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Old July 23rd, 2003, 03:57 AM   #1
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To stripe or not to stripe...

I'v read some previous posts about "striping" (recording black video on fresh tapea) your tapes, and to me the question remains.

A lot of people say it's plainly unnecessary and a waist of time, and more ware to the camera. No doubt about it.

Others say they do "stripe" the tapes and are hapy with it.

As for me, I rather not do it, but the times I went shooting with fresh tapes straight out of the box and into my XL-1s, I cursed my life as I saw my footage ruined by those very irritating glitches. During those long hours in post trying to mend all that, I promised myself not to go through that ever again.

So, to sum things up, I don't go against what others say as not to stripe the tapes, most of them shurely have more experience in this than me, but the fact remains, since I started striping my tapes I never ever had any more problems.

If someone out there has an XL-1s, puts fresh out of the box Panasonic Professional tapes in it, and comes out with clean recordings, please tell exactly what you do (start recording right of the begining of the tape or FF a little, etc).

I would very much not to stripe my tapes, believe me...

Best regards
Arnaldo
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Old July 23rd, 2003, 04:29 AM   #2
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I can help you. I have an XL1s, and have never striped a tape. You shouldn't be having problems unless you fast forward the tape past the last point where you recorded time code. I always record color bars for the first minute, but this is simply so I don't use that first minute to tape anything important, since the first and last minutes of tape are the places most prone to glitches.

If you put in a fresh tape, and start recording, you should be okay. Let's say you turn the camera off. When you turn it on again, check in the viewfinder display to make sure your camera is displaying timecode in the upper right corner, and not the sets of hyphens divided by colons. If you see timecode (for example 37:26) in your viewfinder display, that means your timecode will pick up at that point when you start shooting again (37:27 and so on), even if you've turned the camera off. However, if for some reason you've fast forwarded the tape, and you see the dashes (example: --:--:--:--) in the upper right corner, that means you've gone past the last place you had timecode, and are now recording on blank tape, and the timecode will start from 0 hours, 0 minutes, 0 seconds, etc. If you're in the habit of playing back footage you've just recorded to check it for something, then make sure you rewind till you see timecode in the upper right.

The reasons for not striping are: time consumption, extra wear and tear on your play heads, and an unnecessary pass over the tape. MiniDV tapes are like bulemic supermodels--they're very delicate, and should only be used once unless you're just testing something. You don't want to rerecord over previously recorded tape, which is what you're doing if you record over tape you've already striped.

Someone will probably chime in about something I either got wrong or left out or didn't clarify enough, but I hope this helps.
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Old July 23rd, 2003, 05:20 AM   #3
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Hi Josh.

Thank you for helpful reply. I'll give it one more try.

I'v done this procedure before and had trouble with it, but will try it again:

In the studio

- Record colour bars from beginig of tape to +- one minute.

- Rewind to begining of tape.

- FF to +- 45 seconds.

- Eject tape.

- Repeat previous steps to all the tapes.

On location

- Insert tape.

- Start recording at +- 45 seconds.


Note: I do weddings, so its a record stop record situation. I never rewind to check the footage.
I will check before I hit record if the timecode is there.

Best regards
Arnaldo
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Old July 23rd, 2003, 09:03 AM   #4
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Why do you record bars in the studio? The bars are suppose to come from your camera. Bars should always come from the recording source.
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Old July 23rd, 2003, 09:31 AM   #5
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Hi Carolyn.

Yes. That's what I do. The bars are recorded by the camera. I just meant that I do it in the studio before going to the location.

Best regards
Arnaldo
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Old July 23rd, 2003, 10:27 AM   #6
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why record bars? i've always striped black in my sony dsr.
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Old July 23rd, 2003, 10:34 AM   #7
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Just a simple way of identifying the begining of tape, but it could be done any other way.

Best regards
Arnaldo
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Old July 23rd, 2003, 12:29 PM   #8
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Your method sounds fine to me--I don't even back it up that 15 seconds. The camera actually tends to do that for me. If I stop recording my bars right at 1:00, then turn the camera off till I'm ready to start the real shoot, when I turn the camera back on, it usually ends up at 00:57 or something.
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Old July 23rd, 2003, 01:08 PM   #9
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You still do not need to stripe the tape. If you want to put bars on the tape that is just fine. All you need do though is to reverse the tape to last valid t/c and record from there.
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Old July 23rd, 2003, 01:17 PM   #10
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I've heard of this problem from other people. I thought all miniDV cameras worked the same way where timecode was concerned, yet I have people with XL1's telling me they have to stripe the tape or they'll get time code breaks. What's up?
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Old July 23rd, 2003, 01:33 PM   #11
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Arnaldo, great to see your thread here...

Josh, I never had a problem with t/cs unless:

- I swapped tape brands
- I wasn't cautious about checking for valid t/c after camera switched to standby.

So I cannot say why other people have had problems, but for me the I's have it!
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Old July 23rd, 2003, 07:53 PM   #12
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you need, you don't need

whether it's smart for somebody to stripe depends on their usage habits. If you regularly shoot a few minutes of tape, put your camera away and put the tape in again and shoot a few minutes of tape, then striping will help assure that you DON'T have to remember to rewind into the TC tape. That will save you time and hassle when you try to import broken time code. If, on the other hand, you always shoot a full tape before removing it, or if you shoot very liesurely and rewinding is of no consequence, you don't need to stripe your tape. many of us fall in between these extremes. i stripe mine when I think if it so I can throw a tape in and never have to remember to rewind a few seconds if I remove the tape. to each his own.
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Old July 23rd, 2003, 09:43 PM   #13
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For those who never have had a broken t/c, it is easy enough to fix a broken t/c. Just copy to another camcorder or deck. There is no loss in quality.
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Old July 24th, 2003, 03:05 AM   #14
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Thank you all for your help.

I'll do some testing based on your views.

Best regards
Arnaldo
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Old July 25th, 2003, 08:02 PM   #15
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You might want to try running a cleaning tape through your camera if you are getting glitches. Follow the instructions on the cleaning tape to a T though.

As for TC breaks, you can stripe your tapes and never worry about them. If you are vigilant about timecode breaks then you just won't get them. Some NLEs (Premiere, imovie) handle TC breaks fine while others don't (final cut pro 3).
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