Hi Scott:

My take on DAT is, transfer what you got and be out of the format. But in its time, it wasn't lossy 
and it even offered (slightly) better resolution than a CD master. Also, Sony had "Super Bit 
Mapping" (20-bit A-D conversion down-converted to 16-bit storage) available even on lower-end 

All in all, sound quality wise, DAT was superior to MD and other lossy-encoded media.

I bet most of us here would have killed for one of these little $300 flash recorders when we bought 
our first $1000+ DAT recorder. You sound-for-picture guys would have mass-killed for one of these 
high-end many-tracks flash recorders.

-- Tom Fine

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Scott D. Smith" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Thursday, January 21, 2010 7:22 PM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] DAT ripping

As Tom nicely points out in his summary of the life of the DAT, it
indeed was never meant to be a professional format.

After Sony realized their misstep in the market, they hurriedly tried
to figure out how to re-coup their development costs. The thinking
being: Hey-if consumers won't use it, maybe we can dump it on the pros!

Subsequent to my experience using DAT recorders to record sync sound
for a feature film ("The Package")in 1988, I sat on a panel discussion
at the New York AES show, discussing the pros and cons of the format
for pro use.

At that meeting, I distinctly recall pointing out the numerous
shortfalls of the format for pro users, and was nearly booed off the
stage by a contingent  who thought it was the greatest thing to come
around since the introduction of the CD. Hey, perfect sound, right?

Funny-I haven't really heard too much from that crowd lately...

--Scott D. Smith

Chicago Audio Works, Inc.

Quoting Tom Fine <[log in to unmask]>:

> When DAT first came out, the original press on it was "here's a
> cassette-like home medium for the digital age." But the copy-protection
> scheme made it impossible to use it as many people were using cassettes
> at that point (tape-to-tape copies), duplication of DATs was a costly
> endeavor since they can't be run off on a mass-duper like cassettes.
> Remember that at that time period -- the Walkman era -- cassettes were
> the primary mass medium for music in the US, having passed LP numbers
> in the late 80's. So a cassette replacement needed to have a major
> pre-recorded component. The record companies had invested or were
> investing billions in CD plants, that's what they wanted to be the
> _ONLY_ consumer mass-medium. So it was another case of clever hardware
> engineering for a market that wouldn't buy in quantity. BUT, DAT was
> immediately and enthusiastically embraced by the portable-recording
> market, specifically higher-end radio recording, recording of events at
> colleges and other venues, and the Grateful Dead taping army, among
> other audiences. So, quickly, quantities of recorded DAT tapes started
> piling up in various organized and non-organized archives. Also at that
> time, recording-industry people realized DAT was a good way to make a
> listening/proof copy off the same digital buss feeding the
> U-Matic-based mastering system. After all, any producer or record
> company exec could have a DAT machine in their home or office, but few
> to none could have a 1630 playback system. So more DAT tapes started
> piling up. Then, lower-end studios and self-recording folks adopted DAT
> due to convenience and cost. Many more small studios than we'd like to
> think were mastering to DAT throughout the 90's and even into this
> decade. Also the commercial/industrial sound production business. And
> sound-for-picture.
> So, yes, never intended for the professional uses which became its market.
> -- Tom Fine
> ----- Original Message ----- From: "Ted Kendall"
> <[log in to unmask]>
> To: <[log in to unmask]>
> Sent: Thursday, January 21, 2010 6:05 AM
> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] DAT ripping
>> As far as I know, DAT was never intended as a professional medium   at all, but a domestic one. 
>> The anti-copying furore in the US which  led to SCMS scuppered that, so the Japanese had to sell 
>> it as an  F1  replacement.
>> Agreed, though - those first generation machines can be very   tolerant of marginal tapes. 
>> Whether this is a mechanical thing or   more generous interpolation, I wouldn't know. I also 
>> harbour   memories of a particular DAT which refused to play at all on any   machine except a 
>> Fostex D20 - and that had the error light   continuously on! The audio, however, was quite OK.
>> ----- Original Message ----- From: "Paul G Turney" <[log in to unmask]>
>> To: <[log in to unmask]>
>> Sent: Thursday, January 21, 2010 9:18 AM
>> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] DAT ripping
>> Further to this, you will find that some mechanisms perform better   than others, the PCM 2500 
>> for example will play tapes that the 7000  series won't.
>> And often more plays will yeild a better file, but DAT was always   meant to be an editing 
>> medium, not long term storage.
>> Paul Turney
>> Sirensound Digital Audio
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: Shai Drori [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
>> Sent: Thursday, January 21, 2010 09:14 AM
>> To: [log in to unmask]
>> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] DAT ripping
>> Okay, that I understand, but I am thinking about correctable   errors. We are then assuming that 
>> both systems will correct the   errors the same way since both use the schemes implemented. How 
>> do   we know which system has fewer errors over the other? My experience  with rotary head 
>> systems is that sometimes second or third reading  yielded better results, I think due to 
>> "cleaning" actions of the   previous playing. Maybe we should compare five readings of the same 
>> cassette?ShaiTed Kendall wrote:> In my view, yes.>> Consider - you  have two data files. One is a 
>> text document (for the > sake of   argument). The other is a digital audio file. Both have errors 
>>  > in  the storage medium. This is inevitable, so we devise error >   correction strategies 
>> (redundancy, check codes, etc). These allow   us > to correct errors completely and accurately.>> 
>> Suppose now   that there is an error in the storage medium which is too > large   to be 
>> corrected. This will cause an obvious error in the text >   file, which is unaceptable, so the 
>> system does not allow for it and  > declares the file corrupt. The audio file, however, can be 
>> rendered > inoffensive by interpolation, and this is implemented in  the DAT audio > format. If 
>> we retrieve DAT audio in a system which  does not admit of > interpolation, we therefore know 
>> that the data  are accurate, as any > uncorrectable errors are recorded as   such.>>>> -----  
>> Original Message ----- From: "Shai Drori" > To: >   Sent: Thursday, January 21, 2010 7:37 AM> 
>> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST]   DAT ripping>>>> My own experience with dat is that almost all tapes 
>> have some form of >> errors on them. I think the idea in dds is   that errors are better >> fixed 
>> than dat machines. There were many   machines that came off >> assembly lines not at spec, thus 
>> making   the tape not a standard tape. >> Some machines are better at coping  with these (my 
>> experience with >> Sony is better than tascam for   example, but I suspect this is highly  >> 
>> subjective). All in all,   I think the DAT format was the word digital >> format I have ever 
>> come across.>> Also' checking two files one against the other will   not necessarily >> prove one 
>> format better than the other. If you   get some audio, how >> can you be sure one stream is 
>> correct and   the other is corrupt? >> Either the dat or dds stream could be   better, or am I 
>> missing >> something in the methodology?>> Shai>>>>  Tom Fine wrote:>>> I'm happy to do a SPDIF 
>> to hard drive transfer   and then exchange
>>>>> tapes with someone using a PC-drive transfer system so we can do the >>>
>> comparison Richard mentions.>>>>>> Please ping me off-list if you   have a working PC-drive 
>> transfer  >>> chain and want to exchange   DATs and computer files.>>>>>> -- Tom Fine>>>>>> -----  
>> Original   Message ----- From: "Richard L. Hess" >>> >>> To: >>> Sent:   Wednesday, January 20, 
>> 2010 5:14 PM>>> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] DAT   ripping>>>>>>>>>> Hi, Tom,>>>>>>>> After I saw your 
>> post and   re-read Jim's post, I think I understand >>>> where he is coming   from.>>>>>>>> What 
>> we _should_ be able to do is take the DDS ripped  file and an >>>> AES/SPDIF'd copy of the DAT 
>> from an audio DAT   machine, align the >>>> starts, invert the phase of one, and get   dither or 
>> silence.>>>>>>>> In both instances, we're pulling numbers  off the tapes (although >>>> the 
>> basest representation of the   numbers is analog on the tape, the >>>> processing in both 
>> instances interprets these analog signals as >>>> either ones or   zeros).>>>>>>>> I would not, 
>> without doing the tests that Jim is   talking about, be >>>> 100.0000% confident that the two 
>> files are   identical.>>>>>>>> I think that the DDS reading could be "better"   than the audio 
>> DAT >>>> reading as there is no error concealment   stage in a data recorder, >>>> so if you 
>> grabbed all the bits via   the DDS route, you could be sure  >>>> that they were 
>> correct.>>>>>>>> These are all subtle differences and are probably   not as large as >>>> the 
>> "Interstitial Errors" that Chris Lacinak   is talking about here:>>>> 
>>>>>>>>>>>>>> I would expect some burst differences between the two methods,
>> and >>>> those bursts would be where the audio DAT's error concealment
>>>>>> kicked in. Other than that, they should be identical, presuming
>> you >>>> haven't introduced an interstitial error in one copy or   the other.>>>>>>>> I'm glad to 
>> see Chris offering to help. I am   interested in this. I >>>> would also like to know who is set 
>> up   with the DDS Mass Ingest of >>>> DATs as I am sometimes asked who   can do large DAT 
>> collections. At >>>> the moment, I am not   interested in doing any because of anticipated >>>> 
>> remaining   headlife on my machines, the growing lack of parts for >>>> DAT   machines, the need 
>> to transfer my own DAT collection first, and
>> >>>> the analog work that I have piling up.>>>>>>>> Cheers,>>>>>>>>
>>  Richard>>>>>>>> At 04:27 PM 2010-01-20, Tom Fine wrote:>>>>> Hi   Jim:>>>>>>>>>> How could the 
>> data be "better" than a direct-digital  out from a  >>>>> properly-working player (ie no head 
>> problems or   mechanical >>>>> issues)? I thought the main advantage of the   computer-drive 
>> method >>>>> was to save time. Is there more to   it?>>>>>>>>>> --  Tom Fine>>>>>>>>>> -----  
>> Original Message -----   From: "Jim Sam" >>>>> To: >>>>> Sent: Wednesday, January 20, 2010 
>> 12:45 PM>>>>> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] DAT ripping>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>   All,>>>>>>>>>>>> First, Dave, 
>> that information is very   helpful.>>>>>>>>>>>> That said, I didn't ask because I'm worried 
>> about the theory. I >>>>>> was asking>>>>>> for a collaborator in   testing.>>>>>>>>>>>> The 
>> theory's been discussed before on this   list, and I'm aware >>>>>> that more>>>>>> than one 
>> person/organization has experimented with this to some >>>>>>   success. It>>>>>> was also 
>> *briefly *discussed at last year's   conference in DC.
>>>>>>>> However,>>>>>> every time I've seen a discussion about the
>> topic, it has never >>>>>> come along>>>>>> with what matters to   me: testing to make sure 
>> what's coming off
>>>>>>>> the DDS>>>>>> drive is the same (or better) data than what would go
>> down the >>>>>> AES/EBU>>>>>> pipeline.>>>>>>>>>>>> I'm still   extremely interested in this 
>> situation, and after >>>>>> having had  to>>>>>> deal with other similar formats, I've got ideas 
>> for   testing that >>>>>> I'd like to>>>>>> do. But I don't have a   working DDS setup here. I 
>> could build my
>>>>>>>> own, which>>>>>> I might do, but that's a can of worms, and there's
>> other things >>>>>> to be gained>>>>>> by having a collaborator in   these tests.>>>>>>>>>>>> 
>> Thanks,>>>>>> Jim>>>>>>>>>> Richard L.   Hess email: [log in to unmask]>>>>> Aurora, 
>> Ontario, Canada   (905) 713 6733 1-877-TAPE-FIX>>>>> Detailed contact information:
>> >>>>>>>>>> Quality tape
>>  transfers --  even from hard-to-play tapes.>>>>>>>>>>