split the signal.

You could also think about using a hardware DVD recorder with FW or analog input to capture to the FS-4 and create a DVD at the same time.

You could even hook up a DVD recorder, DV camera, and FS-4 over a hub and dump to all three at the same time. But I haven't tried this myself.

I hope that this helps.
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Old March 8th, 2005, 03:50 PM   #3
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It sure did. Thanks!

I have always had a bear of a time getting the audio to sync (I bring in full one hour video footage as one capture on a mac with Final Cut Pro). I do high school performances (dance, theater, football games, etc) and keep them on tape for archive, for coaches, directors, recruitment videos, etc. So I bring in act 1 from one or two tapes, act two from another tape or two...cut them together, add a few credits and store them until someone needs to view them.

There is an audio drift that I just can't seem to cure. So to fix that problem I capture the clips into iMovie and then import those to Final Cut Pro for editing. Of course I also have time code problems creeping up now and then. All sorts of capturing problems. The cutting of the footage and the burning is easy although it ties up the computer night after night.

I was thinking that if I can get the capturing part to be seamless and not involve those problems it would make my life easier than doing it the way I'm doing it now.

I've thought about going direct to DVD but I need to add the credits and the school's logo etc. so I can't bypass the editing completely. When I have a timecode issue the first thing that I do is dupe the tape from one camera to another using firewire...which adds even another step. That was why I asked the second part of the question. I don't really even need to go to tape I was just thinking that if I went to the second camera and I could go directly to the hard drive...in effect capturing the video and fixing the timecode problems at one time. Hopefully keeping the audio in sync with video and saving me tons of reoccuring headaches.

Steve
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Old March 8th, 2005, 04:19 PM   #4
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Steve,

It sounds to me as though you are making your life much more difficult than it needs to be.

First off the problems you are having capturing to FCP are most likely repairable. The fact that you are successfully capturing to imovie to then transfer to FCP is a sign of this. Going this route is ok as a workaround when all else fails and time is running out, but it should not be the norm.

You should be able to get your audio into sync while capturing directly to FCP using firewire. Take a look in the FCP section of this community, I'm sure that you will find some tips there.

Timecode problems shouldn't be bothering you too much unless you have to recapture footage that you have used in previous edits and then removed from the HDD. The FS-4 should be able to make it's own timecode as well as read the timecode coming off the tape. If the D2D device you chose to use can only read the tape timecode, it will probably inherit whatever timecode problems the tape has. Just a thought, when deciding which D2D product to buy.

It sounds like you would benefit greatly from what a D2D device can do. Not only will you be able to digitize existing video material parallel to editing and rendering, you will be able to video directly to disc for future projects, eliminating the time spent capturing, all together. In addition the material you capture will be free of dropouts and other tape related defects and artifacts.

good luck
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Old March 9th, 2005, 03:28 AM   #5
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There is one thing that just occurred to me. One eliminates the transfer time of getting the video material into one's computer for post-production, but there is still the issue of getting the material out of the computer and onto a long term storage medium.

If one wants to store the material onto tape, be that a DV tape, DAT, DLT, LTO or whatever, that involves real time if not longer than real time transfer times.

I don't think that you can use the FS-4 to play an edited sequence to tape, therefor one would have to expect that the editing computer would be occupied with this task at some point in the process. With D2D devices, you can start editing immediately, but the transfer time is not really eliminated, it just happens at the end rather than at the beginning of the workflow.

There are however, other options for end storage. The falling prices of HDDs is making them a viable alternative to tape storage. This has been discussed in this forum as well. This type of end storage would really eliminate the real time transfer (capturing) time issue.

I just wanted to clarify that.
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Old March 9th, 2005, 07:10 AM   #6
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Thanks

I spent last night once again trying to capture directly from my XL1 and my XL2 to Final Cut Pro 3 (and also to Final Cut Express) changing everything I could find from the other forums (or that I could think of). The audio drift is still there. When I capure from my GL1 it is fine. There has to be some some goofy little thing I'm doing wrong. There is also an audio drift (although less) if I capture from my Sony. I can capture from the Sony and the Canons in iMovie with no problem. Go figure! I'm thinking maybe it has to do with capturing in Quicktime...(I have the newest version out there) but I know it works for many others. Who knows?

As far as alternate long-term storage methods...I appreciate the idea. I'll check into it, but at the present time DVD's seem like the way to go. That way I can sign a copy out to the coach, director, whatever and they can play it in the classroom on a DVD player from the library. I guess I just have to live with the capture time. Maybe buying a second computer is what I'll end up doing...but if the FireStore will at least keep my audio in sync it will be worth its weight in gold as well as giving me a backup. I can only shoot with one camera (only one of me) and if I should happen to be between tapes at an inappropriate time or a tape should be bad...the FireStore could be a lifesaver.

Thanks again,
Steve
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Old March 9th, 2005, 08:53 PM   #7
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Hi Steven,

I am not sure that I can advise you on your audio drift problem, but you certainly can record from tape playback on a camcorder to FS-4.

Matt
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Old March 10th, 2005, 08:11 AM   #8
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Thanks. I think the FS-4 is near the top of my list when next years budget funding becomes available. Hopefully there will still be some good pricing deals by that time.

Steve
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