Quantcast Distorted sound on Hi-Fi stereo VHS recordings? - digitalFAQ Forum
  #1  
01-12-2015, 02:01 AM
confusedperson confusedperson is offline
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I've recently taken to digitizing my dad's massive library of VHS recordings -- an impossible feat until recently because even DVD-Rs would take up too much room if I converted them all. It's only now, that you can get 2TB hard drives that fit in your hand, that the task has become practical.

When I got to some material from 1988 I was surprised to find they were taped hi-fi and in stereo -- I've never found a tape that was recorded in stereo this early.

My problem is, when I got to the 1990s I ran into a problem: there's this buzzing distortion on the sound. It gets worse if the tracking is really bad. I uploaded a sample of what I'm talking about here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r8Xk0BIbB1c

It is least noticable with the crowd at the beginning and most noticable when Carvey speaks. I don't think the problem is permanent -- if I adjust said tracking there's a small spot where the buzzing disappears, but then it comes through in mono, muffled sound (and also, there's a big noise bar in the middle of the screen). Is there something better I can do to get rid of the distortion and the buzzing?

Oh, and it's not the VCR. The tapes from 1988 sound perfect:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LUWnboT-WZo
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  #2  
01-13-2015, 01:42 PM
msgohan msgohan is offline
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I don't have much experience with VHS Hi-Fi myself, but I do know it's the toughest part of VHS to track. The only solution may be finding a different VCR that just so happens to track it properly.

Even then, people have posted in the past about needing to use a different tracking setting for audio than for video. They capture twice and then combine the two.
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01-15-2015, 04:58 PM
Quasipal Quasipal is offline
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I have noticed that early hifi VHS recordings (pre-NICAM) seem to vary in tracking ease when playing on a more modern VCR. Its because of the heads used and mechanism. Honestly, the best thing to do as recommended is to try another VCR. If you have access to a early 90's Panasonic they are good for that sort of problem tape. I use the NV-F70 and it is great for things like this. It was only 5 too so not expensive.
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02-03-2015, 02:28 PM
confusedperson confusedperson is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quasipal View Post
I have noticed that early hifi VHS recordings (pre-NICAM) seem to vary in tracking ease when playing on a more modern VCR. Its because of the heads used and mechanism. Honestly, the best thing to do as recommended is to try another VCR. If you have access to a early 90's Panasonic they are good for that sort of problem tape. I use the NV-F70 and it is great for things like this. It was only 5 too so not expensive.
That's a European model, aka PAL. I'm from America so I would need an NTSC machine. Any ideas there?
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  #5  
02-08-2015, 10:23 PM
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lordsmurf lordsmurf is offline
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We had VCRs in the 80s that were HiFi. High fidelity audio is decades old.

However, VHS HiFi often suffered from buzzing, especially on SLP/EP mode tapes. If the tracking wasn't 100% perfect, the audio was shot. You'd have to drop back to the linear track (often mono, sometimes not).

Mono is NOT muffled. That's a limitation of the VCR. JVC is very guilty of this, but Panasonic is not.

All of the advice here was good (use another VCR!), but it seems nobody knew the why/what.

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