From HD-PVR to Dual Audio LP Video, a semi-comprehensive guide by pokecapn
Laid down $200 for your pseudo-hobby and don't know the next steps? Look no further.
- The HD PVR plus its software, Total Media Extreme
- Audacity or other favorite audio editing software
- Optionally, VirtualDub and AvsPmod
Step 0: Set up your recording environmentEdit
Recording a video, while it won't be maxing out the write speed on your hard drive, is still an intensive task, and you want to make sure that your recording goes off without a hitch. If you have a second internal drive, use that to record. Otherwise, pick a location that's easy to get to, and make sure Windows isn't indexing it for searching (Consult the internet if you don't know how).
You also want to make sure your console is set up correctly. For the 360, make sure the cable's set to HDTV and the resolution chosen is 720p. For the PS3, make sure the only allowed output is 720p. For both consoles, turn your pop-up notifications off. If you want cheevo notices to show up in your videos, play on an account that doesn't have friends or disconnect to the internet.
Step 1: Record your videoEdit
Fire up your console, fire up Total Media Extreme, and make all the settings look like this:
Playstation 3 doesn't actually refer to the console you're recording, it refers to the encoding profile and file format used for the recording. This one is the easiest for MeGUI to work with. Dealing with surround sound sucks and is beyond the scope of this guide, so make sure you're only recording 2 channel audio. I use AC3 instead of AAC because Audacity can understand the former. You're going to be re-encoding this anyway, so max the bitrate. You want to get as much quality as you can from the lossy capture.
Figure out where to save the video and record your amazing Splosion Man skills.
Step 2: Index, Extract, CreateEdit
You should have your file that you can play back and watch. To make it easier to work with, fire up MeGUI and go to Tools->File Indexer.
Open up your file and make sure Demux All Track is selected. Hit Queue, go to the Queue Tab, and run it. Once it's done, this pops up:
Hit save. You've now done 3 things at once: Indexed the file to make it easier for programs to work with, extracted the audio from the file so you can mess with it, and created an AviSynth script with the video loaded in it. In fact, if you don't have any editing to do or commentary to add, MeGUI loaded your script and the audio, so you can change your encoding settings and AutoEncode your file right now.
Step 3: Editing the videoEdit
Open up the .avs in your favorite editor and make your edits. I like to use AvsPmod to edit my AviSynth scripts. It has a nice preview window so you can figure out frame numbers, it'll try to parse your script every time you seek so you can quickly find out if you've made mistakes, and you can tie the play button to VirtualDub and get a full preview of your results easily.
What's important to note about my script is that I load the ac3 audio and dub it into the video. This lets your cuts affect the audio as well when it comes time to encode.
Make sure to change the FPS to 30 after you've done trimming. Video hosts can only play back at that rate, and you'll get better visual quality with lower bitrates. Besides, Splosion Man is a 30FPS game anyway.
If you're doing live commentary, drop down to step 6 to edit your audio.
Step 4: Set up MeGUI for encodingEdit
Go back to MeGUI and choose the avs file you've been working on for both the video and the audio. If your audio file mentions DELAY (x)ms in it, set the delay to whatever it told you. Set file format to MP4.
Optional for post commentary, not necessary for live commentary
Encoding settings for the upload-challenged):
The goal here is to spew something out that's kinda watchable for your commentary crew and easier on your modem than your final video. Go ahead and use the Auto Encode button for this one.
Step 5: Some EncodingEdit
It's time to render your final video, your final game audio, and the game audio you'll work with when adding post-commentary. You can also mux the video and game audio (see step 6) from this step to make the video to use during commentary, and skip the low-bitrate video.
These are the bitrates YouTube uses for its 720p videos. If it's good enough for them, it's good enough for you. If you're uploading to YouTube yourself, you may want to push them higher so that their encoder has more to work with while they mutilate your video. Adjust the output filenames and use the individual Enqueue buttons. You want these files separate for your dual-audio end product.
If you've done live commentary that picked up the game audio, or if you've already mixed together the game audio and your live commentary, make a second AviSynth script that has the audio file replaced with your commentary (probably loaded using WAVSource). Throw that script into the audio input and queue up another encode, and head down to step 7.
FLAC is lossless, so if you make a FLAC version of your game audio to use when mixing in your commentary, you won't be encoding thrice (remember that the HD-PVR has already done a lossy encode of your audio). Then again, all video game music is trash, so feel free to save a step and use the AAC encode you just made.
Go ahead and run all those encodes, then ship your video off to your buds and record some commentary.
Step 6: Editing the audioEdit
Audacity can eat the AC3 codec if you set it up correctly in Edit->Preferences->Libraries. It's really picky about the DLL, so just install their special version of it.
For a live commentary setup, toss in the AC3 file and your commentary track(s) and do whatever it is you need to do to make it sound cool. Same idea for post-commentary, but you'll use the FLAC/AAC file you made in step 4. Auto Duck those Nyquist Prompts until your DTMF Tones Wahwah. Export as a WAV to make things go fast.
If you're doing live commentary, head back up to step 4. If you're doing post-commentary, put your mixed commentary/game audio in directly to MeGUI's audio input and encode.
Step 7: Muxing it all togetherEdit
If you're at this step, you should have:
- Your final mp4 video file with no audio
- An mp4 audio file of your game recording
- An mp4 audio file of your commentary put over the game audio
If not, read over this guide and see what you missed.
Go to MeGUI and open up Tools->Muxer->MP4 Muxer.
Your commentary goes first, because video hosts will pick the first audio track to use when streaming. Queue it, run it, and you're done!
Here, I'll edit in any interesting or useful contributions other people can make to this guide.
- There's an internal card called the Hauppage Colossus. Working with it should be pretty similar to working with the HD-PVR. It comes with a different piece of software from ArcSoft for capturing, supports capturing up to 20Mbps, and has an HDMI input for unencrypted signals (no PS3s!).