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copying a broken time code tape to a new tape

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john whiteway
copying a broken time code tape to a new tape
on Dec 23, 2009 at 6:42:37 pm

Hi.

I'm wondering if anyone there can help me with this one. I'm capturing some old miniDV tapes. Several have broken time code. By this I mean they were tapes where I stopped the camera to look at material, resetting the time code to zero when I began shooting again. (I've long since learned not to do that.) What I've been doing is copying these tapes to new ones, thus producing a continuous time code for the tape. This has worked for every tape but one. I've copied this tape to two separate tapes and have even stripped them first, but always, for the second half of the tape (I'm capturing as two 30 minute clips) I get the broken time code message after capturing. Does anybody know why? How is it possible that a time code break is transferring to these copied tape?

Thanks.

John


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Jim McNally
Re: copying a broken time code tape to a new tape
on Dec 24, 2009 at 1:38:13 am

Is your recording deck actually creating new timecode or just mirroring the original source timecode? Are the decks linked with FireWire or component/composite cabling?

Jim McNally
The Commercial Factory
http://www.commercialfactory.com


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john whiteway
Re: copying a broken time code tape to a new tape
on Dec 24, 2009 at 3:00:47 am

Hello.

I have a Sony DSR-11 linked by Firewire to a Canon XL1, the camera these tapes were shot on. The tapes in question have broken time code in several places. By that I mean a resetting to zero when I stopped the camera and reviewed what I'd shot. All the copy tapes have a consistent time code, 0-64. They are not mirroring the breaks in the original tapes.

All I can say is that this is the only tape that is giving me a problem. I've copied 6 or 7 similar tapes with no problem. As I say, I have made two copies of this original tape. One I stripped before using to make doubly sure its time code was it's own. Originally I had begun thinking there may be a physical flaw in the dup tape but this exercise seems to say that can't be the case. I can only conclude that there has to be something weird about this one original tape.

I have one trick left up my sleeve. I remember years ago when I had time code break problems I'd sometimes copy them to a DVCam tape, rather than miniDV like the original. I'll also copy only the last half of the tape where this problem is occurring. Hopefully this might shake things up. Also I'll try making a DVCam dup from both the original and from one of the miniDV copies I've made.

The real problem for me is that this tape includes a lot of footage I know I will be wanting to be using.

John


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Jim McNally
Re: copying a broken time code tape to a new tape
on Dec 24, 2009 at 7:09:15 am

That is quite strange. I don't think the striping will work because you aren't inserting with the DSR-11 but assembling. Beta decks would allow an insert edit on a striped tape to retain tc but I don't think your deck does. My Dsr-25 doesn't anyway.

The Dv-cam might be an option, wouldn't hurt to try it. Also maybe lay the whole capture to a timeline and print to tape. Time consuming but might get you a tc to work with.

Jim McNally
The Commercial Factory
http://www.commercialfactory.com


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john whiteway
Re: copying a broken time code tape to a new tape
on Dec 24, 2009 at 5:37:10 pm

Strange world it is. I've just copied to DVCam and I've been able to capture from it with no time code break message. Why this worked I'll never really know.

Actually, Final Cut has done a few weird things in the past. And when you consider the millions of calculations going on in its head I guess that shouldn't be too hard to understand.

A few years back I suddenly found that I could not capture footage past 34 minutes on any tape without receiving the same broken time code message. I did everything I could to try and figure out what was happening, including extensive correspondence on pages like this. My only way around it at the time - and that was what I was remembering the other day - was to copy any clips I wanted to capture with time code past 34 minutes onto a DVCam tape.

But then a weird thing happened. Without thinking, one day I attempted to capture some audio that I hadn't noticed had a time code past 34 minutes. It worked. No broken time code messages. Seeing this I went back and captured the video that went along with that audio and success here too. Well, I guess I'll just have to capture post-34 minutes clips as separate audio and video clips from now on, I thought. This "system" worked but then I thought what the heck, I'll try capturing a whole clip post-34 minutes. Now that worked too! And it has ever since. All I can figure is that there was one little binary switch not working and somehow this capturing of the audio separately fixed the problem.

Short of it, all I can figure in the case I've just dealt with, is that there was some weird anomaly in the problem tape's broken time code that a DV copy kept picking up. DVCam somehow broke the spell.

So thanks for the help.

John


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