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capture 08-01-2020 05:50 PM

Thumping sound in audio track?
Hi all. I am having an issue with capturing VHS to my computer. Here's the setup:

Panasonic DMR-E80H
ATI AIW 9000 Pro
Windows XP SP2 with VirtualDub

I get a constant thumping noise in the audio track and the audio seems a little out of sync. Sometimes the audio gets way out of sync with this same video. I don't know much about VCRs but I am wondering if it is something with the a/c head or a capacitor. This problem just developed within the last week.

I've narrowed it down to the VCR by using a different VCR to capture the same video in the same work flow and I do not have the thumping noise or sync issues with that VCR. I also took the top off the VCR and nothing looks physically wrong (like the tape is not slapping the audio head or anything that I can tell).

I uploaded a clip to Youtube. You have to have speakers with a decent low end to hear the noise. I can hear it when I use my speakers with a sub, but if I just listen through the monitor speakers, it is not as apparent. You can also best hear the thumping at the beginning of the video during the blue screen. Thanks in advance for any advice.

hodgey 08-02-2020 08:51 AM

I have a newer JVC deck (and 2 samsungs) that has a similar high-frequency noise on playback as is hearable in your clip, but not the thumping. I have yet to find out what the cause is though. I would suspect electronics, like e.g capacitors or other components more than the head being bad, though hard to say for sure.

Audio going out of sync on doesn't seem like somthing a VCR could cause by itself on the other hand. I am noticing some white streaks/lines in the video as well, are those new or is that just on the tape? If it's something new that could also be related.

Side note, looks like the E80H does some stabilizing, nice.

capture 08-02-2020 01:54 PM

Thanks for the reply. I can hear the higher frequency noise on an LCD TV too, but not the thumping. Again probably because the TV doesn't have the low end range.

I am thinking the audio sync issue may have been due to frequent rewinding/playback in a short amount of time (sometimes without stopping the tape first) because I haven't seen it again on the same tape. I think the white line is something with the tape. I can see it on both VCRs I have and it's always been there.

The E80H does greatly reduce dropped frames on a different tape I have that seems to be damaged. I'm happy with it for what I paid.

I've done some more investigation and I think my best option absent of getting a different VCR is extracting out the audio, processing it through a noise filter in Audacity, and then re-creating the AVI. It seems I am able to do that without having to do any re-encoding of audio or video. If the high frequency noise didn't show up on the TV, I would be tempted to try a dedicated sound card, but by the looks of it I will need to remove the noise regardless because it's from the VCR.

hodgey 08-02-2020 02:36 PM

Do you get the same thumping sound if the tape has hi-fi audio?

capture 08-02-2020 11:08 PM

All the tapes I have were recorded with a camcorder or VCR without hi-fi as far as I know.

lordsmurf 08-03-2020 08:59 AM

I've heard such things, in lots of items, be it TVs or VCRs or radio, going back decades. You have interference somewhere, feedback. The VCR is just presenting it, and is likely not the cause. It can be everything from dirty incoming power (and not using UPS; always use UPS!) to items being in too close proximity. This always requires diligent and meticulous process of elimination. An easy start is to take the VCR completely across the house, test it to a TV there. If gone, you know proximity is the issue. If present, you know it's likely either dirty power (or feedback), or the deck itself. Again, not likely to be the deck. Feedback has been such a problem for me in the past, that we'd cut non-essential breakers for tracing.

Panasonic DMR-E80H does almost nothing, in terms of TBC or TBC(ish) function.

I have seen many homemade 80s tapes with audio noise, and image ghosting noise. It's the cameras at fault. It's a hallmark of early 80s over-the-shoulder cameras.

capture 08-03-2020 07:07 PM

Thanks Lordsmurf. I don't have an ES10 or ES15 to compare to to know what I am missing as far as TBC(ish) functions so it's good to clarify what the E80H does so others aren't misled if they stumble on this thread. The benefit that I've seen was greatly reduced dropped or inserted frames on the home videos I am capturing. I don't know what you would call that, but it's been better than nothing.

hodgey 08-05-2020 10:46 AM

Judging by the posted clips it does seem to help at least, the image looks very stable, more than what you usually get without any sort of line-TBC, looks like more than "almost nothing" to me at least. Even if it's not quite as capable as the ES10 on very shitty tapes, it may be more than enough for most tapes.

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