digital audio tape

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digital audio tape

magnetic tape on which sound is recorded digitally, giving high-fidelity reproduction
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005

digital audio tape

[¦dij·əd·əl ′ȯd·ē·ō ‚tāp]
(computer science)
A magnetic tape on which sound is recorded and played back in digital form. Abbreviated DAT.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

Digital Audio Tape

(storage, music)
(DAT) A format for storing music on magnetic tape, developed in the mid-1980s by Sony and Philips. As digital music was popularized by compact discs, the need for a digital recording format for the consumer existed. The problem is that digital music contains over 5 megabytes of data per minute before error correction and supplementary information. Before DAT, the only way to record digitally was to use a video or a reel-to-reel recorder.

DAT uses a rotary-head (or "helical scan") format, where the read/write head spins diagonally across the tape like a video cassette recorder. Thus the proper name is "R-DAT", where "R" for rotary distinguishes it from "S-DAT", a stationary design that did not make it out of the laboratories. Studio reel-to-reel decks are able to use stationary heads because they can have wider tape and faster tape speeds, but for the desired small medium of DAT the rotary-head compromise was made despite the potential problems with more moving parts.

Most DAT recorders appear to be a cross between a typical analog cassette deck and a compact disc player. In addition to the music, one can record subcode information such as the number of the track (so one can jump between songs in a certain order) or absolute time (counted from the beginning of the tape). The tape speed is much faster than a regular deck (one can rewind 30 minutes of music in 10-25 seconds), though not quite as fast as a compact disc player. DAT decks have both analog and digital inputs and outputs.

DAT tapes have only one recordable side and can be as long 120 minutes.

DAT defines the following recording modes with the following performance specifications...

2 channel 48KHz Sample rate, 16-bit linear encoding 120 min max. Frequency Response 2-22KHz (+-0.5dB) SN = 93 dB DR = 93 dB

2 channel 44.1Khz Sample rate, 16-bit linear encoding 120 min max Frequency Response 2-22KHz (+-0.5dB) SN = 93 dB DR = 93 dB

2 channel 32KHz Sample Rate, 12-bit non-linear encoding 240 min max Frequency Response 2-14.5KHz (+-0.5dB) SN = 92 dB DR = 92 dB

4 channel 32KHz (not supported by any deck)

DAT is also used for recording computer data. Most computer DAT recorders use DDS format which is the same as audio DAT but they usually have completely different connectors and it is not always possible to read tapes from one system on the other. Computer tapes can be used in audio machines but are usually more expensive. You can record for two minutes on each metre of tape.
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(1) (DATa) See DAT file.

(2) (Dynamic Address Translator) A hardware circuit that converts a virtual memory address into a real address. See virtual memory.

(3) (Digital Audio Tape) An earlier magnetic tape technology from Sony that was used for audio recording and data backup. Introduced in 1987, DAT used 4mm cartridges that looked like thick audio cassettes. DAT was initially a CD-quality audio format that was expected to replace analog audiotapes for consumers but wound up being used by professional musicians and sound studios. In 1988, Sony and HP defined the Digital Data Storage (DDS) format for DAT as a computer storage medium. Like videotapes, DAT used helical scan recording. In 2005, Sony ceased production of DAT drives. See magnetic tape and ADAT.

Type    Native Capacity
  DDS-1    2GB
  DDS-2    4GB
  DDS-3   12GB
  DDS-4   20GB
  DDS-5   36GB

DAT Cartridge
DAT provided up to 36GB of native storage in a cartridge that was a little thicker than an audio cassette but smaller overall.

Helical Scan Formats
These are the helical scan tape formats used for digital storage. See helical scan.

Helical Scan Formats
These are the helical scan tape formats used for digital storage. See helical scan.
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References in periodicals archive ?
Digital audio tape offers the possibility of making crystal-clear copies of recordings, with none of the background hiss typically heard on tape.
The UNT College of Music is among the largest and most comprehensive music schools in the country and offers nearly 1,000 performances annually, Currently, its archival recordings are stored by the Music Library on formats of reel-to-reel tape, PCM F1 rotating digital audio tape, compact disc, and digital files.
Her fed-up neighbours were given a Digital Audio Tape (DAT) to record the noise.
Sony's MD also had rivals for consumers' affection: Digital Compact Cassette, which was being pushed by Dutch electronics giant Philips, and Digital Audio Tape.
A DAT (digital audio tape) recorder costs pounds 600 but Andy Gillespie says a four-track tape deck (pounds 200) and some understanding - or deaf - neighbours will do the job.
Michael Garrison, president of The Digital Audio Tape Store in Santa Monica, Cal., said he was particularly interested in the Sony PlayStation because it "has new technology that no other system has.
It is now also possible to store images in digital form on a whole host of ever-improving data storage mediums, including hard disk, digital data storage (DDS) or digital audio tape (DAT).

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