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Thread: Using a VCR as a 2 Track Audio Recorder??

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    Using a VCR as a 2 Track Audio Recorder??

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    Guys, is there any way to turn a VCR into a two track just audio recorder? I'm in need of a simple recorder that's portable and could bring to friend's houses to jam and record. Any thoughts?

    Thanks!

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    here: https://homerecording.com/bbs/showthread.php?t=182874

    do it if this is the only option.

    /respects
    Knowledge is calculable, Ignorance has no limits.
    Dr ZEE
    MZE | Dr ZEE WORKSHOP

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    Arrow It can yield a pretty good recording, and they don't call it "VHS Hifi" for nothing!

    The only thing to watch out for is the AGC, (Automatic Gain Control), which can make the music pump a bit if it's highly dynamic, and it will cause the natural hiss of the system to rise on quiet passages, but if your music only varies between "loud" and "louder", then you should be fine, if not quite impressed.

    When recording live-to-stereo, the live-mix becomes essential. I'm sure you have that down-pat, but I always liked to use my standard cassette deck as a front end, with stereo mics on 1/4" plugs, using the cassette deck's preamps and going RCA-RCA to the VCR. It worked pretty well for me, and the recordings are genuine stereo hifi. With a few limitations or considerations, it's cool for the quick & dirty recording setup to stereo that actually sounds pretty good. There's nothing wrong with using a larger mixer to front end the VCR, too.

    Enough said.
    Good luck!
    Quote Originally Posted by Lt. Bob
    ... subtleties of sound make a difference to those who really listen.

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    Thanks very much for the replies. This forum is really great!

    I should have been a little clearer with my question... I was thinking that considering you have this large bandwidth and wide tape to record the video and audio, is there a way to change the video head to record audio and use the full width of the tape?

    Thanks

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    RCA used to sell a deck that could used the video heads for recording audio and claimed CD quality. I had one and it did sound very good. But there was some design flaw with the transport system and it was always breaking down. Its replacement did the same and I traded it for an SVHS deck. Still, when it worked, it sounded really good.


    (the other down side was the tapes where incompatible with other, standard decks.)

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    Quote Originally Posted by test212test
    ...is there a way to change the video head to record audio and use the full width of the tape?
    in short the answer is: No. (or say: "Forget about it )
    If you wish to dig into the freakiness of vcr and all the stuff you can find bunch of info. It's pretty boring or you may find it interesting...depends.
    Also HiFi stereo on VHS is very freaky thing. The way it works is rather closer to the way weed whacker works than to the way analog recording works ..heh heh

    here some sources for general info, that I could scan in a hurry:
    http://electronics.howstuffworks.com/vcr2.htm
    http://www.videouniversity.com/audio1.htm
    http://www.tpub.com/neets/book23/100.htm
    http://www.fixer.com/osm/video-heads/diff.html

    /respects
    Knowledge is calculable, Ignorance has no limits.
    Dr ZEE
    MZE | Dr ZEE WORKSHOP

  7. #7
    Beck Guest
    VHS HI-FI at SP speed has pretty good specs and good potential for recording. Beta HI-FI is better and used to be pretty popular for mastering.

    The effective tape speed is much faster than the actual tape speed because of the rotating heads. Beta uses the video head to record the stereo AFM HI-FI signal between the chrominance and luminance signals. The effective tape speed is around 270 ips.

    VHS uses two additional rotating heads to handle the stereo HI-FI signal. The specs are similar to Beta. The automatic level control can be a problem if your VCR has that. You really need a switch to defeat it.

    We are talking about HI-FI, right? If you just have a VHS stereo machine itís not the same.

    More from the thread below on beta:

    http://www.homerecording.com/bbs/sho...ta#post1551064

    -Tim

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    U Matic

    Have any of you ever recorded into a U-Matic?
    These old machines (early mid 80's in Australia) were not used domestically in Australia but schools etc. had them. They had stereo in with level controls BUT were enormous & the cassettes were about the size of 1 1/2 VHS tapes & were only 1hr long.
    I had fun playing with them though. I only got rid of mine about 6 years ago.
    Cheers
    rayC

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    Quote Originally Posted by rayc
    Have any of you ever recorded into a U-Matic?

    rayC
    We are in the process of retiring our Umatic SP systems at work. I still think they look better than DVCAM, especially in the blacks.

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    ok. linking is easy, but I know that people often don't have time etc.
    so, I just want to highlight here the important stuff as I think.
    Quote Originally Posted by Beck
    It does not behave like analog tape though because it uses audio frequency modulation (AFM) to lay down the hi-fi audio using the rotating video head. If the levels are too hot it does not compress like reel-to-reel, but reacts with harsh distortion more like digital.
    Right you are ! What you are "laying down" and how you lay it down - puts the tape out of picture. Another words tape never faces the recording signal as is (well, "as is", in a sense), but instead accepts a specifically prepared "dietetic meal":
    FM RECORD ELECTRONICS

    FM record electronics process signals to be recorded differently than direct record electronics. Instead of recording the input signal just as it appears at the recorder's input, FM record electronics use the input signal to vary (modulate) the carrier frequency of a record oscillator. The frequency modulated output signal of the record oscillator then becomes the signal that's actually recorded onto the magnetic media. Figure 5-4 shows a block diagram of the FM record electronics.

    SEE Figure 5-4. - FM record electronics.
    FM record electronics consist of three main parts:

    Input pre-amplifier circuit.

    This circuit does two things: (a) it serves as an impedance matcher between the signal source and the magnetic recorder, and (b) it pre-amplifies the input signal.

    Record oscillator circuit.

    This circuit generates a carrier signal onto which the input signal will be modulated. The input signal is used to vary (frequency modulate) the carrier signal. This is how the input signal gets frequency modulated onto the carrier signal. The output of this circuit is the frequency-modulated carrier signal.

    The center frequency of the carrier depends on two things: (a) the bandwidth of the signal you're recording, and (b) the media onto which you're recording.

    For magnetic tape, the carrier frequency can be as low as 1.688 kHz for an operating tape speed of 1-7/8 inches per second, and as high as 900 kHz for 120 inches per second.

    Head driver circuit. This circuit takes the frequency-modulated output from the record oscillator circuit, amplifies it, and sends it to the magnetic head for recording. The output level of this circuit is set to be just below the magnetic saturation point of the magnetic media.
    (credits: from this source )
    **********
    In respect to audio-recording: It ain't analog per say as we know it with all the goods that we love analog for , DAMN IT!
    Yeah, I know - it's hi-fi, low noise, clear sound, very impressive specifications on paper and in the lab. Sounds familiar?

    o.k.
    couple more links in respects to vhs vs betamax (general info):
    VHS
    Betamax
    Knowledge is calculable, Ignorance has no limits.
    Dr ZEE
    MZE | Dr ZEE WORKSHOP

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