Audio VHS to CD

If this has already been covered, I apologize for missing it in search. Is the audio on VHS the same as audio cassettes? If not, how do I create CD’s from it?

As I understand it, the music is stored digitally on VHS tape.

You can use RCA cables to go from your VCR to your home stereo and then out to your soundcard. Your soundcard uses a stereo micro-jack.

You could go directly from your VCR to your soundcard.

Including your home stereo in the mix will allow you to use the tape monitor, if you have one, to adjust the left and right channel levels.

Alternatively, there is mixing software that will allow you to mix channels.

Check your VCR for other types of audio out.
You may have digital audio out that you could again connect to either your home stereo or directly to your soundcard.

VHS is analog it doesn’t use any digital, it doesn’t support digital-out or -in…it is simply an analog source not 50/50 it’s 100% analog.

That’s what I thought but when I was looking into various ways to story music ages ago, I was told that information is actually stored on VHS tape digitally. I assume it’s decoded and played analogally. I was told that it was a better way to store sound than on cassette tapes in the day of cassette tapes. If that’s true, there still may be no way to access the info in digital form but it could hold a better quality sound file for later use.

I know it’s old technology. I’m taking sound off my VHS archibe to put on CD.

BTW only “Hi-Fi” VHS decks qualify here. VHS decks involve an extremely sophisticated (and huge) rolling/spinning tape head with the tape going at a pretty good speed, while audio cassette decks involve a primitive (and tiny) fixed head with the tape going at a pretty slow speed.

Non-hi-fi recordings involve laying down audio onto the edge of the tape using a fixed audio head; the rolling head was originally just for the video. It is a wacky solution, but that’s what was done.

People eventually figured out how to lay down audio using the video (rolling) head, without interfering with the video which is recorded onto the same exact portion of tape. All hi-fi decks still include the mono fixed audio head, and can both playback and record with it, but can also record with the fixed head or both, or playback one or both. Newer ones can’t playback both at the same time; when I say newer i still mean old, but my family had an old deck with a physical switch, and when you played back both simultaneously, you’d get a flange effect.

So Hi-Fi VHS audio is theoretically a much better analog recording medium than audio cassette, and I knew one person who did it, but my problems with the reality of it were this:

  • most VHS decks did not have record level controls; they were auto; this bugged me, and took away control (also no fade-outs/fade-ins). But even worse, most decks never included even a visual meter to give any indication of the optimal input levels. Because of this, you never knew if you’d get compressed sound, or too-soft sound–both undesirable. That was my major problem–absolutely no control. Very old deluxe decks did sometimes have these features.

  • no headphone out on most decks, nor output control, but this is no biggie

  • many decks would not output sound unless there were a video signal included with it!!! I did some long nature sound recordings in one location using a VHS deck, only to find that I couldn’t get playback (at least on my deck) because I did not include a video signal, and all I got was a blue screen–but the deck censored the audio too.

  • VHS decks in their own right are noisy. That is a big problem for an audiophile who wants to hear “all” his music, and without distraction. Any person serious about sound playback reproduction is gonna get angry when his gear starts making its “own music”.

  • most later VHS decks required the TV to be on to see the counter and modify settings. To many audio enthusiasts, this is a distraction.

Of course, the advantages were, if you could get around the above problems, great sound, long recording times, physical digital counters (sometimes), and cheap media compared to high-quality audio cassettes of the time (which could be $3-6 apiece, even back then). It just shows to what level people were going to to get good sound before hi-quality audio became easy and affordable with computers.

Any good sound card’s Line In will do just fine from the RCA stereo outputs of the hi-fi VCR. Keep your old VHS recordings, though. My guess is that, despite the (I think ridiculous) claims of CD-R media makers, the VHS tapes will last a lot longer than the CD-R’s or DVD-R’s. I don’t know about you, but I am less than impressed with some of my CD-R burns which are only a year or two old and have been kept in a book the whole time.

And yep, it was all entirely analog. Even the “digital counter” was just a digital expression of an analog measurement. I remember watching a British documentary (I think it was “The Secret Life of Machines”?), where they would dissemble things like microwaves and cars and explain how they work. One episode was on VHS decks, and he stated impressively that the home video recorder was the most sophisticated device a person owns. That was right before computers (the documentary was old even when I saw it years ago).

Actually, there IS digital audio on VHS-tape. It involves using the video space of the cassette to store an audio signal. It is from the betamax implementation of this that we eventually got to the CDDA standard which we have now, with the weird sampling rate of 44.1kHz. It had something to do with the size of the video frame.

It’s all digital (the audio)? And the video is analog? You’re telling me there’s a 44.1KHz AD/DA audio converter in every single hi-fi VCR? I used to look at the specs in manuals of such things, and don’t recall ever seeing anything which indicated digital audio. If that’s true, why didn’t someone tell me sooner?!!! Like 15 years ago!!! :a

Normal VHS is Analog only. Hi-Fi VHS means the sound is recorded using FM as in FM Radio. S-VHS also uses FM for sound. But there is a standart called D-VHS (D stands for DATA) made by JVC which is Digital and every thing gets stored using BITSTREAM TECHNOLOGY.

OK, I’m not sure if this is exactly the answer you’re looking for but I’ve just made a vhs to cd recording.
My home theater system ain’t the best but it’s serviceable. I run everything through the amp first – so what I did was run a dubbing wire from the earphone jack on the amp to the front inputs of a LiteOn 5005 dvd recorder, which can record cds on the fly. I could control the input volume and do all the equalizing, etc. before it was recorded because the sound went through my amp first. The results are fine, actually better than I expected. Now I can do what ever I want with the cd.
I hope this helps…