Panasonic SV-3800 Front Panel
Press OPEN/CLOSE button and insert tape (please be certain you are using an audio DAT, not a DATA DAT -- DATA DATs are usually marked in meters, audio DATs by time)
Check mixing console settings with DAT faders up, master Stereo (RED) fader up, channel not flipped and assigned to L-R, with studio monitor levels (CR knob) at moderate volume.
Press PLAY button, or use forward or backward SKIP button to skip to next start ID, or use fast-forward or rewind buttons to cue tape. You can press the SKIP buttons several times in succession or use the numbers on the remote control to skip several ID numbers.
Once tape is playing, the large shuttle knob (on Panasonic SV-xxxx) can be used to audibly fast-forward or rewind to an exact spot. Great for finding location to write a Start ID.
- To be certain your new tape will contain Absolute Time information, helpful for locating material, start at the very beginning of the tape. Even if you plan to record with DIGITAL INPUT, record several seconds of silence with ANALOG INPUT selected or your tape may not begin with ABS timecode. For each subsequent receding segment, be certain to start where the timecode last left off, or you will end up without timecode (indicated by dashes ---- in the counter). For this reason, it is a good idea to leave several seconds of silence after each recorded segment. Many audio experts advise leaving a minute or two of silence at the beginning of your tape in case it becomes worn and stretched from frequent rewinding to the beginning.
- IMPORTANT SETTINGS BEFORE YOUR BEGIN TO RECORD
- Set SAMPLING RATE -- Slide SAMPLING RATE switch to either 44.1 K or 48K. We recommend doing all recording at 44.1K to avoid sample rate conversion when ultimately burning CDs.
- Using the INPUT button, select between ANALOG or DIGITAL Input depending on your source. If you are recording from the mixing console, select ANALOG. If you are recording from a digital device (another DAT player, Pro Tools or Sound Designer, the digital output of a synthesizer), make certain the digital signal is routed properly to the DAT using our Digital Patchbay software and that the device is set to the identical sample rate. If the DAT is not receiving a proper digital signal, then the light under the INPUT label will be flashing -- recheck the routing and sampling rates.
- For ANALOG recording, set the REC LEVEL knobs. Because of the way we have matched levels between the DATs and the mixing console, these knobs can usually be set at maximum volume and the overall recording level controlled from the mixing console. For DIGITAL input, the level is fixed by the input device and no further control is possible.
- You will usually want to have the PNO/START ID AUTO button off, or it will generate a Start ID at each silence.
- SET RECORDING LEVELS (for analog input)
Unlike analog recording devices, DAT players have no "headroom" for signal beyond 0 dB on the meters. Press RECORD button on DAT -- this will put the machine into RECORD-PAUSE mode (the tape will not run yet). Using the mixing console, audition your sounds. If you see nothing on the meters, check the above steps (analog input, REC LEVELS turned up, signal flow from the mixer, tape not record-disabled, yes, even POWER ON). Once you see signal on the meters, adjust the mixing console channels or MASTER so that peaks are between -6 and -3 dB. If they are too high, you may see an OVER or CLIP light come on...this may very well distort your sound. If the levels are substantially too low, then digital noise or the system noise required to amplify a weak signal may become a problem.
- When the recording level is optimized, you are ready to record. If the recorder is in RECORD-PAUSE mode, press the PLAY button to begin recording. If not, press the REC, then PLAY button.
- A Start ID will automatically be generated. If you have several short selections that you would like to begin with START ID's, simply press PAUSE, then PLAY between selections.
- Continue to record several seconds of silence after your selection so you can begin the next segment before the ABS timecode runs out. Always start your next recorded segment with timecode in the window, or you will loose timecode for the rest of your tape. The "tape counter" display mode is not very acurate and abs timecode is extremely handy.
- There are three types of ID's stored in the subcode area of a DAT -- START ID, END ID and SKIP ID. Start IDs may be sequentially numbered (at which point they become Program Numbers or PNO's). If more are added at the end or in between existing numbers, or any are erased, they may be renumbered. You will see Start ID light up in the window each time the tape arrive at or passes over one.
- As mentioned above, Start ID numbers are generated automatically at the beginning of each recorded segment or after RECORD-PAUSE then PLAY. These IDs may be assigned PNO's if the tape was run from the beginning. If you would like to add additional Start ID's with PNO's use the following procedure:
Adding Start ID's with PNO's:
- If you wish to manually add a start ID to existing recorded material, first do not be concerned about erasing the recorded sound--the ID's are put in a separate subcode area of the tape and do not effect pre-existing audio.
- Make certain the PNO/START ID AUTO button is disabled (you may end up with hundreds of IDs unintentionally)
- Press the Start ID button. The Start ID light should be flashing in the display.
- Listen to the tape and adjust to approximate position where you want to write the ID. You may use the PAUSE button or write the ID while in PLAY mode, but in either case the machine must be in PLAY or PLAY-PAUSE to write the ID. Press the ID WRITE button at the appropriate spot (this is not an exact science).
- Do not stop the tape while the ID is being written (this take about 9 secs. during which the ID Write light will be illuminated).
- To write more ID's, repeat the last two steps above.
- When you are done writing IDs, and if they have not been numbered sequentially with PNO's, press the RENUMBER button. The tape will automatically be rewound to the beginning and PNO's assigned to each Start ID. This may change the number of some existing PNO's if you added Start ID's in between them.
- If you wish to erase a Start ID, press the Start ID button (the display should flash Start ID)
- Shuttle or skip to the ID you want to erase. Start ID will illuminate on display.
- Press the ID Erase button. The tape will rewind to the beginning of the ID and begin the process of erasure. Again, do not stop the machine while erasure is in progress.
- Press the RENUMBER button to resequence the PNO's if desired.
- END ID's and SKIP ID's are rarely used. SKIP ID's will cause the machine to go into FAST FORWARD mode until the next Start ID is reached unless the SKIP PLAY CANCEL button has been depressed. The End ID will cause the tape to stop, making you mad that you paid for a two-hour tape that will now only play or record for 15 minutes. In some rare instances you may want to use and END ID to protect material further along the tape, but unlike other ID's, adding and End ID will cause some erasure of sound. A SKIP or END ID can be removed in a similar manner as a Start ID (substitute either for the words "Start ID" immediately above).
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Prepared by Prof. Jeffrey Hass, Center for Electronic and Computer Music, Indiana University, September 12, 1998.