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Pre ADAT "ADAT" Deck circa 1987/88
Old 8th September 2007
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Pre ADAT "ADAT" Deck circa 1987/88

On another forum I have been discussing a possible lost format that either never made it very far into common use OR it was what became an ADAT.

In about 1987 or '88 I recieved an envelope with a single page, black and white piece of literature from a company that was introducing an 8 track multitrack recorder/reproducer.
It used a VHS tape, but I can vividly recall that the literature didn't specify if the deck was analog or digital.

A few years later when I first saw an ADAT I imedeately thought that it was the same unit I had seen in the literature I recieved a few years earlier.

The unit WAS NOT an AKAI mutitrack deck like some have speculted and I am certian that it wasn't made by what I considered a "name brand" audio company. In otherwords, it wasn't a SONY, MCI, Studer, Roland, TASCAM, Fostex manufactured device.

I also never saw the unit adverstised in any of the trade magazines.

Does anyone recall this unit and who might have manufactured it?

One fellow said he thought it might have been Anatek.
He said he recalled seeing a recorder like I am describing at an AES show, but the unit never worked during the the show.

Any recollections of this device?

Danny Brown
Old 8th September 2007
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nukmusic's Avatar

maybe it was the first gerenation of ADATs. I believe the digital ADATs hit the market like the early 1990's??? Alesis, Fostex, Studer, Panasonic
Old 8th September 2007
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PhilE's Avatar
Didnt the guys who became Line 6 develop the ADAT format and licensed it to Alesis? If thats true maybe it was the pre license version.
Old 8th September 2007
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emrr's Avatar
I'm having (maybe false) memory of a Yamaha 8 track recorder that went with their digital mixing system. From memory the price point was very high, and it didn't compete well with the open reel digital 48 track market. Maybe false, maybe a different product altogether.

Everyuone needs to remember that it was late '89-'90 before DAT was really allowed to hit the US market, even though there'd been grey market imports for awhile already. Lots of legal BS slowed the introduction of affordable digital recording.
Old 8th September 2007
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Ben B's Avatar

Was it the Akai ADAM? I don't remember what type of media that system used. Back then it was also fairly common to mix to videotape through external A/D converters.

-Ben B
Old 8th September 2007
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Ben B's Avatar

Never mind... I see you already ruled out the Akai.


Ben B
Old 8th September 2007
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It was probably the Yamaha, the date sounds right. They developed it, but it never really hit the market. It was a modular digital 8 track system that also had a digital mixer that went with it. I've actually USED one believe it or not. I was the vocal producer for a Filipina artist on MCA. The tune was cut at the studio of the guy who played the music. He worked for Yamaha back in the day and when he left they let him take some stuff with him. He took that digital system. So he had 3 of those decks for 24 tracks along with the mixer. It actually sounded really good. It used some kind of semi-proprietary BETA or VHS "-ish" tape if I recall correctly so he snagged a ton of those when he left as well. The mixer had automation and two built in digital effects processers. It had a two line LCD display if I remember correctly. The cabling was all proprietary. The decks were 16bit, but I don't know if they were 44.1 or 48kHz. Supposedly only a handful of them ever existed.
Old 8th September 2007
Lives for gear

It wasn't Yamaha for sure.
It was someone I had not heard of and I was fairly aware of what was out there at that time.

A few guys on the other forum suggested it could have been made or at least marketed by Anatek. They brought out the first Radar unit which was made by a company called 1z or something like that.

A few of the guys actually know the guys that were on the original ADAT design team.

It wasn't an AKAI, but the AKAI did record analog onto what looked like videotape.

It was stand-alone box and looked pretty much like what an ADAT originally looked like, except not black.
It might have even had the controls arranged in the same way.

I speculate that this was a "vapor" product that never made it to market.

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