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Forums Apple Final Cut Pro X Transferring VHS tape to FCPX?

  • Transferring VHS tape to FCPX?

  • Ken Bennett

    March 28, 2021 at 12:16 am

    What is the best or quickest way to transfer old VHS analog tape into FCPX? I have an iMac 2013. What adapter devices are available that actually work?


  • Patrick Donegan

    March 28, 2021 at 12:23 am

    Is this basically the same question that was just asked?

    You need to tell us what you have to play that tape on.

    Most likely it is analog out.

  • Pablo Rivasplata

    March 28, 2021 at 12:50 am

    Hi Ken,

    I think the Blackmagic UltraStudio HD Mini is what you need. It has a whole array of analog audio and video conectors for digital capture. You may need and adapter for the thunderbolt 3 connector though.

    Hope this helps,


  • Ken Bennett

    March 28, 2021 at 1:14 am

    My source is coming from a VCR. Remember those? I can use S-video, component, composite or HDMI 1.0 out. Would FCPX (Catalina) even recognize any of these as inputs? My iMac has 2 Thunderbold 2 inputs.

  • Phil Hyson

    March 29, 2021 at 6:59 pm

    I’m using the Canopus ADVC-110 digital converter. I don’t think its still in production, but should be available used. It accepts S-video or component. It does not have HDMI out, but does have Firewire 400 out. I use a Firewire 400 to Firewire 800 cable from the ADVC, then a TB 2 to Firewire 800 adapter to the Mac.

    I am having one issue – the FCPX Preview window freezes on import, although the recording is fine. Don’t know whether or not the issue is caused by the digital converter is at fault.

  • Sol Fischler

    March 30, 2021 at 12:54 pm

    I don’t know anything about FCPX, but I’ve transferred all of my VHS tapes to digital using the ADS Pyro Link box. Like Phil’s Canopus, it accepts S-video, component, and analog Video/stereo audio, and can output via Firewire 400. The boxes are readily available on eBay, usually inexpensively ($7-25,) sometimes not so… ($25 and up.) I’ve digitized to both FCP Pro and Avid, and I’ve saved the resulting Quicktimes from FCP to my archives.

  • Tod Hopkins

    March 30, 2021 at 1:22 pm

    I would suggest the Blackmagic Intensity Pro Shuttle if you are trying to get into a Thunderbolt only Mac. You will obviously need the Thunderbolt version of the Shuttle. This is probably the sweet spot in quality versus price. It’s about $250 I believe. The other issue with digitizing VHS is that will often need “stabilization” or more precisely, Time Base Correction. The symptom is simply that FCP (or the Intensity actually) won’t be able to lock onto the signal out of the VHS. VHS signals are crap. Old TVs were extremely tolerant. The signal may come and go, look “unstable,” or you may just get nothing. If your player has good stabilization, you may not need an external TBC. Players that have component outputs tend to have good stabilization since these are higher quality pro-sumer players. Most “professional” VHS machines have at least basic TBC (the Panasonic and JVC lines). You can probably find these for rental, or even purchase used, but they are not cheap. If you need something else, there are relatively inexpensive VHS “stabilizers” all over the place that will generally do the job if you don’t want to spring for a more expensive full Time Base Corrector.

  • Craig Seeman

    March 30, 2021 at 6:02 pm

    Intensity Shuttle is discontinued and is Thunderbolt 2.

    The current BMD driver version 12 still lists The Intensity Shuttle Thunderbolt as supported for Intel Macs. It may not work with TB2 to TB3 adaptor needed for newer Macs due to bus power. So it might be limited to Macs with older TB2 ports.

  • Mark Smith

    March 31, 2021 at 12:02 pm

    Aside from whatever hardware you need to digitize the VHS signal from tape, don’t overlook the requirement for a decent VHS machine ( or insert working tape machine of xxxformat) in working order. Working tape machines are more scarce these days and getting repairs/ parts even harder as most parts are EOL, no longer in stock

    I have an old BMD ultra studio which sits in a box and still works on the occasions that I need it and a variety of working tape machines in mothballs which will work until they don’t.

  • Ken Bennett

    March 31, 2021 at 10:36 pm

    Mark- I still have several good working VCRs both consumer and pro in boxes from back whe I was doing VHS shooting and delivery.

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