DAT contenet: Love for My Otari DTR-8S

Discussion in 'Recording/Live Sound' started by Bassomatic, Nov 14, 2004.

  1. Bassomatic

    Bassomatic Member

    Nov 3, 2003
    western ma
    I've begun the arduous process of cataloging/archiving/backing up my hundreds of DAT tapes, and I remember why i love my Otari DTR-8S: It's bulletproof, to date (although the hours are quite quite low for the years i've had it) and just a solid, dead pro piece of kit. I've hauled this thing to a number of smoky bars and clubs to capture bands sets, and it's performed like a champ at every turn.

    Although she sees precious little use these days, I love her. One of those pieces i'd be loathe to sell regardless of her decreasing utility. Months and months will go by without her services, but when i fire her up, it's on like Donkey Kong.
  2. LSchefman

    LSchefman Member

    Jan 4, 2002
    I like the sound of a good DAT machine. I like the little DAT tapes. The Otari DAT was a good piece of gear.

    For years I had a Panasonic SV-4100 that would take word clock, which was nice.

    But I discovered the hard way that even when a DAT is stored correctly, safely, and in a controlled humidity environment, it can still deteriorate and be rendered useless very quickly.

    I began hearing dropouts in my DATs after as short as a one-year storage period. Not all of them, of course. Just the ones I needed. :rolleyes:

    So I just won't use them any more. I gave my DAT machine to a buddy.
  3. Greggy

    Greggy Member

    May 8, 2002
    The Antipodes To All That is Sacred and Pure
    What, your blowup doll?:eek:
  4. GaryNattrass

    GaryNattrass Member

    Jan 19, 2002
    Lanchester Durham England
    We did some test on DAT tapes when I was working at AMS Neve, we hooked up a Sony machine to a digital error analyser and then took a brand new high grade ampex tape.

    We recorded some audio to it and it showed no errors, we then re-wound the tape and played it again and there were 3 or 4 errors every minute.

    We then re-wound it again and played it and the errors had gone up to 6 or 8 per minute.

    We then re-wound it again and the errors were about 12 to 16 per minute.

    We continued until the tape wouldnt play anymore and it was quite horrifying that every pass and re-wind would double the amount of errors on the tape.

    As we were using the DAT system for back-up of audio and had to disable the machines internal error correction system much as the Beta machines had to be with the 701 system it made us develop the Exabyte system which was at least high speed and had some error correction and verification.

    I suppose Sony never intended the DAT tape to be a Pro format but it served its purpose and was a lot more stable than the 701 system.
  5. Impulse 101

    Impulse 101 Member

    Jul 6, 2002
    Milwaukee, WI
    I still love my Panasonic SV-3700. It's old and hardly state of the art but I have a lot of archived material that while not critical, is sentimental. I'm slowly dumping it into my PC now and while there are some errors, most of it is still very usable.

    I still use it for recording practices and writing sessions, it's much better than Minidisk since I can dump any good stuff directly to the DAW if I want to keep it. Besides, I have a lot of free tape that was used once at work and then bulk erased and brought home for things like recording bands practices:D

  6. tedm

    tedm Member

    Dec 29, 2002
    I got my first DAT in '94, and joined the dat-heads mailing list, and soon got a 2nd deck in '95 or '96.

    However, after not really firing up the units more than once or twice a year the past 5 years, I've sold them both. The buyer of the last one (tascam DA-20) got a couple hundred shows with the deck. I've kept about 50 of my favorite shows and original music on to optical media soon for archiving....
  7. Red Ant

    Red Ant Member

    Mar 8, 2004
    Los Angeles
    i've got a Panasonic 3700 and i HATE it. Haven't used DAT in a good 5 years now, don't miss it AT ALL. I never mastered to DAT for anything important anyway - 1/2'' @30ips, preferably Ampex 499 biased at +9 :) I still like to do that whenever i can squeeze it into a budget.

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