The Cheat Sheet: R-DAT, DCC, MD, and Dolby S

flip-michaels-1991by Flip Michaels

R-DAT, DCC, MD, and now Dolby S. It seems that every time I get a haircut the audio-format confusion grows!

A few issues ago [July 1991 RAP], Larry Williams (Creative Services Director at KYKY-FM/Y-98) beat me to the punch line -- the idea of mastering on R-DAT cassettes.

Think about it. No more oxidized master reels from 1972, and you get six empty cabinets!

With the R-DAT, production can sound like it was done on a multi-track! It's basically to the reel-to-reel what the compact cassette was to the LP. Sold? Great! I've seen list prices as low as $750.

Next.

Philip's Digital Compact Cassette (DCC) recorder. Have you read your AUDIO issue yet? The DCC is scheduled to be introduced in the spring of 1992. What makes it so interesting? A new digital coding technique called PASC, or Precision Adaptive Sub-band Coding. Its purpose is to produce a signal equivalent to that of a CD. We're talking about a dynamic range better than 105 dB, and total harmonic distortion (with noise) of less than 0.0025%.

Wait, I'm not finished!

Sony's new MD (Mini Disc) system will be out in the fall of 1992 -- a system that seems ideal for portable or car units.

The Mini Disc features include uninterrupted playback (shockproof memory), encasement (no direct handling of disc), and recording of up to seventy-two minutes per disc.

Sony is also working on an "Irister Circuit" in the MD which could reduce the sizes of recording space, therefore increasing recording time.

So let's get personal... have you seen any movies lately? This just in: quite a few movies have been using Dolby SR (spectral recording) for their soundtracks.

It seems that Dolby has a new toy, Dolby S-type noise reduction. Based on the Dolby SR professional noise reduction system, the Dolby S-type provides 24 dB of noise reduction at high frequencies and 10 dB at low frequencies.

The negotiations, licensing, and production are all on the move, so look for it to hit the market soon!

So there you have it (this Cheat Sheet's probably good for the next 3600 seconds!). Until my next haircut... never pet a burning dog.