An Introduction to Digital Audio Tape – DAT

Digital Audio
by John Federico

Digital Audio Tape (DAT) was an sound recording and playback medium developed by Sony – introduced in 1987 – and was intended to function as the successor to the sound cassette. It is somewhat synonymous in appearance but at 73 mm × 54 mm × 10.5 mm it’s about half the size; its height being similar to an triple-A power stood on end. DAT had been a digital technologies with superior maximum standard than a commercial CD and was capable of creating ideal digital clones from a digital source unlike additional guidelines of your day (Digital Compact Cassette and MiniDisc) that utilized lossy compression.

DAT – The Technology

Very synonymous to video recording technologies of your day, DAT utilized a rotating head with a helical scan to record information. The way of information storage really worked as a protection measure of types and prevented splicing tapes to edit them which was potential on analog tapes, digital compact cassettes, and open reel digital tapes.

The DAT standard specified 4 sampling modes: 32 kHz at 12 pieces, and 32 kHz, 44.1 kHz or 48 kHz at 16 pieces. It was potential to locate non-standard recorders that enabled recording at 96 kHz and 24 pieces (HHS). DAT was unable to record extended durations at the greatest test rates. The same tape at 1 rate might record for 6 hours at another rate a mere 90 minutes. Just thus much tape is packed into a DAT shell.

With the more complicated rotary head the recorder system was more pricey for a DAT recorder than for the stationary analog counterpart. Because of the Philips and Panasonic created the Digital Compact Cassette (DCC) a less impressive but absolutely enviable stationary head shape that had good standard at a reduced expense.

It was no match for the DAT due to its necessary lossy compression but total it did a superior job and proven a static head may be chosen for top quality digital recordings.

DAT – Was There Ever a Want?

Despite the RIAA’s lawsuits and lobbying against DAT producers it eventually gained very a following in the 1990’s in the recording industry. Back in the 1990’s a amazing numerous archival tapes were produced utilizing the DAT media. These archives continue to be accessible now in some places but the machines are no longer yielded thus unless these archives are moved to another structure it can become harder and harder with time to obtain archivists and sound transfer businesses capable of moving the media to a present structure.

Because of DATs lossless encoding and top quality it induced no hiss or alternative electronic sound thus became a favorite for creating best master duplicates. It is potential with enough digital equipment to create a complete digital chain involving the microphone as well as the speakers found on the CD player. With digital mixers and alternative digital hardware, analog induced hardies may be completely eradicated within the most of the procedure.

DAT In The Home

DAT, for countless factors, not gained a lot of recognition with all the general customer. For the many piece it was simpler and cheaper to go with all the alternatives. It was common with some garage bands and boutique studios but the everyday Joe seldom saw 1 until their short stint as sequential information back-up equipment. Data backup tapes loved a several years in the sunlight before being changed by big and then ultra big outside forces utilizing the serial, parallel and later, USB ports.

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