Glossary definition of 'ADAT'

While ADAT originally and more correctly referred to the Alesis digital multi-track tape format (Alesis Digital Audio Tape), it is now more commonly used to refer to the ADAT 'Lightpipe' digital interface (officially known as the ADAT Optical Interface) which carries 8 tracks of audio on a single fibre optic cable. This interface is now in widespread use by manufacturers other than Alesis and used in many different applications other than ADAT recording. While it uses the same physical optical cable standard as TOSLINK, the two are entirely incompatible. Furthermore, although it still retains the advantage over S/PDIF, TOSLINK or AES3 of being able to carry 8 signals over one cable (24bit, 48kHz), that advantage has been significantly diminished by the arrival of AES10 (MADI) which can now carry up to 64 channels over a single co-axial cable.

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