R4 Ships, DAT Dies

by Peter Kirn

DAT tape is as over as eight track cassette.

Edirol is shipping its R4 portable digital recorder.
What's not to love? 40GB HD, 24-bit/96kHz (though we'll stick with
16-bit and 44.1 / 48, thank you), 4-channel recording, and even onboard
effects and wave editor. Connect it via USB 2.0 to your computer and
download files, or even swap them on CompactFlash. It even sync to
cameras for video production, and now supports Broadcast WAV (BWF),
which I hear means something to video people, even if it means squat to
the rest of us.

And, of course, the whole package is much easier, more reliable, and
more portable than toting your 17" PowerBook every time you want to
record. (Hang on, I'm still booting . . .)

Meanwhile, somewhere in the world, a Tascam DA-P1 DAT recorder is weeping. US$1600 street, available now.

  • Guest

    The difference between my DA-P1 and the R4 is that I already own (and paid off long ago) my DAT deck, and $1600 "street" seems like a lot to replace it.

  • admin

    I wouldn't throw out the DA-P1 yet; they're great devices!

    Now, on the other hand, $500 for an R-1 including memory might make a nice addition to the DA-P1 for some tasks.

    But my point was, for those who haven't bought the DA-P1, etc., yet, the R4 will be hard to resist.

  • Guest

    I think tape has an important place here. Everything you record is saved on tape for much later use. I think thats why HD camcorders will be great for some but mini-dv will stick around too.

  • admin

    For some just having the DAT tape will be backup enough, but I've seen DATs fail, and for many of us it's the final mix — which is on hard drive anyway — is what we'd want to back up. So backing up data for me is not a big deal; it's a fact of life.