The process of digitizing from an analog source has a number of caveats that you should be aware of before you attempt it. The actual process is fairly similar to that of digitizing a DV clip except that:
When digitizing analog, the computer must convert the analog information stored on the tape to a digital format that can be stored on the hard drive.
To do this, you need a fast CPU, a very quick hard drive, and a computer that has been optimized until it squeaks. If you don't have this enviable PC configuration, you will experience dropped frames, which means the media clips will appear to stutter during playback.
The quality of the tape and the output quality of the camera or VHS recorder will also factor into this volatile equation. Cheap recorders from the local discount store are unlikely to give good results.
You will not have any control over the playback functions of the analog camera or VHS recorder unless you use an RS422 control device such as a BetacamSP.
You may see sound synchronization problems where the action on the screen does not match the audio. Sometimes this can be only a few frames out, but when this is applied to someone talking at the camera, the lack of lip synchronization is irritatingly obvious.
If you have the option, either capture the material to Mini DV first or pass the analog signal through a DV device and capture it via FireWire. The first of these options allows you to use device control and timecode; the second option will only filter the analog signal in an attempt to reduce problems with dropped frames and poor sound synchronization.
To digitize analog
With the Logging Tool open, and after you have selected or typed in the name of a Reel, alter the input settings to accept analog by clicking the Edit player box once.
Select Live from the drop-down list (Figure 2.31).
Figure 2.31. Selecting the Live setting in preparation for analog capture.
You are prompted to enter the name of the tape again.
Click the check mark.
The timecode counter begins showing the Time of Daythis is a reference point for the editor onlyand the status window shows the command Play (Figure 2.32).
Figure 2.32. Timecode is displayed as "Time of Day". This example shows 17:45 & 29 seconds & 5 frames.
Click once on the button to bring up the Player Settings and open the Connections tab (Figure 2.33).
Figure 2.33. Depending on what hardware you have attached, you will see various input options here. These are the input options for the MovieBox Pro.
Alter the video and audio inputs to those available in the drop-down box and close the dialog box by clicking the Running Man button .
Press play on your camera or VHS recorder.
The Inlay should display the contents of your tape.
Click the Digitize button or press N and the Logging Tool will begin digitizing until you click the Digitize button or press N again.
During this process, the media will be digitized to the hard drive specified in the Media Management box and will appear in whichever folder is specified in the Create Rack box .
To change either one, simply click the box and select from the choices given. See "Touring the Logging Tool" at the beginning of this chapter for further details.
If the Inlay is black or the Digitize button remains gray, you may have to check your player settings to see if they are correct and that the cables are correctly connected between your analog source and the computer.