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Old March 3rd, 2006, 08:34 PM   #1
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'Banding' on Playback.. but only on new stuff

Maybe someone has come across this problem... I am getting the deadly "banding" (five bars of scattered noise, artifacts, etc.) on playback of tapes on my XL1, BUT only recently shot ones. Tapes I recorded a few months ago play back fine.

To add to the weirdness. I started seeing this 'banding' problem showing up about a month ago, but it would clear itself up after a few minutes of playing the seemingly bad tape and then the tape would play fine. Now no amount of playback seems to correct it. I have tried a head cleaning tape with no luck.

Seems very odd, I would think if its a dirty head problem, all tapes would playback badly. So might it be dirty record head (is that possible?) or an alignment problem. And why did tapes have the "bands" but the 'fix' themselves until now?

Any insight would be appreciated.

Kevin
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Old March 4th, 2006, 12:22 AM   #2
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Are you playing these tapes back on the recording XL1?
Sounds like an alignment problem.It's easier to read a properly recorded signal on magnetic tape than to write it.So if the alignment is slightly out ,it may be close enough to read tapes that were shot when the alignment was ok.You could try recording a tape now and see if it plays back.But it sounds like a trip to the cam doctor is in order.
If your playing the tapes back on a different deck/cam it may also be the deck/cam.
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Old March 4th, 2006, 05:38 AM   #3
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Same heads for record and playback.

If the problme is only certain specific tapes, and always at the same points on the tape it is a record problem, likely a transient head clog durign recording that self-cleared.

However, a defective tape (e.g., slightly out of tollerance) could exhibit similar problems.

Tapes shot on a diffent camcorder make it a more complex problem because there are more options for the source. Can you be more specific about the problem and tapes. New or old tapes? shot on the same XL1 camcorder? All new shot tapes or just some?
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Old March 4th, 2006, 08:19 AM   #4
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Thanks for the quick advice (this board is great)

Its all been playback on the same cam, and I think you are right about a trip to the cam doctor.
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Old March 4th, 2006, 03:26 PM   #5
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This sounds like dirty heads to me. These are classic symptoms.

I recommend that you clean the heads for 5 seconds with a new Panasonic Head Cleaning Tape, not one that has been rewound.

This is a dry type cleaner. Follow the instructions carefully as this is an serious process. Do not exceed the recommended cleaning times.

After cleaning for 5 seconds (not including the 3 seconds of startup time) test the unit by recording on a new tape.

If the problem is stlll present, try again for about 5 seconds of cleaning.
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Old March 4th, 2006, 04:57 PM   #6
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I've tried a Sony brad (dry) cleaning tape... will using a Panasonic brand show a difference. Also... and this may be a dangerous question 'cause I think I know the answer.. is it permissible to run a cleaning tape in record mode?
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Old March 5th, 2006, 03:46 PM   #7
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Sorry, but personally I am not familar with the Sony brand cleaning tape.

The dry type is what you need.

In my opinion, using the tape in play mode is standard, but I feel that using it in record mode would cause no harm.

You have all the symtoms of dirty tape heads. This is not a big deal, but it certainly is scary the first time it happens to you.

What brand of tapes do you use?

Do you stick with one brand of tape, both for recording and all instances of playback, or do you mix brands? This is just for discussion purposes and my information. Your symptoms could occur even if another brand of tape was never loaded into your camera.

The MiniDV tape head's have very small gaps and the heads can get a varnish like coating after recording and/or playing tapes.
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Old March 5th, 2006, 04:56 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Keaton
What brand of tapes do you use?

Do you stick with one brand of tape, both for recording and all instances of playback, or do you mix brands? This is just for discussion purposes and my information. Your symptoms could occur even if another brand of tape was never loaded into your camera.
I've used Sony Premium exclusively to record on, but I have occasionally played-back other brands when clients have brought their material to me.
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Old March 5th, 2006, 05:12 PM   #9
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You may be aware that there are different opinions on whether switching tape brands is a good idea or not. Some people have trouble, others do not.

May I suggest that you attempt to clean your tape heads again, unless you have exceeded the recommended cleaning time.
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Old March 5th, 2006, 06:24 PM   #10
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The write-up with the cleaning tape says max. 4 times which is what I've done... so I guess that part of the exercise is over. Any one recommend or strongly not recommend trying a "manual" head cleaing?
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Old March 5th, 2006, 09:36 PM   #11
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I strongly suggest NOT to clean heads "manually" unless you are vary familiar with it.The direction in which you clean,applied pressure,type of material on the swab,cleaning chemical types,and possible damage to the head itself as in breaking it are few reasons not to, again unless you are completely familiar.Based on your description of the problem , in that some tapes play fine and others do not and that this not an intermittent issue,I would guess cleaning will not be the solution.Sounds more like an alignment problem.
Did you try recording a new tape and then check it's playback?
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Old March 21st, 2006, 11:20 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack Smith
Did you try recording a new tape and then check it's playback?
Thanks to all who posted to this thread.

Two things that make the issues more confusing ...

On one person suggestion, I ran teh head-cleaner that recorded right away for a minute. THAT played back fine. But when I put the tape that has all the breakup in and palyed it back.. again same probel, and same problem has come back on all newly recorded footage.

hmmm

And that most recent f.u.b.a.r.ed tape when played on a Conan GL-2 it breakups... BUT when played on a condumer Sony Mini-FV Handycam it looks FINE...
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Old March 22nd, 2006, 12:10 AM   #13
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Hi Kevin, I suggest not playing the bad tape at all until you determine the cause of your problem.
Step1....Without cleaning the cam , take a new tape ,by new I mean still in the wrapper, record a few minutes as in 5minutes.Then play that tape back.If it plays fine, record about a 1/2 hour then play it back.If that is fine ,playback the whole tape from the beginning.Now you have 2 possible result paths. A. it plays fine ...go to step 2 B. it doesn't....go to step 3

Step 2....If 1. it plays fine and you have access to another cam, try playback in it.
What I'm suggesting is a test to determine if your cam records and playsback consistently and if that recording plays ok on other cams.Playback on other cams is a very rough test of the alignment of your cam.If it doesnt play on other cams your alignment is likely off. Send in for alignment
If it does play ok go to step 4.
Step 3..... If it bands,etc you may have dirty heads
Clean heads and let cam sit for 1/2 hour before putting tape in.
Put another(different) new tape in and go to step 1.Do not use any used tape.
Step 4.....You may have a contaminated or damaged tape that is depositing contaminents in your cam.Try the whole test again with other new tapes and if all is good ,don't use the bad tape.
Step 5..... Take it to a service center
These are suggestions based on past history so far it has worked for me but I AM NOT A MINICAM TECH so your mileage may vary.Good luck and let us know how you make out.
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Old March 22nd, 2006, 08:06 AM   #14
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Thnk you, I'll give it a try
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Old April 4th, 2006, 12:37 AM   #15
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Kevin,

the issue you describe does it look like this:

http://www.home.earthlink.net/~yoyod...eoproblem.html

I'm trying to diagnose the problem on my camera as well and it would help to get someone who's experiencing the same thing to confirm. I've tried the head cleaning a few times but the problem seems to return as you have described your issue. Let me know, I'm almost to the point of bringing it in to the service center...
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