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More on digital clocks and the SV-3800

Today’s tip follows up on the recent thread about digital clocks, digital transfers, and specifically about the capabilities of the Panasonic SV-3800 DAT machine Those who don’t recall the thread should see past inSync’s 2/9/99, 1/29/99, & 1/20/99. After the 2/9/99 inSync a few people questioned whether the SV-3800 really can be defaulted to a 44.1 sample rate. Here’s one example: “Unless there is a new feature that has been added to the SV-3800 this statement is simply not true. My SV-3800 has no setting that will set the playback sample rate. It has a switch that will set the record sample rate to either 44.1kHz or 48kHz but the playback sample rate is set automatically when a tape is inserted to either 32kHz, 44.1kHz, or 48kHz. When the tape is removed it sets itself to 48kHz.”You’re very warm. Here’s the deal. We were discussing a way to have the DAT machine output a 44.1kHz clock while not playing or recording so another device (DAW) that is slaved to its clock could remain in external sync. If you set the input to analog (as opposed to digital) on the SV-3800 and set the sample rate to 44.1kHz it will sit there and generate a 44.1kHz clock. Sure, if you put a 48kHz recorded tape in it will switch to 48kHz. Similarly, if you set the input to digital it will switch to whatever sample rate the incoming digital is, but otherwise it can be made to sit at 44.1k. There are no special modifications needed. Yes, this is technically a “record” sample rate, but who cares? As long as you don’t have a tape in it recorded at a different sample rate (or have it set to digital in) it will be at 44.1kHz all the time.Of course after all of this is said and done I think we can agree that the best solution to the original problem is to just always be aware of what your clock source is when recording digitally and to remember to reset the DAW back to internal sync after doing a transfer. And for pro houses with lots of gear slaved together we recommend a master word clock house sync generator that everything can slave to.

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