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Hi all,

I'm about to buy a occasion-ADAT classic.
but i have a couple of questions..
1: (might sound stupid) is it really possible to (per example) record the drums on track 1, and after that recording guitar on track 2, to mix that in 1, with 1 Alesis ADAT?
2: can i use normal video tapes for recording?
3: is it worth my $400 Euro? :roll:

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KurtFoster Thu, 08/15/2002 - 09:10

ADAT is an 8 channel (track) machine that uses Super VHS tape. These look like normal VHS vidio cassettes but contain a different tape formulation. SVHS tapes retail for between $7.00 and $20.00 (US). Yes you can record a giutar on one track and then "overdub" a vocal on the second track. You will still have 6 tracks left after that to overdub other things or even mix to. You will need an 8 channel mixer to accompany your ADAT. Classic ADATs (blackface) are a 16 bit 48 K sample digital recording system. Currently, digital systems are up to 24 bit, 96 or even 192 K samples. The unit you are referring to may be as much as 9 or 10 years old. You should be cautious what the condition of the machine is. You can check the head drum hours by holding down the stop button and pressing (at the same time) the set locate button. If there are more than 1000 hours I would definitely consider another machine. Some might even recomend a machine with less than 400 hours on it. Head drum life expectations avarage between 4000 and 5000 hours under the best conditions. ADATs can be very tempermental so be careful to get a good one if you purchase. I don't know what the US to Euro exchange rate is but $400 US (low head hours) is about as much as people are getting for used ADATs these days. For that kind of money (cost of said ADAT & a mixer) you could probably find some type of digital porta studio (the Korg 16 track comes to mind) or even a DAW computer that would suit your purpose better and include a mixer.
Have fun recording, Fats.

e-cue Sat, 08/17/2002 - 13:40

I blame ADATS for about 10 years of crappy recordings. An M Box would be a much, much better value IMHO. Who doesn't have a story about one eating a tape that had the most important stuff from the song? Mine (I got from bartering) is litterally being used as a doorstomp (until someone gives me something on Adat to mix).

anonymous Mon, 08/19/2002 - 06:36

Triple double ditto to the 10th power!!

I was a sucker and bought into the "hype". I bought them to have a different format. When I think of what I could have had now for the ADAT tracks I bought, I still get pissed at myself... :mad:

Mine ended up in another studio only 15 months later for half of what I paid for them and I tossed the BRC in for free.

Go buy something usefull.

KurtFoster Thu, 08/22/2002 - 09:38

Quadrupple ditto! I hate these things with a passion. I have a stack of five and a BRC. That's what it took to keep 24 tracks going all the time (still didn't work). Plus these things wear the tape out really fast. Dropouts (interpolation errors) showing up within hours of recording. Back ups an aboslute necessity! As far as quality, I don't think it's that bad. My favorite thing I recorded in the past 12 years was done on ADAT. I think what you record is more important than what you record on. Long and short, they work ok if you run just one machine, syncing machines is a nightmare, they are dinosaurs. Get somthing newer and less kludgy. Fats

anonymous Sun, 08/25/2002 - 08:30

When the blackface Adat was showed for the first time in Holland I found it sounded so bad that I bought a new Tascam MSR at the same show.

The Tascam still works and sounds great, while the Adats are completely out, you will find a lot of them at Maarten's Sound and Vision (Heerenveen), or Helios (Haarlem) Christiaan.

But I would not have them even for free, because they sound like shit :D

Go for a computer based system (PT LE?)
Look at the steinberg site(s) for free loadable demo's of the Cubase SL/SX

You will have many problems with old Adats, so don't follow that road.

Alécio Costa Sun, 08/25/2002 - 10:24

Friends, I thought this was a prblem that happened only to me and my friends in Brazil because we have humidity a lot where we live.

Many times I used to put a new blank tape, and that stupid interpolation was already blinking.
twice that machine ate my masters which fortunately were backed up.

In the beginning back up at adat tapes was cheaper than with Ata drives and CDRs. We have realized that at medium/long period archives with adat tapes become the nutrition dish to FUNGUS, no matter you take care of those damn tapes as babies.

The funny is that old VHS video tapes do not deteriorate like these much more expensive tapes from the shit company QUANTEGY, BASF or from HHB.

I have 3 DATs on here and one DM800 which was their controller taking dust.

In October 1997, I paid $3700 for each machine. Now I can not even sell one of them for even $500 and every time I went for repair, thatbig bill to pay.

Today an 40GB IDE ATA you will be paying around $100. A blank CD-R you will pay around $.50. so back up with IDE ATA and CDR/CDRW. much cheaper, more reliable.

I wish we could transform the ADATs into good videocassete machines !hehehe or maybe 96k/24 bit mixdown decks. I have suggested this on some forums.

If I were to buy a machine today I would go:
(1) VS2480
(2) Motu 2408
(3) Digi 002
(4) more money? used Mix system PT :w:

KurtFoster Mon, 08/26/2002 - 09:41

In another 10 years we will all be sitting around (hopefully) sniveling about how our hard drives are showing data errors and how 24/96 sounds like ass, etc. IMO I think none of this stuff sounds as good as 2" tape mixed to 1/4" or 1/2" through an MCI 600, but you just can't argue with progress. What is important is what you record. I always ask myself, why am I recording this? Is it a good song? Is the band worth recording. There must be some reason to record other than "I just want to put out a CD."