Importing analogue video into a DV project by Matt Ottewill

If you wish to incorporate non DV clips in a DV project you will need a piece of equipment capable of converting the analogue (VHS, Betamax, U-Matic, S-video, composite etc) or non DV digital (Hi-8, Video 8 etc) pictures into a DV data stream.

Canopus make a range of respected convertors that can take an S-Video or composite connection from any VCR or Camcorder and output a DV signal from its FireWire port for connection to a FireWire equipped computer.

The box also features sockets allowing you to connect a TV monitor on which you can watch your project as you import, edit and export.

Guidelines for Final Cut Pro

The Miglia has two disadvantages which to be fair are not its fault.

Device control

For obvious reasons, you cannot control your analogue or non-DV VCR or camcorder using Device Control protocols from your editing application.

Therefore Device Control must be disabled in the "Capture Settings" tab of Final Cut Pro's "Log and Capture" window by selecting "Non controllable device" in place of "FireWire PAL" (or NTCS). Then capture must be initiated with the "(Capture) Now" button and stopped with "Esc".

Audio clipping

If the audio tracks on your source tapes have too great a dynamic range and feature loud signals the Miglia may produced a digitally clipped audio signal.

The solution is to pass the audio signals, carried from your VCR or camcorder on the 2 phono leads of a composite connector cable, through an audio mixer where they can be attenuated prior to entering the Miglia.