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ADAT to Logic


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Before I got into recording myself, a band I was in did some recording in a college club's studio. I have the ADAT tapes from that session. The recordings are what they are, but I feel like the mixes sucked. 3 songs were tracked and mixed in less than a day. I would like to play around with the tracks, so I'm looking for the most cost effective way of getting them into Logic. A few years ago I called some local studios with ADAT equipment, and at each of them it would cost me full studio rate. Since this is just for fun and my own education, I'd prefer a cheaper option. It looks like ADAT machines can be bought on eBay pretty cheaply. Is that what I should do? How do I know what kind of machine to get, or does it matter? I honestly don't know how many tracks were used, but I know it's more than 8.

 

Can anyone offer some guidance? It would be much appreciated.

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If they were really ADAT (some people call just about anything that records digital audio onto a tape "ADAT", for example the Tascam DA88), then they're good old VHS tapes, so any ADAT player should work. Here in L.A. there are transfer shops that will do just about any transfer job you could dream on - not sure about Atlanta.
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How you go about this depends on how many machines you need to hook up in order to re-create the original track count. If you have one tape per track and thus just one machine is needed, take the ADAT optical out of the deck and connect it to one of the ADAT optical inputs on your interface. Set the interface's clock to read clock from the ADAT (this is a crucial step).

 

Then, after you've confirmed that audio is playing into your system, create the requisite number of tracks (stereo and/or mono, depending on the source) and set them to the appropriate inputs. Put them all in record, go into record on Logic and then hit play on the ADAT. Voila.

 

If you have multiple tapes/track, requiring multiple machines, then you really should get additional machines and make your life easy (ADATs do sell for dirt cheap, but you have to be cautious and make sure that the heads are still good and that they don't have too many hours on them. Anyway...)

 

Multiple machines are synchronized using 9-pin din cables (if memory serves), which are standard fare for ADAT machines. You do not need a BRC for this. Then you'll have to enable the various sync options on the slave machines. Finally, hook up all (however many) ADAT's optical inputs to your system and follow the above instructions.

 

If you need multiple decks but don't want to part with the cash, you can transfer one tape at a time. You'll then have to manually align the additional tracks to be in time with the first set you record, making sure to shift each group of 8 the exact same amount. Easily done, you just have to be aware that you need to move the tracks as a group of 8.

 

And if indeed you're not talking about ADAT tapes but perhaps DA-88 or 98 tapes, same procedure, but you won't be able to use ADAT out cuz those decks don't have them. You'll need to do the xfer using TDIF.

 

Want my advice? Find a transfer house and have them do it for you. It'll cost you the same (or less) to have the tapes transferred than if you buy some ADATs (which may or may not be lemons). If you go this route, insist on having them do a digital transfer to the file format of your choice.

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Want my advice? Find a transfer house and have them do it for you. It'll cost you the same (or less) to have the tapes transferred than if you buy some ADATs (which may or may not be lemons). If you go this route, insist on having them do a digital transfer to the file format of your choice.

 

I so agree with ski. Especially if it's a one off.

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Thanks guys for the responses. Especially your thorough instructions, ski. These are ADATs (VHS). Just pulled them back out and dusted them off. In case you're interested they are Quantegy Professional Studio Series ADAT Master Digital Audio Cassette DM-60. 2 tapes labeled only as A and B.

 

I didn't know of the existence of transfer houses. Maybe that would be cheaper than the recording studios I called, which by now may not have any ADAT machines in use. If that doesn't fall within my yet to be determined budget, maybe I'll take a chance on a used machine and go for the single machine method ski suggested. Thanks again.

 

I've learned a lot on this forum in the last year, especially from you 3 guys, so I also want to say thanks for all your wisdom. Keep up the good work here!

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You're welcome.

 

Below is a linky to a transfer house I've used in the past. They're located in upstate NY. If you're not in that area you can mail the tapes to them. Then they can upload the files to an FTP site when they're done and then send you back the tapes. Call them to find out if they can do the transfer first and get their rates. Might be worth a shot.

 

http://www.haveinc.com/

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