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Author Topic: 8 mm audience video audio issue - opinions?  (Read 2975 times)

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Offline echo1434

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8 mm audience video audio issue - opinions?
« on: March 08, 2012, 07:47:12 PM »
I've been milling on this issue for a while now... A few years back, I found this guy online who had some rare audience video masters that were mostly done on 8 mm format in the early '90s.

Actually, it was my friend who originally found this guy - and at the time he did not have the capability to transfer his shows to DVD, so the way he preferred to distribute his shows was on copies to VHS (the 8 mm master dubbed to VHS).

Well, the idea of the extra analog gen bugged me, so I finally contacted the guy directly and basically begged him to let me borrow his masters so that I could transfer them to digital myself. I offered to send him some rare material from a different band in return, and he eventually he agreed and supposedly sent me his original 8 mm tapes of several shows.

However, the first thing that I noticed was that these tapes had virtually no bass whatsoever. The picture was very clear, but the audio was incredibly thin. On the other hand, my friend's first-gen VHS copies (which my friend put to DVD) had a much fuller bass sound. Additionally, some of these shows have had been circulated in years past on multi-gen VHS tapes, and they also had way more bass than these "masters" I was holding.

At first I thought it was my equipment, but I easily ruled that out. I tried using three different high-end Sony decks and they all produced the same result, regardless if I was doing an analog capture or using the DV output that some of the decks provided. My friend didn't do any editing to the audio from his VHS copies, and we are both using similar high-end capture cards - so these are not the issue either (I've never had an issue with any other tapes except for this guy's).

Anyway, something just doesn't add up here. The reason I'm asking now is because I was thinking about trying to obtain a few more tapes from this guy, but I'm starting to wonder if he's lying to me about sending the actual masters, and really just making some kind of hazy 8 mm > 8 mm copies with a deck that has some kind of audio issue that reduces the bass. Either that, or when he makes VHS dubs he must be's using some kind of "bass enhancement" that gives the VHS copies a fuller sound. However, this guy is pretty technically challanged and I think it's very difficult to make natural sounding bass from something that doesn't exist in the first place....

I've also ruled out the possibility that the tapes had somehow degraded by the time they reached me, as my friend obtained the VHS copies only a few months before (and the picture quality was still great.)

For the record, I don't think this guy really has any vested interest in me getting the best results out of all this, and I've always found him to be a bit shady - but then again I don't understand why he would lie to me about all this.

Besides that, I really have very little experience with the 8 mm format... Does anyone have any idea what's going on here?  I'm sure if I obtained a new first-gen VHS copy of one of the masters I already transferred the bass would magically reappear somehow!

Ok, thanks for reading my somehwat strange and possibily confusing post. Any insight would be appreciated!

Offline shoestringconcerts

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Re: 8 mm audience video audio issue - opinions?
« Reply #1 on: March 09, 2012, 07:54:30 AM »
should be fairly obvious if an 8mm tape is 20 years old or not.
It is possible he is sending you an '8mm clone' that was dubbed way back.  But if that was the case he would have likely done all his VHS dumps from a similar clone. 

If these are rare and special make sure your capturing them to DV codec so they are preserved in best quality.  or you can do an 8mm > dig8 clone using a couple sony Dig8 cams.

I am also curious whats then band(s) are.  would you inbox me?
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Offline echo1434

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Re: 8 mm audience video audio issue - opinions?
« Reply #2 on: March 13, 2012, 07:04:58 AM »
should be fairly obvious if an 8mm tape is 20 years old or not.

I'm not sure what you mean by this... Do you mean the tape physically itself?  The tape was in perfect condition, and the video quality was amazingly perfect for its (supposed) age - it's just the audio that is incredibly thin-sounding.

I've seen some test captures from my friend who had the first-gen VHS tapes, and they look comparable in quality. I want to say my video transfers look a bit better, but it's impossible to make a direct comparison as we are not using the exact same hardware/software.

So anyway, I still have no idea what's going on here...  ???

Offline shoestringconcerts

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Re: 8 mm audience video audio issue - opinions?
« Reply #3 on: March 13, 2012, 12:26:58 PM »
should be fairly obvious if an 8mm tape is 20 years old or not.

I'm not sure what you mean by this... Do you mean the tape physically itself? 
So anyway, I still have no idea what's going on here...  ???

8mm tapes from 20 years ago would look different than a modern 8mm tape.  The tape should 'look' 20 years old.
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Offline beatkilla

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Re: 8 mm audience video audio issue - opinions?
« Reply #4 on: March 13, 2012, 07:54:46 PM »
I would think that the 8mm camcorders internal mic would produce a very thin recording to begin with. Maybe he used an external mic with wind cut or low cut. I would just eq it.ive never heard any camcorder audio that had great sound to begin with.

Offline echo1434

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Re: 8 mm audience video audio issue - opinions?
« Reply #5 on: March 13, 2012, 08:41:50 PM »
I would think that the 8mm camcorders internal mic would produce a very thin recording to begin with. Maybe he used an external mic with wind cut or low cut. I would just eq it.ive never heard any camcorder audio that had great sound to begin with.
The camera audio is defintely not great, just "very good for a camcorder."  It just doesn't make sense how the VHS copies sound fuller (I severely doubt he did anything to them to enhance the sound). I've experimented with EQ, adding bass in all kinds of various ways, but it just never sounds natural like the generated VHS copies of the same version.

I thought perhaps someone with more experience with 8 mm format might have encountered something similar before. I know, probably a long shot...

Offline guitard

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Re: 8 mm audience video audio issue - opinions?
« Reply #6 on: March 18, 2012, 06:17:53 AM »
Post clips from the two different tapes.  It would be interesting to hear the difference.
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Offline techgui

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Re: 8 mm audience video audio issue - opinions?
« Reply #7 on: March 20, 2012, 12:14:21 PM »
He may have misunderstood and just made you an 8mm tape from his vhs copy.  All 8mm recorders have very good sound quality (especially with external mics) vastly superior to vhs.  VHS won the format war because of recording time not video or sound quality.  If the 8mm copy is less quality than the VHS, he's playing games.

runonce

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Re: 8 mm audience video audio issue - opinions?
« Reply #8 on: March 20, 2012, 12:30:11 PM »
I would think a lot of VHS decks would have no level control - and likely an auto level - perhaps the auto-level is bringing up the audio a bit more, making it sound a bit more plump.

Also - is there the possibility that there is undecoded noise reduction in play? You might have to study the tech details of his mastering camera.

 

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