Connecting DP008ex to computer question from pg 76 of manual etc... looking into getting laptop

Discussion in 'Digital Pocketstudios and Compact Portastudios' started by smg1, Jul 8, 2019.

  1. smg1

    smg1 New Member

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    On pg.76 the manual says-
    "before connecting the unit to the computer by USB confirm that you have exported or backed up to the FAT partition all the files that you want to transfer to the computer"

    Although I have a clear sense of how to do things on the SD card in terms of partitions/
    copying songs and reading MB's etc etc, not familiar w/how to do this.... was under the assumption that this is an automatic process when you save a song i.e.the data is stored in both the MTR and FAT partitions...

    I'd appreciate any info about this and whatever else related to using the unit w/a computer I might need to be aware of in terms of the computer itself re-what kinds of things to focus on when getting a laptop to use w/it as I'm planning on doing soon..

    Already understand compatible operating systems to use(Windows/Mac Os)but in terms of "RAM/GB/CPU/USB 2.0" etc would like to get feedback from people here who already have this set-up in place about what works...
  2. Phil Tipping

    Phil Tipping Well-Known Member

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    I don't have a dp008ex but the concepts are similar to the dp24/32, which I do have. MTR is a special Tascam format for recording, presumably designed for performance. Unfortunately this format is not in the public domain, so other operating systems are unable to understand it. One of the industry standards is FAT, so the dp008 offers off-line functions called export & import, which convert MTR data to/from FAT. So if you want to transfer individual tracks or the stereo master to a computer, you have to 'export' them first. I do not believe the dp008 saves data in both formats when you 'save' a song.

    To access the FAT partition, you either physically plug the sd-card into a computer or you connect it via a USB cable. Either way, the computer will 'see' the card as an external storage device so you can browse the folders and files on it, and copy them in & out as reqd. You won't be able to 'see' the MTR partition.

    The dp24/32 models do not have MTR partitions, so the whole card is formatted as FAT - presumably the performance of these models was improved so they can record direct into FAT format without any problems. This means a computer can see everything, which is both a blessing & a curse, as people tinker with files they shouldn't(!), but you won't have that problem with the dp008.

    Imho, there are no special requirements for your computer - the spec says Windows XP or later, or Mac OS X 10.2 and later, but as far as I know, if it has USB connectivity, it should be able to copy files in & out. The amount of hard disc space you need will depend on the size of your recordings. You can work this out yourself by using the sample rate and bit depth - (44100 x 2) bytes per second per track - or if you want to ensure you can backup the maximum size of the FAT partition, you need 4GB.
  3. smg1

    smg1 New Member

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    Phil-

    Thx again for your recent help w/things(re-email to you last month)and for taking the time today to break things down understandably...

    Still a little confused here-

    Manual states-

    >BEFORE<connecting the unit
    to the computer by USB....

    to check this,while your reply suggests this requires either already being connected by USB or using an SD card reader to check whether the song files are exported or backed up to the FAT partition....

    Oxymoron or am I missing something?
  4. Phil Tipping

    Phil Tipping Well-Known Member

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    It says "Before..." because you must export any files you need (i.e. convert them from MTR to FAT) *before* connecting, otherwise when you connect the computer, it won't be able to 'see' (and hence copy) any files. The computer can only see files in the FAT partition.
    If it's the same as the dp24/32, when you enable the USB link, you can't do anything else on the machine, so if you've not exported the files before you connect, you can't do it afterwards :)
    The term 'export' may be adding to the confusion ( I blame Tascam!)... it's not just another word for 'transfer'. It means to use the Export function/process as described on pages 80-81.
    No worries re. help (is it Gary?) my 'little gray cells' struggle with all these alias names - sorry :)
  5. smg1

    smg1 New Member

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    OK Now I understand Phil and much thx for explaining this...the confusion was caused by the pg.76 info not indicating going to pg.80-81 where this is clearly outlined....

    BTW my name is Gary..

    Let me ask you about a continuation of this focus topic-

    As far as once you export a file from the MTR to the FAT partition, can you remove it and put it back in the MTR partition or should this exporting only be done once you're finished working on the track and are going to be converting it to a way. file?

    Haven't completely reviewed the sections in the manual covering this, but seem to remember that you can do things like transfer song files to the computer + back to the unit much like the track copying process in multitrack,along w/a lot of things like transferring a stereo master track to the computer, process it then return it to the unit to keep working on it(i.e.by cloning it back into multitrack on 2 tracks)....

    These are the types of things I'm interested in getting into... which is why I'm currently focusing on the type of info needed to make an informed laptop purchase....
  6. Phil Tipping

    Phil Tipping Well-Known Member

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    Hi Gary :) The conversion process from MTR to FAT does not affect the original track or stereo master, so you can export at any time. Treat the FAT partition as a temporary 'dump' area for transferring files in & out of the machine (for any dp24/32 readers, it's like the AudioDepot folder). You can remove FAT files once they are copied to the computer. It's advisable to keep the FAT partition clear otherwise you'll have less room for future exports.

    You can certainly reverse the process, i.e. copy a file from the computer to the FAT partition (another reason for keeping it tidy), and then run the Import process (page 79) to convert it to MTR and add it to a nominated track in your current song.

    Transferring files in & out this way is lossless so is a viable way of using both your computer/DAW and the machine as you choose. The only thing it needs is time & patience!

    Hopefully someone else may chime in with advice re. computer requirements and/or DAW. I still use Samplitude v6 on my old Windows XP PC from the 00's (if it ain't broke... etc.), but there are cheaper/free options out there, such as Audacity. Good luck.
  7. smg1

    smg1 New Member

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    Again much thx Phil...hopefully we'll get some replies here from people using the type of DP-008ex/laptop set-up I'm interested in w/all the info needed to get the right kind of laptop and to understand all the various aspects of things...