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ADAT (Alesis Digital Audio Tape)

The ADAT (a registered trademark of Alesis) is an eight-track digital tape recorder that caught the recording industry by storm when it was first released in the early 1990s. Today, with over 100,000 ADATs in use in recording facilities around the world, it is the most widely used professional digital recording system. The ADAT was the first product in the category now known as modular digital multitracks (MDMs).

The ADAT system allows up to 16 ADAT units to be used in synchronization, enabling the user to build a very cost-effective multi-track recording environment. The transportability and modularity of the system makes it ideal for mobile recording and wherever space is limited.

Digital transfer between ADATs in a system uses a optical fiber digital communication standard pioneered by Alesis which has become known as Lightpipe. The Lightpipe digital interface has been adopted by other manufacturers as a means of transferring digital data from other types of audio devices, such as mixers, synthesizers, and effect processors.

The ADAT uses the S-VHS 1/2 inch tape format. This tape is similar in design to the tape used in consumer VCRs.

This was last updated in April 2005

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