Adventures In Audio
Hands On - Casio DA-7 (part 2)

David Mellor

David Mellor is CEO and Course Director of Audio Masterclass. David has designed courses in audio education and training since 1986 and is the publisher and principal writer of Adventures In Audio.

Thursday January 1, 2004

Getting Started

The first thing you need to do, obviously, is supply power to the DA-7 and
switch it on. This is normally not a problem with most pieces of equipment,
but here you have to be careful. The DA-7 can be operated from an external mains
power supply or from its internal rechargeable battery. If you are using the
mains supply then be absolutely sure that you connect it the correct way round,
with the cable coming from the right hand side of the power socket, as you look
at the socket itself. It is possible to force the connector in the other way
round and if you do this the machine will emit a small puff of smoke and cease
to function. Another essential point is that if you are using the mains supply
then you must set the switch on the rear panel to ‘AC/charge’. If
you don’t, then you will be running from the battery and it might run down
when you least expect it. In the studio, this is an inconvenience and an embarrassment,
in a live recording situation it’s a disaster.

Whether running on battery or mains power, switching the DA-7 on is a simple
matter of flicking the power switch to the right. If you do only this, then
the machine will switch itself off again after six minutes. Designers do this
to irritate us and for no better reason that I can fathom. Fortunately, there
is a way round it - hold the Stop button down as you switch on and things will
be as they should.

At this stage, you really need to know something about how the DAT system
works. Your newly unwrapped tape will be completely blank with the magnetic
fields of its metal particles randomly orientated. When you record onto the
tape, the record head lays down a pattern of tracks which contain the digital
audio data. If you subsequently erase this recording by recording over it with
the input level set to zero, then the pattern of tracks will still remain. Thus
there is a difference between an unrecorded section of tape and an erased section,
the latter has a pattern of tracks recorded on it. The DA-7 can sense the difference
between the two.

Let’s assume that you are using a new DAT tape for your recording. Press
the Eject button and bung it in, I’m sure you know how. If you are recording
from the Line inputs then make sure that the Input switch, on the top of the
machine, is set to Line. On many machines, recording is initiated by pressing
the Record and Play buttons simultaneously. On the DA-7 you may do it like this

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