Tascam DM-24 and Firewire cared - too good to be true??

Discussion in 'Converters / Interfaces' started by MeTheAudioPhile, May 1, 2004.

  1. Hi - I've been following Tascam's recent release of their new IF-FW/DM Firewire expansion card for their DM-24 digital mixer. Apparently, with the expansion card installed on the DM-24, you're able to have 24 inputs and outputs from your DAW to the DM-24 over a single Firewire connection.

    To me, this sounds really great, especially seeing as how the DM-24 has 16 channels of mic pres, along with EQ and Dynamics processing on nearly all of it's 32 channels...

    I'm looking to put together a decent home studio when I get out of school in about 6 months, and I'm highly considering going with the DM-24/Firewire expansion card.

    Does anyone have any experience with this console and/or the new expansion card? If so, how did it perform? I'm a bit skeptical as to how well the firewire cable will handle 24 channels of audio at once. How were the mic pres? Dynamics/effects?

    Any opinions?
  2. AudioGaff

    AudioGaff Well-Known Member

    Feb 23, 2001
    Silicon Valley
    I don't think that the firewire card is shipping just yet so your not likely to find anybody that has used it enough to give you a decent reply.
  3. Beeernd

    Beeernd Guest

    I can tell you though that the DM-24 is an excellent console sonically. We are presently running one with another ADAT interface card and the 96K 8in/8out analog option. We have used this console ever since it came on the market two years ago and here are some cons:

    1) very recently the LCD screen has developed lines (problems) that have now become so severe that it is impossible to read all the information located on the bottom of the screen. Our only option seems to be to replace the LCD screen

    (2) Faders are long-throw, but not as accurate, fast or responsive as analog faders, or the better digital consoles for that matter.

    (3) If you go through the Inserts instead of the line-ins, the console sounds much better - you are essentially avoiding the line-amp. When you do this, however, it is easy to overload the inputs by driving them with high-headroom analog outboard equipment.

    (4) Mic pres are decent but have an odd response where most of the gain comes at the very end of the tim pot's path. There it can be very finnicky - but Tascam does have a replacement for this issue.

    (5) Interface is a bit cumbersome at times, not necessarily TASCAM's oversight, but because you are essentially cramming 48 faders into an 18 fader board. Routing is comprehensive, but requires you to constantly stare at the (fading) screen. For change of high-to low sampling rates you have to reboot the mixer each time, this then halves the amount of processing power (and channels). Surround sound capability can only be achieved with the additional analog in/out card.

    My advice - take a good look at the new Yamaha's as well, before you commit yourself.

  4. Gerk

    Gerk Guest

    Thanks for the heads up, something to watch for for sure. I've not had any problems with mine to date (crossing fingers) and I've had it almost a year now.

    I've noticed that the amps on the line in are a bit stranger than most, but I've not had enough problems to worry about it.

    Right, they do have a very bizarre slope for sure, I noticed the same exact thing. You go from +3 to +63 in mere milimeters. This can be worked around to some degree though by setting the digital adjustment (whatever it's called) higher on each strip. I set mine to +6 and things are a lot more consistant until you get up into the higher gain areas (+16 or higher).

    Not true. You can do surround out with the built on outputs if you do things right, and depending on what you already have in use for your assignable analog outs.

    yep, always good advice, but I did just that comparison myself... and bang for the buck the DM24 is pretty hard to beat, even with this points in note. Basically it cam down to either a used Yamaha console that had about half the features of the DM24 , or the DM24 without the long proven track record, etc ... I chose the DM24 and am quite happy about it...

    Now if they _EVER_ get that firewire interface out the door I will be all that much happier again!
  5. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

    Feb 10, 2001
    I believe the Firewire can do 24 I/O at 24bits 48 at once. Wether it can at 96 is another story but then the DM24 is halved anyway!

    I am also debating DM24 or an analog board. Rigth now I have my eyes on a good deal for a Soundcraft Delta 200 with 23 mic input, and 1 line inout strips. I hear the preamps are in the Ghost range of quality. But for under $1000 what can I get that is better?

    I like the immediacy of an analog console but love the idea of just plugging in a mixer to a DAW and "go".
    The DM24 is about 3 or 4 years old now and I am wondering if Tascam is not about to release a new version?

  6. Gerk

    Gerk Guest

    From my past experience I wouldn't touch Soundcraft (not the cheaper stuff anyway) with a ten foot pole... standard policy in my old shop (were a big shop doing live sound) on arrival of a soundcraft board was to rip it apart and retouch all the solder joints... far too many arrived with cold solder joints .. which doesn't go too far in establishing their QA process...

    Also, I don't like the _sound_ of them... they do have a particular type of sound that comes out of them, which reminds me of bad bands in band clubs for some reason.

    Also, the DM-24 IF-FW (firewire card) is also spec'ed at being able to do 96Khz @ 14 tracks realtime ... now if they can just get the out the door things will be better. A rep a sweetwater told me that they are due to arrive by the 'end of the month'.... whether this is just more hype (they were supposed to arrive in jan as well hehe) or reality we'll have to see, but I plan on picking one up asap and I will report back my success and/or failures here ;)
  7. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

    Feb 10, 2001
    Since a few days a TAC Magnum 26 input has come up for same price as Soundcraft Ghost.

    I will wait a few years before I look at digital boards again. The next few years will be very exiting I think.
    The quality of low priced gear is getting to be ridiculously good.

    I think the DM24 is on the right track (no pun).

  8. nigel8013

    nigel8013 Guest

    I've had my DM24 for 3 years now...

    In the first year the power supply broke and took out the LCD screen. This was replaced and returned to me within a month.

    More recently I encountered the same fault again to be told by Tascam that its a known fault. I contacted Tascam directly and had my mixer collected no problem.

    After a few weeks I decided to phone Tascam to find out what state it was in. I was told they couldn't find it. After a month they eventually found it after me constantly contacting them.

    I was then told it was awaiting parts and would take a while.

    After 4 months of phoning them once a week I got my mixer back at the cost of labour after giving them loads of grief over losing my mixer for so long costing me money in hiring an analog one!

    The story desn't end there!...

    Firstly I noticed a nasty dent where it looked like it had been dropped along with a screw floating loose inside the mixer! - not good... I then put the mixer back in place and oh no! I have no control room output! oh and some of the LED's don't work on the right hand side - This wasn't a problem before it went in for repair!

    I am now about the phone Tascam and get them to sort it out as I am discusted with the out of warranty service I have received.

    In my opinion its a great mixer when it works, but if it goes wrong god help ya.

    Also the company that did the repair was Cimple Solutions - Part of the FX group, In my opinion they were useless!

  9. inLoco

    inLoco Active Member

    Jul 25, 2004
    i think that is probably the problem with everything! support... yeah right? go fish...

    the money they would spend with support don't make up for it... so they prefer to "simulate" support!
    that's like major stores that sell computers! here in europe we have a good example... fnac...
  10. fartecho

    fartecho Active Member

    Sep 29, 2004
    about that firewire card...

    if the original author is still interested in info about the firewire card, check out tascamforums.com...there's PLENTY of info about operation and experience with that new 1394 setup. personally, i can't get it to do EXACTLY what i want it to, but i'm also an idiot when it comes to digital routing (i'm used to boards from the early 80s)

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