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DAT is dead we are all recording on computers

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15/16 March I have a shoot with Tascam DA-P1.

Wish me luck. It's my first time.




Be sure to exercise the DAT tapes before you start recording. Fast forward & back to get rid of any sticky tape issues before you start. Feed it at line level from you mixer and you should be good to go.


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I've encountered way more problems with the DAT tape than deck issues. Decks will eventually have trouble though, and it's only going to get harder to get repairs done. 

There is some irony that in 100 years, magnetic tape and a broken Nagra may be an easier playback than any of these digital machines. 

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This is not mine (the Tascam).

Belong to production. So I have spoke with production and I told "I will do all the necessary settings on the machine and I will record the best dialogues. So if something get wrong with machine I will fix but if any problem continue exist start to think for rent for other device."


Lets see what happend! :-)

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Here's the overview of the DA-P1 features. The XLR connections are mic level only. Line level in/outs are RCA unbalanced,


"The DA-P1 portable DAT recorder is designed for gathering high quality sound on remote locations. It has everything you need to plug in your mic, and start recording.

Two high quality mic preamps are loaded on the side of the DA-P1. Phantom Power is available for use with condenser mics. A switchable limiter and -20dB pad are also on-board to help safeguard against clipping.

Everything can run from the battery, for up to 100 minutes of recording time with phantom power on, and a full 2 hours with phantom power off. The DA-P1 ships with one BP-D1 rechargeable battery. Additional batteries can be purchased separately, if required.

Of course, the DA-P1 is designed for convenient use in the field. The XLR plugs have locking connectors to prevent accidental disconnection. All critical controls are recessed to prevent casual bumps from stopping the recording. All of the connectors, displays and controls are ergonomically located for use if the DA-P1 is hanging at your side from the included shoulder strap, or sitting on a table.

For transfers back at the studio, unbalanced RCA analog I/O and SPDIF coax digital I/O ports are provided. (SCMS codes are overridden, allowing hassle-free transfers of your captured material.)

The optional CS-D1 carrying case offers additional protection for the DA-P1 for those recordists that are constantly on the road. While batteries can be charged inside the DA-P1, the CB-D1 can also be used to charge batteries externally."



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There is some irony that in 100 years, magnetic tape and a broken Nagra may be an easier playback than any of these digital machines. 


I've joked before that 100 years from now, nobody will be able to play existing digital files... but vinyl LPs will still play (assuming the bomb hasn't gone off). 

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Marc and Eric, you guys are 100% right. I first saw burned CDs flake apart (the foil flaking off the disc) after maybe 10 years. I have seen some purchased CDs start to do the same thing.

Compare that to 30+ year old records I have that still play perfectly (assuming they were always stored properly). I've pulled out 60 year old classical records of my parents and they sound good as new. The radio station I work at has 30+ year old punk records that probably still get played at least once a month, and work great. We have some much older records, but they don't see as much use. 

It's weird to be there and look at the record library and then see shelves of burned CDs that are falling apart. We burned CDs when bands played live on the air. In some cases the DAT original was lost over time. 


I would never think twice about buying a used record from the 70s or 80s if it wasn't scratched or warped. 

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  • 4 weeks later...

Hello to all !


I'm new to the forum and to the job as sound recordist in short and feature films. In a few days I 'm going to work in a feature film. 


To the point: I need a 4 channel recorder (1 for boom, 3 for lavs)

We have found a Edirol R 44 and a Fostex PD4

-Edirol R 44, has 4 channels, records on a SD card

-Fostex PD4, has 2 channels, records on a 2 channel DAT tape


The director likes the sound of the Fostex, but there are not enough channels..


So, I decided to have the boom always on the Fostex and the 3 lavs on the Edirol!(?)


Are there any problems with quality and syncing later on edit? And how am I going to monitor both? Is there another combination / solution for this or it's gonna be messed up? And if I take the Digital out from Fostex and drive it in Digital in of Edirol, will this get working properly?


Thank you very very much

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Why don't you use the fostex, boom on one channel and mix the radios on the second

Or even do a mono mix and forget iso's

The PD-4 is a DAT machine, are post going to happy with you submitting 2 different media's boom on DAT and radios on an SD card?

As far as I am away the R-44 has no aes inputs so you wouldn't be able to use digital outs from the PD-4 to the R-44

I would also say dont take this job on as per your post it shows you are not experienced enough to mix this so called "feature"

Try being a sound trainee or utility for a while before moving up to mixing.



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  • 4 weeks later...
  • 3 months later...

Ah, I really loved the old PD4. Really good machine... except for the time I encountered a very humid evening in October about four or five years ago when the humidity triggered a transport shutdown, and the entire Fostex lit up like a Christmas tree! That's a very bad feeling when you look down and see that on the cart. Not good.

Good lesson learned, though: I never do a job unless I have a backup recorder available somewhere, even if it's just the 552 mixer. One of these days, I'll break out that backup Marantz Minidisc recorder I've been meaning to use for about six or seven years...

--Marc W.

And a 12 volt hair dryer.



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  • 6 months later...

I agree Larry and I used a PD-2 for 13 years for so much episodic work and loved it.


I still have 3 MD portables and a large home unit too.


Have put a small MD on a parachutist doing dialogue to a GoPro camera and

have rented that machine with a Tram for low tab round the world shoots that

are just a DP and a director.


Great format now history!



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Have put a small MD on a parachutist doing dialogue...


I learned to love MD as well, particularly if the playback machine had a digital output. 


But I always had issues with physical shock on small MDs, particularly when writing indexes or EOF leadouts. Wasn't that a problem with a parachute?

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  • 7 years later...





On 9/25/2011 at 12:54 AM, Olle Sjostrom said:



Fun story about minidisc (slightly OT sorry, I'll explain my point later in the post)


I was cleaning out my storage room in my apartment the other day, and found this plastic bag with a LOT of minidiscs and my ol Walkman portable player/recorder. Memories washed over me, that thing had been lodged in my pocket for at least 5 years before i made the switch to mp3. Seeing the player after 7 years of being in that plastic bag made me a bit nostalgic, so I started pressing the buttons for fun, and lo and behold the thing starts spinning away, batteries FULL (!!! Single Alkaline cheapest POS battery, 7 years!?!?!?) and making no fuss about anything.




Minidisc is great.




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Love this! What an amazingly thorough documentation of all those formats. I had personal experience with just about every one of them, watched how they gained favor then fell off, replaced by the next best thing. I did use MiniDisc quite a lot for music playback on movies  --  the famous sing along in "Almost Famous" to "Tiny Dancer" I did with playback off MiniDisc.

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Have you all checked out the Museum of Obsolete Media? 


Not super deep in any one format, but info on LOTs of formats, and good links. And the guy does actually collect examples. Fun:




Welcome to the Museum of Obsolete Media

The home for over 725 current and obsolete physical media formats, covering audio, video, film and data storage.

The Museum preserves the memory of those objects that held our memories, and every format listed in the Museum is represented by at least one example in the collection.

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