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Alesis ADAT - Affordable Digital Multitrack (part 8)

Recording format: ADAT (Alesis Digital Audio Tape). Recording time: 40 minutes with S-VHS 120 cassette. Fast wind speed: 20x play speed with tape unwrapped.

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ADAT Specifications

Recording format: ADAT (Alesis Digital Audio Tape)

Recording time: 40 minutes with S-VHS 120 cassette

Fast wind speed: 20x play speed with tape unwrapped

10x play speed with tape wrapped

Fast audio scan speed: 3x play speed

A/D conversion: 16 bit linear, Delta-Sigma 64 times oversampling, single convertor per channel.

Sample rate: 48kHz (varispeed 40.4 to 50.8kHz, +1, -3 semitones)

Frequency response: 20Hz to 20kHz +/-0.5dB

Dynamic range: >92dB from 20Hz to 20kHz A weighted

Distortion: 0.009% THD + noise @ 1kHz, 0.5dB below maximum output, A weighted.

Channel crosstalk: <-90dB @ 1kHz

Wow and flutter: Unmeasurable

Connectors: 56 pin ELCO

16 1/4” jack (8 input, 8 output)

2 EIAJ fibre optic (1 input, 1 output), Alesis Fibreoptic Multichannel protocol.


Which track for timecode?

It may seem like a giant leap backwards to have to sacrifice an audio track for timecode when ADAT has inherent synchronising capability, but until the extended (BRC) remote control appears, which I suspect will remedy this, we’ll still have to do just this - and fortunately it’s nowhere near as problematical as using timecode on an analogue multitrack. So on which track should the timecode go on a sixteen track system with two ADATs?

Suppose your master ADAT is connected to tape outputs and inputs 1 to 8 and the slave is connected to 9 to 16. If you record timecode on track 16 then the slave will take three seconds or more to start after the master enters play or record and only then can your sequencer attempt to lock up, so timecode really has to be recorded on the master. It doesn’t matter which track you use but you are now going to have to work around the ‘hole’ on your mixing console, which is irritating. The alternative would be to connect the slave to 1 to 8 and the master to 9 to 16 but I can’t help feeling that this is thoroughly illogical. As the price of progress I’m sure we’ll get used to it.

By David Mellor Thursday January 1, 2004
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