DA-P1 transfer digital signal into computer

2 replies [Last post]
Joined: 10/15/2005


I have recently bought a second-hand Tascam DA-P1 DAT recorder for field recordings, the machine works fine. I am now trying to get the recordings into my Macintosh labtop. How can I transfer the signal (S/PDIF coaxial/RCA output) into my labtop? Do I need to buy an audio-interface, or is there a less expensive solution? As you can tell, I am a beginner in the world of digital audio recording.


Joined: 02/12/2009

Depending on which laptop (Mac PowerBook, Mac iBook, or any PC laptop) you have, you have two potential methods to choose from: analog or digital. These can be via a built-in jack or via an external interface.

PowerBooks have more choices. I think all the models have analog inputs on mini 1/8" jacks. The more recent ones have 24-bit converters. The older ones just have 16-bit converters. You'd have to get analog adapter cables to connect to this jack (Two RCA --> One 1/8"). But this may compromise your audio quality.

The most recent PowerBook models have a single jack which does both analog and digital input. The digital portion is optical, so to transfer from your DA-P1's Coax S/PDIF output you could use an optical-to-Coax S/PDIF converter.

But a nicer option is to get an external FireWire or USB interface. Some of these are very compact and not too expensive. I have written a long guide to all of these interfaces, here:

Just search that list for words like "S/PDIF".

As for iBooks, I don't think any iBooks have any audio input jacks (analog or digital). Your only choice is to get an external interface from that list.

To learn more about which models have which inputs, check out:

Joined: 10/15/2005

Thanks for your comments. I am using a Mac G4 powerbook, 17 inch, the first version. I don't want to use the analog input and rather transfer the digital signal directly. After doing some more research, I guess that the simplest (cheapest) solution is something like the Edirol UA1D SPDIF to USB connector.