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PostPosted: Sat Jul 15, 2017 6:09 pm 
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FrankenGraphics wrote:
For frame comparison, need a software where you can scrub back and forth. Like adobe premiere, aftereffects or photoshop.

Quicktime on iPhone was the first place I encountered this term.
Whence came it?

(…that is, who coined/popularized it, not "it's from the scrubbing motion")


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 15, 2017 6:28 pm 
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I definitely remember seeing it used before the iPhone was a thing.... but I can't find a cite-able date. wikipedia insinuates it's pre-computer.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 15, 2017 9:16 pm 
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It's definitely a term that's been in use for audio editing for a long time. (So long that I'm not sure where I heard it first... I saw it at least as far back as the 90s.)


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 15, 2017 11:53 pm 
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As far as I know its a Real-To-Real term, in that you would manually move the tape/film over the heads to get sense of where you were and hence know if you need to go back or forth. I think our very early VHS player ( it had a remote, with 3 buttons and it was not wireless ) had "Auto Scrubbing" as one of it features, i.e fast forward and rewind ;)


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 16, 2017 12:11 am 
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Video tapes whas my first contact with the term, then i found it in audio editing like rainwarrior mentioned.

Manually scrubbing back and forth* in an animation loop - especially one with several frames - is good for detecting a good fps tempo for your animation (if you're free to pick one), what frames should extend longer, or shorter, and so on.

*hold and drag position marker rather than use buttons. I sometimes send a loop gif to my phone for tactile scrubbing.

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 16, 2017 2:47 am 
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Addition to the etymology:

I think audio software and DAW:s picked it up like this

analog reel to reel tapes -> DAT tapes (1987-2005*) -> disk storage.

*For long, you'd store studio audio on DAT (which is a lossless format) and MIDI on disk systems.
Durutti Column was first to use DAT in studio, followed by other Factory Records-related groups. Some were even released on DAT for home use, like New Order. Most studios went to other media by the 00:s (disk or back to analogue tape) but i used DAT as late as 2003. Sony discontinued DAT in 2005.

There were predecessors to DAT in the late 70s but i'm uncertain if they ever saw widespread use for music recording/editing.

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 16, 2017 6:12 am 
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Before DAT, there was an adapter to record 44.1 kHz stereo PCM audio on Betamax cassettes, which is where the 44.1 kHz rate originated in the first place: 3 stereo samples (96 bits) per scanline times 294 or 245 scanlines per field times 50 or 60 fields per second.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 16, 2017 6:49 am 
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Another thing with DAT is that you can't "scrub" in the real sense of moving tape over headers back and forth, because the format is one-directional. Scrub here would mean move the tape some distance, then play a short length, and repeat until you've found the point in time you're looking for. But you could ID and store keyframes to which you could return to by dialling the ID.

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 16, 2017 7:48 am 
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Oziphantom wrote:
As far as I know its a Real-To-Real term

That makes a lot of sense.

I've never done any serious work on an R2R, so I've never really learned any terminology for them, but is was very easy/useful to manually spin the reels. It was the only way to precisely position the head.

FrankenGraphics wrote:
DAT

My experience with DAT was entirely as an archival format, useless for editing, i.e. used for the final mixdown/playback or a field recording but not much else. It was also convenient for playback of more than 2 channels, which CDs weren't*. (Edit: I was thinking of ADAT for multi-channel work. DAT was stereo.)

Though, there probably do exist (expensive) DAT editing machines, just I've never seen any. The studio I was working in also had computers in it, so it would probably have been insane to want to try to do editing on a DAT when you can use a software editor.

But yeah, there's no "scrubbing" on DAT.

* I believe CDs technically had 4-channel standard but I've never heard of a CD player that could handle that.


Last edited by rainwarrior on Sun Jul 16, 2017 8:17 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 16, 2017 7:56 am 
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Part of the problem with using DAT for audio production was that it was apparently hard to qualify to obtain DAT decks without the Serial Copy Management System, which required every second generation of copy to be analog.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 16, 2017 8:08 am 
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The way you'd set up an editing studio based on DAT is you record each channel via channel strips or a recording mixer set to as neutral as possible to DAT deck #1, then, from DAT #1 you play back into your editing mixer, where you also patch in effects, and record do DAT deck #2 when all the settings are satisfactory. The two decks are synchronized. Because of the timestamp/ID system, you can set them to record within/between two timestamps/keyframes, thus overwriting select pieces of a track rather than the track as a whole. But it's fidgety so you may want to record to a vacant track and dub/mix where applicable/possible.

Larger rigs would contain several A and B sets of decks to give more channels, but the one i used was a two deck system.

Compared to software editing, it's tedious. There's a large amount of destructive editing, and a lot of passes through D/A and A/D stages which you want to keep at a minimum (tepples' post just showed up when i submitted).

But - compared to analogue tape splicing which i've never even considered trying when i've had the opportunity to do so, it's a breeze. All the usual analogue ping-pong and overdub techniques still apply. You can't flange (by bending the position of tape with your thumb) or chorus/pitch shift (by applying force to the reel driver making it inert) like you would on analogue tape, though.

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 16, 2017 8:14 am 
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tepples wrote:
Part of the problem with using DAT for audio production was that it was apparently hard to qualify to obtain DAT decks without the Serial Copy Management System, which required every second generation of copy to be analog.

Ha, I'd forgotten about that! Yeah, that was super lame. Digital input, analog output. :(

Actually I'm remembering now that we used ADAT for multi-track stuff, not DAT. ADAT was a different format that recorded 8 channels on a Super VHS tape. DAT has its own special little cassettes and it was only stereo.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 16, 2017 8:23 am 
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Yeah, my older brother had a small record label and they used DAT tapes, which was enough for crude early 90s punk. In the equivalent of senior high we used ADAT.

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 16, 2017 8:28 am 
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FrankenGraphics wrote:
(description of multi-deck DAT editing)

Ah, thanks for that explanation! It does illuminate how DAT could be useful for editing. I've used tape video editors that had a synchronizable pair of drives, so I'm a little bit familiar with how editing can be done with that kind of setup.

Actually it probably was a DAT machine with 2 decks, now that I think about it, but we had computers/DAW so it probably would have been pointless to use it for editing. ;P

I'm super glad we live in an age of random access.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 20, 2017 12:23 pm 
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I found a few DAT tapes of my father's albums. I'd like to dump them some day but DAT decks are pretty expensive!


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