[Dixielandjazz] CD-R's & DAT

James Kashishian kash at ran.es
Wed Mar 3 19:20:00 PST 2004

The following may be interesting to those of you who like debates on
recording mediums, but there's no discussion of Dixieland.   However,
since many of us record Dixieland, some may find the varying opinions to
be of interest.

John wrote:
 I certainly do not trust DAT in the long term. I copied some masters
dat for a client some time ago and we found that DAT suffered from drop
after a period of time.

& I answer:
All Dat recordings are full of drops.  Dat recorders come with a drop
compensation setup that continually samples and "fills up" the holes
left in drops.  Some do the job better than others. 
It's possible that you recorded on a DAT that wasn't really properly
looked after (yearly revisions?).  I would venture to say that the drops
had been recorded, rather than the drops appeared upon replay.  That is
normally the case.

In fact, a drop that suddenly appears may not appear....on the same
machine....if you start playing again a tiny bit before the drop, or
just change DAT machines (can even be the same model & make!).  The drop
can disappear, like a miracle.  It isn't a miracle, it's just the
compensation thing kicking in.

I have, and use, a total of 15 Dat machines in my studio.  Without a
doubt, it is the best format available for storing material.  Not
foolproof, but the best available.  However, I'm talking about
professional material & professional equipment....not tiny, portable

John continues:
Any tape based system is unreliable due to tape
/head drum friction. There is also a problem with tape stretching, so
for me
DAT is a no no. 

& I answer:
I use DAT in a master situation, so friction is not a big deal, as it's
a one time record over the full length of the tape, then perhaps several
plays to record a few CDR's.  Besides, if the DAT is well looked
after....requiring a once a year revision by a proper technical
guy....it will record & play properly.  I now send a CDR in to the
factory for the production CD's, but that is only because that's the way
most of them work now.  I prefer, anyway, to have my master copy at home
with me on DAT.

Then, after those comments....it should be down to how you use each
medium, and what your aims are.  After all, it's just personal

Cheers, Jim 

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