The cassette compartment is a "door" type much like those on standard cassette decks, as opposed to the "tray" or "drawer" types of compartments found on many other units. Inserting the cassette feels like a much more delicate procedure on the PCM-2700 than simply setting a cassette in a tray or drawer and hitting the CLOSE button. When closed, a light illuminates the cassette and label for easy tape identification.

At the bottom of the panel are the usual DAT transport and record controls: STOP, PLAY, PAUSE, REWIND, FAST FORWARD, PREVIOUS, NEXT, RECORD, and RECORD MUTE. Above these buttons are the controls for the subcodes and the tape counter. You get the usual AUTO, WRITE, RENNUMBER, and ERASE functions for the Start ID, as well as the usual Skip ID and End ID Write and Erase functions. (The End ID function is not found on all DAT machines and basically places a code that can be used to designate the last point at which the tape was recorded. This is a necessity when re-using tapes that have already been recorded on.)

The large knob at the bottom right of the panel is the input level control and is used only when the analog inputs are used. Next to it is a headphone jack and headphone level control.

At the right of the panel is a numeric keypad used for selecting programs for play. The keypad is also used for entering data when using the unit's search functions. Other buttons around the keypad access the internal clock, Fade-in/Fade-out, Skip Play, Copy Prohibit, Margin, Time Search, Long Play Mode, Input Monitor, and Repeat functions. Pressing any of these buttons usually results in an indication of one sort or another on the large display window.

The display is loaded with information. A bright orange "Long Play" light illuminates to inform you that you're in the 32kHz LP mode, selected by pressing the LONG/STANDARD RECORD MODE button just above the display. (The 32kHz sampling frequency is automatically set when this button is pressed, and the tape speed drops to one-half normal speed.)

An "Emphasis" indicator lights when a tape recorded with emphasis is played back, or when the signal being recording at the digital input has emphasis applied to it. In other words, only the de-emphasis circuit is in the unit. You can play or record an emphasized signal, but you can't add emphasis to a recording. (If you're unfamiliar with "emphasis" in digital recording, it is basically a function that reduces noise by boosting highs during recording then "de-emphasizing" or cutting the highs on playback.)


  • Technology: Loudness Revisted

    by Steve Cunningham 2011 has been an interesting year for radio production and voiceover, and I’m not just talking about the business. In one small...