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Old January 10th, 2006, 10:21 AM   #1
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Best way to black a tape

I'm an educator helping to train a group of elementary school teachers (http://www.eusd4kids.org/edtech/project_live.html) to create curriculum based videos with and for students. Those working in Final Cut Pro are having TC issues on capture. I've followed the plus/minus of stiping in the forums here, but for this group of (very) novice users, I think it's the right thing. My question:

Can you stripe a tape by recording on it in VTR mode (not camera), thereby bypassing the recording of ambient audio (for those who don't have FCP)?

For those who do have access to FCP, is doing the black/code through the Edit to Tape window the best way to accomplish that? Many thanks for any help you can provide.
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Old January 10th, 2006, 10:33 AM   #2
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You can only black a tape in the record mode. Replay mode (VCR) will simply read what's been written in the last record mode. To avoid recording ambient audio simply plug in an external mic that's switched off, or lower the manual rec levels.

But Frank - don't black. It's a waste of time and causes unnecessary head and tape wear. Nothing's gained.

tom.
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Old January 11th, 2006, 05:32 PM   #3
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iMovie can capture over timecode breaks no problem. However:
A- iMovie clips need rendering to be played back in FCE or FCP.
B- iMovie is very buggy and will destroy your project if it's ~150+ clips/edits. At least some versions were like that. But for small projects it is very very easy to get into.

2- The latest versions of FCP can also capture over timecode breaks. However, re-capture can be extremely tricky with timecode breaks.

3- If you record over a tape with continuous anything beforehand, then you won't get TC breaks. *Some cameras like the DVX100 can be set to make a TC break in this case, but it's highly unlikely someone will intentionally do that.

4- If you ever lose timecode, you can use the "end search" function on most camcorder to pick up the last timecode.

If you know you have timecode breaks, dubbing the tape can generate new continuous timecode.

So if you know this, then don't bother blacking tapes.
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Old February 1st, 2006, 11:01 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Hardwick
You can only black a tape in the record mode. Replay mode (VCR) will simply read what's been written in the last record mode. To avoid recording ambient audio simply plug in an external mic that's switched off, or lower the manual rec levels.

But Frank - don't black. It's a waste of time and causes unnecessary head and tape wear. Nothing's gained.

tom.

Why wouldnt you black a tape? tape wear with one run? howabout when you edit its a pain in the ass if the timecode doesnt match up or jumps to 00 because the tape was reviewed in the camera. i would say generate a black video in your editor and stretch it for an hour and export that to tape. now you have blanked and coded tape with no audio

Nothing is lost
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Old February 2nd, 2006, 02:49 AM   #5
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Why wouldn't you black a tape

As Tom points out it is extra work for your machine = more wear and tear.

Also four years ago I followed a discussion on this subject involving people with far more technical knowledge than me and they agreed it was a waste of time. Here's a section which seems to contain a good reason not to black a tape.

"Blacking a DV tape is pointless. There is no 'running' synchronisation with the underlying timecode while a new recording is being made. This means that the latest timecode could be somewhat adrift of the underlying blacked timecode - so if you create a gap, there will be a discontinuity at that point, and beyond, when replayed. This can disturb some capture programs, just as badly as if the timecode had reset to zero. These timecode glitches are notoriously difficult to locate - whereas a drop to zero is obvious, and can be overcome by recapturing a new section from that point (annoying, but easy to do)".

I avoid timecode breaks by always recording a "surplus" 15 seconds at the end of asession. Then if I review the footage in camera I can safely repark it in the middle of that 15 seconds, secure in the knowledge that I won't get a timecode break.
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Old February 2nd, 2006, 03:02 AM   #6
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Thanks Paul. It's just so easy to push the 'photo' button and record 7 seconds of still to tape, then you can rewind to review safe in the knowledge that you can stop anywhere within that 7 seconds and you'll have no timecode breaks when you continue recording.

It's no secret that hours kills cameras. Blacking tape literally halves the lifespan of your heads, it's as simple as that.

tom.
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Old February 2nd, 2006, 03:03 AM   #7
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the 'End Search' function works very nicely on the two sony models I have...
never had a timecode lost...

cheers
Gareth
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Old February 3rd, 2006, 07:42 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brandon Whiteside
Why wouldnt you black a tape? tape wear with one run? howabout when you edit its a pain in the ass if the timecode doesnt match up or jumps to 00 because the tape was reviewed in the camera. i would say generate a black video in your editor and stretch it for an hour and export that to tape. now you have blanked and coded tape with no audio

Nothing is lost
But you have to do that for every tape (you always use fresh tape, don't you?) increasing the rate of head wear by 30% -- 3 passes - black, shoot, capture - versus 2 - shoot and capture - for every tape you use.
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Old February 3rd, 2006, 08:11 AM   #9
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As I use a VCR for capture, blacking quite literally doubles head wear, as well as capstan bearing wear, take-up clutch wear, pinch roller wear and drive motor wear.
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