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Canon GL Series DV Camcorders
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Old November 10th, 2001, 07:07 PM   #1
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Striping new mini-dv tapes?

Premiere 6 suggests that tapes might be "striped" to insure continuous timecoding by fully rewinding a tape and then recording from start to end of the tape with either the VCR or camera function with a lens cap on the lens.

It would seem as though, with the GL1 anyway, that the audio track would be recorded if using the camera function since the built-in mic can not be turned off (or can it?).

If I "stripe" new tapes by using the GL1's VCR "record" feature but without any audio or video inputs, this would be avoided, right?

It seems that recording continuous timecode before shooting would be a good idea... at least as long as it doesn't cause the tape to be deteriorated. Seems like I read somewhere that re-recording too many times on the audio tracks could (would) lead to problems and sound glitches...

What is the pro viewpoint regarding striping timecodes on unused (new) tapes?

Thanks, Ed

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Old November 11th, 2001, 08:43 AM   #2
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Old Story. I Would Not Bother.

Pre-striping tapes has been around for a long time. The truth is, that it is no longer neccessary. The important thing is to make sure you do good recording techniques that ensure, not only an easy edit, but a good timecode too.

The simple thing to do, is both a pre and post roll. That means starting the cam before you really shoot for a few seconds, and letting the camera roll for a few seconds after you shoot. If the camera unloads the heads when going into standby, you merely backup to a valid t/c (visible on the CRT screen or eyepiece) and resume shooting from there.

What do you do IF you get discontinuous t/cs? Simple. You copy your entire tape to another recorder and let it lay down a new t/c.

Hope this helps.

Nathan Gifford
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Old November 11th, 2001, 09:29 AM   #3
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Just like the old, "lights... camera... ACTION!" routine? Thanks for the posting, because I was thinking that if I stripe every tape before shooting them, that would DOUBLE the wear on the heads. If it's not broke, why break it?

The suggestions you made will work just as well as striping and NOT incur the extra wear and tear on the camera.

Thanks for the info.

Ed
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Old January 9th, 2002, 06:00 PM   #4
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We also used to call it "blacking" a tape back in the old days of cable access TV. I still do it on my tapes if there is time, using the Elura in VCR mode with nothing plugged into the A/V inputs (instead of putting wear and tear on the pricey XL1). Makes me feel better that I won't inadvertently get a T/C break in the heat of the moment of "run and gun" shooting.

I do agree that a good pre-roll is essential, and as for post-roll.... I like to just let'er rip till the talent leaves the room: hate to miss a thing. :-)
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Old March 20th, 2007, 02:24 AM   #5
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Black Encoding a Tape

I do content processing for post production, and I will tell you this for free: if you are going to give the tape to anyone else for dubbing or editing, please allow for some pre-roll on the tape, or black encode the tape (or even better lay down 30-60 seconds of bars and tone to the tape if your camera has that function).

Very often producers want everything that was shot off of the tape, but if you started shooting "from-the-hip" as it were, the deck we use to process the video may not let us rewind past the pre-roll setting, and video might get chopped in the process.

And while you are at it, producers/editors/content ingest people love the following:

1) TRT = Total Run Time: yes we know the tape is a 60 minute tape, but did you use the whole 60? We're paid to copy and conserve tape, not read minds or hold your tape to our head like the amazing Kreskin and roll off "00:35:23.10" magically for your viewing delight.

2) Slate: if you don't have an actual clacker board (and who does anymore) then get a Sharpie Marker and your PA's pad and write down what it is you are shooting and put it in front of the camera for a few seconds (10 sec. should do it). Include notes like if your shot is on a b-roll or other second unit camera, and include also the date, or any other relevant information that someone digitizing your footage would need to know to archive your material properly.

3) Format: Was it HD? If so which one: 720p? 1080i? In our facility we have a SD miniDV deck, as well as a sony HDV deck, but the Sony deck ONLY does HD in 1080i. Bring us anything else, and you're SOL. Know what format and frame rate you are using, and communicate it up the chain. Everyone will feel better.

4) Ratio: was it 4:3? 16:9? anamorphic? letterbox via overlay? Let your postproduction folks know what this is so they don't have to guess.

Keep in mind all of these items will keep your kit a lot cleaner even if you do all of your own postproduction. Do unto others, blah, blah, blah (trust me, this stuff works!)

Thanks!
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Old March 20th, 2007, 09:29 PM   #6
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Excellent ideas from the world of post. Might prevent some heartaches in the future.
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