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Prep Your Tape

Before you output your program to tape, you need to address a few last-minute details. These are the vital portions of your program (especially if you're editing for broadcast). Whether you are outputting your program for air or just making your protection master to store in the archives, it's always a good idea to prepare your tapes with all the proper “tech specs” before outputting your edited program to tape. For one thing, adding the correct amount of black space before the program starts is a must. Nothing is more frustrating to work with than a tape where the program begins as soon as the tape is inserted into the deck (at the very beginning of the tape). Here's one of the standard ways to prepare your tape (but check with each facility to find out its specific requirements):

  1. At least 10 seconds of black at the beginning of the tape

  2. 30 seconds to 1 minute of SMPTE color bars with a 1 kHz tone

  3. At least 10 seconds of slate information

  4. 10 seconds of black

  5. A 10-second countdown

  6. The program (your edited masterpiece)

  7. At least 10 seconds of black at the end of the tape


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