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Ian Stark January 25th, 2008 03:02 AM

DigiBeta and Vegas
Good morning all,

I wonder if anyone could give me a 101 on using DigiBeta with Vegas 8 or perhaps point me to a tutorial or other post on the subject.

Here's my requirement:

My client has asked for a project to be shot on DigiBeta. I can obviously hire a DigiBeta crew with relative ease. But what happens then? How do I get the footage from the tape into Vegas (assuming that I don't have access to the camera after the shoot is over)? Do I need to convert the footage? I don't even understand what format the footage would be in! If Vegas can edit DigiBeta natively, would my quadcore with 2gb hack it? Do I need additional hardware? How do I get the edited footage back into DigiBeta?

More importantly - should I be convincing them to go down the HD route?

Their end target is for distribution as a freebie in a national newspaper but they have also been given the opportunity to have the film broadcast on two cable channels.

Until now I have been strictly a SD DV shop. What do I need to do to make my Vegas setup work with DigiBeta?

Any and all advice welcomed.


Ian . . .

Glenn Chan January 25th, 2008 09:35 AM

1- Generally speaking, you'd want to ingest the digibeta footage through SDI and store it as uncompressed (*certain Avid systems can't do this; they must capture with compression).

In Vegas system, you'd get a capture card from Aja or Decklink. (Check things like hardware compatibility and driver support very carefully.)

You also need a drive system fast enough to handle the bandwidth of uncompressed SD... two identical drives in RAID 0 might do it.

2- Another option is to do offline/online.

Edit at low quality on your system, and then re-capture all the footage and rebuild the project in an online system.

From Vegas, you would export an EDL via scripting (not file save as). ?Apparently that script has bugs if you work in PAL.?

If there are bugs, it should be fixable. When sending the EDL + all source material to the online editor, you also need to output a copy of what your offline looks like. Whoever is doing the online conform needs to check that every edit comes in correctly (you always need to do this because there will always be something that comes in wrong).

2b- When dubbing, preferably dub it onto DVCAM or miniDV with timecode burn. The timecode burn will help whoever is doing the online conform.

2c- Do 2-pops too.

2d- Talk to the online editor or his assistant beforehand. They have to sort out any mistakes you make, so you might as well talk to them beforehand and have good communication to avoid problems.


How do I get the edited footage back into DigiBeta?
You need a digibeta recorder, a SDI setup (described above). Depending on how picky the broadcaster is, it might also be extremely helpful to have a waveform monitor + vectorscope.

You need the tapes, the cabling. You need a blackburst/reference generator if your card doesn't have it. I can't remember what else you need.

Or... just get somebody else to put it onto digibeta for you. I believe this is cheaper.


If Vegas can edit DigiBeta natively
No system can edit digibeta natively as far as I know. It actually uses a light amount of compression. It decompresses to uncompressed when sent over SDI. (There is SDTI which will send the native compressed signal.... but I think it is only used to make lossless dubs. But you don't need to bother to do it.)

Ian Stark January 28th, 2008 09:45 AM

Glenn, many thanks for such a comprehensive reply. Lots to digest.

Don Donatello January 28th, 2008 12:21 PM

there are post/production houses that will capture digi beta to hard drive for $$hr .... i've tried places that had avid & another had mac with decklink card.
the Avid can capture 10bit or 8bit ... Vegas 7 could only use the 8 bit clips which had a .mov extension ... the 10 bit had a .MXF extension
the .mov plays back 2-3 fps - so i then made exact copies rendering using the dv.avi codec .... once edited i then hide the dv.avi clips and lead vegas to the uncompressed .mov clips ...

what about those extra 2 bits ?
IMO, you did choose digi beta for a reason and IMO if you are going to edit 8bit then why shoot 10 bit in 1st place ... might as well save $$ and shoot with a a DVcam 500 series camera or if you need 4:2:2 then a DVCpro camera ...

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