Making Star Wars LD Backup. How Record Dolby? etc.

Discussion in 'Computers' started by Lee_H, May 15, 2005.

  1. Lee_H

    Lee_H Stunt Coordinator

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    Hi, this is the most informative forum I know on this subject.

    I am about to transfer my Laserdisc boxsets of the a movie collection onto DVD. I believe the discs are THX Dolby II.

    I would like to record these discs with full dolby sound just like the Laserdiscs.

    I have quite an extensive knowledge of sound, and have a studio for recording albums and bands and remixing myself, however i have never worked beyond stereo.

    Question: HOW DO I capture the video with the audio dolby surround?

    Then if im able to record, do i use the optical out from my laserdisc or the demod, into the optical in of my audigy extigy?

    If so would i record it in say steinberg wavelab or similar program? if so, how? and what file format to save it in etc, im new to surround.

    EQUIPMENT I USE,
    Sound: Audigy Extigy 2 platinum which has an optical input etc
    VIDEO: ATI Radeon Wonder 8500 or something...capture video really nicely

    IF I HAVE TO, im willing to record the video separately, and then play the movie again and record the video separetly, and then put them back together in a video editor.

    I use professional audio and video software all the time so that shouldnt hold me back.


    one side note question, i was ripping my buddys vhs of rad for him. i noticed the recorded file was perfect till half way through then there was a little bit of glitching here and there, does this mean i should be stopping the recording somewhere around an hour or a file size, and then resuming, and putting the files together in a video editor to avoid such problems?

    I really want to backup my movie, any help is great! I really would like to know how to record and or author dolby etc
     
  2. Tony Kwong

    Tony Kwong Supporting Actor

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    The easy way is just record it as a straight digital matrix 2ch PCM (You might want to do that with a better sampling card than the Audigy.) and let your prepro do the decoding.

    The hard way will be to use the captured 2 channel sound, process it with freeware besweet to separate it into multiple channels/file an then encode them toghter into a multichannel Dolby Digital file using surcode.

    You might want to post this in the Computer HTPC area, DOOM9 or a.v.l. As this has been discussed many times on other forums/newsgroups.
     
  3. ChristopherDAC

    ChristopherDAC Producer

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    1st. Discussion of this type of thing [copying of commercial video products] is not encouraged on this forum.

    2nd. What motive do you have for "backing up" your LaserDiscs, which should last out your lifetime if they've lasted this long, onto a recordable medium [with lossy compression] which may degrade into unusability within a few years?

    3d. The Star Wars Definitive Edition discs [this is the Fox Video boxset, 0693-84, I assume] are indeed "Dolby Stereo Surround". This means that the two-channel audio mix as present on the digital channels of the LaserDisc [the analog channels carry a commentary] was mixed down during recording from a 4-channel original master [Left, Right, Centre, Surround]. This was done for the theatrical release originally, to permit the reproduction of multichannel sound from the two audio tracks present on film. The four channels are recovered in a decoder via a "matrix" operation, such as that implemented by the Dolby Pro-Logic units present in virtually every multichannel reciever sold today. As long as you keep those stereo channels separate, therefore, and do not apply any additional processing to them, you will have recorded the full Dolby Surround signal as present on the disc. I advise using a digital connexion to record the files in their native 44.1 kSamples/second, 16 bit/channel-sample, 75fps PCM format as a .wav file, and if you must burn them to DVD use PCM stereo [an uncompressed audio format] and not Dolby Digital [a lossy compressed format, employing psychoacoustic masking which can interfere with the very information used to control the Dolby Surround decoder].

    Clear?
     
  4. Lee_H

    Lee_H Stunt Coordinator

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    ok sorry i didnt know where to post this. and i have no illegal intention for my copying...simple one copy backup that goes to noone else.

    my purpose is personal only. just in case something happens to my LD player, or the discs, or if i want to go to a friends house and watch the movie with him, chances are he wont have an LD player. (plus i want to keep my lds mint)

    As for the recording rates, perfectly clear thanks for the heads up.

    My only confusion is this. Am i to therefore just bring my optical from the LD to the PC, and record in my fav audio editor just as if its a stereo input? And then when i burn my dvd, it will play back as dolby surround? (ive never recorded anything from optical yet).

    I thought maybe you had to record with a special setting, and it would record the optical signal differently than when im recording a somple left right RCA input or something.

    Do i have to manually select dolby surround on my amp for the burned dvd? Or is there some special way to burn things in dolby surround format so the receiver recognizes it. I just dont want the resulting backup to be merely standard stereo is all.

    Im completely new to surround recording authoring rendering.

    If this post is redundant, could someone simply give me a URL link for the solution to this situation? I dont want to waste everyones time on this if it's already been answered.

    once again sorry if this is supposed to be in a different section or if im breaking a rule, it wasnt intentional. (if you want you can remove this posting..sorry)


    upon re-reading your explanation i understand it a bit more. you said to use the digital connection, and dont edit the left right channels at all and it should work great.

    i just burn the movie as i would any of the wedding or event videos i make for people all the time? just the video with its corresponding audio left right accompanying? Or do i have to burn the disc a special way or with a special option checked so taht the receiver knows to turn on the dolby surround instead of merely playing simple stereo?

    hrm dumb newby question, so does that matrix sort of work like a hi end and low end crossover of sorts? or just certain frequencies = different speakers between the sub and the rear surrounds?
     
  5. Jeff Adkins

    Jeff Adkins Screenwriter

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    I'm pretty sure backing up LD's to DVD-R is OK for discussion. Ron posted a big thread about backing up his LDs back when he got his first DVD-R Recorder. With the possibility of laser rot, a backup isn't a bad idea.

    Since he's not circumventing any copy protection (LDs had none), he's not violating any laws by backing up his LD for his own use.

    Jeff
     
  6. John Lloyd

    John Lloyd Stunt Coordinator

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  7. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
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    Just record the left and right channels from the LD, and encode them into the DVD authoring step. Upon playback of the DVD, just select Pro-logic or Pro-logic II to get the surround sound.
     
  8. Lee_H

    Lee_H Stunt Coordinator

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    thanks guys. i just read that long other forum, was informative but not directly applicable to my tiny question.

    ADMIN you have helped me understand that i can manually select the dolby surround on the unaltered simply recorded two channel audio source. However can i put a flag of sorts on the dvd so that it automatically turns on the dolby 2 like the laserdisc does? (would that mean i need to encode my audio to dd before burning?
    (not sure if it my lds auto pull up dolby on the receiver or not, havent started the process yet, and havent watched the lds in 6 months, but i think they did)

    do you guys think its possible to me to take the optical output from my demodulator, into the optical input of my audigy2 and that should go the trick?


    god ive been searching the net all day and cant find simple steps to recording dolby from externaal sources via optical.
     
  9. PeterTHX

    PeterTHX Cinematographer

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    One: they can still rot.

    Two: LaserDisc players die. Spare parts and replacement players are becoming more & more rare.
     
  10. Lee_H

    Lee_H Stunt Coordinator

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    just to be clear...this is the original ld box, not the se, so there is no 5.1 etc...so there is no need for demod.

    so....i guess this is what im supposed to do, correct me if im wrong.

    Im going to take the optical out from my laserdisc player, and feed it into my audigy2 optical input. i am just recording it with my favorite wave editor and saving it unaltered as a wave 16 bit 44.1

    i now just burn that audio and video to dvd with say ulead dvd workshop and it should still be dolby decodable as long as i didnt do any effects to the audio.

    two questions

    usually i take my video, capture it and encode it to mpeg-2 format and burn that to dvd. problem is i THINK the ntsc dvd format encodes it to mpeg compression audio at 224 kbps etc...so that would mess up the dolby? i guess i would therefore have to set a custom output setting that allows the raw wave to be output? if so would burning the dvd with ulead dvd workshop mess that up when i burn it?

    secondly, if i simply turned up the audio if the level was low, would that screw up the dolby encoding?


    im going to ATTEMPT to set the input on my video capture card to record from the optical in directly so there is no sync issues. but i guess even on that i gotta make sure its not encoding the audio to something other that wav.

    one last tech note, i think recording at 44.1 is good, but when it makes the dvd, arent dvds 48? and therefore it will change the dolby coding and lose the surround?
     
  11. ChristopherDAC

    ChristopherDAC Producer

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    If you treat the Dolby Stereo soundtrack as if it were plain stereo, you will be OK -- because, in effect, it is. The optical input on your soundcard is ideal since it will capture the digital audio stream pristinely. If your DVD authoring programme is encoding the audio to any kind of MPEG audio-compression format, there is something wrong, because MPEG audio is only used on PAL DVDs; the audio formats for NTSC DVD are Dolby Digital AC-3 [which is related to Dolby Stereo only in being a product of the same organisation] or PCM [which is the one you want to use]. If you think the recording levels are too low, you could bump them up without affecting anything as long as you use the same bump on both channels, but why not just turn up the volume when you listen? As for turning on the Pro-Logic decoder automatically, I don't think there is a flag for that since Pro-Logic is an optional listening mode [the soundtrack is just fine played back as plain stereo]. Since the "Dolby coding" was done in the analog domain to begin with, the sample rate change should not have too much effect, although it may increase the total level of audio distortion and noise slightly. I would simply leave the resampling to the last step [encoding/authoring] unless you have some programme or device which you know employs a superior technique.

    If a disc hasn't begun to rot yet, it won't. It will degrade slowly as time goes by, and twenty or fifty years from now it may begin to show signs of age, but the sudden catastrophic decay of "laser rot" starts pretty soon after pressing, and no LDs have been pressed for three years now. DVD recordable media, on the other hand, suffer along with similar items from dye instability. They're reliable for five years or so, generally, but beyond that?
    Pioneer still provide parts for the VP-1000, their first consumer player, marketed a good 25 years ago, and although their Authorised Service Centres are not thick on the ground the technicians at well-established local HT stores frequently do a very good job with LDPs. The ones to look for are those who have also had a good line of professional A/V business, as far more units were sold into that market.
     
  12. GregK

    GregK Screenwriter

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    The option of setting the Dolby Pro-Logic decoding flag in the Dolby Digital meta-data stream is normally only found in higher end ($$) Dolby Digital encoders. But if your DD 2.0 encoding is not flagged as a surround recording, it *doesn't* mean the surround information is lost. It only means if you have a DD "flag reading" receiver for DD 2.0 material, you will have to manually trigger the Dolby Pro-Logic decoding when playing this disc.

    Dolby's surround track is encoded via phase encoding by using two audio channels. This is a very simplified way of saying it, but is still correct. As long as the two audio channels are treated the same throughout the capturing and authoring process and not blended in any way, the proper surround and center encoded channels should be fine. Minor audio level adjustments (sans balance adjusts) shouldn't hurt. All 2.0 Dolby Digital Bitrates should be fine. The 48 or 44.1 khz sampling rate won't affect surround decoding either. MPEG-2 audio encoding for the most part should be OK for capturing, but if you can capture the audio as uncompressed PCM and compress it (to Dolby Digital) just before authoring the DVD, it will probably yeild the cleanest audio possible, with fewer compression artifacts.
     
  13. Lee_H

    Lee_H Stunt Coordinator

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    thanx chris youve been VERY informative...

    i will treat it as normal stereo then, in fact thats great!

    i understand your suggestion to turn up the level BEFORE entering the pc, so that no post levelling is necessary. But what i was intending to do was take the raw level out from the optical output on the laserdisc player and feed that directly into the pc. i dont think there is any amplification options on the ld player.

    would you therefore suggest to take the optical out from my main theater amp instead if it is too low?

    as for my mpeg statement, lets say i capture the video, i often might edit the video in vegas and save as template format DVD NTSC in mainconcept mpeg-2 (in brackets it says "Audio: 224 Kbps, 48,000 Hz, Layer 2
    Video: 29.97 fps, 720x480
    Use this setting to create an MPEG-2 file with an NTSC DVD-compliant video stream, and an MPEG layer 2 audio stream."

    should i customize that template so taht the audio is still wav?

    should i be saving in some other format? there are other available outputs like avi and ac3 and wmv etc. or what is the best to use, i thought mpeg-2 was what you had to make dvds from.

    as for the capture card itself i think my dvd setting for initial capture says "mpeg-2 720 by 480, 8 Mb/second, AUDIO 44.1 khz, 16 bit stereo".

    i think my capture card lets me select whatever audio input i want from the computer, so i could select the optical directly and hense not worry about sync and reedit compensation.

    but i usually take these files and trim the beginnings and ends or edit them in vegas, and then thats where the output thing comes into play.

    any help here is very greatly appreciated, because i think im ALMOST at a point where i can begin doing this!

    Thank SOOO much for your help guys!

    quick quest, is uncompressed pcm the same as a plain 16 bit 44.1 wave file or is it a different setting? and greg you said compress it to dolby digital? does that require a special codec or external program, or is that part of something like an export option in vegas? because if the pcm is just a wave , then compression of file...argh im sooo green sorry

    BUT I KNOW IM ALMOST THERE GUYS dont give up on this fool now! heh
     
  14. john mcfadden

    john mcfadden Stunt Coordinator

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    None of this would be necessarry if the original versions were available


    Luca$ = A$$hole !!!

    I ripped mine to DVD the moment i bought a DVD recorder , and i played them for my nephews recently and they loved it . Projected on my 150 ft screen didnt hurt either . However i did have to configure the sound a bit ( i downmixed the tracks into analog surround , so all 5 speakers and the sub was kicking .

    The pure joy i got watching them watch the films for the first time is utterly priceless.

    Thank God the discs didnt rot before i ripped them !!!

    Good luck Lee , I hope it all works out for you !!
     
  15. ElevSkyMovie

    ElevSkyMovie Supporting Actor

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    If you leave the audio in PCM (which is the best way to go), I don't think you'll have room to fit it all on one disc. Each movie will probably have to be split and put on two discs.
     
  16. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
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    I'm moving this over to the PC/HTPC area because this issue crops up in this area more, and it's not really suitable for the software area.
     
  17. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
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    If you have the WAV file, I run it through this to create AC3 files from WAV files. But I usually bump up the volume level of the WAV file first, save that WAV file and process that WAV file for AC3 because crushing it into an AC3 file will lower the playback volume level later (at least that's been my experience).

    (I usually use 384kbs or 448kps bitrate to balance diskspace taken up by the audio and audio quality, otherwise, your WAV file will take up around 1.2GB-1.5GB on the DVD for 2 hours or so of content)

    Once you get your AC3 file , you can use that as the audio portion in the DVD authoring stage.
     
  18. DaViD Boulet

    DaViD Boulet Lead Actor

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    Please don't take that glorious PCM and compress it to 2-channel Dolby Digital.

    Leave it alone!

    Also, flagging data to auto-engage your deocoder only has to do with Dolby Digital compressed signals. You'll have to manually turn on surround decoding with PCM but big deal...you'll have full fidelity.

    I know that PCM takes up a lot of space...but in this case it's worth it. The PQ of those laserdiscs already sucks big-time...but the auido is absolutely tremendous...so don't dumb-down the audio for the already crappy picture...if anything, give the PCM full fidelity and then cheat a little on video bit-rate or move the movie over 2 discs. My humble opinion of course [​IMG]


    yes. 100% in-phase material (mono) is filtered out of the L/R and sent to the center channel. 180 degrees out-of-phase info is sent to the rears...and I think only frequencies above 80Hz are utlized.

    Dolby Prologic is a lot like that old hafler decoders.

    Oh...you can "surround decode" just about any stereo signal...though I like to leave things alone if they are music-only as the processing almost always degrades sound slightly. The reason we do it for movies is becasue:

    a: we want center stuff locked center for a bunch of people sitting side-by-side on the couch

    b: you want stuff that the audio mixers intended to be "behind you" to be behind you.
     
  19. Lee_H

    Lee_H Stunt Coordinator

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    thanx john...

    ok i have learned from all of you i will definately leave it PCM

    ok so is PCM format when i save the audio file as a standard .wav? 44.1 16? or is there a specific .PCM file format.
    (I think i remember seeing ADPCM or something in wav properties in one of my audio programs) but it sounds to me like its just a normal wav? -PLEASE SOMEONE ADDRESS THIS NEWBY QUESTION-

    As for spanning dvds, i think im going to add a dual layer dvd burner to my pc. right now i have a sony rw that burns + and minus. Im going to try to find a dual layer one that also does rewritables and plus and minus. are dual layer ONLY plus btw?

    Hopefully if i have dual layer, i can keep each movie one one disc.

    The GOOD thing about this is that i used to do photo and movie editing on the graphics side, and special effects so i MIGHT be able to clean up the picture and sharpen it a bit IF it needs it. I plan on imitating the packaging on the latest DVD release of the original SWs just so they match, chapter setups and all.

    As for the flags, manual turning on of dolby is fine with me too.

    SO to finish up...im saving the video files with uncompressed audio wav right? that is pcm?

    i dont need to do that ac3 conversion then? i would like to leave it pcm and just turn on the dolby manually.

    i just dont understand EXACTLY what pcm means, or what file format that is...wav is just my guess...can someone tell me.

    i want to thank you guys again, this is why this is my favorite movie board to surf...very informative friendly people...kick a$$!
     
  20. DaViD Boulet

    DaViD Boulet Lead Actor

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    PCM is pretty much a .wav format...the full acronym is "LPCM" for Linear Pulse Code Modulated and it means old-fashioned uncompressed sampled digital audio using bit-words to represent the amplitude of the waveform.

    16/44.1 is an example of PCM. As is 24/196.

    Laserdisc and CD record digital auido in LPCM at 16/44.1 resolution (LD also encoded DTS and AC-3 bitstreams as well but let's stick with talking about PCM). The PCM on DVD at its lowest resolution is supposed to be 16/48...so I'm guessing you may have to sample-rate convert to 48 kHz. Is that so? Others with more knowledge chime in.

    PCM on DVD can go as high as 24/96 and I believe up to 7 channels but I've only seen PCM in 2.0 "stereo" form on video DVD.
     

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