Looking For Help Getting Started

Hi everyone!

I’m brand new to using Audacity (or any music editor for that matter) and am looking for some help. I downloaded the Audacity 2.1.3 installer (the newest version ) a couple days ago and am trying to use the program as a means to transfer old DAT tapes to my computer to edit, etc.

My setup is as follows:
Sony A7 DAT Player → ESI U24 XL (via coax from the DAT) → Windows 10 Computer (via USB from the U24 XL)

When I attempt to record as a new track in Audacity I’m not getting any transfer levels at all from the base unit. Are there settings that I need to have in Audacity so that the software recognizes where the signal is coming from?

Thanks, in advance, for the help. I greatly appreciate it!

#1 See Windows “recording devices” to make sure the USB device is enabled …

#2 Go to Audacity Preferences : Devices, & select the USB device from the recording-device options drop-down menu …
Audacity preferences, recording devices.gif
If Audacity was running when you enabled the USB device, you’ll may need close Audacity & restart Audacity, for the USB device option to appear in the drop-down menu.

Did you select your ESI interface as your [u]Recording Device[/u]? Is there a separate selection option for the digital input?

Do you have the cables/adapters to try the analog inputs? (…Just to see if it’s working at all.)

… I found the online user manual for your interface and there is a “Control Panel” application/driver (which I assume gets installed when you install the drivers) and you may have to use that to configure/select the digital input.

I believe DAT is 48000, 16-bit, Stereo. It’s the same format as Digital Video. It’s possible to plug a DAT sound machine into the back of a large, killer Sony DigiBeta television machine and transfer files one to one.

Of course, what everybody really wanted was a bulletproof Home Digital Audio format, not an extension of the broadcast format. DAT users had a bad joke of double recording each sound shoot so when the DAT tape failed, you still had a valuable recording. It was not the most stable format.

Conspiracy observers note that Sony did it that way to keep people from making perfect pirate copies, a feature brought to you by Sony Records and Tapes / Sony Music.

And yes, it was not unusual for people to transfer DAT tapes from the headphone connection (holding up hand).


Thanks everyone for the help so far! There was something i hadn’t checked on in the control settings. I think I’m on my way but from a very, very short sample that I recorded into Audacity there seems to be some crackling noises that I do NOT hear when I plug my headphones directly into the DAT deck. Could it be the cable is partially bad/loose? The cable is pretty old and I’ve got a new coax and optical cable coming tomorrow from Amazon. I don’t know, just thinking out loud…