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Old 19 February 2008, 20:33   #1
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VLab Motion

I'm not sure where to post this.

Many years ago I was going to get into video and I acquired an Amiga 2000 with a Vlab Motion card, Tocatta sound, 68060@50Hz accellerator, Picasso II etc...but I never actually got around to doing anything with it.

Now I've got that bug again (video) and I was wondering, do you think the Amiga is still up to the job or would it simply be outclassed now by even the cheapest PC setup?

The A2000 just needs a SCSI HD and it would be fully operational again, I still have all the manuals and disks for the VLab Motion & stuff. I kinda want to use it but you know how tech moves on.

I had then and still have though, no idea about video editing software and what the current state is. Anyone on here still use their Amiga for this task? Any recommendations? It's a difficult feeling to express...wanting to use the Amiga for productive work, but there's a bit of sentimentality at work here too. Weird.

How good was the VLab setup? Reading some of the specs again, to me, it sounds bloomin great still! It's just with all this HD stuff we have now, bluetooth etc, would I be flogging a dead horse with the mig?

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Old 19 February 2008, 23:04   #2

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I have VlabMotion and used it years ago. My 4000T is being repaired right now (I hope) I'll try to help with files etc once it returns. A friend uses VlabMotion for his work. So it's perfectly suitable for professional work. You'll need a scsi hdd.
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Old 20 February 2008, 05:22   #3
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ive installed these in tv-station context, together with an external genlock
and (very expensive) jvc machines and scala (plus some ex for the machines
and an external video mixer) its a state of the art tv station then.

however, today we have decend compression or hd bandwidth which amiga
cant handle in old soft/hardware, but pcs from the trash bin of a gamer can
(ie a garbage pc with a riva tnt2 vivo) but its questionable that it ever
reaches same stability. and forget genlock or extern video sync then...

both solutions have advantages and disadvantages (combine pc trash with amiga goods!).

if you go amiga you get easy access to tv broadcast standard signals, but
cant cope with current abilities. depending on what you intend to do with
it you will be happy. but dont even think of realtime divx encoding or efficient
dvr. and you need lots of space and good disk(s).

in this time "video capable" harddisks were sold, which basically meant, the
disk does not take a rest to read its calibration track to adapt to temperature
drift, or people used raid alike striping across multiple disks to set the os
free from disk read/write delay, so you cant use all disks labeled scsi.

if you get hangs in the flow as you know it from "100ghz" windows machines
and it doesnt look as smooth as c64 soft scroll, then its likely a wrong disk
for this purpose... most recent disks (with good buffering) might not create
problems. just that you know, its not the amiga's disability if you notice such
behaviour, its a disk not usable for this purpose then...

i have a toccata myself, if you got a good one (one which does not forward
the volume slider steps to the sound) its reasonable (like todays cheap
onboard sound cards). however, mine (500 german marks) has enormous
dc, and whatever i switch makes plop (sucks).

a garbage pc with a 15euro sp/dif capable card has better sound as of my
experience, preferable with an old dat or minidisc recorder as adda codec.
(my old dat has 2hz-22khz +-0.25db and youll never use a soundcard any
more once you tried it.) its a matter of possible voltage ranges in pc/amiga.
no builtin card will ever reach the sound of a cheap external codec.

but i worked ages with my toccata, defeating its dc problems wherever
possible, together with samplitude and bars+pipes (last is free now) its still a
professional studio.

if you dont want to invest and have no pc trash at hand, its the best you
can get. if you dont use it, i'll happily forward you my physical address ;-)
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Old 20 February 2008, 05:50   #4
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ahh, and i forgot,

if you plan to record anything other than 48kHz audio on a pc, better use a non
windows os (ie linux), or win98se with vxd audio drivers or later win with asio
drivers. afaik wmi drivers use 48kHz internally and mess up the signal quality
if any other sampling rate is used. my tests prooved that to be true.
translating 44.1KHz to 48kHz and vice versa is a lossy subject....
it yields in ugly non harmonical distortion which seems to be a present
to the music industry in windows...
never run genuine test requiring ms software on 98se. so far my tests
showed 98se to be the best sound recording windows platform (if you
need windows at all, other os's let you freely use all sample rates of your
hardware without transcoding).

maybe these problems have been fixed in latest windows, but how long....

btw, soundblaster live is good, but internally uses 48kHz only too, with
lossy transcoding...
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Old 20 February 2008, 11:40   #5
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I have not used the Vlab in over a decade, but I remember having to buy a fast AV drive for it, as a normal drive parks the heads to re-align all the time, while an aV drive does not have to. Don't know if this is still the case with modern drives though. But I guess you could buy a decent second hand AV drive for a song these days.
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Old 25 February 2008, 21:01   #6
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Thanks Hippie2000! That's what I call an informed reply! Wow.

I don't know what to do really, is the Amiga 2000 setup actually worth anything now do you think? I'm in two minds whether to sell it or not.

Either way thanks for the info, that's everything I needed to know.
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