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Author Topic: Curious Why People Still Use DAT?  (Read 12655 times)

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stevetoney

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Curious Why People Still Use DAT?
« on: March 04, 2010, 11:57:21 AM »
I almost posted this question on another thread that asked where to buy DAT tapes, but it would have hijacked that thread, so I started a new thread...

I'm curious, since DAT users can't seem to find DAT tapes many places anymore and since, when they do find them, a box of 50 tapes costs almost as much as some of the 24bit digital recorders, I'm curious what are the reasons that people are still using 16bit DAT machines.


Offline nameloc01

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Re: Curious Why People Still Use DAT?
« Reply #1 on: March 04, 2010, 12:06:59 PM »
I almost posted this question on another thread that asked where to buy DAT tapes, but it would have hijacked that thread, so I started a new thread...

I'm curious, since DAT users can't seem to find DAT tapes many places anymore and since, when they do find them, a box of 50 tapes costs almost as much as some of the 24bit digital recorders, I'm curious what are the reasons that people are still using 16bit DAT machines.
 
i guess if it has to be explained..you wouldn't truly understand anyhow.

(not trying to sound condescending)

But, if its working for someone, why would you change to flash or whatever? I,myself,like having physical masters to hold onto (MDs) and i find that IMO, my 16 bit hi-md decks make just as good a recording as anything else,and they are smaller than just about anything else...so, until the time comes where i cant get blanks, i see no reason to change formats. Im sure, the same goes for the DAT guys.
« Last Edit: March 04, 2010, 12:15:57 PM by nameloc01 »
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stevetoney

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Re: Curious Why People Still Use DAT?
« Reply #2 on: March 04, 2010, 12:23:27 PM »

i guess if it has to be explained..you wouldn't truly understand anyhow.

(not trying to sound condescending)

FWIW, I understand your explanation...partially 

I compare your response a little to my favorite piece of clothing.  It's a Duckhead hoodie that's probably 100 years old (OK maybe 20) that has holes in it.  It's mine...I've worn it forever...I like it...it's part of my identity...why would I ever, E-V-E-R throw it out?

Having said this, my wife, bless her heart, simply can't fathom why I would ever be seen in public with it on.

It seems that the ability to keep masters is a motivator for people, but I guess what I still don't understand is the logic behind that.  Since they're digital tapes...what's a master?  For example, I consider my master to be my raw untouched digital file...which is stored on my harddrive which is backed up.  So I DEFINITELY keep my raw masters too...in two places.  Harddrive space being so much less expensive than DAT tape, still not sure I understand the 'to keep my masters' logic. 

I don't mean to sound like I'm challenging the logic...just trying to understand if there's something that I haven't considered.
« Last Edit: March 04, 2010, 12:37:08 PM by tonedeaf »

Offline kcmule

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Re: Curious Why People Still Use DAT?
« Reply #3 on: March 04, 2010, 12:29:19 PM »
I can understand the "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" mentality
but, for me, having to deal with a tape flip is a deal breaker.

Hit record and "forget about it" is much better for me.

Offline darby

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Re: Curious Why People Still Use DAT?
« Reply #4 on: March 04, 2010, 12:30:16 PM »
I probably miss using my Sony D5s more than my DATs :'(
but after switching 4 years ago to my P2, and learning to use it
plus the fact that tapes are nearly obsolete... I'm glad I did

BTW... I have an 18 year old hooded sweatshirt like yours
but I only wear it around the house

stevetoney

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Re: Curious Why People Still Use DAT?
« Reply #5 on: March 04, 2010, 12:39:07 PM »
BTW... I have an 18 year old hooded sweatshirt like yours
but I only wear it around the house

LOL, ya got me there.  I guess my hoodie might make it out to Home Depot now and then, but that's about it.   :)

Offline nameloc01

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Re: Curious Why People Still Use DAT?
« Reply #6 on: March 04, 2010, 01:02:58 PM »

i guess if it has to be explained..you wouldn't truly understand anyhow.

(not trying to sound condescending)

FWIW, I understand your explanation...partially 

I compare your response a little to my favorite piece of clothing.  It's a Duckhead hoodie that's probably 100 years old (OK maybe 20) that has holes in it.  It's mine...I've worn it forever...I like it...it's part of my identity...why would I ever, E-V-E-R throw it out?

Having said this, my wife, bless her heart, simply can't fathom why I would ever be seen in public with it on.

It seems that the ability to keep masters is a motivator for people, but I guess what I still don't understand is the logic behind that.  Since they're digital tapes...what's a master?  For example, I consider my master to be my raw untouched digital file...which is stored on my harddrive which is backed up.  So I DEFINITELY keep my raw masters too...in two places.  Harddrive space being so much less expensive than DAT tape, still not sure I understand the 'to keep my masters' logic. 

I don't mean to sound like I'm challenging the logic...just trying to understand if there's something that I haven't considered.

Personally speaking too, while i completely acknowledge my 16 bit Mds are not technically as "good" as some of the high end digital recorders, i tape for myself first and foremost, and like i said, i enjoy the results thoroughly. I dont fancy myself some kind of legit "archivist" or someone like that who would probably be more inclined to always use the most current,state-of-the-art equipment whether it was really making an improvement on the sound or not.
 
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Re: Curious Why People Still Use DAT?
« Reply #7 on: March 04, 2010, 01:07:01 PM »
flash / hardrive technology requires a set of computer skills that not everyone has. So DAT allows digital recording without the computer aspect, for some folk (myself included for quite a long time)
I'm thankful for it, in that it forced this old dog to learn how to use a computer.
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stevetoney

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Re: Curious Why People Still Use DAT?
« Reply #8 on: March 04, 2010, 01:39:33 PM »
^ Thanks frenchy.  Hadn't thought of that and it's a good'un.  Not only 'puter skills, but if you don't have a computer, it would be pretty much impossible to make use of a flash based recorder.

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Re: Curious Why People Still Use DAT?
« Reply #9 on: March 04, 2010, 01:48:16 PM »

I'm waiting for a hand-held $200, 4-channel machine, with internal mics, line-in, XLR-in with phantom, and 16/24-bit RCA SPDIF in.  Might be a while....... :)

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Re: Curious Why People Still Use DAT?
« Reply #10 on: March 04, 2010, 02:08:29 PM »
^ Thanks frenchy.  Hadn't thought of that and it's a good'un.  Not only 'puter skills, but if you don't have a computer, it would be pretty much impossible to make use of a flash based recorder.

Why? One can still record then use the same deck as a playback source when patched into your home stereo system. The taper has unrestricted playback of his recording without a computer; even without a home system most flash recorders have a headphone out jack. All lack of a computer does is prevents electronic distribution by the original taper and processing on a DAW.  Hook the recording deck, whether it be tape or flash based, into a mixing console and you can even do minimal editing/mixing as long as you record the output on a second recorder.
« Last Edit: March 04, 2010, 02:11:37 PM by flipp »

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Re: Curious Why People Still Use DAT?
« Reply #11 on: March 04, 2010, 02:53:19 PM »
Another factor, at least for some touring bands recording their own shows, is the ease of use with DATs with no requirement to backup files and deal with them. Both Little Feat and the Radiators still master their shows from the SBD on DATs. All you have to do is make the tape, write the show date on the J-card, and drop it in a box. No late night transferring from flash cards to computer drives, no post work required at all at that point.

16bit is usually fine for most applicatons. A typical rock concert might have a dynamic range of 30-40 db max, and that is mosty with the crowd breaks factored in. If you looked at the dynamic range of a full song without the crowd break, you could see actual effective dynamic ranges no more than 20 db.

This is why DAT is just fine still for many users, IMO.





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Re: Curious Why People Still Use DAT?
« Reply #12 on: March 04, 2010, 03:14:58 PM »
Quote
No late night transferring from flash cards to computer drives, no post work required at all at that point.

Until you actually want to use the tape for something..then you're about three hours behind the curve. Eventually that time catches up with you.  It takes me 5 minutes to rip a CF card to my computer.  It was the real time playback of 3 hours shows that made me switch away from DAT decks.
(edit to add-... and saving hundreds a year on DAT tapes!)
« Last Edit: March 04, 2010, 03:25:38 PM by Jesse Hurlburt »

runonce

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Re: Curious Why People Still Use DAT?
« Reply #13 on: March 04, 2010, 04:07:42 PM »
I almost posted this question on another thread that asked where to buy DAT tapes, but it would have hijacked that thread, so I started a new thread...

I'm curious, since DAT users can't seem to find DAT tapes many places anymore and since, when they do find them, a box of 50 tapes costs almost as much as some of the 24bit digital recorders, I'm curious what are the reasons that people are still using 16bit DAT machines.
 
i guess if it has to be explained..you wouldn't truly understand anyhow.

(not trying to sound condescending)

But, if its working for someone, why would you change to flash or whatever? I,myself,like having physical masters to hold onto (MDs) and i find that IMO, my 16 bit hi-md decks make just as good a recording as anything else,and they are smaller than just about anything else...so, until the time comes where i cant get blanks, i see no reason to change formats. Im sure, the same goes for the DAT guys.

Even if the format has some merits...

The existing crop of common DAT machines are nearly 20 years old.

No DAT decks are made anymore.

I would say stop mastering on DAT - and save your deck for transferring your collection. You'll have to move on sooner or later.

The tapes will probably outlast the hardware...

Plus - not to threadjack - but, I've never gotten the whole thing with DAT error correction. Are DATS bit perfect or just "bit accurate?"  What is too many errors? (ie when does the signal decay?) It must start to affect the sound or signal integrity before it turns to crackling or drop outs?

Offline yousef

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Re: Curious Why People Still Use DAT?
« Reply #14 on: March 04, 2010, 04:19:16 PM »
I'm currently re-transferring another batch of DATs and kicking myself for not making the switch to flash/HD recorders earlier.

I always liked the idea of having a 'physical' master to hold onto but it's becoming clear that between the ageing tapes and ageing equipment it won't be too long before those little black cartridges are nearly useless.

And cheaper, smaller, more reliable recorders, vastly reduced media costs, no used media storage problems... Wouldn't ever want to go back.
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