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12-07-2022, 11:02 AM
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Hello. I just wanted to ping for any new or possible up-to-date recommendations/advice for VDub settings for using an ATI 600 USB on an XP machine in a TBC setup. I'm not sure how universal/lenient VDub settings can allow for or how individual tweaked it should be regarding this configuration. So far, I was simply progressing through Sanlyn's Guide followed by LordSmurf's Notes, which interestingly actually differ slightly. This info seemed unfinished but perhaps sufficient, as I was able to go from base VDub launch to recording a test video. I'm not sure if the Vdub tweaked settings will actually differ more based on the XP Capture System more so than the ATI 600 USB, and if so, I can provide more machine specs to help my individual case. By the end of this, I will publish in time my end-game settings to be vetted or what I've learned during this all process.

Some things to get out of the way/Info that I know so far:
  • Using the recommended VirtualDub 1.9. "LordSmurf's VDub"
  • Using recommended Huffyuv (not multi-threaded)
Specific Questions:
  • Timing: What settings should be used here? There are some conflicting info from Sanlyn's Guide as he does not have the top Drop/Insert frames checked, which I believe is actually recommended.
  • Vid Levels: One standout configuration setting regarding capture are Video Levels. Is there anything recommended here? I changed out of default and mistakenly didn't record what it initially was. Sanlyn suggests that this setting should be tinkered with based on the Histogram? Any additional information on this would be appreciated. (I admit that this is probably something I may just need to learn/familiarize myself with in general.)
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  #2  
12-07-2022, 04:45 PM
Hushpower Hushpower is offline
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Re levels, I do adjust mine depending on the tape. Here's some info I have made up.

Histogram use in VDub:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Tk9...usp=share_link

Graphstudio to access Levels Pro Amp controls during capture:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1DYx...usp=share_link
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  #3  
12-08-2022, 11:42 AM
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My settings changes matter quite a bit. Since sanlyn is now MIA, for over a year now, I may just update his guide myself.

This must be stated: Timing settings can vary per OS and card. Can. Not will. But there is a baseline starting point.

Screencap you timing settings. Let's do it that way. Attach to a post.

Levels is software based. You should just leave it alone, leave at defaults, adjust in other software. There's nothing that can be done here, that can be done better elsewhere (Premiere, VirtualDub, etc). Hardware correction must happen before the card, in a proc amp. This capture setting is heavily misleading, and should not exist.

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  #4  
12-08-2022, 05:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lordsmurf View Post
Levels is software based. You should just leave it alone, leave at defaults, adjust in other software.
In my mind, the purpose of a real proc amp is to adjust the levels so that an 8-bit ADC can capture everything. And then the purpose of a 12-bit ADC in the capture card is so you don't need the expense of a proc amp, you just tell the software what range of those 12-bits to capture into HuffYUV's 8-bits of luma.

I think if you were to do a capture with the brightness slider moved all the way down or all the way up, you wouldn't be able to recover much after the fact. But we could test it!
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  #5  
12-08-2022, 06:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hushpower View Post
Re levels, I do adjust mine depending on the tape.
In general, that's ideal. Everything is really per tape, every last detail and aspect of settings. You operate from the known safe/good starting points, then vary to the needs of the tape. But just note that proc amp gets more complex when the "tape" has so many scenes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by traal View Post
In my mind, the purpose of a real proc amp is to adjust the levels so that an 8-bit ADC can capture everything. And then the purpose of a 12-bit ADC in the capture card is so you don't need the expense of a proc amp, you just tell the software what range of those 12-bits to capture into HuffYUV's 8-bits of luma.
The problem here is that the software proc amp happens at the back end of the ingest/digitize, not the front end. At least every card I've seen. I guess input control could exist, in theory, but the layout of the ingest processes would have to be different.

This merits samples and further study, if you have certain cards in mind.

BTW, I'm not the only one saying this.

For example sharc, a very savvy user in his own right.
https://forum.doom9.org/showpost.php...6&postcount=62

Or Cornucopia, an almost-retired studio/broadcast professional:
https://forum.videohelp.com/threads/...rk#post2514375

I'm fairly certain this has been tested in years past, this site or VH. And the findings were that software proc amp showed zero different from post-capture color correction. But after 20+ years giving video advice online, I'm starting to forget what was said where and when.

In the MPEG capture days, I often used the ATI MMC proc amp. But never in VirtualDub, as the intention was further processing, and I could do color at that time, and more granular.

Quote:
But we could test it!
Let's do it.

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  #6  
12-08-2022, 07:07 PM
Hushpower Hushpower is offline
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I use my DVK-200 as a hardware proc amp. Seems to work well, it's much easier to twiddle the big knob to adjust levels than the capture card software proc amp sliders. Won't work with my HDMI capture flow though...
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  #7  
12-08-2022, 07:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hushpower View Post
my HDMI capture flow
What does that look like, source to final? Because this may explain the proc amp more.

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  #8  
12-08-2022, 08:58 PM
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Quote:
What does that look like, source to final?
I'm only dabbling at the moment but it is:

S5700AM > Sony HXD-890 HDMI > Splitter (DHCP Defeat) > Startech USB3HDCAP > VDub LAGS/HUFF/MagicYUV. I've also tried an EZ-48 and getting an EH-57.

HDMI captures look on-par with the conventional method.
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  #9  
12-09-2022, 12:40 AM
traal traal is offline
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Attached are three lossless cuts from the Video Essentials Laserdisc, trimmed with AviDemux so that each file shows the same same frames of the Laserdisc. For the "dark" file, I set the capture card's brightness control all the way down. For "light," I moved it all the way up. For "med", I set both brightness and contrast to avoid red on both sides of the histogram.

These were captured with a Diamond VC500 capture card straight from the Laserdisc player, composite video, with no TBC or comb filter or anything else in the middle.


Attached Files
File Type: avi VE-dark-trimmed.avi (2.87 MB, 6 downloads)
File Type: avi VE-light-trimmed.avi (2.99 MB, 3 downloads)
File Type: avi VE-med-trimmed.avi (2.91 MB, 2 downloads)
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  #10  
12-10-2022, 05:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lordsmurf View Post
My settings changes matter quite a bit. Since sanlyn is now MIA, for over a year now, I may just update his guide myself.

This must be stated: Timing settings can vary per OS and card. Can. Not will. But there is a baseline starting point.

Screencap you timing settings. Let's do it that way. Attach to a post.

Levels is software based. You should just leave it alone, leave at defaults, adjust in other software. There's nothing that can be done here, that can be done better elsewhere (Premiere, VirtualDub, etc). Hardware correction must happen before the card, in a proc amp. This capture setting is heavily misleading, and should not exist.
It might be easier for me to simply just re-install to get my defaults back. I actually don't have S-Video cables to test anything right now, but I could do composite. A proc amp though? I have to embarrassingly admit that I never considered one or even knew about them and their use case. I may have to forgo without one unless they are easily acquirable.
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  #11  
12-10-2022, 10:31 PM
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Good proc amps are harder to find than good TBCs, though less costly (both now and in the past).

Some TBCs have embedded proc amp, but there can be tradeoffs to get it, including costs. Also noting some TBC proc amps are weak, or have limited range.

It could take many months, even years, to track down one of the suggested proc amps. I've not had one in the marketplace for more than a year now, and generally only had 1-2 per year before that. These also have not aged well, and too often abused by hamfisted operators, cranking the knobs too hard. Most units you see now are beyond repair, board damage. And yes, of course, that includes the "working" and "tested" BS seen on eBay.

Like TBCs, lots of bad models, ancient worthless models. Very few quality models.

- SignVideo, Studio1, some late Vidicraft << all 3 are the same company out of Portland
- to lesser extent, Elite Video
- few sorta-kinda proc amp(ish) Sima (Cypress)

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  #12  
12-12-2022, 04:37 PM
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Here's one more capture of the same test frames, a "flat" capture where I set contrast very low (1000 on my Diamond VC500 capture card), then set brightness to max to put the histogram into the center. It restored better than I expected, adding only a little bit of grain.


Attached Files
File Type: avi VE-flat-trimmed.avi (2.52 MB, 2 downloads)
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  #13  
12-12-2022, 08:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hushpower View Post
Re levels, I do adjust mine depending on the tape. Here's some info I have made up.

Histogram use in VDub:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Tk9...usp=share_link

Graphstudio to access Levels Pro Amp controls during capture:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1DYx...usp=share_link
I read through these. I feel that know more than what I did before this, which is good lol. I haven't messed with Graphstudio yet, but I used Histogram in vdub going through this. Do you use both or one or the other? I read them, I swear, but I'm still not completely sure how to address the levels while viewing the histogram. Do you just keep it within the red lines between brightness and contrast and then eye-ball it from there? Or is that when Graphstudio takes over?
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  #14  
12-13-2022, 12:18 AM
Hushpower Hushpower is offline
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Quote:
Do you just keep it within the red lines between brightness and contrast and then eye-ball it from there?
That's it. The brightness controls the left edge of light-blue histogram curve (more brightness moves the left edge to the right, becoming more central, and vice versa. Aim to keep the left edge of the histogram near the left-hand red line. You can go over a bit to the left.

The contrast controls the right edge of the histogram. More contrast will move the edge to the right right. This is more critical than the brightness, so don't go into the edge zone past the red marker (if there is one). You'll see the histogram start to "pile up" against the limit.

As Lordsmurf says, don't blindly rely on the histogram: look closely at the light areas of your video for over-boosting to the point of white-out, where you can't retrieve any video information in POST. I find lower Brightness and higher contrast is good, to give you nice dark darks but not too bright lights.

The only purpose of Graphstudio is to give access to the proc amp tab when capturing/running your video, because in a lot of cases, as soon as you start playing your video, VDub won't allow you to get to the proc amp tab.
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  #15  
12-13-2022, 01:29 AM
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Just as a quick checkpoint in the thread, know that I don't mess with histograms unless I see something (wrong, off, odd, etc) that merits it. This is an area that I often consider overkill, but do not fault others that want to do it. And FYI, that quashes a (sometimes wrongly stated) idea that I seek some sort of ultimate quality, I just want/need some degree of quality.

And even then, as mentioned, these are just tools that measure, and measurements can lie. As I often state, math is art, not a rigid science. (And anybody that deals with higher level math, such as investing, physics, etc, know it.) The numbers can be biased, and tools are not unbiased. The mere existence of a tool tends to convey the bias of the creator.

I know, esoteric, philosophy. My point here is to not lose sight of what you're doing, why you're doing it, who you're doing it for. Use the tools, don't let the tools dictate to you.

I just don't want to see folks fall down a rabbit hole, and never finish projects. Feel free to travel down a rabbit hole, but don't fall.

Quite a few regular members go to this extreme level of detail, and are a wealth of info on the topic, to the extent that I can sometimes learn things (even after decades of capturing).

/ checkpoint

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  #16  
12-13-2022, 04:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lordsmurf View Post
Just as a quick checkpoint in the thread, know that I don't mess with histograms unless I see something (wrong, off, odd, etc) that merits it. This is an area that I often consider overkill, but do not fault others that want to do it. And FYI, that quashes a (sometimes wrongly stated) idea that I seek some sort of ultimate quality, I just want/need some degree of quality.

And even then, as mentioned, these are just tools that measure, and measurements can lie. As I often state, math is art, not a rigid science. (And anybody that deals with higher level math, such as investing, physics, etc, know it.) The numbers can be biased, and tools are not unbiased. The mere existence of a tool tends to convey the bias of the creator.

I know, esoteric, philosophy. My point here is to not lose sight of what you're doing, why you're doing it, who you're doing it for. Use the tools, don't let the tools dictate to you.

I just don't want to see folks fall down a rabbit hole, and never finish projects. Feel free to travel down a rabbit hole, but don't fall.

Quite a few regular members go to this extreme level of detail, and are a wealth of info on the topic, to the extent that I can sometimes learn things (even after decades of capturing).

/ checkpoint
I love this advice. Imagine jumping through every hoop imaginable and getting lost in the weeds somewhere buried in minutiae only to lose sight of the very goal you put all this energy into in the first place.


Quote:
Originally Posted by lordsmurf View Post
Screencap you timing settings. Let's do it that way. Attach to a post.
So I don't remember what I unchecked/changed my timing settings to beforehand. I went nuclear and ended up just reinstalling XP/everything altogether because come to find out, resetting VDub settings even after locating them in the registry was taking me longer than I thought it would have. Now everything is back to default and I know better to save settings before making changes.


Attached Images
File Type: jpg TimingSettingsDefault.JPG (37.6 KB, 3 downloads)
File Type: jpg LevelsDefault.JPG (8.0 KB, 0 downloads)
File Type: jpg newlevelswith1tape.JPG (7.1 KB, 0 downloads)
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  #17  
12-13-2022, 04:55 PM
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In the timing, with this exact card, this OS, do not force the audio clock. Uncheck it. That allows audio preview while capturing.

Did you run the ATI 600 USB audio hack yet? By default, it's too high, max (256). You need to normalize it down to 50% (128).

- WinXP Start menu > Run > type regedit
- search for "OEMSettings"
- it should be nested under

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Contro l\Class\{}
> #### (example 0001)
> settings
> OEMSettings

Add new DWORD value "AC97VolumeLN", with hex (decimal?) value of 128.

There are lots of keys in {}, with subkeys (000...), and it's never the same. Each system is different. On a new OS install, it'll be simple to find, not many keys. On an aged system, there will be lots of keys.

Also plug the ATI 600 USB into the same slot, preferably before booting. Different USB slots can cause new keys, and reboots may as well.

If you make the mistake of swapping the ATI around, either re-hack each instance, or remove those keys. Ideally removing is done NOT by deleting the registry keys, but instead using a utility that removes entries for devices (all entries for the device). Most people would be shocked at how the registry logs everything ever plugged in, external drives, flash/thumb drives, USB card, etc. Everything.

A better guide with images is in the forum, but I don't immediately see it.

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  #18  
12-13-2022, 06:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lordsmurf View Post
In the timing, with this exact card, this OS, do not force the audio clock. Uncheck it. That allows audio preview while capturing.

Did you run the ATI 600 USB audio hack yet? By default, it's too high, max (256). You need to normalize it down to 50% (128).

- WinXP Start menu > Run > type regedit
- search for "OEMSettings"
- it should be nested under

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Contro l\Class\{}
> #### (example 0001)
> settings
> OEMSettings

Add new DWORD value "AC97VolumeLN", with hex (decimal?) value of 128.

There are lots of keys in {}, with subkeys (000...), and it's never the same. Each system is different. On a new OS install, it'll be simple to find, not many keys. On an aged system, there will be lots of keys.

Also plug the ATI 600 USB into the same slot, preferably before booting. Different USB slots can cause new keys, and reboots may as well.

If you make the mistake of swapping the ATI around, either re-hack each instance, or remove those keys. Ideally removing is done NOT by deleting the registry keys, but instead using a utility that removes entries for devices (all entries for the device). Most people would be shocked at how the registry logs everything ever plugged in, external drives, flash/thumb drives, USB card, etc. Everything.

A better guide with images is in the forum, but I don't immediately see it.
No I hadn't. But I have now. I followed what you said and this:
Quote:
Start menu -> Run -> Type regedit.
Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Contro l\Class\{4D36E96C-E325-11CE-BFC1-08002BE10318}. There are a bunch of keys under Class with similar-looking strings of characters. The first block of the one that you want ends in "C". To double-check you're at the right spot, click on this key (it looks like a folder) and you should see the (Default) value as Sound, video and game controllers in the right-hand pane.
Under this key are a bunch of numbered subkeys. Expand any that have their own subkeys. You're looking for one that contains settings\OEMSettings. Hopefully you only have one of these entries, as narrowing down individual device installations is a bit more complicated.
Having located the correct device and navigated to OEMSettings, right-click on the right-hand pane and choose New -> DWORD (32-bit) Value.
Name it AC97VolumeLN.
I set it to 128 as recommended, but if I have time I could always play around with it.

-- merged --

in this section of the Capture Filter:

Video -> Capture Filter -> Video Decoder: [ ] VCR Input

Should this be checked? It's left unchecked by default. This picture came from Sayln's post as I was too lazy to take my own screenshoot, but mine is available to be checked and not greyed out.


Attached Images
File Type: png 3C Video - Capture filter Properties.png (13.9 KB, 1 downloads)
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  #19  
12-15-2022, 01:49 AM
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"VCR input" does nothing whatsoever.

Long answer: https://www.digitalfaq.com/forum/vid...t-setting.html

And the Pinnacle/Dazzle claims are nonsense, still a nothing. I've not read this myth in years (and almost hate dredging it up for that reason), but the BS claim long ago was that the little checkbox prevented needing a TBC. Ridiculous.

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