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Old October 14th, 2003, 04:01 PM   #1
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Making miniDV to DVCAM clones

Hi -- I'd love any thoughts or suggestions on the following:

I have over 200 hours of miniDV footage shot with a Cannon XL1 on Sony 60EX tape stock. Over the years (started shooting in June 2000) I've had some head/alignment problems on my XL1 (fixed by Cannon) and, as a result, some bad tapes. Most tapes are in good condition but some tapes are now showing video/audio hits and TC drops. In order to save my tapes I've cloned the most critical ones from the miniDV master to DVCAM stock. As some of you may be aware, the DSR 2000 deck can compensate for audio/video hits making it possible to save marginal tapes while generating new (i.e. good) TC. Because I own a DSR 20, I first tried just renting the DSR 2000 as play back to clone to my DSR 20. Although this worked to solve many of my audio/video hit problems, the DSR 20 is seemingly not compatible with the DSR 2000 and occasionally generates bad TC (drops frames or TC just cuts out entirely). TC problems were so subtle on most tapes --- a few frames here and there -- that I did not even realize I had a problem until I had cloned over 40 hours!!!! Sony checked my DSR 20, said it was fine, and said the problem was a compatibility issue with the DRS 20 but didn't give me a straight answer as to why. I ended up renting a DSR 1500 (record) and DSR 2000 (playback) and got good video, audio and clean, continuous TC. Problem is one or two fluke tapes seem to play back better on my DSR 20 than they did on the DSR 2000 (go figure!). And, of course, I'd also like to avoid having to rent two decks in the future ....

Is there any way I can get good TC cloning from a DSR 20 to another DVCAM deck, ideally a DSR 11 (I currently have access to two of them for free)?

Does anyone know what caused my first clones (DSR 2000 to 20) to have bad TC? I have a bunch more miniDV tapes that I need to clone to DVCAM stock and I would be grateful to avoid another TC fiasco.

I would be grateful for any thoughts ... Thanks!
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Old October 15th, 2003, 12:47 PM   #2
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I don't have much answers for you, other then that DV TC isn't
professional TC and therefor isn't gauranteed to be OK all the
time. Do you really need that perfect TC?

I'm not sure whether your decks offer this, but some decks can
lay a new TC track without looking at the old one. This should
ensure a consistent TC track on the new tape.
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Old October 15th, 2003, 04:25 PM   #3
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Not sure I follow the first part of what you wrote ...

I need clean, continious TC in order to digitize my material.

Maybe I wasn't clear ... to date, I have been using two DV decks to create DVCAM clones with new TC. These are clones made from a mini DV master with bad TC ... the point is to generate new/good TC not clone the old/bad TC. I would like to use the deck I own ( the DSR 20 in combination with a rental or a borrowed DSR 11) to do more cloning in order to get DVCAM tapes with less audio/video hits and good/new TC. So far, it seems the DSR 20 is not compatible with the decks I've tried ... yes, I get new TC but it drops frames and in some places sticks for long periods of time, etc.

I would be grateful for any other comments!
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Old October 16th, 2003, 10:54 AM   #4
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So you're saying the deck you are dubbing to is not generating continuous time code? I've had this happen on occasion with Betacam decks when trying to dub tapes with interrupted time code. Most professional decks are sensitive to time code. Also it could be that in your original tapes there are breaks not just in time code but in the video signal itself due to your original head alignment trouble. On occasion I've had to dub VHS footage to Betacam or DVCAM, and it's always a hassle because of that issue. I've dubbed from a DSR20 to a UVW1800 and to a DSR1800 with no trouble.
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Old October 16th, 2003, 06:46 PM   #5
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To my knowledge the DSR11 will not clone time code it will generate new time code just like a consumer deck. I believe the DSR20 can be set to either clone time code or generate new time code. If all you want to do is create new clean time code then the DSR11 used as the recorder is likely your answer. I have a Sony DHR1000 consumer deck that I use to back up my miniDV tapes ( I use DVCam standard size tapes but DHR1000 will record in DV only not DVCam and thus can record up to 4 and half hours on the longest DVCam tape). I often use this process of copying to the DHR1000 to clean up and get continuous time code on tapes before editing.

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Old October 16th, 2003, 07:09 PM   #6
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Good point. I assumed he was letting the deck generate new time code, but if he has been trying to copy the original time code, that would be a problem, most likely. Still, if there is intermittant signal loss from the tape, the deck could screw up.
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Old October 16th, 2003, 07:35 PM   #7
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I am not sure about the DVCam decks but my DHR1000 will just create new time code and a clean video or insert black screen if no signal , and just keep going. This is exactly why I use it to clean up tapes that I make when on holiday when I will have rewound to look at what I have shot and don't always get back to the same place at the end of recorded material or battery runs out on me while recording etc. IF all else fails use a short Y/C cable and record the analogue. There will be a very slight degradations on this level of deck but there will be new time code and clean video signal on the new tape for sure!!!

Ron Evans
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Old October 17th, 2003, 11:15 AM   #8
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Thanks for the feedback but I'm not sure you read my post all that carefully ...

Yes, I am always generating new time code when I clone from MiniDv to DVCAM. With bad TC on the MiniDV master, there would be no point in doing otherwise.

Has anyone out there tried to make clones using a DSR 20? If so, have you found that this earlier generation of DVCAm deck is compatible with other DVCAM decks? Why, why not?

Sony says the DRS 20 and 40 (earlier generation decks) are not compatible with the DSR2000 and 1500. I'd like to know why.
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Old October 17th, 2003, 01:25 PM   #9
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It is your use of the word clone that I was responding to. If you had used copy I would have responded differently. Clone in my mind means an exact data copy of the original including time code which is what happens if you ask the DSR20 to clone a tape. I suggest you use the DSR20 as playback deck( I can't find the specs now but I didn't think the DSR20 recorded in DV mode only DVCam though it will playback DV) or even the camcorder if you still have it and record to the DSR2000 or the DSR11 and COPY not clone the tape. If you want to ensure the new tapes are playable for the future record on a new machine ( DSR2000 or DSR11 or even a new camcorder ). It seems to me that the DSR20 is your problem so definately do not use as the recorder. The newer DSR25 and up seems to have a range of copying options if you look on the Sony site.

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Old October 17th, 2003, 01:34 PM   #10
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Ron's correct, the term clone means and exact copy including TC. If you go to a Post House or duplicator and ask for a clone you'll get an exact copy, TC and all. A dupe with regenerated TC is what you want. Semantics aside these decks should not have a problem doing what you want. How do you have the TC set on the record deck?
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Old October 21st, 2003, 09:15 AM   #11
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Thanks for the semantics lecture. fascinating.

Anyway, I'd still love to hear from anyone who has constructive comments to pass along.
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Old October 21st, 2003, 11:55 AM   #12
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Quote:
I'd still love to hear from anyone who has constructive comments to pass along.
How do you have the TC set on the record deck? There should be on screen menus that allow the TC information to be set or changed.
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Old October 22nd, 2003, 05:49 AM   #13
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I found this while surfing for something completely different (well it was DV related). Might shed some light on what works with what between decks etc.

http://www.vtpcorp.com/htm/dvquest4.htm
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