Tascam DM24

Discussion in 'Microphones (live or studio)' started by Eddie, Jul 23, 2003.

  1. Eddie

    Eddie Guest

    Can one (1) of these mix 24 tracks from a hard disk recorder such as the Alesis or Tascam?
    It may be a stupid question but I'm a bit confused by everything I've read in the last week or so.
  2. knightfly

    knightfly Active Member

    Jan 18, 2002
    It can if you get the right interface for your system. The Tascam MX2424 would be the ideal mate in this case - 3 TDIF cables from mixer to HDR, possibly a BNC cable for word clock, and you're there except for the learning curve. That can be slightly steep at times, but doable.

    If you stay at "standard" sampling rates, you get 24 tracks, each with full dynamics processing, and some pretty decent effects. If you go to high sample rates (88.2 or 96 kHz) then nearly EVERYTHING gets cut in half... Steve
  3. Eddie

    Eddie Guest

    Thanks Knightfly, do you own one of these or have you done this? Everything I can find online is saying that you have to have two boards linked to get 24 full blown, but I could be misunderstanding what I'm reading.
  4. knightfly

    knightfly Active Member

    Jan 18, 2002
    Eddie, I bought my DM-24 over a year ago, and have only had it out of the box twice. I was, I believe, a victim of marketing at the time - as is typical, they claimed (or inferred) more than they could deliver all at once. I knew about the "half as much" thing with high res (yes, if you want 24 channels of high res you DO need two boards, and you will use one of the available expansion slots PER BOARD in order to couple the two)-

    My problem at the time was interface with a DAW at high res - my plan was to be able to have at least 8 channels of digital IO at high res, into my DAW running Samplitude - if I could have done that, I could care less about the internal limitations of the DM. Unfortunately, none of the current crop of interface options EXISTED at that time. Now there are a few choices, but you have to be really careful about what machine you try to use. There are a few issues regarding chipsets, and I've lost "sync" with the discussion, partly due to other circumstances and partly due to dis-illusion.

    At the current state of affairs, the DM-24 is STILL probably the best "bang for buck" in a digital mixer, I've yet to hear any negative comments on sound quality, and you can control almost ANYTHING with it if you try hard enough.

    However, if you're looking HARD at high res, I'd save a little more and check out the newer line of Yamaha digital boards. They've gone a different route, and you get the same # of tracks at high res as at low res. I'm not sure if that also applies to EFX or not.

    Keep in mind that either way you go, a decent interface to a DAW (if that's what you want to do) will add at LEAST $1000 to the price. I'm not sure what the necessary cards for the Yamaha series would add to the price, but probably in that same range.

    With the DM, if you want to do surround you need their $400 analog card since there aren't enough analog outs without it. Either that or you'd need a dedicated surround processor with digital inputs (preferably TDIF-2, preferably two of them) which adds ANOTHER few thousand.

    When you put the Cascade card and an analog card in the DM, you're finished. There are only two slots available.

    The good news is, the current V2.10 firmware gives you a LOT more flexibility than the earlier versions. The bad news is, if you do a lot of acoustic instruments and want smooth enough gain changes on preamp inputs for that, you have to send the board back to Tascam and pay $200 for them to put the preamps in it that SHOULD have come with it - the pots on the originals are the wrong "taper", and are almost unusable with low level signals.

    I guess my final recommendation would be that if you want high res, lots of channels, and have the money, I'd go with one of the newer Yamaha boards or a Sony.

    As far as I know now, for HD recorders it's the same - you get half the tracks at high res.

    That's why it's easier and cheaper to set up a smokin' DAW and just use the board for a front end - With today's hardware, you should be able to get at least 32 tracks of high res out of a well-tuned PC, and if you understand them enough to set up Hardware Profiles you can even use it to do your taxes... Steve
  5. Eddie

    Eddie Guest

    This would be for a mobile setup (24 bit, 44.1)
    so small and powerful would be very nice. The box on the truck is 12x8 so space will be at a premium. Would you be interested in selling yours?
  6. knightfly

    knightfly Active Member

    Jan 18, 2002
    Actually, no I wouldn't - I've weathered through all the changes it took to make it a viable board, and will soon have a chance to actually USE the thing - I'm too stubborn to give up now.

    If you're thinking still about using a dedicated HD recorder, I've heard that the alesis will interface OK with the DM-24, but if you've got the extra money you know the Tascam will work - and it wouldn't require using both extra slots for ADAT cards... Steve
  7. drbam

    drbam Guest

    knightfly: how's the fan noise in the DM24? I've been looking at these but I've worked hard to create a noiseless one room studio (in terms of hardware noise) and do a lot of recording that would pick up extraneous, even fairly quiet ambient sounds (ethnic instruments, quiet vocals, etc).


  8. Eddie

    Eddie Guest

    I just had to ask :)
  9. knightfly

    knightfly Active Member

    Jan 18, 2002
    "how's the fan noise in the DM24?" -

    Been about a year since I've even had it out of the box, don't remember hearing a fan at all, and just searched on "fan" in the complete pdf manual - no hits. At this point, I'm not even sure it HAS one... Steve
  10. knightfly

    knightfly Active Member

    Jan 18, 2002
    No fan , no noise, no how... Steve
  11. since i've been looking at the dm24 i have to ask.

    first off.. how are the preamps in the dm24?

    can it record like the rolan 2480? like can i just push the record button and record into it or do i need a alesis,tascam machie 24track?

    i run a delta 1010 with SX 1.06. i use a adk a51tc mic through my valley audio preamp and i have a tascam m1600/24 console.. could the dm24 replace my m1600 or should i just save my money..like i said i record via delta1010>Sx
  12. knightfly

    knightfly Active Member

    Jan 18, 2002
    "first off.. how are the preamps in the dm24?

    can it record like the rolan 2480? like can i just push the record button and record into it or do i need a alesis,tascam machie 24track?

    i run a delta 1010 with SX 1.06. i use a adk a51tc mic through my valley audio preamp and i have a tascam m1600/24 console.. could the dm24 replace my m1600 or should i just save my money..like i said i record via delta1010>Sx " -

    The preamps in the DM-24 are as clean and quiet as any on-board pre's in any under $10k board I've heard - Tascam screwed up on one thing though - the stock pre's have a sort of linear taper, which makes them really twitchy at the highest sensitiviity, so that if you're recording quiet acoustic instruments (or a wispy vocalist) it's hard to adjust in small amounts. Tascam's best effort here is to offer a swap - you send the board to them, they replace the pre's with the ones out of the SX-1, which are identical except for the pot. The charge is $200, and from what I've read I'll be doing this when I'm ready to integrate the DM into my setup. One poster said they had their done in Atlanta, so in your case it should be a local job.

    The DM-24 is NOT a recorder, so you would either need a separate HD recorder or continue recording into your PC via SX. (Im assuming you mean Cubase SX - )

    Your 1010 doesn't have an ADAT connector, so if you were to use the DM-24 to replace your analog board you'd either need to get a digital interface for your computer or a separate HD recorder - otherwise, if you wanted to record more than two tracks at a time you'd have to buy an analog add-in card for the DM (about $400)(it only has two analog outs, the rest are digital)

    The best-matched digital interface I've seen for the DM is MOTU's 2408 MkIII - you connect 3 TDIF cables between the DM and the 2408, install the 2408's PCI card in your computer, and go. The downside is that MOTU doesn't like some PC's chipsets, so unless you have an Intel chipset I'd steer clear of the MOTU stuff.

    Another possible interface would be the Digiface from RME, they're more PC friendly.

    In your case, I'd probably recommend sticking with what you have - I'd set up a patch bay and bypass everything that's not necessary when recording, so you get the cleanest signal - for setups where you need to record a full band, you could use the 8 buses from the 1600 into the balanced in's of the 1010, assigning each pair of the 8 buses to separate submixes (vocals, 1-2, drums 3-4, keys 5-6, the rest to 7-8, for example) then, although you wouldn't have separate control of EVERYTHING, you could still tweak groups after recording.

    If you were to get a 1010AI for your 1010, you could use the single ADAT connector on the DM-24 and record 8 tracks at once - however, the 1010AI doesn't do S-Mux (4 channels of high sample rate on an ADAT connector) so you couldn't use high sample rate recording this way, even if you did want to give up half the channels.

    The DM-24 is probably the best digital mixer for less than $6-7K, but there are compromises and the learning curve is fairly steep. I think that if I had it to do over again, I'd save for a Yamaha DM2000 or at least an 02R-96 - For the extra money, Yamaha doesn't make you give up half the channels to get high sample rates - they also have more plug-in cards for customizing the board.

    By careful gain staging throughout your system, you should be able to make high quality recordings - I think you'd see more improvement by getting some more high quality mics/preamps than by swapping your analog mixer for a DM-24.

    Those are just my personal observations - if you still want to do this, there are things to look at here, including complete manuals and stuff for SX -


    If I didn't answer all your questions, try again - I check this section usually 3-4 times a week... Steve
  13. ok, well mic/preamp wise i am upgrading.. thought the ADK 51Tc is a great mic..
    i'm upgrading to a Shure KMS44 with a RNP/RNC combo...
    i really just wanted touse something for when i'm not at my studio and i need to record something.. i had someone offer me a roland recorder like the 2480 cheap i may pick it up.. but i wanted to use the digital mixer as a control for SX/Nuendo too... at first i was picking up a D8B and a rme digiface..

    for now i'll stick with that i have and upgrade slowly.. as for the 02r/96.. i really like it.. it has a steep learning curve but i can get around it

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