DAT (Digital Audio Tape) is a standard medium and technology for the digital recording of audio on tape at a professional level of quality. A DAT drive is a digital tape recorder with rotating heads similar to those found in a video deck. Most DAT drives can record at sample rates of 44.1 kHz, the CD audio standard, and 48 kHz. DAT has become the standard archiving technology in professional and semi-professional recording environments for master recordings. Digital inputs and outputs on professional DAT decks allow the user to transfer recordings from the DAT tape to an audio workstation for precise editing. The compact size and low cost of the DAT medium makes it an excellent way to compile the recordings that are going to be used to create a CD master.
As an archiving medium, DAT is an alternative to consider along with:
- Digital Data Storage (DDS1 through DDS3)
- Optical disc
- VHS tape