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Offline Jhurlbs81

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DAT transfers done right
« on: October 15, 2015, 12:11:20 PM »
Hey All-

I am about to transfer a bunch of really old DATs and want to do this once, the right way.  Just looking for some confirmation on my plan and recommendations on any details I might be missing. 

-I have found a TS'er who will let me borrow their Sony R300 DAT deck with optical output. (I may need to find a cleaning DAT tape?)
-I will connect the R300 to my Mac Mini using a toslink to 3.5mm optical plug
(What will I need to do in System Preferences for the mac to recognize the input/I assume I'll need to set the R300 to SPDIF/Optical- I will check the manual for this)
-I'll record into Sound Studio on the Mac mini (my understanding is it IS bit perfect?)
-Archive the 16/44.8 master to HDD (Should I resample to 44.1 before distributing? Not many will burn to CD I am thinking...not sure what is best here. I will at the least keep the original, bit perfect file)
-I am wondering what the best way is to present these back to the owner.  He's not much of a torrent, LMA guy, so I am thinking about buying a 10 pk of USB thumb drives and putting them on them by year..

What else could I screw up here?!  ;)
« Last Edit: October 23, 2015, 07:55:52 AM by Jhurlbs81 »

Offline bombdiggity

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Re: DAT transfers done right (mac)
« Reply #1 on: October 15, 2015, 01:33:52 PM »
The deck is a good start.  Definitely need a component deck like that to do it right. 

I don't know about the Mac part at all but a few experiences:

Make sure you fast forward and rewind each tape at least once prior to playback.  If any were stored not rewound I'd fast forward from the point the tape is at, rewind, then do a full fast forward and rewind. 

The transit/alignment is the biggest issue with DAT's, other than sometimes the tapes themselves.  The ff/rew cycle at least should get them somewhat adjusted to the playback machine.  It does make a difference.  The error correction in those component Sonys is good but I'd still give anything important a decent listen.  Sometimes there are issues that may improve on a second pass.  Serious tape flaws may not be recoverable though. 

I'm agnostic on the cleaning tape.  I think they may be somewhat abrasive so I wouldn't go overboard with them.   That said if the tapes are shedding a cleaner tape or cleaning is likely to be needed. 

As far as what you run into just make sure it's all optical/digital.  You should be getting the digital signal directly off the tape without any intermediation.  I used the optical inputs of my R-44 with nice results.  One trick there was that the input sample rate had to be set on the R-44 to match the original sample rate of each tape (the last batch of tapes I did varied).  If not the R-44 wouldn't pick up the signal (though other devices may automatically adjust the rate by reading that in the incoming signal?). 

There's not much point in 16/48 {EDIT: in terms of maintaining 16/48 for distribution after editing}.  As long as you convert in a good program it seems OK to convert to a more widely used rate.  Depends on the audience I guess. 

Good luck. 
« Last Edit: October 15, 2015, 02:42:56 PM by bombdiggity »
Gear:
Audio:
Schoeps MK4V
Nak CM-100/CM-300 w/ CP-1's or CP-4's
SP-CMC-25
>
Oade C mod R-44  OR
Tinybox > Sony PCM-M10 (formerly Roland R-05) 
Video: Varied, with various outboard mics depending on the situation

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Re: DAT transfers done right (mac)
« Reply #2 on: October 15, 2015, 01:36:40 PM »

There's not much point in 16/48.  As long as you convert in a good program it seems OK to convert.  Depends on the audience I guess. 


I would suggest Transferring each at the correct rate 44 vs 48...  You can always go to 44k, but you can never go back to 48k...

Terry
***Do you have PHISH, VIDA BLUE, JAZZ MANDOLIN PROJECT or any other Phish related DATs/Tapes/MDs that need to be transferred???  I can do them for you!!!***

I will return your DATs/Tapes/MDs.  I'll also provide Master FLAC files via DropBox.  PM me for details.

Sony PCM R500 > SPDIF > Tascam HD-P2
Nakamichi DR-3 > (Oade Advanced Concert Mod) Tascam HD-P2
Sony MDS-JE510 > Hosa ODL-276 > Tascam HD-P2

******

Offline bombdiggity

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Re: DAT transfers done right (mac)
« Reply #3 on: October 15, 2015, 01:43:16 PM »

There's not much point in 16/48.  As long as you convert in a good program it seems OK to convert.  Depends on the audience I guess. 


I would suggest Transferring each at the correct rate 44 vs 48...  You can always go to 44k, but you can never go back to 48k...


I was referring to editing for distribution there (as the OP also was as far as I interpreted that element of the questions). 

You have to transfer each at the original rate to do it properly.  It's not a "clone" if you're resampling on the fly.  So a correct approach is going to give you the same bit rate as the original (though an incorrect one could also do that). 

That said I don't think it makes much difference how you distribute them afterward as long as any resampling is done well (i.e. one shouldn't use Audacity). 

« Last Edit: October 15, 2015, 02:44:19 PM by bombdiggity »
Gear:
Audio:
Schoeps MK4V
Nak CM-100/CM-300 w/ CP-1's or CP-4's
SP-CMC-25
>
Oade C mod R-44  OR
Tinybox > Sony PCM-M10 (formerly Roland R-05) 
Video: Varied, with various outboard mics depending on the situation

Offline Life In Rewind

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Re: DAT transfers done right (mac)
« Reply #4 on: October 15, 2015, 01:50:39 PM »

There's not much point in 16/48.  As long as you convert in a good program it seems OK to convert.  Depends on the audience I guess. 


I would suggest Transferring each at the correct rate 44 vs 48...  You can always go to 44k, but you can never go back to 48k...

Terry

Agree - transfer and archive at their native sample rate...
Audix M1280/Avantone CK-1/APEX 435/Altec 626A/TEAC ME-120/Sony ECM-999PR/Sony ECM-MS5
TASCAM DR-70D/Tricorder

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Re: DAT transfers done right (mac)
« Reply #5 on: October 15, 2015, 02:22:31 PM »

There's not much point in 16/48.  As long as you convert in a good program it seems OK to convert.  Depends on the audience I guess. 


I would suggest Transferring each at the correct rate 44 vs 48...  You can always go to 44k, but you can never go back to 48k...


I was referring to editing there (as the OP also was as far as I interpreted that element of the questions). 

You have to transfer each at the original rate to do it properly.  It's not a "clone" if you're resampling on the fly.  So a correct approach is going to give you the same bit rate as the original (though an incorrect one could also do that). 

That said I don't think it makes much difference how you distribute them afterward as long as any resampling is done well (i.e. one shouldn't use Audacity).

Oh, my bad...  I guess I mistook what you wrote...

Terry
***Do you have PHISH, VIDA BLUE, JAZZ MANDOLIN PROJECT or any other Phish related DATs/Tapes/MDs that need to be transferred???  I can do them for you!!!***

I will return your DATs/Tapes/MDs.  I'll also provide Master FLAC files via DropBox.  PM me for details.

Sony PCM R500 > SPDIF > Tascam HD-P2
Nakamichi DR-3 > (Oade Advanced Concert Mod) Tascam HD-P2
Sony MDS-JE510 > Hosa ODL-276 > Tascam HD-P2

******

Offline Jhurlbs81

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Re: DAT transfers done right (mac)
« Reply #6 on: October 16, 2015, 01:35:04 PM »
Here is the first box we pulled from storage. 





« Last Edit: October 16, 2015, 01:37:51 PM by Jhurlbs81 »

Offline bombdiggity

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Re: DAT transfers done right (mac)
« Reply #7 on: October 16, 2015, 04:41:25 PM »
Don't break the deck  :P  Quite a range in there. 
Gear:
Audio:
Schoeps MK4V
Nak CM-100/CM-300 w/ CP-1's or CP-4's
SP-CMC-25
>
Oade C mod R-44  OR
Tinybox > Sony PCM-M10 (formerly Roland R-05) 
Video: Varied, with various outboard mics depending on the situation

Offline H₂O

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Re: DAT transfers done right (mac)
« Reply #8 on: October 16, 2015, 04:50:04 PM »
when I have done xfers I only do the following:
- RIP the DAT
- FLAC the ripped files
- document the tape and xfer process
- take pictures of the tape, J cards, and case
- place all in a folder using semi etree naming

I do not:
 - track the shows
 - seed the shows
 - perform ANY processing on the files other then FLAC - no resampling, no combining, no adjustments in levels, etc
 - I return the tapes with the files to the sender

IMO - you should really look for an PCM-R500/R700, PCM-2600/2800 and record to a dedicated recorder like a Tascam HD-P2, DR-680, Microtrack, etc

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Offline Jhurlbs81

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Re: DAT transfers done right (mac)
« Reply #9 on: October 16, 2015, 06:14:25 PM »
Don't break the deck  :P  Quite a range in there.

I know. I should get my own DAT player to do this. There are way more tapes than I thought.  This was box one of 4 or 5.  He also has these slightly larger digital tapes.  Looked like 8 tracks from the notes in the tapes..  he recorded those from a van I believe.  No idea what format or how those could be transferred.

Richard, thanks for commenting.  I guess I don't understand the importance of a very high quality deck if it's a digital transfer. Aren't I just transferring 1's and 0's over fiber?  I'm also curious on your recommendation of using a dedicated recorder. 

You're a expert eBay watcher :) - what would one of those higher quality decks cost.

Thanks all,
Jesse
« Last Edit: October 16, 2015, 06:45:06 PM by Jhurlbs81 »

Offline keytohwy

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Re: DAT transfers done right (mac)
« Reply #10 on: October 16, 2015, 06:30:13 PM »
I've done hundreds at this point, and I think you are on the right track.  I actually used a simple app (Audio Recorder) that just recorded straight from the optical input, which you can control from the Audio MIDI setup app in the Utilities folder.  There you can set to use the source clock (DAT check) or the internal clock.  You'll want external unless you run into 32khz tapes.  Some older Macs could handle the 32khz, but not the 12bit variety.

I'd also take a good hard look at the tapes an make sure you aren't duplicating work.  Clearly that Legion o fMary 1975 tape is not a master.  I've helped others transfer their tapes, but I pretty much refuse to do non-masters, unless the masters are known to be lost.  So many tapes I found in a box given to me were available on tree, archive.org, etc.

Curious about the larger tapes.  Are they beta tapes?  Can you share a picture?

Hope that helps.

Offline H₂O

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Re: DAT transfers done right (mac)
« Reply #11 on: October 16, 2015, 08:57:13 PM »
Jesse - If you want I can lone you an external 13.1 firmware SGI DDS-3 drive, cables and DAT2WAV if you can round up a PCI SCSI card and a Windows XP box (if you have a laptop with PCMCIA I can lone you a Adaptec 1460c card as well).


This is always my first step in xfers - it's equivalent using EAC and xfers the audio at 2x speed plus outputs error files.


Doesn't work well with tapes w/o A-TIME though - can work but not as well.
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Offline H₂O

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Re: DAT transfers done right (mac)
« Reply #12 on: October 16, 2015, 09:13:00 PM »
Don't break the deck  :P  Quite a range in there.
Richard, thanks for commenting.  I guess I don't understand the importance of a very high quality deck if it's a digital transfer. Aren't I just transferring 1's and 0's over fiber?  I'm also curious on your recommendation of using a dedicated recorder. 

You're a expert eBay watcher :) - what would one of those higher quality decks cost.

Thanks all,
Jesse


Not all DAT decks are equal - the decks I suggested are 4 motor decks where as the R300 is not - the transports are more rugged and less susceptible to going out of alignment, jamming, eating tapes, etc


The best decks use DDS based transports such as the PCM-7040 (7040 will not read 32Khz tapes) - and have built in dry head cleaning (the decks I mentioned above have head cleaning as well) - regardless they still need a cleaning tape every once in a while though


prices of R500 can go anywhere from $75 to $400 - they never sold above $125 about 3 years ago though
PCM 2600 ~ $50-125


I currently own a 7040, R700 and SV-4100 - and a boat load of Audio capable DDS drives 1 x DDS1; 2 x DDS2; 7-8 DDS3


I do DDS drive > SCSI > Win XP Laptop first then :
 - 44.1 or 48khz tape >  7040 > hs-p82
 - 32 Khz > R700 > JB3


Using a known trusted audio recorder takes audio software issues, sound card issues, possible resampling out of the equation and frees up your computer as well - simplifies setup as well



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Offline robertmode

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Re: DAT transfers done right (mac)
« Reply #13 on: October 18, 2015, 04:50:51 AM »
Hello,

I know H₂O's right for the job. 
I'am lucky, I know he will try his best for me !

Yours sincerely.
Robert
« Last Edit: October 18, 2015, 05:13:05 AM by robertmode »

Offline Jhurlbs81

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Re: DAT transfers done right (mac)
« Reply #14 on: October 19, 2015, 12:21:34 PM »
I transferred my first two tapes this morning, and so far so good.  Derek Trucks 2/10/2000 and Bela Fleck 2/18/1998.  I'm glad I read the comment above and checked db.etree.org before transferring.  I've already found a few that are already circulating, I'm thinking some of his are clones.  It is exciting though when you find a tape of something that is not yet out there. 

Transfers went well, Error reader on the r300 showed no errors, though I did get a "thin tape" warning when I put the bela tape in.  the waveforms look good and I took a listen to a few sections and they sound good.  I like the idea of taking photos of the dats and cards and including those with the flacs. 

Keytohwy- I'm not sure of the format of the 8 tracks, but when I get the next batch of tapes I will ask and snap a few pics.  They looked just a bit bigger than a normal dds tape. 

Jesse
« Last Edit: October 19, 2015, 12:30:37 PM by Jhurlbs81 »

 

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