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DAT tape transfer to Mac

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by Mister Three, May 20, 2008.

  1. macrumors newbie

    Mister Three

    I have a Tascam DA-P1 dat machine and I want to transfer the data on the tapes to my mac. I have final cut pro and soundtrack pro but cannot seem to get anything to work. I have the correct cable going from line out to headphone socket but no signal received on the mac in any programme. Can anybody help please? My deadline is tomorrow morning and it's getting to be late at night :eek:
    Many thanks,

  2. Moderator emeritus


    The headphone socket is an output, not an input.

    you need to go from the line out to the line in on the Mac.

    You can record into Soundtrack at 16 bit 44,1Khz quality, then bounce to iTunes as an MP3 or output as an .aiff file.

    You'll need to select the Line in input in the sound section of the System Preferences, then select the input in Soundtrack.
  3. macrumors newbie

    Mister Three

    Many thanks

    Thanks WinterMute,
    it's worked and I've captured the sound.

    Well done...
  4. macrumors 6502a


    Mister Three,

    Just curious, you didn't want to transfer digitally using the Tascam's SPDIF output? Many audio interfaces, even some cheap ones, can receive digital audio that way. The Mac's line in - while it works - is not really a marvel of audio recording technology.

    I guess it all depends on what source material you have to transfer, and how good you need it to sound in the end.

    - Martin
  5. macrumors newbie

    Mister Three


    Hi Martin,
    thanks for the info but I don't see any SPDIF output. Is this the digital output?
    I do want the best quality available - the sound was recorded on the Tascam for a film shot on Super 16mm. We've been editing it on Avid but the hard drive in the studio has become infected with a virus and is unusable now. So I've taken all source material home to complete the edit. (Been left on my own somewhat). Any advice is gratefully received. Do I need another cable? Should I import at 44 and convert to 48?
    Many thanks

  6. macrumors G5


    There's no indication that the OP has an external audio interface.

    In order to use a digital input you need either an external USB or Firewire audio interface device with the correct type of digital input, or a Mac that has a digital optical input and a DAT player with a digital optical output.

    Your Tascam has SPDIF digital in and out (the orange RCA jacks in the side panel photo here)

    But the Mac has no corresponding SPDIF jack, so you would have to invest in some interface equipment.
  7. macrumors 6502a


    Then I would recommend getting an external audio interface, even if you were planning to just transfer analog sound. But since your DA-P1 has a digital out, you might as well go all digital. CanadaRAM explained in his post what you need. As you shop around for audio interfaces, ask yourelf if you also have a need for analog I/O, and if so, how many simultaneous channels. For multi-channel I/O, FireWire is usually the preferred connection to the audio interface.

    - Martin
  8. macrumors newbie

    Limited optical iMac input?

    My 2007 iMac has an optical audio input (minijack).

    I'm attempting to digitally transfer audio from the optical output of a Sony DAT DTC-ZE700 to the optical input on the iMac via a Toslink cable. However, the iMac doesn't register any incoming sound through that connection.

    Hooking up a CD player or MiniDisc player optically to the iMac via the same cable and input on the iMac, I get plenty of incoming sound. But why doesn't this work with the DAT?

    I'm worried the iMac can't handle the DAT's output above 41,1Khz, but I can't seem to confirm this anywhere. If this is the case, what do I need to set up a digital transfer?

    Thanks in advance for your help and advise.
  9. macrumors 6502a


    I don't think that's the problem. I found this article in the Apple support area that states that 41.1kHz, 48kHz or 96kHz are possible:


    Not sure why it's not working with your DAT.

    - Martin
  10. macrumors newbie

    Solution: external soundcard for iMac?

    Thank you for your detective work. It probably doesn't work because a lot of my tapes were recorded in Long Mode, ie 32Khz. A lesson learned the hard way.

    This leaves me with the decision to either transfer analogue (last resort only) or go via some sort of external soundcard/hardware for the iMac. Suggestions for the latter are very welcome.

    Thank you again, Martin.
  11. macrumors 6502a


    I'm very pleased with my Echo AudioFire 8. I only use it for analog I/O, but the specs say it supports sample rates from 32kHz - 96kHz for the S/PDIF input and output.


    I bet there are cheaper solutions available if all you need is a digital interface, I just don't know any.

    - Martin
  12. macrumors newbie

    Any recommended S/PDIF -> USB devices?

    I also have a DA-P1 ... and I've got a mountain of live music DATs recorded over the years that I'd like to digitally move to my 2008 Mac Pro.

    Does anyone know of a simple USB device that'd let me do coaxial S/PDIF out of the DA-P1 into my Mac?

  13. macrumors newbie

    I'm glad I found at least one thread on this topic....

    I've looked everywhere and I can't find any concrete answers to how to use the optical input on modern Macs. It's kind of sad too because I use to be a Mac Genius, I just never heard complaints from people about digital INPUT, was always output.

    I have been wanting to record some digital sources and can't figure out if I'm missing something or if the logic board is defective because it was just replaced for other reasons about a month ago. I'm using the optical cable that is normally the output from my Mini to the TV. I have tried inputting with my PS3 and also straight from the TVs optical out. The input never changes or reports any sound input in system preferences so I was surprised when the OP here reported he had 2 sources working in his. I tried putting on the most basic sound settings on the PS3 and it was still a no go.

    Next step is to boot my unibody MBP from tiger or leopard and see what it does and then do the same with the Mini because that didn't seem to notice any input either...
  14. macrumors newbie

    What should i buy to transfer DAT tapes to my Imac??

    Hi Guys

    can you help ?
    I am wanting to transfer Dat tapes straight to my Imac 10.6.4 ?
    any advice welcome

  15. macrumors newbie

    Did you ever get any help on this? I'm trying to do the same thing and am pretty audio-challenged...I'm on 10.6.5 though and working with FCP7.

  16. carylee2002, May 25, 2011
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2011

    macrumors member


    I'm the same situation. I have some DAT tape recordings also. I have a Sony PCM-M1 DAT recorder. But it doesn't have S/PDIF. But I do have input into my Mac Pro using my Digi 003 Factory. I therefore bought a used DAT Player/Recorder from Ebay. It was a TASCAM DA-20mkll that has S/PDIF in and outs. If will see if it works when it arrives, but I figure the used DAT player was a good investment of 150.00, to be used as both a player and recorder.

    UPDATE: I used S/PDIF out of my Tascam into my Digi 003 S/PDIF input. I captured using PT 9> No problems, Timecode was synced via S/PDIF and inported with success. i can now export from PT9 via OMF to FCP 7 or into my Logic 8 for sweetening.
  17. macrumors newbie

    Also looking to transfer DATs to MacBook Pro

    Greetings all. I'm in the same boat as a few others here. I've got a Panasonic SV3700 DAT deck with the RCA digital coaxial cable output. I want to transfer my DATs digitally to my MacBook Pro (10.5.8). I've got the analog input - which I obviously do not want to use, but no other digital inputs other than USB and Firewire (400 and 800). Here's my sad story hoping for some help - I'm taking care of my nearly 4 year old twins this summer - so I do not have time to search far and wide for solutions. If someone who has solved this problem would post a reply with the following: 1) you need this cable, 2) you need this piece of equipment, and 3) you need this software to deal with your file and then get it to iTunes. I've got CD Spin Doctor and Toast which I've been using for cassette tapes. Cheers, the tape doctor

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