15 year old DAT - any precautions before playing it?

Discussion in 'Recording/Live Sound' started by Mike Fleming, Dec 27, 2009.


  1. Mike Fleming

    Mike Fleming Member

    Messages:
    1,230
    Joined:
    May 10, 2005
    Location:
    Chicago
    Hey guys, I have a couple DATs from a project I was on from 15 years ago. They haven't been played since then. If I wanted to put them in a Dat player and play them, do I need to worry about anything? Do old DATs get sticky or anything like 2 inch tape does?

    I've never had a DAT machine and I never thought about these tapes until somebody asked for them recently, so I am out of my element here. Thanks!
     
  2. Baloney

    Baloney Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,677
    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2009
    Location:
    Nashville TN
    They should be ok
     
  3. loudboy

    loudboy Member

    Messages:
    27,446
    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2003
    Location:
    Sedona, AZ
    They're a PITA, most mastering guys had 2-3 different brand of machines, and hope that the tapes will play on one of them. And that was when they were the standard.

    After 15 years, good luck. <g>
     
  4. Pietro

    Pietro 2-Voice Guitar Junkie and All-Around Awesome Guy

    Messages:
    16,390
    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2007
    Location:
    Maineville, OH
    I just did the same thing. They were fine.

    But I do want to transfer them all, back that up, and throw the DAT machine out. (I should probably sell it on Ebay, somebody will pay more than it's worth no doubt.
     
  5. jmoose

    jmoose Supporting Member

    Messages:
    3,522
    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2008
    Location:
    Earth, NYC metro
    Yeah... old DAT's can be flaky... they were somewhat flaky back in the day too.

    Put them in the deck & do a few cycles of rewind-fast forward before you try to play 'em. If you know what brand/model of deck they were recorded on, start there. Even better is if you can find the actual deck! Have a cleaning cassette on hand too.

    Earlier this year, after my DA30mkII went down I borrowed a deck and transferred the last of whatever I thought I may need over the DAW & tossed all the tapes.

    Maybe 4-5 years ago I did a big transfer like that & maybe 25% of the stuff wouldn't play or had huge errors. This time around it was more like 60-70% of the tapes had errors... and I stored all the tapes fairly well.

    It may also be worth noting that at this point, ADAT tapes that are 10-15 years old have rising chances of being unplayable...
     
  6. Mike Fleming

    Mike Fleming Member

    Messages:
    1,230
    Joined:
    May 10, 2005
    Location:
    Chicago
    :( OK thanks guys. I'll never find the old machine, the studio is gone, but I'll give it a shot with the cleaning tape and some ff/rw's.
     
  7. Mike Fleming

    Mike Fleming Member

    Messages:
    1,230
    Joined:
    May 10, 2005
    Location:
    Chicago
    It worked!!! I borrowed a dat machine, gave the tapes a few forwards and rewinds, and they played fine. Whew!!! Thanks guys for the tips.

    I was scared at one point becuase it kept giving me an error, but it turned out the tape was just at the end, not the beginning. :eek: obviously haven't messed with tape in a while.
     

Share This Page