Mysterious DA-88 Tape

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Joined: 09/09/2009

Hi,

I have a DA88

I received a mysterious tape from a friend and I'm trying to transfer the tape into Pro Tools. The problem is that there doesn't seem to be anything on this tape. I don't hear any audio nor do I see anything on the meters. The error light is on, and stays lit. The absolute counter and to the TC counter are blank or rather they are just dashes. I guess since there is no absolute time maybe the tape wasn't formatted before recording. I thought you could still record without first formatting though it isn't recommended to do so. Maybe this is why it's not recommended. I'm able to play other tapes without any issues so I don't think it's head cleaning problem. Another thought was that perhaps the tape was recorded on a DA78 or 98 at 24 bit and my old 16bit DA88 can't play back the recording, though that doesn't seem likely. Is there any device that uses DTRS tapes that can't be played back with a DA88? Any ideas? Maybe they just gave me a blank tape?

Any help is greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
Matt

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Joined: 02/12/2009

mattlongoria wrote:
I thought you could still record without first formatting though it isn't recommended to do so.

It is impossible to record audio on any of the DTRS series of recorders without formatting a tape first. So you can rule out that possibility.

mattlongoria wrote:
Another thought was that perhaps the tape was recorded on a DA78 or 98 at 24 bit and my old 16bit DA88 can't play back the recording, though that doesn't seem likely. Is there any device that uses DTRS tapes that can't be played back with a DA88? Any ideas?

A tape formatted at 24-bit, if loaded into a 16bit DA-88, will indeed appear as you describe. To determine if this is a possibility, find out the date it was recorded, and compare that with the release dates of the 24-bit machines. Tascam released the DA-78HR around Jan 2000. I've got more info here:
http://www.silentway.com/definitive-dtrs-guide-chapter-1-equipment-overview

mattlongoria wrote:Maybe they just gave me a blank tape?

That is entirely possible too!

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Joined: 09/09/2009

Thanks so much for the response.

I've been in contact with the engineer who did the recording. It was in 06 and he thinks it was a DA78 machine and it was 24 bit. So if that is correct then there may actually be audio on this tape, even if I can't play it on my machine. Now I need to find a studio in NYC that has one of those 24 bit DTRS machines and can transfer this tape to a pro tools session.

Thanks again,
Matt

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