DVRack: Video Recording without the Tape


GIGO - "Garbage In, Garbage Out" - is a common phrase in the computer world, but you may also hear it in video editing and production circles as well. Video editing can perform minor miracles in color correction and touchups, but even a master editor cannot fix horribly-shot video. You need high quality input to get high quality output.

Serious Magic's DVRack promises to solve the problem of horrible video, by showing the videographer the advantages of vectorscopes, audio spectrum analyzers and other tools, but without their drawbacks. These devices have traditionally been expensive stand-alone boxes, but now with DVRack, their functionality is available on your computer.

Your Eyes And Ears Can Deceive You!

It would be nice to be able to transfer clips that look and sound good into your video editing program. This cuts down both on the time needed to make a final product and the number of grey hairs you get in the process. Unfortunately, your eyes and ears may be tricking you into thinking that you have shot good video when you have not.

When you record video, you are probably looking at an LCD screen or viewfinder. These small screens don't provide an accurate reproduction of what is being recorded. The colors you see on the tiny LCD screen may be completely different than what is going to tape. In addition, the small screen may not show the complete scene. For example, you may not see the boom microphone on the left side of your shot until you are looking at the video in the video editing program.

The pros use field monitors and vectorscopes to get the real picture, but of course, these are expensive and cumbersome to carry around. Field monitors are basically glorified television screens that are color-calibrated to match the color on your video. Likewise, pops and hisses in the audio recording may not be noticeable to our ears. Professionals use audio spectrum analyzers to show when the audio levels get too high or too low.