Recording straight to a Hard Drive

Xavion wrote on 8/23/2007, 12:59 PM
We've recently purchased Vegas 6 for use within our department to edit trainning classes, the classes typically run all day. We're trying
to find a way to record for more than the 60 min DV tapes allow, 5 to 6 hours would be more like it.

There is a product from focus enhancement (FS-4) that I wanted to purchase. However, I went on vacation for a week and on my return there were two acomdata 750 GB HD's on my desk. One of the technicians were ask to go to Fry's and purchase two large HD's.

Using a Laptop and Vegas 6 to capture, can we capture straight to the external HD's?

What are the Pro's and Con's?

I'm being told after capturing, I can edit the footage right from the HD's and that does not sound right.


RalphM wrote on 8/23/2007, 1:04 PM
You can capture direct to HDD, and you are ready to edit without the time needed to read in the tapes.

The disadvantage is that the large HDDs are bulky and need their own power supplies. It sounds like you are recording in a stationary setting, so that's not a big issue.

Be sure to turn off all other applications, including virus protection while you are capturing.

rs170a wrote on 8/23/2007, 1:36 PM
Ralph is correct. I've done up to 3 hr. captures without any issues whatsoever.
Get a 500 GB. hard drive, either internal or external (I use USB models) and you're all set.
It makes post production SO much easier :-)

Jeff Waters wrote on 8/23/2007, 5:35 PM
Interesting... so, do you capture directly to the Vegas Capture utility? What happens if you hit stop/start on the camcorder itself? Do you have to rearm the Vegas capture?
Steve Mann wrote on 8/23/2007, 7:45 PM
I've done this with three cameras, one laptop, one Firewire HDD and Scenalyzer Live.
RNLVideo wrote on 8/23/2007, 7:52 PM
I regularly capture several hours worth of video straight to hard drive using Vid Cap. I used to run tape as a backup, but stopped after many months of zero problems.

As I recall, with my VX-2000, starting & starting tape causes a momentary gap in the HDD recording (or maybe it was opening & closing the tape door...).

Hope that helps.... Rick
Terry Esslinger wrote on 8/23/2007, 10:56 PM
Take a look at DVRack by Serious Magic.
(Now Adobe)
busterkeaton wrote on 8/24/2007, 12:13 AM
From Wikipedia

Adobe OnLocation (formerly Serious Magic DV Rack) is a direct-to-disk recording and monitoring software. It was originally developed by Serious Magic Inc., which was acquired by Adobe Systems in 2006. It is, however, not available as a standalone product and can only be obtained with the purchase of Adobe Premiere Pro CS3.
Serena wrote on 8/24/2007, 2:04 AM
OnLocation is a great bit of software and bundling it into a very expensive bunch of stuff is a sure invitation for somebody to hack activation. Fortunately I also wanted the rest of the package.
PeterWright wrote on 8/24/2007, 2:23 AM
I have a Sony DR60 which fits neatly on the camera - much easier than running round with a laptop in the left hand!
I also used to use tape as back up, but this always caused problems when changing the tape - a brief break in the HD recording, so now I trust in the spinning disk and it goes for hours without problems.
farss wrote on 8/24/2007, 3:54 AM
Only problem with the damn DR60 is it costs around as much as buying CS3 just to get OnLocation and OnLocation gives you usefull thingies like meters. Not that I'm knocking the DR60, we have one and it's a great unit, well apart from the size of the LCD and the very sad slider switch. Works a dream with Vegas too but you've still got to buy more HDD space to move the data off onto for editing.

plasmavideo wrote on 8/24/2007, 6:24 AM
I recently recorded a classical music concert that went 90 minutes direct over firewire to an old laptop using Vegas. Nothing fancy - just an HP/Compaq 1.6 Ghz with the built in 80GB system hard drive and everything went like a breeze. The B roll camera still went to tape, as that did not absolutely have to be continuous, and I digitized that footage and synced the 2 up in post. If the second camera had not been a mobile one, I would have borrowed a second laptop to use with that.

First time I've tried it, and absolutely the best thing I have tried to date.

Siby wrote on 8/24/2007, 6:54 AM
I have a dought. Even you directly record to a harddrive, you still need a tape in the camera deck in order to turn on the recording mode right?. It is true for some of the pro-consumer cameras as I know.
Siby wrote on 8/24/2007, 6:54 AM
I have a dought. Even you directly record to a hard drive, you still need a tape in the camera deck in order to turn on the recording mode right?. It is true for some of the pro-consumer cameras as I know.
RalphM wrote on 8/24/2007, 7:01 AM
Most camcorders just have to be in camera mode but not record mode to pass through audio and video to their firewire out port (perhaps EU camcorders excepted)
RalphM wrote on 8/24/2007, 7:01 AM
Sorry, slow response getting double post - have to be more patient...
riredale wrote on 8/24/2007, 8:19 AM
Also check to see if the camcorder has an "auto shutoff" provision in one of the menus. My little HC3 HDV camcorder has such a switch, intended to keep beginners (or people like me) from leaving the camera on accidentally and running down the battery. You, of course, want to disable this feature if recording externally.
rs170a wrote on 8/24/2007, 8:34 AM
Also check to see if the camcorder has an "auto shutoff" provision...

And if none of the above work, leaving the tape door open usually does the trick.

Chienworks wrote on 8/24/2007, 9:02 AM
One other caution ... one camcorder i've had the dubious pleasure of using doesn't pick up ANY sound unless there is a tape in the bay. Take the tape out, and all audio inputs shut off. (Which design engineer, i ask, thought this was a good idea? I'd like to have a few speaks with that person and set them straight. *sigh*.) Of course, with a tape in, the camcorder auto-shuts off after 4 minutes unless the tape is moving. But anyway, if you need the camera's audio pickup make sure you test this before going on location and shooting.
Steve Mann wrote on 8/24/2007, 8:10 PM
You're the first that I've heard uses the DR60. Do you use it with HDV (I have Z1's) and has it been absolutely reliable?


PeterWright wrote on 8/24/2007, 9:48 PM
Yes Steve, I use it all the time with HDV, (Sony Z1 and A1), and it's been great. I now use it without linking its record start/stop to the camera, which means I have to start and stop it manually, but this does avoid any glitches which tend to happen when stopping/starting or changing tape.
It felt a little uneasy using it without tape backup the first time, but no let-downs yet.

The only minor down thing is that, just like capturing from tape, I occasionally get the two black frames from the DR60, but this seems to be a Vegas issue, not DR60.
These happen maybe once or twice per hour, and I've always been able to render to new track to get rid of them.
farss wrote on 8/24/2007, 10:52 PM
That's interesting that you're getting the same problem from the DR60!
So the efforts to dismiss the issue as being due to using cheap tape etc don't hold water.
Have you reported that to tech support?
It might also be a good idea to send them that very small file you had that 98% of us could repo the problem with. Last i heard here tech support were saying they couldn't repo the problem i.e. they're not even thinking about trying to fix it.

PeterWright wrote on 8/24/2007, 11:46 PM
Yes I told support about it around last March, Bob, and also told them they could download the same clip - in fact it's still there now.

I never did get their confirmation they had downloaded the clip and found the black frames - instead they told me I may have a corrupt installation and I should uninstall everything Sony or Sonic Foundry, clean the registry and start again. I didn't do this because I reasoned that those people who could see black frames couldn't ALL have corrupt installations, and besides, Vegas worked perfectly apart from this problem.

- incidentally that clip I posted with the black frames was my original test shoot with the DR60.
Soniclight wrote on 8/26/2007, 1:18 AM
Read this thread, got a sort of newbie Q:

I have recorded direct to my PC via Firewire as well as captured off of the miniDV of my albeit older, consumer cam. Here is the maybe "duh" question.

-- Is there any quality difference between direct record and the capture off of tape (does tape compression have any noticeable effect)? I.e. scene A direct record and scene A off-tape capture = identical?

Logic seems to make me think that the tape version would be "second generation" (since first recorded on skinny sliver of tape, then re-recorded to disk), so final result may lose quality.

But maybe digital is digital and my logic is assbackwards :)
John_Cline wrote on 8/26/2007, 1:24 AM
In the case of DV, digital is digital. There is no difference between capturing live to disk or capturing to disk from tape. (Assuming that there are no dropouts on the tape which the error correction can't handle. This is a very rare occurrence.)