I was in a local audio shop with my pal Craig when he mentioned this inexpensive little analog to digital converter. For under $170 you can get an outboard converter to put in between your mixer and DAT machine! This seemed too cheap, and I was worried about the unbalanced inputs and S/PDIF only outputs, but I bought it anyway. When we compared it against the built-in converters on a Panasonic 3800 DAT we could hear a diference; the Calf made mixes seem a bit less "collapsed" and vocals were "smoother", more like analog mixdown decks. It also has a peak removing function that won't allow you to overload your DAT, although if you hit it too much you get nasty cracking sounds. I've been using it on all my mixes ever since and everything sounds better! Next, I plan to upgrade to the Flying Cow, with balanced inputs and a D/A converter to monitor through. (Midiman)

Tape Op is a bi-monthly magazine devoted to the art of record making.

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