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View Full Version : DAT Transfer: Doing It Right


rabble
2005-06-15, 04:30 PM
I recently gained access to a little mini-vault of Pre-FM DAT masters at a local radio station. :)

I'll be in the process of going through and seeing what's uncirculated and/or could be an upgrade to currently circulating versions, and then proceed to transfer anything that may be of interest. I'd really like to do this RIGHT. As far as equiptment goes, I've got access to an onsite DAT player (not sure which model, I can get details on that later) which I'm sure at LEAST has composite/RCA out. I've also got a laptop, although the soundcard on it leaves MUCH to be desired.

What equiptment do I need to acquire to make the best possible transfer? I don't want to do this wrong, so a step by step process wouldn't hurt, if anyone would be willing to take the time to type it up..

Thanks!

Five
2005-06-15, 05:55 PM
you need a soundcard with a coax or optical in (whichever your DAT deck has). Then you get the special cable, run it from the DAT to your laptop's digital in. Be sure you capture it at the same bitdepth and frequency that each original DAT is recorded at. I'm pretty sure the bit depth is 16bit, the frequency will (hopefully) be 44.1kHz, but might be 48kHz. Check the led display on the DAT deck for this info. Do you have a prog to record onto your laptop with? Audacity (http://audacity.sourceforge.net/) can do it and is free, but a few changes in the settings will be necessary to make sure that you get the best direct digital copy possible.

congrats on unearthing this goldmine!

rabble
2005-06-15, 06:08 PM
you need a soundcard with a coax or optical in (whichever your DAT deck has). Then you get the special cable, run it from the DAT to your laptop's digital in. Be sure you capture it at the same bitdepth and frequency that each original DAT is recorded at. I'm pretty sure the bit depth is 16bit, the frequency will (hopefully) be 44.1kHz, but might be 48kHz. Check the led display on the DAT deck for this info. Do you have a prog to record onto your laptop with? Audacity (http://audacity.sourceforge.net/) can do it and is free, but a few changes in the settings will be necessary to make sure that you get the best direct digital copy possible.

congrats on unearthing this goldmine!

I take it that you're referring to an external soundcard, right?
Also, as far as I know, my laptop doesn't have a "digital in", unless you're referring to something like USB or firewire..

If I understand correctly, it would go:

DAT(M) > DAT Deck > Digital Out > External Soundcard > USB 2.0/Firewire > Software > Hard Disk

Any reccomends on a decent external sound card that will do this right and not KILL my bankroll?

rabble
2005-06-15, 06:11 PM
Also - Thanks Five! Seems more often than not you end up being the guy with the solutions to my A/V problems... Definetly appreciated.

Five
2005-06-15, 06:31 PM
you're welcome!

DAT(M) > DAT Deck > Digital Out > External Soundcard > USB 2.0/Firewire > Software > Hard Disk

that sounds about right. you can get an external soundcard that goes in thru the USB and you can pretty much sidestep the high prices they charge for laptop hardware. Something like this should work, I don't think this one has the right digital input interface but you'll get the idea:

http://www.m-audio.com/products/en_us/AudiophileUSB-main.html

with a product like this you can plug it into your desktop or anywhere so you can do nice transfers on pretty much any computer.

also watch out, some of these firewire/USB kinda soundcards have trouble with older OSes or so I've heard.

I've got the EMU 0404 on one of my desktop comps, it's very cheap and gives a lot of bang for the buck:

http://www.emu.com/products/product.asp?product=2220&category=754&maincategory=754

its got the optical digital in/out which is that little square kind and can connect easily to my DAT deck.

Did you decide on which software you're gonna use? There's a couple key settings that have to be made at that stage and its a little bit different for each prog.

rabble
2005-06-15, 07:13 PM
you're welcome!



that sounds about right. you can get an external soundcard that goes in thru the USB and you can pretty much sidestep the high prices they charge for laptop hardware. Something like this should work, I don't think this one has the right digital input interface but you'll get the idea:

http://www.m-audio.com/products/en_us/AudiophileUSB-main.html

with a product like this you can plug it into your desktop or anywhere so you can do nice transfers on pretty much any computer.

also watch out, some of these firewire/USB kinda soundcards have trouble with older OSes or so I've heard.

I've got the EMU 0404 on one of my desktop comps, it's very cheap and gives a lot of bang for the buck:

http://www.emu.com/products/product.asp?product=2220&category=754&maincategory=754

its got the optical digital in/out which is that little square kind and can connect easily to my DAT deck.

Did you decide on which software you're gonna use? There's a couple key settings that have to be made at that stage and its a little bit different for each prog.

Wow, those both look like AMAZING cards, but unfortunately, $50 is the top of my budget for the next couple of months - So it looks like I won't be able to get a start on this for quite awhile.

As far as software goes, I've got access most everything, which in particular would you reccomend?

rabble
2005-06-15, 09:30 PM
If only I could get the E-MU 4040 as a portable USB sound device at the same price, I'd be set..

That thing is gawdamned sweeeet!

jcrab66
2005-06-15, 11:08 PM
for around $150 you can pick up a Nomad JB3 and do a straight optical tranfer to it then tranfer via usb or firewire to your computer for tracking and such. You would also have yourself an excellent device for taping some shows. BTW, i was in Missoula on business Monday and Tuesday. Very beautiful country up there but not much of anything to do unless you like hokie little casinos or have time to go hiking and such.....

Five
2005-06-15, 11:37 PM
As far as software goes, I've got access most everything, which in particular would you reccomend?
Adobe Audition

save up a bit... the nomad JB3 suggested by jcrab sounds great especially 'cause you could tape with it, too.

rabble
2005-06-16, 05:49 AM
for around $150 you can pick up a Nomad JB3 and do a straight optical tranfer to it then tranfer via usb or firewire to your computer for tracking and such. You would also have yourself an excellent device for taping some shows. BTW, i was in Missoula on business Monday and Tuesday. Very beautiful country up there but not much of anything to do unless you like hokie little casinos or have time to go hiking and such.....

Wow, that's a GREAT idea, I hadn't even thought of that.... Thanks for the heads up, I think that's how I'll do it...

Now just to procure $150....

Yeah, I can imagine Missoula wouldn't be all that great if you weren't into the college drinking scene, although TONS of great music does manage to make it's way through here......

rabble
2005-06-16, 05:50 AM
Adobe Audition


Sounds good, already have a copy.

Any links for a decent tutorial that would suit my purposes, by chance?

jcrab66
2005-06-16, 05:28 PM
For all your Audition/CEP Needs go HERE (http://www.audiomastersforum.org/amforum/index.php). Any questions you have should be easily answered there....