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Author Topic: DAT transfer equipment 2024  (Read 1553 times)

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Offline ajprog

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Re: DAT transfer equipment 2024
« Reply #15 on: June 22, 2024, 07:55:40 AM »
I bought one of these to transfer old recordings from a TCD-D8. I use it to connect directly to the coax digital input of a Microtrack II, works great.

https://www.core-sound.com/shop/7-pin

Offline morst

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Re: DAT transfer equipment 2024
« Reply #16 on: June 22, 2024, 10:36:51 AM »
I bought one of these to transfer old recordings from a TCD-D8. I use it to connect directly to the coax digital input of a Microtrack II, works great.

https://www.core-sound.com/shop/7-pin
R44 is a very good option.


Looks like the Core Sound "7-pin to Coax" is $50. Remember that these are directional cables, so be sure to get the correct one for DAT transfers.
The Oade cable which provides in AND out costs more, but uses the original Sony connector, which has a protective metal shell around the delicate pins of the interface.


Back when these were common in the field, both Core and Oade cables were used in taper sections, but everyone knew that the Core needed to be handled very carefully.

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Offline GLouie

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Re: DAT transfer equipment 2024
« Reply #17 on: June 22, 2024, 11:12:16 AM »
Doh! I was thinking of the PCM-D100.
But for DAT transfers, I think the hardware connection is the easy part. I did an archive of 1500 DAT transfers at work once, and it seemed any DAT tape could be in fine condition, terrible condition, or anywhere in between. Sometimes, a playback machine would go for dozens of tapes with no problem, sometimes one tape would clog a head. Play errors could be obvious, or a hard to catch, brief buzz like a mosquito flying by. This project took over a decade of intermittant work.

So, I recommend taking great care in the transfers.

Offline Thelonius

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Re: DAT transfer equipment 2024
« Reply #18 on: June 22, 2024, 04:43:59 PM »

https://www.core-sound.com/shop/7-pin
[/quote]

Looks like the Core Sound "7-pin to Coax" is $50. Remember that these are directional cables, so be sure to get the correct one for DAT transfers.
The Oade cable which provides in AND out costs more, but uses the original Sony connector, which has a protective metal shell around the delicate pins of the interface.


Back when these were common in the field, both Core and Oade cables were used in taper sections, but everyone knew that the Core needed to be handled very carefully.
[/quote]

Thank you for this. I need ver did use one of the 7 pins originally, hence the desire to get one now to “upgrade” some of my recordings to a bit perfect copy of my master. I didn’t know the cables were directional and was confused by the core sound website as it listed the 7 pin to coax and coax to 7 pin as separate cables. I will now assume that 6pm to coax is the ability to transfer from the DAT to the coax in on my recorder. I don’t need to record to my Fat so one direction is fine and, as this work will all be done in home, I can be particularly careful with the cable.

It looks like rocksuitcase may have one kicking around so I will go with that but will consider going with the core sound cable if that cable doesn’t work for some reason.

Thanks again, this is very helpful information!

Offline Thelonius

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Re: DAT transfer equipment 2024
« Reply #19 on: June 22, 2024, 04:49:39 PM »
Doh! I was thinking of the PCM-D100.
But for DAT transfers, I think the hardware connection is the easy part. I did an archive of 1500 DAT transfers at work once, and it seemed any DAT tape could be in fine condition, terrible condition, or anywhere in between. Sometimes, a playback machine would go for dozens of tapes with no problem, sometimes one tape would clog a head. Play errors could be obvious, or a hard to catch, brief buzz like a mosquito flying by. This project took over a decade of intermittant work.

So, I recommend taking great care in the transfers.

Hmmm, I’m hoping this doesn’t take a decade but I have less than 50 tapes.

Is there anything in particular that you suggest I do to help to ensure success other than to monitor the transfers in real time to try to listen for any anomalies? The tapes have barely been played (basically recorded and then played back to transfer to computer (many years ago, originally through analog cable). So far the deck seems to be functioning fine but I realize these are finicky machines and I not need it to work to transfer my masters cleanly to the computer so I’m hopeful.  :shrug:

Offline breakonthru

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Re: DAT transfer equipment 2024
« Reply #20 on: June 22, 2024, 06:26:04 PM »
I bought one of these to transfer old recordings from a TCD-D8. I use it to connect directly to the coax digital input of a Microtrack II, works great.

https://www.core-sound.com/shop/7-pin

microtrack is not a robust option for DAT transfers. run a DAT a few times and look at the wavs in an editor you will find it drops samples/swaps channels

i mean it can be done, if you want to roll each tape 3 times and piece it together, but thats unnecessary work

Offline GLouie

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Re: DAT transfer equipment 2024
« Reply #21 on: June 23, 2024, 11:54:24 AM »
Hmmm, I’m hoping this doesn’t take a decade but I have less than 50 tapes.

Is there anything in particular that you suggest I do to help to ensure success other than to monitor the transfers in real time to try to listen for any anomalies? The tapes have barely been played (basically recorded and then played back to transfer to computer (many years ago, originally through analog cable). So far the deck seems to be functioning fine but I realize these are finicky machines and I not need it to work to transfer my masters cleanly to the computer so I’m hopeful.  :shrug:

I would try to make sure the playback machine is reliable, as a mechanical failure usually ruins a section of tape. Great if it's the same machine used for the recording, less chance of a compatibility problem.

You may have no problem at all playing 50 tapes, or any one tape could clog the head. Sometimes, a DAT/DDS cleaning tape can fix it, sometimes you have to manually clean the drum with video head chamois sticks, plus the tape path.

I'd recommend monitoring the transfers with headphones, even if not too loud will focus your attention to anomalies. You might hear obvious digital fuzz errors, or a tiny, momentary buzz. My method was to transfer to a computer DAW program, and if I heard a small problem, I would let it continue but make a marker on the file, and check them all afterwards. I might be able to go back, replay a section several times, and get a clean playback I could splice in. Sometimes, head cleaning would be needed first.

As an absolute last ditch effort, if I could not get a clean digital transfer, a few times I found that an analog playback had more error correction/concealment than a digital transfer, and I would match up and splice in a section of analog playback. A few times, there was no alternative to leaving a section with digital noise and just make a notation.

I assumed these transfers would be the last ever done, so I felt some care was appropriate. With luck, you may have no problems, but the tapes and machines are getting old and could have problems.

Offline breakonthru

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Re: DAT transfer equipment 2024
« Reply #22 on: June 24, 2024, 04:25:53 AM »
Hmmm, I’m hoping this doesn’t take a decade but I have less than 50 tapes.

Is there anything in particular that you suggest I do to help to ensure success other than to monitor the transfers in real time to try to listen for any anomalies? The tapes have barely been played (basically recorded and then played back to transfer to computer (many years ago, originally through analog cable). So far the deck seems to be functioning fine but I realize these are finicky machines and I not need it to work to transfer my masters cleanly to the computer so I’m hopeful.  :shrug:

best practice is to transfer each DAT twice, ideally on different setups if you have the hardware

invert the waves over each other in a new file and transfer errors will become apparent

zoom into waveform in the "difference" file (vertical axis/dB) and drop markers anywhere there is signal thats not zero

make a regions/list of markers (depending on our software), and drop this over the original waveform and listen to them

one of three results are possible:
1. both transfers are 100% identical with zero difference (rare, but most ideal)
2. there are transfer errors but they are low level and inaudible upon relisten (common, and ideal)
3. the errors are audible on one or both of the transfers, one of the recordings may be better than the other (esp if a different deck was used)

the procedure above will tell you if your transfer was good. it will also tell you if your soundcard/recorder is resampling or dropping samples/swapping channels which is far more common than people think, so its best to test any transfer setup. its how i discovered the microtracks were unsuitable for digital input. many other devices (i.e optical inputs on macs) resample all input so your wav is not the same as what was originally on the DAT

note that this will tell you if your *transfer* was good. doesnt tell you how good the data on the tape was. If you transfer from a master you can be assured there were no audible errors introduced. if the dat is a clone of another, and the master had errors that the playback deck corrected the best it could (possibly resulting in digital noise), the gen1 dat could have made a perfect recording of said noise that plays back cleanly and repeatably and does not get detected by the procedure above (nor will it show on error counters on the dat deck when played back)

Offline Thelonius

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Re: DAT transfer equipment 2024
« Reply #23 on: June 24, 2024, 08:18:58 AM »
Thank you Glouie and breakonthru for the context and ideal process for the transfers. I was hoping that this would be easier than it looks like it will be, but I appreciate knowing what I, getting myself into so that I can prepare properly.

I will clean the head proactively prior to the first transfer and monitor and relisten to them closely. I lack the technical competence to complete the inversion, as well as a second deck, but I can monitor the transfers and relisten to the completed transfers. I have my old D>A>D transfers of most of these recordings as a fall back.

I appreciate the time everyone took to provide such detailed answers. They really are super helpful and will help me to improve my odds of success.

Offline Scooter123

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Re: DAT transfer equipment 2024
« Reply #24 on: June 24, 2024, 11:51:24 AM »
I transferred a couple thousand DATs for a radio station. This isn’t nuclear science.

I’d  just transfer 3-4 tapes and listen to them and give them a quick look on the DAW of your choice.  You’ll see blatant errors as spikes or dropouts. 

If they sound good to your ears, I’d continue the process. After each tape is done, give it a quick look on your DAW.
Regards,
Scooter123

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Offline morst

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Re: DAT transfer equipment 2024
« Reply #25 on: June 24, 2024, 11:40:48 PM »
Great advice from all sides here. I like the double style for important stuff, and I also like Scooter's notion of just get it done and check it out!


Save the original DATs until you're sure you are good to go.


I rolled in some 800 files from DAT over the course of 2010-2011 or so.
Got 850 GB WAV which is like 450 as FLAC...
killed a couple DAT decks that were still hanging on...
still have all the tapes...
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Offline ajprog

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Re: DAT transfer equipment 2024
« Reply #26 on: July 01, 2024, 06:19:52 PM »
I bought one of these to transfer old recordings from a TCD-D8. I use it to connect directly to the coax digital input of a Microtrack II, works great.

https://www.core-sound.com/shop/7-pin

microtrack is not a robust option for DAT transfers. run a DAT a few times and look at the wavs in an editor you will find it drops samples/swaps channels

i mean it can be done, if you want to roll each tape 3 times and piece it together, but thats unnecessary work

I find it more reliable than trying to transfer to PC via a soundcard.

Offline Melanie

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Re: DAT transfer equipment 2024
« Reply #27 on: July 02, 2024, 09:20:01 AM »
I bought one of these to transfer old recordings from a TCD-D8. I use it to connect directly to the coax digital input of a Microtrack II, works great.

https://www.core-sound.com/shop/7-pin

microtrack is not a robust option for DAT transfers. run a DAT a few times and look at the wavs in an editor you will find it drops samples/swaps channels

i mean it can be done, if you want to roll each tape 3 times and piece it together, but thats unnecessary work

I find it more reliable than trying to transfer to PC via a soundcard.

I have not had issues using microtrack for transfers from DAT, buit haven't used it in years, using Tascam DR100mklll now Bob
Melanie and Bob

 

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