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Hands On - Casio DA-7 (part 4)

Once you have successfully captured your material you may wish to edit the Start IDs and possibly add an End ID...


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Equipping Your Home Recording Studio

Once you have successfully captured your material you may wish to edit the Start IDs and possibly add an End ID. If you want to add a Start ID, press the Mode switch once while the machine is stopped or playing. Play up to the point where you want the ID inserted and press Play while the tape is running. It’s usually best to make a note of the timer reading so that you get it in the right place, just before the start of the programme item. Start IDs are recorded for twelve seconds so be ready for a short wait. It’s more than likely that you will have some Start IDs in the wrong place so you need to know how to erase them too. Stop the tape in the middle of the ID you want to get rid of and press the Mode button twice. Now press Play and the machine will set about erasing it. While you have been doing this you will undoubtedly have discovered the operation of the forward and reverse Skip buttons. These allow you to skip forwards or backwards from ID to ID. Unfortunately there is no way of programming the machine to go directly to say ID 45, you have to press the skip button forty-five times. You’ll get used to it!

Although most DAT machines will automatically number Start IDs consecutively as they are entered, I find that tapes inevitably end up with unnumbered IDs (which happens when you manually enter them out of sequence) or you can get more than one ID with the same number. To deal with this I always renumber the IDs, using the function of that name. On the DA-7 it’s a simple matter of pressing the Mode button three times and then pressing Play. The machine will wind back to the beginning and make sure that all the Start IDs on the tape have consecutive numbers.

The End ID is also worth a mention. This is used to indicate the end of the programme whether or not there is recorded material further upstream on the tape. To enter an End code, locate the point where you want the end to be and enter Record Pause mode. Press and hold the Mode button for two seconds and you will see ‘EE End’ in the display. Now press Play and the code will be inserted. If you ever come to re-record the tape this code will be ignored and erased.

Tape Timer

One valuable feature that the DA-7 has that is absent on my otherwise much loved Sony DTC1000ES is Absolute Time or A-Time . This is yet another DAT subcode which registers the time since the beginning of the tape. This is not like a conventional tape timer or counter that you can reset at any point - it is always the time from the beginning of the tape. On the DA-7 you have to make sure that you start the tape from the beginning to record Absolute Time - a reasonable request I think. The great advantage of Absolute Time is that it is always accurate with no problems due to counter slippage. To display Absolute Time during recording or playback, press the Time button until you see ‘ABS’ in the display. Two other useful varieties of time are Program Time, which tells you the time that has elapsed since the last Start ID, and Remaining Time which tells you how much tape you have in hand. There is also a simple counter mode, which you would presumably only use if you were playing back a tape without Absolute Time recorded on it.

By David Mellor Thursday January 1, 2004