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f'nwooks
2012-03-21, 03:19 PM
I recently mustered up the energy and motivation to transfer a large collection of DATs to the computer (wav > flac). It's been many years since I have taped or even really messed around with audio hardware or software. I'm here to ask you all for help and advice on your personal thoughts/experience with the hardware/software setup and configuration options. Obviously since I am taking the time to tackle this project I'd like to do it right the 1st time (and hopefully only time). Any help, suggestions, tutorials etc would be greatly appreciated! As far as budget is concerned, I am not concerned with the cost of software or external hdds. Like I said, I want to do this right the 1st time. Thanks again!

Background:
The collection of DATs is a mixed batch of recordings from many different sources.

I am open to either pc or mac but would prefer mac platform if there isn't any quality differences/issues

DAT Hardware:
panasonic 3800
tascam da20
tascam dap1

Computer Hardware:
MacMini/Lion (optical in)
Macbook Pro/Lion (optical in)
Macbook/Lion (optical in)
XP PC (older HP) with both optical and digi coax in

Cables:
both digi coax and optical available

whodowedo
2012-03-21, 07:12 PM
im curious as well. i have been using CDWAV and EAC on my PC for 10+ years now. what's new and good out there??

oxymoron
2012-03-22, 09:32 AM
i use WaveLab for audio recording/editing on win xp system,
but also a lot of free software is ok,
optical transfer is good, but coax is better.
the tascam da20 is very good, use this machine

:wave:

f'nwooks
2012-03-22, 09:49 AM
thanks for the reply oxymoron

forgive my ignorance...why would the digi coax be any different than the optical cable when in theory it should be transferring 1's and 0's and not a analog signal?

oxymoron
2012-03-22, 03:36 PM
thanks for the reply oxymoron

forgive my ignorance...why would the digi coax be any different than the optical cable when in theory it should be transferring 1's and 0's and not a analog signal?


the difference is important if you use a long cable, short optical cable (under 1.5m) are ok
theoretical is a coax cable the better connection, but if you have any ground problems is better to use a short optical
i donīt know exact the specifications for the optical connection
think the problems are only with a longer opt (more than 7-8m) and 24Bit/96kHz or greater


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S/PDIF

AAR.oner
2012-03-23, 04:27 AM
i run Macs as well...although i've heard similar, imo optical vs coax isn't a big deal in a home studio situation as rarely are you having to run cables over 1-2m anyway

as for software -- i usually use Ableton Live+Ozone suite if i'm gonna do any mixing [i'm more used to the interface and find it more intuitive than Logic]...other options would be Logic, ProTools, Cubase

if its a straight set track markers and split kinda transfer situtation, freeware like Audacity will work fine

f'nwooks
2012-03-23, 07:52 AM
thanks guys, I think I'll start with Audacity for the capturing/tracking and splitting. I'll play with more serious software down the road once I get everything onto hdds.

thanks again

weedwacker
2012-03-23, 10:05 AM
The software you use really isn't that important for the transfer process as long as you use a digital cable and the soundcard can support the audio resolutions the particular dat tapes were recorded at usually 16 bit / 48000 kHz at a maximum. The things you really want to take careful care with is the heads on the dat deck you use to playback during the transfer. Make sure you have a cleaner tape and run it periodically especially if the deck has been lying around for awhile. Nothing worse than running a tape and the transfer is littered with diginoise from a dirty head on the deck. The other important thing concerns the soundcard, make sure the buffer size is as large as possible. It is possible to get drop outs and other anomolies in the audio during the transfer if the machine is used for other things while transfering audio to digital. This will help minimize the possibility of that happening.

f'nwooks
2012-03-23, 03:49 PM
good info weedwacker, thank you

One more question if you all don't mind....

Do I need to concern myself with the audio resolutions if I just set it for 24 bit wav? As long as I'm not going ridiculously overboard by doing that I don't mind storing the extra bits.

weedwacker
2012-03-23, 05:26 PM
good info weedwacker, thank you

One more question if you all don't mind....

Do I need to concern myself with the audio resolutions if I just set it for 24 bit wav? As long as I'm not going ridiculously overboard by doing that I don't mind storing the extra bits.

It gives you nothing extra except a larger overall sized wav file. You are just going to have to down sample it back to 16 bit afterwards anyways. Using higher bit depths and sample rates than what the digital audio was originally recorded at will not improve sound quality in anyway since it is a direct digital to digital transfer. Think copying a cd to cdr. It is the same principle here. If the process is done correctly it should be a perfect bit for bit copy of the original.

weedwacker
2012-03-23, 05:40 PM
One last thing I forgot to mention concerns sample rates. Record in the program you are using the same sample rate as what the dat tape was recorded at; i.e. dat tape @<hidden>, record to wav/aiff at 48000 kHz. There is an important reason for this; depending on the software/soundcard setup if you record at one sample rate while the playback is at a different sample rate and there is no resample process in the middle, the wav file speed and pitch on the audio will be off. You can correct it afterwards but it is easier to not have to and just do a proper resample to the end sample rate you want to use.

f'nwooks
2012-03-23, 10:52 PM
thanks again weedwacker, you have been very helpful