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Author Topic: Colour-coding leaders...  (Read 5770 times)

Offline heideana

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Colour-coding leaders...
« on: February 09, 2007, 05:18:14 PM »
Is there an "industry-standard" leader colour-coding scheme for identifying the lead-in and tail-end sections of tapes?

Also, is there any difference in using blue, clear, or other colours of splicing tape when splicing tape?

I'm probably asking a really newbie question...thanks
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Offline ironbut

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Re: Colour-coding leaders...
« Reply #1 on: February 09, 2007, 08:11:58 PM »
i think the only difference in leader color is clear. Clear is for machines with optical sensors for end of tape. Oh yeah, the silver is reflective for auto reverse. As far as I know, the rest if personal taste.
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Offline High and Outside

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Re: Colour-coding leaders...
« Reply #2 on: February 10, 2007, 03:24:20 PM »
Yes, there is an industry standard for indicating head or tail of a reel...but it doesn't have to do with the leader itself. The indicator is the little piece of adhesive tape that is used to hold down the free end of the tape. If it's blue, the tape is tails out. If it's red, the tape is heads out. I have no idea where this originated, but it has been widely observed for a long time.
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Offline heideana

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Re: Colour-coding leaders...
« Reply #3 on: February 11, 2007, 11:03:48 AM »
Thanks!!!  That explains why the blue splicing tape I bought doesn't have very good adhesive properties!!!!!  Silly me....it looks like I'm going to have to go back and re-do some leader splicing....opps....
Studer A810 and Otari MTR-15...Klipsch CWIII's, KG2's & RF7's

Truth is a kind of error, so vaporize it to find your way to heaven, or at least to a smile...

Offline High and Outside

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Re: Colour-coding leaders...
« Reply #4 on: February 12, 2007, 04:07:08 AM »
I guess I didn't express myself well. My comment had nothing to do with either leader tape or splicing tape.

When putting a tape away for storage, it is customary to tape down the free end so it doesn't unravel in storage and create a big mess the next time you pull the tape out. It doesn't matter whether there is leader on the end, or it's just the end of the tape. It's just good practice to tape it down so it doesn't unravel. It can be taped down with just about anything: masking tape, scotch tape, gaffer's tape. But in every commercial studio I've ever been in, there has been a supply of tape, usually artist's paper tape, in a quarter inch width, just for this purpose. And generally in two colors: red and blue. As I said earlier, the blue is used to signify that the tape is tails out, and the red is used to signify that it's heads out.

One studio I worked at, The Automatt, even had short lengths of tape ready-made for this purpose, with their logo pre-printed on them. Since it was assumed that all the tapes would be stored tails-out, they only made these in blue.
Paul Stubblebine
Managing Director, The TapeProject

Offline docb

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Re: Colour-coding leaders...
« Reply #5 on: February 12, 2007, 09:18:13 AM »
Quote
had short lengths of tape ready-made for this purpose, with their logo pre-printed on them.

Oooh, I like that idea...
Dan "Doc B." Schmalle
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Managing Director - retired, The Tape Project

Offline dwilawyer

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Re: Colour-coding leaders...
« Reply #6 on: February 15, 2007, 12:43:42 AM »
With master tapes I have always seen red or blue hold down tape as prevously mentioned.  With broadcasting red is very commong for tails out, but I cannot say an industry standard.  The "red" can very, it can be timing tape with red indicators instead of black or simply red solid leader. 

Travis

Offline heideana

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Re: Colour-coding leaders...
« Reply #7 on: February 16, 2007, 10:23:08 PM »
I think I got all of that...I used the blue stick-down tape as splicing tape to splice leader onto the audio reel...maybe I'm not making myself clear....no pun intended...
Studer A810 and Otari MTR-15...Klipsch CWIII's, KG2's & RF7's

Truth is a kind of error, so vaporize it to find your way to heaven, or at least to a smile...

Offline dwilawyer

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Re: Colour-coding leaders...
« Reply #8 on: February 17, 2007, 01:51:18 PM »
I think I got all of that...I used the blue stick-down tape as splicing tape to splice leader onto the audio reel...maybe I'm not making myself clear....no pun intended...

Nothing is ever clear and looking at my post it was not very clear at all.  So I will just make it real (pun) simple.  Splicing tapes, as you know, is used to affix the leader the the tape itself.  It is just under 1/4" wide, and is usually white or off white in color. 

Hold down tape is used to affix the end of the tape, whether it be leader or whatever, to the side of the reel.  This keeps tension on the tape so it does not become unraveled during storage, shipment, etc.  What was referred to earlier is that red hold down tape was used for heads out and blue was used for tails out.  Hold down tape comes in varous widths, I have seen mostly 1/8" hold down tape used with 1/4" tape.  This hold down tape has an adhesive that does not gum up the reel or the tape, and is left of the side of the reel during play as it can be reused multiple times. 

I hope that explains it.  You do not want to be using hold down tape for splicing.

Travis