Yes, I'm aware of that method, the right drives to get, the software to use etc (why I said 'not
DDS drives' fwiw in the subject line). I appreciate your posting the Yahoo group - could prove
useful for me in case I run into trouble in the future, as probably I will eventually invest in
something like that for my own purposes. It's a big ask for my organization to invest in that
equipment (the SCSI DAT drive, a SCSI to FW bridge, and a power supply, by my count) though - we'll
probably be able to borrow that stuff, thank goodness, but regardless, it's nice to know what the alternatives are.
I've been having trouble even with 16/44 via SPDIF and was wondering if anybody has successfully
done caps via SPDIF at 12/32 but also at 16/44 or 16/48, what software/capture card they used
(especially if they used Macs, which is what we've got around here to work with). In the event I
have to do analogue caps of course I will do it at 24/96 per usual :)
May 2 2017 4:12 PM, "Corey Bailey" <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> Hi Eli,
> Since you want to stay in the digital domain, there is a Yahoo group
> called "datheads2wav": [log in to unmask] This is a group
> dedicated to using certain 4MM backup drives to extract audio from DAT
> tapes. Basically, they build drivers (and a simple GUI) for the Windows
> OS to operate a 4MM backup drive and extract the digital information on
> the tape to wav files. There is a bit of a learning curve and, of
> course, you need to find the correct drive on the used market. However,
> the system works. You may have to devote a PC to the project but, if you
> have enough tapes, it's worth it. I have a legacy PC running Win NT4
> that is dedicated to this process. Although currently in storage, this
> particular system has recovered over 200 DAT's. The caveat here is that
> I'm not sure how well it will work with 12bit, 32K files. I have a
> couple of DAT machines that will play 12bit, 32K and when I have come
> across the occasional tape in this format, I have done what the others
> have suggested: Play the tape and capture the analog out to a hi-res
> digital format.
> Corey Bailey Audio Engineering
> On 5/2/2017 12:15 PM, Eli Bildirici wrote:
>> Hey Lou and Ted,
>> Appreciate it but I'm trying to avoid the quality loss, however minor, of a D-A-D conversion. Once
>> the 12-bit files are created, resampling to a more standard format e.g. Redbook should be trivial
>> by using a good resampler like SoX (or Izotope if you could afford it) right? In any case there is
>> also Redbook and possibly 48kHz content on these tapes and it just seems silly to do D-A-D on
>> those, lacking even the motive of moving to a more standardized format. I'm only even asking for
>> this because I figured it would be beneficial to know an alternative to the preferred way of making
>> these copies (DSS drives and ReadDAT or DATXtract). Of course if neither of these ways work out,
>> doing a D-A-D conversion will have to do, and probably won't make much of a difference given that
>> there is very little content here that isn't straight-up voice (we're a radio show after all). But
>> it's still not ideal :/ In any case, thanks for chiming in.
> May 2 2017 2:48 PM, "Ted Kendall"<[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> If memory serves, the 12-bit convertors were non-linear anyway. Best to
> convert to something civilised via analogue.
> May 2 2017 2:24 PM, "Lou Judson"<[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> Sigh, nonstandard formats are a problem!
> But as a small time archivst myself, I would take the analog outut of the deck and re-encode it at
> 16 bit for archiving purposes. There is no way you waould actually want “bit-perfect” 12 bit files,
> as that would just pass the problem down to your successors.
> Play the DATs, record the output in a normal format, and it will be far better than any kluge you
> can do with 12 bit digital.
> I used Sony 12 bit 32kHz for some extended recordings back in the day, and this was the best way I
> found for the transfer.
> I’ll be interested to see if anyone has a better suggestion!
> Lou Judson
> Intuitive Audio
> On May 2, 2017, at 10:56 AM, Eli Bildirici<[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>> Hey ARSClisters,
>> I'm an intern in the archives department at Democracy Now! and have come across a couple hundred
>> mixed-frequency DAT tapes, many of which have 12-bit/32kHz content on them. (And yes, this is the
>> same issue an archivist from DN! posted about nearly ten years ago, here
>> (http://www.cool.conservation-us.org/byform/mailing-lists/arsclist/2007/07/msg00380.html).) We'd
>> like to make bit-perfect digital copies, but don't have a SCSI DDS drive at the moment, and in any
>> case would like to know if there's a reliable alternative path to digitally copying DATs,
>> especially those recorded at a bit-depth of 12, via S/PDIF and capture cards. I attempted to copy a
>> portion of a tape recorded at Redbook rates using our main deck - a Sony PCM-R500 - with an M-Audio
>> FireWire Solo and Audacity to record, but this was full of pops and clicks that, I assume, are the
>> result of the M-Audio failing to lock onto the tape deck's clock. (The pops and clicks only show up
>> during recording and are not on the tape itself. Actually, I suspect Audacity may in part be to
>> blame, since the pops and clicks are absent when monitoring via the M-Audio control panel app on OS
>> X...but I digress.) I've also found that external sound cards based on the C-Media CM6206 chipset -
>> cheap and plentiful on eBay - reportedly support 16-bit/32kHz input, as does the S/PDIF input of
>> our aging PowerMac G5. But that doesn't help us with 12-bit content, and nor do we know whether
>> clock syncing will pose an issue and how to deal with it if it does. My suspicion is that, while
>> there might be an economical and reliable solution to recording DAT tapes with 16-bit content (at
>> least at 44.1 or 48 kHz sample rates) without a DDS drive, that we're out of luck for 12-bit
>> content - but, any advice/confirmation/refutation would be most welcome.
>> Eli Bildirici
>> (347) 837-8337
>> Eli Bildirici
>> (347) 837-8337