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Old June 27th, 2008, 09:30 AM   #1
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Question regarding audio and reusing a tape

I have a Sony VX2000 and recently taped something for testing purposes. For this test, I recycled a tape in which I originally taped a kayak video for my husband. The tape used is a Radio Shack MiniDV - 60/90 Metal Evaporated Digital Videocasette. Both times, I used the onboard mic. The original taping was filmed outdoors and the second taping was filmed indoors.

Well, when I played back the tape, I noticed the audio skipping in several places - in no particular time frame. Sometimes every 30 seconds or so, some times every 15 seconds, or sometimes 1 minute (i really didn't time it, but it seemed like it). Since I haven't used my camera in about a year, I became concerned and wondered if it was an issue with my camera, or the fact that I recycled the video. I've recycled tapes before, without the audio being compromised, but the the taping was not really lengthy and was more than a year ago. But, at the same time, I forgot the brand of tape I used.

So, my question is this - can there be issues with audio when recycling a tape? This is a practice tape for an upcoming event so I will be purchasing new tapes, and better quality too. I'm hoping this is not an issue that suddenly developed with my camera. Any input will be appreciated... Thanks!
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Old June 27th, 2008, 09:49 AM   #2
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Don't reuse tapes or mix tape brands. If you use Sony tapes, then stay with Sony, Panasonic, TDK, whatever.

You can have issues later on, like buildup on your tape heads.
Or even audio drop outs or mysterious picture frames appearing on your captured footage.

Always use fresh tapes when possible, and especially for important events.

I would suggest, simply running a tape cleaning cassette through your camera, and you should be ok. in some cases you might need to do a manual cleaning of the tape heads and pinch rollers. But lookup information on this before you do it. it's not hard to do, but you want to make sure that you are using the right materials to clean, or you can do more harm than good.

As I said simply run a tape cleaning tape through the camera and test it out before you actually need to use it before anything particular.
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Old June 27th, 2008, 09:50 AM   #3
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I would suspect it is the brand of tape. The major brands are Sony, Panasonic and TDK. Personally, I wouldn't buy any store-branded tape.

Problems with audio are usually due to dropouts on the tape - they affect the video, too, but it is easy(ish) to conceal corrupt video. Damaged audio is much harder to hide because it is much harder to fool our sense of hearing than sight.

[Michael and I cross-posted...]
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Old June 27th, 2008, 10:22 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Miller View Post
I would suspect it is the brand of tape. The major brands are Sony, Panasonic and TDK. Personally, I wouldn't buy any store-branded tape.
I agree but it should be stated that most "off brand" tape is actually manufactured by one of the "big boys" and is sometimes just re-branded, sometimes didn't make it under highest level of quality control.
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Old June 27th, 2008, 07:50 PM   #5
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Thanks for the input!

Thanks guys for the input! Yeah, you're right. You get what you pay for and you can never fail with a name brand. The advice on cleaning the tape heads is a good one, and will be done before the event I will be documenting.

Thankfully, when I played the downloaded footage in my iMovie, the audio was just fine. It just had audio issues while I was downloading it. Whew! Well, not really - it's just some experimental/practice stuff but nevertheless, the audio seems to resolve itself once it's out of the camera.

Will definitely not go cheap and definitely will pick up tape head cleaner.
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