[rescue] Playing and Recording music on DAT tapes

Dave McGuire mcguire at neurotica.com
Sat Dec 20 18:08:28 CST 2003

On Nov 28, 2003, at 6:34 PM, Sheldon T. Hall wrote:
> I have some old studio master tapes (yeah, I was in a band, once) that 
> I'd
> like to have converted to some digital medium.  I have a friend who is 
> a
> composer/arranger, if he could play the tapes in his home studion and 
> burn
> CDs from them.
> It turns out he doesn't burn CDs because the music biz actually sends 
> the
> stuff around on DAT tapes.  He says ...
>> My DAT machine is the standard professional workhorse - a Tascam 
>> DA-30.
> It
>> uses standard DAT tapes and can record at sampling frequencies of 
>> either
> 48kHz,
>> 44.1kHz, or 32kHz from digital inputs.  It's an older model from the 
>> mid
>> 90's.  I recently had one of my DATs converted to CD by the friend I
> mentioned in
>> my last email and he played my DAT through a newer but similar style 
>> DAT
>> machine in his studio with no problem.
> Now, my Indigo^2 has a program called "DATman", which purports to be 
> able to
> play DAT tapes.  Is it going to play them through any DDS drive, or is 
> it
> one of those SGI deals like the audio-over-SCSI that only works with 
> certain
> CD drives, and only on the internal SCSI bus?
> The DATman man page indicates that it'll play 'em, and even produce 
> files on
> disk, but is silent on the hardware details.  If it mentions the 
> format of
> the files it produces, I can't find that, either.  Has anyone ever 
> tried it?

   I too have a DA-30, and I fought with this as well.  I didn't get 
very far with it...some DAT drives will deal with audio and some won't. 
  I found a web page somewhere (I don't recall where...google is your 
friend) that detailed which drives work and which ones didn't, and even 
had firmware and download utilities for some models of drives.

   I'd gotten pissed off by the time I had a stack of five DAT drives 
that didn't work right...some hung the SCSI bus, some ate tapes, etc.  
Eventually I wound up connecting a piece of RCA-RCA coax between the 
DA-30's digital output and the digital input on my Octane and sucking 
them in (and doing some editing) that way.  It was pretty trivial to do 
it that way and I kicked myself for not having taken that approach 
earlier in the process.

   If memory serves, the Indigo2 has digital audio I/O, but on a 1/8" 
connector instead of the more standard RCA jacks.  I've never used that 
interface, though, and I don't know how well it works on that hardware. 
  But with Octanes being so unbelievably cheap right now, I might 
suggest it'd be better for you to grab one on eBay, move all your stuff 
over from your Indigo2 and give it away, and suck the data in from the 
DA-30 like I did.


Dave McGuire                      "My tummy hurts now, but my soul
St. Petersburg, FL                 feels a little better."     -Ed

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