Do I need to record blank data ?



Hi Guys,

Got my lovley shiney new dv cam this morning, do I need to record blank data to the tape first before I record footage ?



Standard Member
It will make it easier to edit your material if you've previously taken the time to record continuous timecode to the tape.
Like you say it could be just blank data (black).

It isn't impossible to edit with out doing this though.

It also helps to have time at the start and end of what you shoot that is superfluous - called 'heads' and 'tails'. But that's for making it easier to add an effect between clips when you edit your final version.


Cheers kevenh !

So I need to do this with every new tape then ?

I'm hoping to edit through my PC (Adobe Premier), is the timecode still necessary this way ?

How do I stop the onboard mike from picking up sound ? I've thought of getting something like a cheap pair of headphones & cutting the 3.5mm jack off them & plugging this into the mike input, would this work or am I likly to do damage or just pick up static from the bare copper wires ?

Sorry for being a pain in the ass !


Standard Member
Sorry for the delay.

I don't see a lot wrong with using an unwanted headphone lead as you describe - but better to buy the jack separately with no wires attached. There may be an even better solution from someone else!?
Oh! Why not delete the unwanted audio track when it's in the PC.

As to pre-recording timecode, it must depend on how many tapes are you going to use, do you have to have frame accuracy, have you the time to leave the tapes to get TC on them. Are you going to be inserting edited video back from the PC to an exact spot on the tape (& next to existing video)?

Err! I think I’m saying you could try it without pre-recorded timecode and see how you get on.


Thanks again M8 !

I pre-recorded timecodes onto two of my three tapes (spot the newbie) last night, Waiting to get my firewire card through the post right now, but I'm going to shoot some footage of my Niece & nephew this weekend & play about with that...


I beleive that if you start rec. each time from( or a bit earlier) the last rec's end, then you do not need to spend time ( and wearing your DV cam's heads ) to record blank data !!...

Sony has a very useful function( if you have not eject the cassete), called "End Search" ensuring continious time code.(And your PC and Cam not getting mad...)

I think, blank data rec is for busy people changing many cassettes and not bothering to begin rec fron the prev end.....

Any further comments?....

Duncan Craig


You do NOT need to stripe the tape, (That is the correct phrase for what you have done).

It is a waste of time and a waste of your camcorder head lifespan, (very bad)

Believe me, I am Pro Broadcast Video Editor.

What you have done is also called 'Blacking' the tape, and it is pointless if you are recording rushes onto the tape (rushes is the correct term for un-edited footage/material).

Striping a tape is only required when you are 'Laying Back' or 'Printing' to tape from an editing package to place your finished piece onto tape. And even then some edit systems don't need a fully striped tape as they can layback in 'Assemble Mode'.

Imagine a blank video tape as a strip of film without the sprocket holes, when you record on a camcorder (normally, using assemble mode - pressing the red 'Record' button), the sprocket holes (called Control Track in video terms) are put onto the film strip.

Hopefully you've got this so far... :D

Every time you record over the tape on the camcorder it totally erases the tape and the control track, and writes a new control track together with the new picture and sound.

So striping the tape is a waste of time.

What you should do is start with good working practices for handling tapes and timecode, but there are far too many issues to go over here, I could go on forever, stop me someone.

Basically after you have finished filming a shot, keep recording for a couple of seconds (3-5). If you take the tape out, replay it or have to change a battery, cue the tape up again in the camera to somewhere in the middle of that spare few second at the end of last shot.

When you start recording again the Timecode on the tape should pickup from where it left off, without resetting to zero. As someone has already said some camcorders have an 'end search' button, but it has only a limited use.

Also give all your tapes totally unique numbers starting at 1, label them B4 you use them, label the tape and the box. They will never get mixed up, and when you learn more about the Post-production process, you will understand why this is so worthwhile.

All the best,

Duncan Craig.

Peruse my new website at:


Thanks Duncan, most informative. I was actually thinking this last night that every time I record over the tape it's going to replace the existing timecode & was going to post that question this morning.

Thanks again !



Nice site you got there !


Standard Member
Duncan's post was good!
I certainly may reconsider striping my tapes.
But, my recent experience of DV Cam and TC is that if TC exists it will get used as the start point for the new recording.
I've had problems getting continous TC on a none striped tape when I've changed batteries. It restarts from 0!

The added time at the end of recording makes filming/editing a lot easier. It's hard (for me) to do when shooting stuff on holiday though :blush:

Prob. a good point to say I'm a bit of an editing novice - despite working for a NLE company!!!


Standard Member
Hope you've checked Douncan's site.

Worth a visit just to find links.

my fave is there but I've always been a company man!:D

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