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Thanks for  the memories, Mike! When I first used DAT in production, we were very concerned that the DAT cassettes would get lost and there was no room for sound report forms. We designed and had made a box (later named the "D-Box") that was the same physical dimensions as the long running ¼" 5 inch tape white boxes  ---  slightly thicker with an insert to hold the DAT tape and room for sound report folded up. This D-Box became very popular and solved the problem of the small DAT cassette. Later when I started the use of the original Deva I, we were turning in Jazz discs so I had inserts made for the D-Box that would hold the Jazz disc. Then on to the Orb disc, very briefly, and again, an insert for the D-Box to fit that disc. With DVD-RAM, many of us used the various commercially available DVD cases which could hold one or two DVD-RAM discs and room for sound reports. Moving on to CF cards and SD, there were lots of carriers available to transport this sort of media. I had a few of those but I adopted the procedure of using a plastic zip-lock style pouch that would hold the media (CF or SD) in its little case along with the sound report. The outside of the pouch had a label, often something like "Deliver sound dailies to Technicolor".

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Anyone looking to transfer old DAT tapes should consider looking into the WaveDAT software from Japan. It is based on a few specific models of DDS drive for computer systems (SCSI based). Sony and Archive are the brands that made the drives. The software allows you to "rip" a 1:1 copy at up to 2-4x real time depending on the drive. 

 

It runs on the Windows platform and does require some sort of SCSI interface and the DDS drive to work. The software is about $30 for a license. 

 

http://efu.jp.net/soft/wd/wd.html

 

The website is in Japanese. Use Google Translator. If interested send an email to Efu. 

 

I'm in no way affiliated with this software but I have this system set up and it works great. I always used Sony or Maxell DDS tapes with my TCD-D7 anyway....

 

There are other software apps, both Mac and PC if you want to look at other options that do the same thing, some of them free. 

 

More info and support can be found on the FB DAT-Heads group.

 

Fugazi used this method to archive their masters in the vault: 

http://files.archivists.org/groups/performing-arts-roundtable/performance-newsletter/PArtsNews2012sum.pdf

 

Here is an excerpt from pg.6:

 

"We took an unorthodox approach to the DAT transfer by using old DDS drives. DDS was the data equivalent to DAT, using the same size cassette but instead of audio recording, the DDS drive was used for data back-up akin to a LTO tape today. Scouring online forums and in conversation with colleagues, it was revealed that the Sony SDT9000 DDS drive was able to be “tricked” into reading audio DATs and thus allows for a straight bit-by-bit ingest of the material rather than going through a digital to analog to digital conversion. We went to eBay to find the correct drives, external housing and SCSI to USB converters, then connected them to the fantastic DATXtract software (https://pdicamillo.org/~peter/datxtract/) which can ingest the DAT material at 4X real-time with both a .log and .txt file providing critical technical and descriptive metadata. The downside was that we could not monitor in real-time. However, the goal was to get the digital files in the most efficient way possible then QC them when they were being edited for the series."

 

 

Edited by SonicBoomPole
Added info re:Fugazi Archive and link to DATXtract
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Yet another bad memory of DAT use for location sound: tape prep and delivery.  To get a DAT ready for use on a fast-moving shoot I needed to sit down with a stack of them and:

-pull them out of the 10-count box

-shuck each one of its cello wrapper

-pull out the contents of the tape box

-reverse the Jcard

-paste a label I'd already printed out with job info onto the cassette

-do same to J-card

-number the cassette and J-card

-put the labelled cassette back into the 10-count box for transport.

 

(This was at least 7 more steps than 1/4" with my pre-printed box labels.)

 

These cassettes got delivered in 2-well white plastic boxes, with, yes, it's own pre-printed label

and the written sound reports.

 

The real pisser in this for me would come when I'd visit a telecine bay, where I would find a plastic bin with all the DAT cassettes, small boxes, large boxes and reports in a loose jumble, unorganized.  Which is of course why everything had to be obsessively labelled.  Thanks guys--good effort!

 

 

 

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10 hours ago, Philip Perkins said:

Yet another bad memory of DAT use for location sound: tape prep and delivery.  To get a DAT ready for use on a fast-moving shoot I needed to sit down with a stack of them and:

-pull them out of the 10-count box

-shuck each one of its cello wrapper

-pull out the contents of the tape box

-reverse the Jcard

-paste a label I'd already printed out with job info onto the cassette

-do same to J-card

-number the cassette and J-card

-put the labelled cassette back into the 10-count box for transport.

 

(This was at least 7 more steps than 1/4" with my pre-printed box labels.)

 

These cassettes got delivered in 2-well white plastic boxes, with, yes, it's own pre-printed label

and the written sound reports.

 

The real pisser in this for me would come when I'd visit a telecine bay, where I would find a plastic bin with all the DAT cassettes, small boxes, large boxes and reports in a loose jumble, unorganized.  Which is of course why everything had to be obsessively labelled.  Thanks guys--good effort!

 

 

 

Wait, you didn't have to fast forward them and then rewind to put a fresh wrap on the spools?  Holy crap, I could have saved myself a lot of time knowing that wasn't a necessary step.  Now I feel like an idiot!

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I just used empty white 5" 1/4" boxes that I got by the hundreds from somewhere.  And yes, lots of sticky labels.  Nothing worse than hear that a DAT tape was lost.  Maybe (for a while) backed on a Nagra IVSTC; later a HHB mini-disk recorder.  Ugh!

 

D.

 

And slightly OT, but labels were always important.  I'd put them on the top of heads-out 7" raw rolls and if the tape wouldn't spool off the correct way with the label facing up, the roll was "exposed".  I never, in all my years, recorded over any day's work.  And I knew,  personally, of some very big-league mixers who could not claim the same.  :)  Arrrrgh!

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16 hours ago, Jeff Wexler said:

Thanks for  the memories, Mike! When I first used DAT in production, we were very concerned that the DAT cassettes would get lost and there was no room for sound report forms. We designed and had made a box (later named the "D-Box") that was the same physical dimensions as the long running ¼" 5 inch tape white boxes  ---  slightly thicker with an insert to hold the DAT tape and room for sound report folded up. This D-Box became very popular and solved the problem of the small DAT cassette. Later when I started the use of the original Deva I, we were turning in Jazz discs so I had inserts made for the D-Box that would hold the Jazz disc. Then on to the Orb disc, very briefly, and again, an insert for the D-Box to fit that disc. With DVD-RAM, many of us used the various commercially available DVD cases which could hold one or two DVD-RAM discs and room for sound reports. Moving on to CF cards and SD, there were lots of carriers available to transport this sort of media. I had a few of those but I adopted the procedure of using a plastic zip-lock style pouch that would hold the media (CF or SD) in its little case along with the sound report. The outside of the pouch had a label, often something like "Deliver sound dailies to Technicolor".

Well done but the probel is getting the SD (and a case) returned unless it's included on the invoice

 

Cheers Jeff, hope you are well

 

mike

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I bought my first DAT (also the D-10) from Tony Faulkner, who'd been trying it out for Sony. Discussing it with a colleague from BBC Radio who also had one, he told me that he'd had difficulties getting the people in the BBC archive to accept the tapes because they didn't take 'Dictaphone' cassettes. He got round the problem by fastening the cassette in an appropriately labelled 7" tape box and handing that over. Never a single complaint after that.

 

Oh, and Jeff, maybe you'd have been a bit more wary if you'd have known how HHB got its name: the founding directors used to be in a band; its name?

The Half-Human Band. 

 

All the best,

John

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4 hours ago, soundmanjohn said:

I bought my first DAT (also the D-10) from Tony Faulkner, who'd been trying it out for Sony. Discussing it with a colleague from BBC Radio who also had one, he told me that he'd had difficulties getting the people in the BBC archive to accept the tapes because they didn't take 'Dictaphone' cassettes. He got round the problem by fastening the cassette in an appropriately labelled 7" tape box and handing that over. Never a single complaint after that.

 

Oh, and Jeff, maybe you'd have been a bit more wary if you'd have known how HHB got its name: the founding directors used to be in a band; its name?

The Half-Human Band. 

 

All the best,

John

I thought it was "Half-Hound"?  Named after a pub?  But you are more "local" so I'll take your word for it.  Serves us right for buying a device sold by rock musicians!

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