DAT-heads Digest #184
re: digest #183 - fading? ("john e. bogus")
ISO: Ben Harper @ Wakarusa 6/8/2007 ("Michael Lindsey")
Re: DAT-heads Digest #183 : Dat-Heads ................ fading? (email@example.com)
RE: Dat-Heads ................ fading? (Keith)
From: "john e. bogus" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: re: digest #183 - fading?
Date: Wed, 11 Jul 2007 07:45:04 -0500
Ed- By responding to you onlist, this continues a subject that has been
brought up from time to time....I have kicked some of these same thoughts
around in private exchange with others, and some thoughts have been
presented onlist by others. I hope that responding with my own opinions
will provide inspiration on some level, whether that be to you or to someone
else - I sure know that I'm in need of insipiration on this topic myself....
"For the last few months/year I have seen that the posts contain only like
1-2 messages, compared to Digests from 7-10 years ago 20 messages!"
**Yes, I think everyone agrees that this is very disappointing to see. But
is it not better to have a slower list, rather than too many people talking
about nothing? The answer is yes, to me.....as long as the list is there
when you need it - if someone has a question or an ISO or wants to discuss a
technical topic, this as always been an excellent place to find a kind
person to help, regardless of how many posts are in a digest, there are many
great people here. As long as that remains so, I personally like someone
being able to post a tour schedule of a band they would recommend seeing /
taping that I have not heard of, and not having someone else complain about
them doing so....remember when people were complaining not too long ago
about there being too many messages here?
"I refuse to upgrade to flash card recorders"
**Why? Is your reason technical or personal? There are certainly both
valid technical and personal reasons for feeling this way....what is your
"Dont want to get rid of my venerable M1 and D7"
**I don't know how long you've been taping, but I finally replaced my
faithful and trusty analog D6 with a used D7 around the turn of the century
(yes, I waited longer than I should have), and I don't want to get rid of my
D7 either. From what I have seen of the new breed of recorders, anything
that is the same or smaller physical size is not only pricey, but is
apparently harder to stealth with according to other posters here, as well
as pricey - at this point, you are paying top dollar for new technology that
may not have all the bugs worked out yet (witness how often firmware is
updated on virtually any new electronic gear as of late), and there is no
used equipment market of any scale for technology this new. What seem to be
described as the most desirable of the new "decks" (ok, what are they called
now? "recording devices"?) in both specs and user reports posted here tend
to be significantly larger in size than an M1 or D7-8. The serious stealth
taper has very limited options in upgrading to the new recorders from the
Sony DAT portables, and this is a serious problem that the people upgrading
from a DAP-1 or a Fostex D5 do not have....hopefully the manufacturers will
wake up to the fact that there is a very large segment of the market that is
holding on to their Sony DAT portables because there truly has been no
product on the market yet that replaces it, let alone provides an upgrade in
quality or reliability. (I'd personally like to see a smaller recorder than
an M1 that does 4 or 6 channels of at least 24 / 48khz, runs on two AA or
smaller batteries, and has as little steel in the physical construction as
possible....now THAT would be an upgrade, and I'll bet they could make one
that is half the size and weight as an M1....I wouldn't hesitate in
replacing my D7!) Then of course is the emotional appeal - there is nothing
like :::::having the master tape::::: - and you simply don't have a "master
tape" with the new recorders.....yes, we measureably gain in performance and
reliability, but it also forces us to think of things a little differently
than many of us do now......and when many people are still saying that they
cannot hear a difference in quality between a 16 / 44.1khz CD and a 16 /
48khz DAT tape, why suddenly jump to 24 / 96 khz? In listening to DVD-A's,
the higher bit depth and sampling rate certainly provides an additional
improvment to my ears (seems to be more dynamic range rather than an audible
improvement in frequency response, but that is comparing 16 / 48 with 24 /
48), so I welcome the technical advancement....but how many people will be
able to hear the difference? How many people are going to buy a recorder
capable of 24 / 96khz, and then use it exclusively at 16 / 44.1khz so that
they can transfer to CD without resampling? Isn't this like buying a Porche
and never driving it faster than 55 mph?
"but the upgrade is inminent"
**Absolutely....like it or not. In my own opinion, there are two problems.
The first is that the upgrade is forced by the fact that we will eventually
no longer be able to have our DAT decks repaired.....recordings need to be
transferred to other formats while our decks are still working (at least it
seems that cassette decks will be around long enough to take care of
transfers from that format!)....and while progress has been made with those
other formats in the context of long-term archival storage, hard drives
still glitch and crash, and we are still uncertain if the dye on our disks
will last another 50 years. The second problem is that we stepped backwards
when we accepted CD's as a defacto trading standard instead of 48khz
DAT.....for years, everyone has been transferring 48khz DAT's to CD, either
for convenience, or with archival intent.....in the extreme, I know one
taper who actually transfers his 48khz master tapes to CD, and then
:::::erases::::: them.....if we are upgrading, why are virtually all of our
archiving efforts (the 48khz-and-up FLAC / SHN crowd is to be commended here
for forward thinking) being made to an inferior format when we can fit how
many hours of music at 16 / 48khz on a DVD-A? Shouldn't we be using those
last few thousand (or hundred) hours left on the heads of our DAT decks to
transfer to a format that is at least equal or better on technical specs?
True, very few people can play DVD-A's in the car as of now.....but that
will change as technology trickles down into the mainstream (does anyone
else remember when CD's were exotic and mysterious compared to the vinyl
record?)....aren't we supposed to be thinking ahead here, and not be
clinging to older technology? In addition to these two problems, I also
raise the question of a similar eventual forced upgrade from the DV video
format, which to my knowledge, no one is talking about yet.....memory keeps
getting cheaper and smaller, and processors keep getting cheaper and
faster.....does it not seem logical that given this fact, and given that the
DV and DAT formats use a very similar tape, transport, and rotating head,
that the same situation that we have now with a forced upgrade from DAT will
eventually occur with the DV video format?
"taperssection is the new place to chat? is it the new Dat-heads?"
**I personally cannot answer this one....in the years I've been here, I've
both given and received advice, bought gear, met many great people, found
things I was looking for, helped others find something they need, and met
many many good honest people to trade with....I have simply never had the
need to look elsewhere, and as far as I know, virtually everyone I know here
from when I first joined is still here, and the vibes are still good....
"A lot of people dumped the hobby?"
**If you've been in this for a while, you know that everyone goes through
their periods of little or no activity. Personally, I'm not as active as I
used to be - divorce dealt me a double whammy, as I not only have not had a
place to set up and access my equipment and music collection (my backlog of
trade requests actually dates back to 2003! thanks to those who are still
patiently waiting to trade with me!), but have also been stuck in a
geographical area where there are very few shows I would consider worth
taping (I still manage to catch a show here and there, but have been to very
few in the last couple of years). How many others are feeling the high
price of tickets and gas? You can't get into an arena show for under $50
these days....and that's for crummy seats, gone are the days of general
admission in most places. Now it costs 3 times as much in gas to get to and
from a club show than it does to get into the show. Surely I'm not the only
one who has had to pick and choose among fewer shows because the cost of a
good roadtrip has skyrocketed.
"only a few of the old timers are still around struggling with the upgrdes?
(conut me in this wagon)"
**There will always be those who resist or struggle with change, for
whatever reason. Some are not able or willing to adapt to using new and
different technology. Some have a hard time being able to afford an
upgrade, or have a hard time rationalizing replacing perfectly functioning
equipment they only bought a few years ago because of a seemingly arbitary
format change. Some get overwhelmed and dump the hobby, as you say. Move
over and count me in this wagon, too: When my SV-3800 died and would cost
more to fix than it was worth, I decided to bite the bullet and buy a
firewire card and a DVD burner for my computer, with the intent to first be
able to transfer and burn videotapes and then move into DVD-A transfers of
DAT tapes - and although it will do everything else (play DVD-V's, play and
burn CD's, dump video through the firewire card and onto the hard drive,
etc), I have yet to successfully burn a DVD. Yes, to someone who remembers
when the only place that you ever saw a menu was in a restaurant, it is very
much so a struggle to install a DVD burner and a PCI card and a DAT tape
drive (that project comes after I can successfully burn a DVD-V....HA!) and
all that good stuff that we now need, and to actually get it all working -
this is a far cry from taking the deck out of the box, popping in some
batteries and a tape, and hitting the record button without ever having to
read a word from the instruction manual.....is it any wonder that some get
"The new generation of card tapers is here?"
**I'm counting on them being here. There are still plenty of great people
here who have been reporting on the new generation of recorders, from both
within the industry and users in the field. I want to know about and
discuss this stuff....whether we want to take the forced upgrade as
painlessly as possible, or whether we want to keep our knowledge and
techniques cutting-edge, we are all in the position of having to learn
something new to remain in the hobby (this of course goes for professional
users as well).....when was the last time you traded something on cassettes?
How about on DAT? No one has asked for cassettes from me since the early
1990's.....and how many people these days cannot or do not accept DAT tapes
in trade? VHS, anyone? Yes, it is more difficult and complicated this time
around, but we have been through format changes before and survived.....the
unfortunate bottom line is that we have to spend more money to replace gear
that has a finite lifespan, and learn how to use it.....the best that we can
hope for is that the manufacturers introduce a practical replacement upgrade
for the M1, and that enough of the new technology sells to convince the
manufacturers that there is a worthwhile market for their products and
produce a market for used gear as quickly as possible. This is a topic that
is both technical and emotional.....and both aspects do merit further
discussion.....hopefully I have inspired others to think for a bit, and to
also share their thoughts (please keep replies onlist) on the ramifications
of the format change that is on our doorstep. It would be great to hear
more from those inside the industry about what is being done to market a
real replacement for the M1....we've already had technical and user reports
for several possible contenders. It would be great to hear more field
reports from early users.....these user descriptions are usually more
telling then specs alone could ever be. Do most nowadays agree or disagree
that acceptance of CD's as a defacto standard was a step backward? It would
be interesting to see how the conventional wisdom has possibly changed with
greater acceptance of DVD-A. I look forward to this list becoming more
active with discussion of the new technology, and after all, we're not
discussing much else here as of late.....
john e. bogus
From: "Michael Lindsey" <email@example.com>
Subject: ISO: Ben Harper @ Wakarusa 6/8/2007
Date: Wed, 11 Jul 2007 09:03:20 -0500
I had a deck malfunction and didn't get it. Did you?
Bandwidth Tax: The Killers 5.11.07, City Market, Kansas City, MO
Subject: Re: DAT-heads Digest #183 : Dat-Heads ................ fading?
Date: Wed, 11 Jul 2007 10:43:13 -0600 (GMT-06:00)
Flash card recorders?!!? (Oh, the horror!!!) Sounds more like it'd be a pre-school toy than a serious recording box... ;) (Just joking - it's not what mics you run, but where you put 'em at that's the real key.)
Hell, I'm still transferring cassettes a/w/a DATs, and as there's a pile of
'em laying around it's likely I'll finish up the last of it sometime in 2015
or so... ;) And there's a couple of analog multi-track reel to reel machines as well... (I probably ought to get rid of the Akais', but the Otari decks are staying! They still work, and I actually used the 8 track
on a session to capture the drummer & bass player, before we recorded the rest of the tracks into Pro Tools. Gave me a very nifty analog squashed
tape sound which really worked well with what the band wanted the project to sound like.
As a recordist who really likes the sound of a good matrix, I found the sensible solution for me to be a SD 744T, as I can get the SBD and AUD channels on the same box with the same timecode. It allows insane bit and sample rates if needed, generates .bwf, or .wav files in both mono and poly formats, and shows up as an external Fire Wire drive to the editing computers... saves time in loading DATs, but you loose some of it back on the other end in burning data to DVDs. (Wish they'd get cheap recordable BlueRay dual layer discs on the market sometime soon... It'd be so nice to be able to store a whole festival day offline on a single disc... )
At this point, the buy-in price of a SD722 stereo machine (adjusted for inflation) is comparable to what a DA-P1 would have cost you 10 years ago.
Well worth it for the lack of tape cost alone... ;) It really is nice to not have to worry about running out of tape at a critical moment... 80 Gb
of drive space running 4 track at 24 bit is about 60 hours of runtime...
Mic choices, geometries, and placement are the same... Dealing with idiotic security goons, drunken spinners who want to use the boom stand as a dance pole, and all of the other "social engineering" aspects of recording in the
club and concert environments are the same. Even some of the bands are the same... ;)
The game is the same, only the gear has changed.
>From: Eduardo Malvido <firstname.lastname@example.org>
>Subject: Dat-Heads ................ fading?
>Date: Tue, 10 Jul 2007 12:00:13 -0700 (PDT)
>For the last few months/year I have seen that the
>posts contain only like 1-2 messages,
>compared to Digests from 7-10 years ago 20 messages!
>on each post
>Yuk!! I refuse to upgrade to flash card recorders Dont
>want to get rid of my venerable M1 and D7
>but the upgrade is inminent, also, taperssection is
>the new place to chat? is it the new Dat-heads?
>A lot of people dumped the hobby?, only a few of the
>old timers are still around struggling with the
>upgrdes? (conut me in this wagon)
>The new generation of card tapers is here?
From: Keith <email@example.com>
Subject: RE: Dat-Heads ................ fading?
Date: Wed, 11 Jul 2007 09:46:27 -0700 (PDT)
I agree totally. DAT has just about breathed it's last
breath. I went from a microcassette, to an Aiwa
Walkman, to a d6, to a d7 and finally a d100. I
probably won't upgrade to a flash recorder. I simply
don't go to enough shows these days. I dusted off my
d100 for the Police tour, but before that I hadn't
recorded a show in two years. The Police were why I
started taping shows in '82, and when they quit for
real, I'll probably be officially retired from taping.
It feels right...but who knows. Having said that, if
anyone has any Police masters that aren't being shared
on some torrent site, drop me a line. I don't plan on
uploading any of my masters too soon. I'm too old
school. Ouch...there goes my hip.
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