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dubbing voice/music onto a DVD

by rbech / February 26, 2009 11:25 PM PST

I have a Toshiba D-VR610 VCR/DVD combo unit and it works great converting my tapes to DVDs. However, I have some old silent 8mm tapes that I put on VCR tape. Now I want to put these on a DVD. But, I want to add some background music and voice. I can't do this with my current equipment I don't believe. What are my options to accomplish this without spending a fortune?? Any suggestions would be appreciated!

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dubbing voice/audio onto a DVD, two options
by fmbaum / February 27, 2009 12:25 PM PST

Two options. One simple and quick and free other than time. The second earns you a beret as a movie maker! Maybe someday for that in the future.

You say you have good success in dubbing video with your toshiba unit. You'll do that the same way you always have, with the exception that you will simultaneously supply audio into the line in of your stand alone DVR.

You will need to create the full timed synchronized audio track for the entire length of the VCR tape you have to dub.

A stand alone DVR unit will act like a VCR unit, with computer audio flowing into the stand alone DVR simultaneous to the video from the VCR.

One free and facile audio program software you can download and put to use immediately is audacity, by Sound forge. Go to their website or just "search engine look" and get it free from several sites. It's well recommended in the industry.

You'll be able to simply and easily build multitrack audio manually synchronizable to the VCR product. Multitrack allows you to experiment and move sounds around, do second attempts at voice tracks and choose. I've heard pro voice-over seminars recommend this as a home recording studio for this very reason.

Use a preset "start" marker for the video/audio match point. I'd suggest starting the Toshiba earlier than the VCR and audio, be sure it's accepting signal and then start the two, VCR and Audio file play from computer. Start both at the appropriate moment and you have product!

A second answer, limited only by your time and software availability ... you could make an actual movie DVD. But if option one is enough a movie DVD could be done in the future. You have options wide open for years if you do just what has been described and are not unhappy with the quality.

Several computers these days do offer movie making softwares already installed. Yours may be so equipped.

In the event you choose to do a dump into the computer of your video to sync the audio in the computer OEM software, please note that if you have a choice of video formats to work with, choose the native DVD format of mpeg2. Working with one format in editing and then rendering to new formats sometimes brings undesired loss of quality. AVI lossless as a base renders well to others. H264 as your dump base format really only looks good as H264.

OEM movie softwares do sometimes offer titling and credit rolls, transitions and more, such as DVD creation with chapters able to be created and an open photograph backing the index taken from the film product body.

Option one is simple and free other than time. Option two is eventually simple and also free if you already have the computer software available.

The second of learning OEM movie softwares and adding bells and whistles, something you can do later with product in your archive as long as you stay within the file format parameters in the later work. Mpeg2 to Mpeg2 to Mpeg2 will allow you to change it years later with no loss of quality.

Voila', you are a movie maker! Enjoy!

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dubbing voice/audio onto a DVD
by rbech / February 28, 2009 7:25 AM PST

Thank you so much for your suggestions. The first option seems easier and I'm all for that. I actually have Audacity on my computer. Remember my Toshiba is a combo unit so the DVR and VCR sections work as a unit. However I also have a stand alone VCR that I can use. Does the audio have to originate from the computer? Can't I input any audio from an external device such as a tape recorder via RCA cable to the DVR?" Thanks again for taking all your time. Movie maker? I dunno about that, perhaps just a maker of sorts.

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dubbing voice/audio onto a DVD
by fmbaum / February 28, 2009 8:33 AM PST

You're welcome.

The advantage of the Audacity software is to create "exactly" what you desire to have as the sound track.

The audio can be created with audacity and timed to match the video you have, and be recorded to tape on an external tape recorder, of course. That can then be the source for your unit to record the DVD with no problem.

You may not be awed by the idea of saving 8mm film today. The future may have oher opinions. I recently transferred some 16mm from 1903 to modern video. The World's Fair in Chicago, the first exhibition of light bulbs (on battery) before AC power. Today we have no idea how incredible what we take for granted will be in the future. We have no idea what will be socially or culturally valuable anachronistically.


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dubbing voice/audio to DVD
by rbech / February 28, 2009 12:57 PM PST

Thanks again! I will let you know how I make out. It will take me awhile to set it all up with the music I want and the spoken word.
Take care

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