Digital Audio Tape was developed by Sony and introduced in 1987 as a potential successor to analogue compact cassettes for sound recording and playback, although this aim was never fully realised in practice.
It is a tape-based digital signal recording and playback medium using 4mm wide tape. Like videocassettes, DAT is based on the technology of tape passing over a rotating head allowing a helical scan to record data. Recordings are commonly made at 32, 44.1 or 48 kHz sampling rates at 16 bit resolution.
DAT found its niche in professional recording studios in the 1990s, but nowadays is becoming less common due to the prevalence of hard-disk recording technology. DAT was not widely adopted by the domestic market either, mainly due to the cost of the format. However, ‘home’ recordings do still exist, but are becoming difficult to play.
Sony DTC-690 DAT Recorder
DAT to CD transfer is performed using a Fostex D-20 professional timecode master recorder, operating at a sampling rate of either 44.1 or 48 kHz, before transfer to CD.
The lower sampling rate of 32kHz (long-play recordings) are transcribed using a Sony DTC-690 deck.
Individual songs are separated to give full track skip/search functions. CD text and on-CD printing are added for convenience, and your disc is returned to you in a CD jewel case.
Longer transfers may require a second disc, and these are returned in a double CD jewel case.
Alternative file formats (FLAC, .mp3) can also be accommodated if preferred.
PricesDAT factsTransfer Details
|DAT Cassette ||£25 / tape |
|DAT Cassette (long- play) ||£35 / tape |
- DAT cassettes can only be recorded and played in one direction (due to the rotating head technology)
- Playback times vary between 15 and 180 minutes in length
- These durations can be doubled if recording on a ‘long play’ deck at 32kHz
- The tape runs at 8.15mm/s for 48 and 44.1kHz sample rate recordings, whereas a 32kHz sample rate recording runs at half this speed, 4.075 mm/s
- DAT can produce perfect ‘clones’ of CDs and other digital sources as it uses a ‘lossless’ recording system
- Sub-codes are embedded into the signal data which record start and end times to allow for indexing and fast-seeking
To ensure the best accuracy of sound from your DAT recordings, an all-digital signal path is employed. If your recordings were made at 48kHz and you wish to retain this higher sampling rate, just let us know, and we will return your transfer as a higher resolution data file on DVD, memory stick or file upload.
Contact us to discuss your requirements fully.