Daniel, I'm desperate...

Discussion in 'Recording' started by knightfly, Mar 27, 2002.

  1. knightfly

    knightfly Active Member

    Hey Daniel, I've just got off the Tascam DM-24 forum after trying to smooth ruffled feathers with Jace, so rather than bother him with this I thought I'd try first here - We were discussing outside makers of PCI interface cards, with absolutely ZERO success in reaching a solution for 96k TDIF2 interfaces.

    My question is this: Are you allowed to tell which companies (if any) have requested a copy of the TDIF 2 spec and filed a NDS with Tascam? This info would make my research/inquisition much more directed and save me a lot of time/headache/phone bill as well as possibly open up other sources. I had almost spent $1800 on RME stuff to interface the DM-24 at high sample rates, til Jace finally told another user the answer to inquiries I thought I had made 2 months ago - namely, that the RME stuff, which does S-MUX, is NOT the same as TDIF 2.

    I am trying to accomplish a product without EVER leaving the digital realm (once it's digitized) or truncating more than necessary, all at 32-bit float/96k, or at least 24/96. At this point in time, I am up against a brick wall without a hammer or chisel. Any ideas you may have for DM-24/DAW interfaces at 24/96 (8 channels or more) would be UNBELIEVABLY appreciated. Anything! Grovelingly yours... Steve
  2. algorhythm

    algorhythm Guest


    I wish I could give you an answer that would make you happy, but the real answer is "no, not yet". 96K via TDIF is simply too new a concept (96k in general is a pretty new concept), and there has been no real agreement on a standard. As Jace probably told you, TDIF is our protocol (Tascam Digital InterFace), and we happily provide the info on it to any developer who requests it and signs an NDA. Whether a manufacturer chooses to follow that spec or go off and create their own is not our call. And as of today, there is no manufacturer that I'm aware of that creates what you're looking for.

  3. knightfly

    knightfly Active Member

    Daniel, thanks for the prompt reply, even if it's definitely NOT the answer I would have hoped for. My main beef with Tascam now is their lying, crap-eating marketing types (not that Tascam's are any better or worse than others) I was just reading the new issue of Recording Mag tonite, and bigger than $*^t there's the ad for the DM-24 - quote - "Whether you're working with standalone hard disk recorders, DAW systems, MDM's or analog tape, the DM-24 is optimised to be the very best choice in consoles designed for 24-track recording. Ready to get everything you ever wanted (and more) in a digital console? Get the DM-24 today at your authorized Tascam Dealer."

    What I want is this: If a board claims to be able to interface with a DAW, and claims to do 24/96 IN THE SAME AD, I expect it to be able to do just that, even if it requires an "optional" plug-in card. Jace's last reply to me was that nobody at Tascam seemed interested in a PCI/TDIF2 card. He took the same BS tack that Tascam is "not responsible" to interface the DM with other people's equipment. Fine - then don't tell me it can!!! (Read Tascam's own statements above if you have doubts) I'd like to be able to say I'm sorry about the rant, but I'm not. What I am sorry about is the two months or more of time I've spent trying to track down anybody who makes a TDIF card of any type and finally learning that none of them talk TDIF2. I thought I finally had the answer, in the form of $1800 worth of RME stuff - then Jace answered a question for someone else that none of the forum guys would touch 2 months ago when I asked the very same questions, and phfffffttt!!! NOTHING !!! At this point, unless I still don't understand, apparently I can only interface with a DAW at 96k with two channels of information at a time, thru a pair of AES I/O. If I remember correctly, I think Jace stated that the AES option cards DO NOT have the capability of the Dual Line or Hi Speed AES that the main AES connectors do - otherwise, since I have one open slot I could concievably get an AES card and run 8 channels at hi speed. I would really like to resolve this, as I hate being pissed off almost as much as I hate being pissed ON. Lately it's been both - guess how happy I am.

    Since I would like to end this venting session on a more positive note, here is a possible idea for a future expansion board for the DM - What about a plug-in board that converts all 8 bus signals to firewire, sort of like RME, Creamware, Motu, etc? If the conversion took place inside the DM, any generic firewire card in the computer, with appropriate drivers, would allow as many 24/96 streams as one DM-24 could produce - maybe even the direct outs, if they are available at the option connectors. Just a thought from a desperate guy. I know I've been at least a little rude, but please don't make me out to be the bad guy so you can ignore my problem without feeling guilty - all I'm asking for is what I was told the unit could do, and I even offered a possible way out that should be feasible. Right now, with the cost of connecting a DAW to my equipment rising exponentially, I would be better off selling or trading the DM-24 for a Yamaha 02R-96 when they're available, or a stack of Lucids or Apogees. I know it would be more money, and I'm not saying the DM isn't a lot for the money - I would just hope that in the $10k price range people would be more careful about delivering on their claims. Unhappily, Steve
  4. dynamo12

    dynamo12 Guest

    Hi Steve,
    i'm checking for a DAW and i'm considering
    " Pyramix " by Merging Tech. they have also a TDIF interface that looks like is able to deal with SR up to 384 Khz. Maybe you checked this already but
    just in case...
    I did not dig the TDIF thing too much so..hope info is correct. Jo

  5. knightfly

    knightfly Active Member

    Thanks Jo, yeah I did check it out, and 96k would require getting the whole Pyramix SW and package. Here is a quote from their site:
    "Support for all sampling rates from 32 kHz up to 384 kHz (needs full version of Pyramix above 48 kHz)"
    I haven't talked to anyone re: Tascam's peculiar way of getting 4 channels of 96k on a TDIF, so I'ts possible if I wanted to start over with SW that their TDIF daughter card MIGHT do TDIF2 - Tascam is so damn secretive about what they're doing, it's hard to say without a guarantee from a card mfg whether or not anything is compatible. So far, the only cards that sound like they might do me are the RME Digiface/ADI-8DD combo. One of the Tascam guys said he knew of NOBODY who was currently making a TDIF2 card, yet RME claims to work with "any known method of high sample rate 2-line..." I think I may get up at 4AM and call Germany just to see if their tech guru's English is any better than my German (none)

    Man, this is such a bitch I'm about ready to sell the DM-24 and get 4 of the Logic control units and switch software. I'm used to Samplitude and love it, but supposedly Logic and Samplitude are coming out with a joint SW using Samplitude's audio and Logic's MIDI code - If I could get that SW to run on the Logic control, maybe that would be the way to go. Or, maybe I should spend the time I've been using to research, working overtime and use the money to get a good Ampex MM-1200 and a refurbed SSL - The amount of time I've wasted on this interface problem I could have just about paid for at least the recorder.

    Just got off the phone with the main sales guy at Pyramix - $7-8k for a system (minus computer) that will do 8/16 ins TDIF and 8 outs, all at 96k. Their cards are about $2k each, and it might take 2 cards with 2 daughter boards to get 8 ins @ 96k. They're not quite compatible with ProTools yet (soon), but apparently Nuendo gets along good with their hardware. You do need their software to take advantage of their hardware DSP. Sounds like their SW works with Midi controllers, so the DM-24 could be a control surface - Too many questions, not enough answers or money... Steve
  6. algorhythm

    algorhythm Guest


    I understand your frustration, and would love to help you out. But here's what I don't get: How can you say TASCAM's being secretive about our TDIF implementation? We provide the spec to ANYONE who signs an NDA.....that's standard industry procedure. It's true that other manufacturers can choose to implement it per our spec, or not....but if they don't, how is that our fault? We provide clear documentation on how =we= do 96k over TDIF. (And as I've mentioned previously, TDIF is our spec....the T is for TASCAM, after all.)

    The sad truth is, as I've already stated, that you're in relatively new and uncharted territory. Until the industry agrees on a standard, every manufacturer will make this decision based on a whim and a coin flip. (As the old saying goes, the nice thing about standards is that there are so many of them....)

  7. knightfly

    knightfly Active Member

    Daniel, I'm not asking anyone how to DESIGN a TDIF2 product, nor am I trying to reverse engineer one - I'll leave that to Behringer. All I wanted in the first place was enough of a generic idea of how Tascam's dual line worked to understahd WHY it won't play nice with so-called S-mux or dual line from RME - I have no desire to know which leg of which IC has to have a ferrite bead of X specs in order not to oscillate, or even what the IC part # is, only a GENERIC understanding of the differences so that if I EVER find another product that looks like a possible solution, I will at least re-read the info and call them, rather than assume it won't work.

    Also, to re-hash another un-answered comment; with all the emerging fire wire/pseudo-firewire interfaces, I really think that an option card which puts out an 8-channel firewire signal would be a viable option to consider for the DM-24. The DM's position in the marketplace couldn't help but improve even more if it could be easily interfaced with a variety of equipment, rather than a person having no choice for High Sample rates but an MX-2424 with its high-priced SCSI drives. I can build a PC today that can do 32 tracks of 32/96 audio for $1600, and each 80 GB of storage I add costs $125. Compare that to 12 tracks of 24/96 for $3600 or so, with each 80 GB of extra storage costing $475. Let's see, which one could I afford first? $10,000 or $1600 ?

    My point, if you've missed it, is that a large segment of the posters on Tascam's BBS have obviously scrimped and saved just to buy the DM-24 - there's no way that segment will EVER buy an MX-2424 if they can figure out a way to get most of, and in some ways more of, the functionality of an MX-2424 at one third the cost - even less, if they already have the computer and only need an interface. So, the first one to run it up the flagpole and not have it burst into flames is the winner. Forget "responsibility", I'm talking about just plain marketing sense - If I were one of the Tascam marketing team right now, I would either get fired or Tascam would be burning the midnight oil until they had a Triple TDIF2/PCI card that was compatible with every mode of utilization the TDIF2 connector could support, and that would IRQ share like the RME stuff does, with ASIO/MME/WDM drivers. Think how cool that would work; One DM-24, one PCI card, 12 or 24 channels into your DAW. Two DM-24s, two linked PCI cards, 24 or 48 channels. None of the "hot dogs and buns" crap of needing 2 of this but 3 of this, except only using half of this $900 box, etc...

    The DM-24 is an amazing product, whose only SERIOUS shortcoming is a lack of foresight on the part of decision-makers to REALLY support it. I sincerely hope this changes, because it's too good a product both now and potentially NOT to make the most of.

    Daniel, I do understand that this is "emerging technology", and I'm trying to be patient despite the fact that I have no way of using some of the features I bought this board for, short of buying interface hardware I will end up throwing away in 3-6 months. I have done that 'way too often, to the tune of approximately $40,000 worth of equipment that was just a little too "emerging" for its own good, over the last 20 years. Every time I look at that stuff sitting in storage I wish I'd either saved my money til the real thing got here, or bought 24 tracks of analog pro gear and actually been able to make some music.

    Any indication at all that Tascam had intentions of developing their own TDIF2 interface as I described above, would probably go a long way toward helping me forget that I've once again been taken in by ad hype. Anything.
  8. algorhythm

    algorhythm Guest


    It's frustrating for me as well, because I'd love to give you the answers you want to hear. You raise some very good points, many of which have been and are being discussed here. At the risk of being accused of being trite, the sad truth is, product development is more complex than it looks, involves lots of people, and some things take longer than we'd like. As to marketing...not my department, but we try to be truthful.

    Much of what you're addressing is an ongoing problem with the TDIF standard and how the industry's implementing high sampling rates through it. Personally, I figure it'll become a non-issue when superceded by firewire. I can't tell you how soon that's coming, but I do know Jace has been pushing for it.

    FWIW, the DM-24 is a great little mixer for the price. It's true that not everything is implemented to the optimal yet, but trust me, Jace has been pushing all the DAW interface issues since well before the DM's release, with mine and others' help. Your comments are most welcome and do not go ignored.
  9. knightfly

    knightfly Active Member

    Daniel, thank you for giving me the appetizer - I too feel that firewire is the direction most manufacturere are/should be going, re: my comments about possible option cards. If MOTU can hook up 3 of their 1296's for 36 tracks at 24/96, even though the protocol is not true firewire, then bandwidth should definitely NOT be a problem. However, even if MOTU did have a solution to my problem I would be very hesitant to go that route, since all the buzz I get tells me MOTU has yet to figure out what a PC is. All I hear are reported compatibility issues with almost everything except Mac's, they ship their stuff with a recording app for Mac and squat for PC, etc.

    I'm glad to hear Tascam is not totally blind to the need for other interface options, and can only hope it happens sooner than later. From a standpoint of flexibility, to me the triple TDIF2 PCI card still makes the most sense. That would leave the option slots for Analog (surround monitor, etc) and expansion. Thanks for your responses, I'll be looking forward to future announcements... Steve

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