[MPlayer-users] Re: recording from video tapes (a novice question)

Oliver Fromme olli at lurza.secnetix.de
Tue Aug 12 01:40:33 CEST 2003

Hi Janusz,

Sorry for jumping into the discussion here ...  I'm not using
Linux (but FreeBSD), but I have a very similar setup, and I've
done similar things (recording from VCR), so maybe I can help
a little bit.

Caution:  The following works perfectly fine for me under
FreeBSD with my hardware.  There might be subtle differences
in Linux and different hardware.

First of all, when recording from a VCR (i.e. digitizing old
video tapes, as the subject says), you don't use the tuner
on your TV card at all, neither do you have to use the card's
audio mixer.  You can plug the VCR's audio output directly
into the "line in" of your sound card, thus saving a loop
cable, and saving a useless analogue step inside your TV card
which would just be a waste of signal quality.

Next, select the recording source.  On FreeBSD there are
various command-line (/usr/sbin/mixer) and GUI tools for
that purpose.  You certainly have similar things on Linux.
Usually you can select one or more of microphone, line in,
CD, aux and possibly others.  Obviously, you should select
"line in" as the recording source.

The next important thing is to set the recording level.
This is also done with the mixer application.  On FreeBSD,
you set the "rec" level to something between 0 and 100.
Obviously, it shouldn't be 0.  ;-)   It certainly will
work similarly on Linux.

If you _hear_ sound during recording, but the audio is not
actually recorded into the file, then you probably either
forgot to set the recoding source to "line in", or the
recording level was set to 0.  An easy way to verify that
is to set the "line in" level to 0 and the "monitor" level
to 100 (or some non-zero value) -- then you will hear
exactly what gets recorded, and nothing else.

In other words, your mixer application should be set to
something like this:

   record source:   line-in
   master volume:   100
   line-in volume:    0
   record volume:   100
   monitor volume:  100
   everything else:   0

Instead of 100, use some other reasonable (non-zero) value
that won't overdrive the recording.  You'll find out.

Note that the "line-in volume" level has no influence on
the recording whatsover.  It's only for direct listening.
Only the recording source and recoding level are significant.
(At least that's true with my hardware and software.)

Hope that helps.


Oliver Fromme, secnetix GmbH & Co KG, Oettingenstr. 2, 80538 München
Any opinions expressed in this message may be personal to the author
and may not necessarily reflect the opinions of secnetix in any way.

"What is this talk of 'release'?  We do not make software 'releases'.
Our software 'escapes', leaving a bloody trail of designers and quality
assurance people in its wake."

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