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VirtualDub is a free, powerful, and reliable capture program. There are a ton of things that you can do in VirtualDub, but this guide is just going to cover what you need to do to record footage.

Configuring your capture settings

Get into capture mode
Click File
Select Capture AVI
This will take you into capture mode

Get your recording file name set up
Click File and select Set Capture File
You are going to choose where on your computer your recording will be saved and its filename. If your computer has multiple hard drives, make sure you are saving the recording to the correct hard drive.

Get VirtualDub to use your recording device Under Device, select your capture device in the list
Under Video select video source. If your capture device has multiple video connectors (ex: Composite and S-Video) ensure you have the proper setting selected
Under Audio, ensure capture audio is checked and select your capture device in the audio settings

Set the compression and framerate
Click Video
Select Compression
The list of codecs you have installed are listed here. We would recommend that you install and use a lossless codec like Lagarith or x264vfw
Click Capture
Select Settings
Under Framerate, enter the number that best matches your console's framerate

Another note
Click Capture
Select Auto increment file name after capture
This means that every time you start and stop capture a new recording file is created. If you don't do this, all your previous footage will be lost every time you stop and start your capture.

Things to look out for while capturing


  • Watch your disk space

Recordings take up a ton of space. VirtualDub will approximate how much recording time you have left on your hard drive. Make sure you have enough! If you run out, you're out of luck.

  • Watch for dropped or inserted frames

Video capture is a delicate process. Depending on how powerful your computer is, you should consider closing all other software except for VirtualDub. Dropped frames can happen for a lot of reasons. A few dropped frames may be a minor "hiccup" in your system. If you are experiencing several, it is a good idea to reboot. You may want to set the priority for the VirtualDub software to be higher. Open Virtual Dub > Options > Main > Processor Priority. If dropped frames happen more frequently, you might consider rebooting your computer. If you are using a USB capture device, try plugging the device into another USB port on your computer.

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