Recommend recording "nothing" on each new tape?

Discussion in 'Video Cameras' started by Paul, Oct 17, 2003.

  1. Paul

    Paul Guest

    A friend recommended that with every new tape I purchase, that I but the
    tape in the machine, put the lens cap on, and record continuously through
    the entire tape.

    He said he does this to avoid any problems with editing the tape later. He
    couldn't explain exactly why other than perhaps this put a continous time
    code on the tape.

    Does this make any sense?
    Does anyone else recommend this and can they explain why?

    Paul, Oct 17, 2003
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  2. Paul

    Darcy O'Bree Guest

    Only required for assemble editing on linear, tape based edit systems.
    Totally unnecessary for recording in a camcorder or for non-linear
    (computer) edit systems.


    Darcy O¹Bree
    Digital Media Studios Manager
    Faculty of Arts, Media and Design
    Staffordshire University
    Darcy O'Bree, Oct 17, 2003
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  3. A couple of definitions which explain why:

    blanking a tape Recording black, sync and a control track on a videotape. The
    process of creating a blanked tape.

    blanked tape A videotape intended for insert editing onto which black (or color
    bars) and a control track have been recorded.

    ie new pictures will be synced to the existing control track which theoretically
    mean a clean cut between scenes.

    hope this helps

    Stuart McKears
    Stuart McKears, Oct 17, 2003
  4. I was told by Pinnacle that you should do this if you wanted to use the
    preview mode when downloading DV otherwise it can't find the place on the
    tape when it tries to compile the film in studio.
    Margaret Willmer, Oct 17, 2003
  5. Paul

    Tony Morgan Guest

    Except that for re-using tapes, unless you stripe the tape before
    re-using, the EndSearch function doesn't work properly.
    Tony Morgan, Oct 17, 2003
  6. IMHO it *is* useful for a camcorder user to do this. It puts a
    timecode all the way through a tape, and means that some of the
    functions on the cam, such as 'go to end of last recording' work

    Also it means that batch downloadings from the cam to the PC behave
    as expected. (e.g. Scenalyzer)

    Harry Broomhall, Oct 17, 2003
  7. I have never found that any film/video technique is "totally unnecessary".

    Sorry to be a bit scratchy but I've met far to many students with that type of


    Stuart McKears
    Stuart McKears, Oct 17, 2003
  8. Tony,

    What do you mean by striping in this context?
    I've got one mini-DV tape which I recorded in LP mode, normally I use SP. Are
    you recommending that I blank record this (at SP) before using it normally?

    Malcolm Stewart, Oct 17, 2003
  9. 'Striping' is the name given to the process of recording 'black +
    timecode' on a tape. i.e. - put a lenscover on and record over the
    whole tape.

    IMHO it is good practice to do this on any tape that is going to be

    It is also good practice not to reuse a tape too often - new tapes
    don't cost *that* much that it is worth scrimping on this.

    Harry Broomhall, Oct 17, 2003
  10. Paul

    Tony Morgan Guest

    I can't give you an answer on that one, since I never use LP (see below
    for why).

    I don't use LP since should your camcorder break, there's no guarantee
    that your LP tapes will play properly on another camcorder. There's an
    item on this in most (all?) Sony manuals.
    Tony Morgan, Oct 17, 2003
  11. Paul

    Tony Morgan Guest

    In message <>, Harry Broomhall
    Dunno if it's worth mentioning, but I put a little dot on a tape each
    time it's used. Then when I come to pick up a tape for re-use I select
    the one with the least number of dots. When a tape gets up to six or
    eight dots, I use it for archiving. If I haven't got any "8-dotters" for
    archiving I select a six or seven dot tape for re-use instead of one
    that's very little used. Its a sort of self-regulating system that seems
    to work (at least for me).
    Tony Morgan, Oct 18, 2003
  12. Paul

    Pat Horridge Guest

    Pat Horridge, Oct 18, 2003
  13. Paul

    Aunt Sally Guest

    You don't need to do that, but I do recommend spooling each brand new
    tape to the end and back, before use, to help prevent stiction, and tape
    edge damage on badly stored / travelled new tapes.

    Similarly for home VHS tapes, before use.
    Aunt Sally, Oct 18, 2003
  14. Paul

    admin Guest


    I have usually blank recorded a tape, even on my old VHS tapes in old
    recorders and cameras, one reason that it is possible that a tape could
    stretch and by running it through once it should be at a normal tension the
    second time it is used.

    The other is that you will always have a blank leader into the tape, if you
    begin to record on a tape it uses the tape from the beginning of the spool,
    next time you record, the old recording would still be evident on the first
    few seconds of tape.

    I have never used LP for recording archival material, because the quality is
    degraded somewhat, especially in the olden days of linear editing the better
    quality of tape, the better the final recording would be.

    admin, Oct 19, 2003
  15. Paul

    Darcy O'Bree Guest

    And I've met too many people who get told to do something without being told
    why and who never question the way they are doing things.

    Striping camcorder tapes is unnecessary in that you don't need to do it.
    You can do it if you think it makes it easier to avoid timecode gaps, etc
    but it is not necessary. It is necessary if you are doing linear editing
    because you need to lay down a timeline to edit to.


    Darcy O¹Bree
    Digital Media Studios Manager
    Faculty of Arts, Media and Design
    Staffordshire University
    Darcy O'Bree, Oct 20, 2003
  16. Paul

    Darcy O'Bree Guest

    It may be standard practice but does that make it good practice? If you
    fully stripe every tape you record to you are effectively halving the head
    life of your camcorder and wasting hours of your time and for what benefit?
    If you're shooting properly you should post-roll for a few seconds after
    each shot. This gives you a handle to edit with and pick up your timecode

    I get really annoyed when people continue to advocate practices purely on
    the basis of "that's the way we've always done it".


    Darcy O¹Bree
    Digital Media Studios Manager
    Faculty of Arts, Media and Design
    Staffordshire University
    Darcy O'Bree, Oct 20, 2003
  17. Paul

    Tony Morgan Guest

    In message <BBB9623E.128DC%>, Darcy O'Bree
    Not much different than folk like yourself who advocate that things
    should *not* be done because "that's the way we've never done it".

    If you moved off your pro/semi-pro video editors, Darcy, and had a look
    at some of the video editors that us mere mortals use, you'd see that
    *not* striping when re-using tapes causes problems.

    For instance, when capturing if you fail to "stripe" before re-using a
    tape, you're often likely to finish up not only with the clips that
    you've (just) taken, but with clips that were taken before the tape was
    re-used (and follow the tape section that you've 'over-recorded').

    As well as losing the EndSearch facility that I previously mentioned.
    And I've just checked, it can also screw up the EditSearch facility.

    You might care to remind yourself that most folk here aren't using Avid
    or Premiere.
    Tony Morgan, Oct 20, 2003
  18. Paul

    Darcy O'Bree Guest

    In terms of timecode, over-recording a tape that has been striped with black
    is the same as over-recording a tape that has pictures. If the timecode is
    unbroken then there is no difference between them. So explain to me how the
    timecode with pictures will mess up all these functions when the timecode
    with black won't?

    Just to be sure I've just re-tested the EndSearch and EditSearch functions
    on my Sonys and found none of the problems you mention. The EndSearch
    always searched for the end of the last shot I took, regardless of where in
    the tape I began my search. I've tried it with black, previously recorded
    pictures and broken timecode and it never failed. EditSearch looks for the
    markers that are placed on the tape every time you hit the record button.
    Likewise this worked regardless of what was already on the tape.

    I am also well aware of how edit systems other than Avid work. The scene
    detection functions of most DV edit systems detect the same markers that the
    EditSearch function does on the Sony. The only thing that may cause
    problems with scene or clip detection is broken timecode.

    Think about it. If the time code is continuous do you think that the camera
    or the software is going to give a toss whether the video data is black or
    not? All it looks at is the timecode. If the timecode is good then it will
    all work. If you go off to make a cup of tea while capturing it will keep
    capturing until the tape stops. If you have previously recorded pictures it
    will capture them. If you have black it will capture that too. What's the
    difference? Is it really worth halving the head life of your camera and
    wasting so much time striping tapes?

    I'm sorry to keep going on about this but I have yet to see one convincing
    reason for doing this with a camcorder.


    Darcy O¹Bree
    Digital Media Studios Manager
    Faculty of Arts, Media and Design
    Staffordshire University
    Darcy O'Bree, Oct 20, 2003
  19. You used the expression "totally unnecessary", very different from the above.

    I would quite agree with your first paragraph but would add "(not)" between the
    told and to.

    LE only needs a control track if you are doing insert editing - assemble editing
    can be done without - "can" does not suggest "should".


    Stuart McKears
    Stuart McKears, Oct 20, 2003
  20. Paul

    Tony Morgan Guest

    Wrong !!!

    You're obsessed with timecode Darcy. It looks for five successive black
    frames. In fact, domestic camcorders don't even have a timecode as such
    - all functionality uses framecount (scaled of course with framerate).
    You can confirm this (though I doubt if you will even try). Run a
    recorded tape to (say) 10 minutes from the beginning, remove the tape
    then replace it. Then look to see what "timecode" reading the camcorder
    shows. You can do exactly the same thing with any of the more common
    consumer video editors with the same result.

    The only exception to this is if you are using a Sony with a CM tape
    where the chip stores the timecode positional data "on the fly" so to
    speak. So if you take the tape out the camcorder then re-insert it, the
    camcorder reads the CM chip to see the current position in absolute
    time-code (wrt start-of-tape) In fact (IMHO) it's the only feature of
    any real use that CM offers.

    Again - try this on a domestic camcorder. Shoot a continuous take,
    capture it into a video editor (not your pro stuff) and insert five
    blank (black) frames, write it back to tape and then run EndSearch (or
    EndEdit within adjacent clips) and see when the tape's positioned.
    Tony Morgan, Oct 20, 2003
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