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Old June 11th, 2012, 09:51 AM   #1
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FCP reporting Timecode breaks when there should be none

Sorry for the cross post... I don't know if the problem is the software or the camera:

I'm using two HC-9 cameras to record dance recitals. I lock down one camera to get a wide angle shot of the full stage at all times and I do the close up shots of the kids faces with the second camera. This has worked flawlessly with FCP 6.0.6 and mac OS 10.5.8 for years. Importing has never posed a problem. I record @ 1080i on the tape and capture DV to the Mac.

This year I had a project where I (stupidly) needed to record at the slower speed (which is DV only on this camera) to conserve tape. This is the first time I recorded at slow speed with these cameras. Later in the project I was able to go back to full speed recording using fresh tape. Now when I import to FCP I get timecode break warnings and the tapes constantly stop and search for the break to restart recording. This is happening even though the tapes are recorded as one start at the beginning of the clip and I do not hit stop until an hour or so later at the end of the performance. The timecode breaks are about a minute apart and I have to change to capture now and "Warn After Capture" to get the clips imported properly. This is happening on the tapes recorded on both cameras and at both speeds. This has never happened before. What can I look for in the camera or in the FCP settings to ensure that this does not happen again?

In researching this I saw a mention of a timecode selection in the camera menus but I can't seem to find it in the menus on the camera. Anyone know what I'm missing?
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Old June 11th, 2012, 07:52 PM   #2
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Re: FCP reporting Timecode breaks when there should be none

Sorry but the answer is, never ever record in LP again.

LP is a hazard in DV and possibly fixable with these methods:

1) Capture to FCP using the cameras the tapes were recorded on. LP tapes frequently don't play properly on anything but the cameras they were made in.

2) Switch Device Control in Capture in FCP to "Non-controllable device". If FCP stops looking for the timecode and the DV stream coming thru the FireWire is OK, you will be able to capture. Problem is that you will not be able to recapture the footage in the future by time code if it gets erased from the hard drive like footage captured with time code.

3) Try to copy the footage from camera to another FireWire recorder (camera or deck) that is recording in SP by FireWire. If the recording deck has an option to not copy the timecode then select that. You want fresh timecode. Then capture the footage from the new tape.
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Old June 12th, 2012, 10:28 AM   #3
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Re: FCP reporting Timecode breaks when there should be none

Thanks for the thoughtful reply. Yup I never record at slow speed. This was an exception where I did not have enough tape to cover part of the day and I did not have time to get the same tape. I like to be consistent and use the same brand and formulation of tape at all times. So I agree with you there. I also clean my heads frequently.

The reason I posted here as well as in the Sony Camera forum is that I find it suspicious that this problem occurred in Both cameras at BOTH speeds. Later in the day I was able to use both cameras to record at full speed and I have this timecode error situation occurring on ALL of the tapes I used at both speeds in both cameras that day. I was able to ingest the tapes into my MacPro by using Record Now and choosing the Warn After Import preference.

I am trying to figure out what happened and how to make it stop happening since I have used FCP and these cameras for years without incident.

Thanks again

Pete
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Old June 12th, 2012, 12:50 PM   #4
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Re: FCP reporting Timecode breaks when there should be none

Bad batch of tapes. Records video and sound but the timecode is no good. Don't know why but it happened to me years go.
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Old June 12th, 2012, 12:59 PM   #5
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Re: FCP reporting Timecode breaks when there should be none

Hmmmm.... Bad Batch of tapes.... Interesting concept.... I'm near the end of the batch I've been using... I purchased them about a year ago.... When I replenish soon I will ditch what's left of this batch (just a few tapes) if the newer tapes behave.
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Old June 16th, 2012, 08:54 PM   #6
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Re: FCP reporting Timecode breaks when there should be none

No need to record in LP, Panasonic sells 83 minute tapes. LP stands for "Lots of droP outs". HDV is more susceptible to drop outs which last longer. Btw, never reuse tapes if you're filming in HDV. Dropouts are usually a sign your camera's head/vtr mechanism is dirty or in need of repair/cleaning/replacement. You could also add a digital recorder it would address both the length and dropout issue.
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Old June 17th, 2012, 08:46 AM   #7
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Re: FCP reporting Timecode breaks when there should be none

As far as NEVER . RECORD . AT . LP - trust me, I get it. That is my attitude as well. However I found myself (STUPIDLY, as I previously mentioned) in a position where I had to run some of the day at LP just to get through the day. Like a d*mb*ass I found myself a day out from the gig without enough tape tape to cover the time frame. I live where there is no local access to the Panasonic PQ tapes I was using and I was just shy of any overnight delivery solution doing the trick. Yes, I was a D*mbA*ss. Mea Culpa.

Nevertheless This timecode break issue showed up on BOTH cameras simultaneously and then CONTINUED after I resumed taping at full speed, again on both cameras. I made sure that I captured from the same camera that recorded each of the tapes. I will look into the "bad batch" scenario when I get a chance.......
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Old June 17th, 2012, 10:41 PM   #8
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Re: FCP reporting Timecode breaks when there should be none

Don't take it as I'm blaming you. We all make mistakes. Learn from it and move on. There are certain areas where you learn to avoid cutting corners, or trying to save money. I used to scoff at spending extra money for 83min tapes and bought the minimum but found it wasn't worth it. I get them from B&H and buy more than I need.

Aside from the big picture lesson, you need to make sure you know what caused the dropouts because it be suicide to do another paying job, if its unresolved. That's why I gave you a list of possible causes. While it sounds like bad tapes, I really think its unlikely. At least it should be easy to test and rule out.
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Old June 18th, 2012, 07:10 AM   #9
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Re: FCP reporting Timecode breaks when there should be none

Didn't mean to be snippy... I'm just real mad ay myself about the lack of tape issue... I use 83 minute tapes exclusively and in this instance I did not have enough tape to record the event and have the safety buffer of about 20 minutes that I try to have without running out of tape if just one part of the day went stupid-long. If I can generate enough work changing over to a hard disk recording solution that then relegates the tapes to backup media is #1 on my wish list.

Once I send this stuff out for duplication I'm gonna experiment with the suggestions I've gotten in order to sort this out. Bad tapes/Bad Firewire cable/ change Firewire port etc.

One thing, I used Sony pro tape exclusively until I could not get any more even on eBay. I then changed over to the Panny 83 minute tapes. I cleaned the heads before I made the first recording and the first few recordings (4 or 5) were fine. Since there was a 6 month stretch between gigs I then cleaned the heads again before this show. At this point after the tapes have been changed and about 15 hours of the new tape has been through both cameras, is it reasonable to suspect the tape change as well as a possible culprit? Along with the extreme prohibition against LP recording one of the most important caveats I've seen is about changing tape manufacturers. Again I just find it real weird that the problem just cropped up on both cameras at the same exact time.
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