Transferring HI-8 tapes to digital files


So heres the deal... my band recently recorded at a studio using a TASCAM DA-88. We ended up tracking 6 songs on 2 synced up Hi-8 tapes (one for drum tracks, the other for instrument tracks). We now need to transfer each seperate track onto my computer to record overdubs and begin mixing... where could I find something like that to rent for a few days, and how do I begin to transfer once I get the da-88. Would you think it would be less time consuming and cheaper to pay a studio to transfer it for me?


Well-Known Member
Nov 13, 2001
It might be cheaper to go to someone with the gear and knowledge

in principle you need a DA88 and a computer interface with the TDIF port
I don't think the DA88 or DA38 has the ADAT/ Lightpipe interface

you then bounce digitaly all 8 tracks at once
just double check the sample rates as it is very typical for the DA88 to be used at 48K ... (typical in the video world)

as I said above
someone with the gear and knowledge will knock this over in little more time than the length of you tape ... tapes

get CD ... more probably DVD roms from the tech BUT also take an external USB or 1394 Hard drive with you and get all of the Tracks, Files, Sessions ... Folders ... etc
get everything before you leave.


Sep 13, 2006
I currently use two DA-38s as my main recording deck, and am also looking for a way to back up audio to disk. I produce a decent amount of work but don't plan on moving away from the 38s until I have to (at which point I will sweitch to a tand-alone hard disk recorder)... I can't seem to find any interfaces that have the old, 25?-Pin T/DIF connector for transferring audio data. Does anybody know of any companies that still sell a computer interface for such a hookup (or know of any types I might find used)? Thanks!


Well-Known Member
Nov 13, 2001
look for a TDIF to ADAT module

but it is rare to find a dual ADAT interface for the 16 tracks

try the new SSL X-logic ... ALpha and Delta gear
but that will be expensive


Well-Known Member
Sep 26, 2005
MOTU 2408 mk II or mk III and an available PCI slot in your computer. Works great!

Happy 2408 owner
Ms. Remy Ann David


Well-Known Member
Jun 22, 2004
If this is going to be a one-time transfer for you, I'd go with someone who does it for a living: pay 'em and be done with it. (Your goal is to mix the tracks, and not become a Tascam DA-x8 farm, right?) You can rent a few of them, but who knows what condition they're going to be in.

When there are several tapes across 16 (or even 24) tracks, then you may be better off renting two or three machines to do it all at once (otherwise, you're going to have to be sliding around wav files to find the same start points for 1-8, 9-16, 17-24, etc.)

When there's a format I don't have here, I usually just work the time & cost into the budget and pay someone like Steve at Sonicraft (in Freehold, NJ) and let him worry about the transfer details. Saves time and aggravation in the long run, IMHO.

Is there any way you can have the studio that did the tracking for you transfer the stuff? I'm sure they'll charge you something for the time, but using the same machines for the transfers may actually be the smartest route, in terms of errors and tape issues.