Dm 4800 adat chain.


Well-Known Member
Nov 9, 2012
Gear owned
Dm4800 msr16
Best way to use my adat cards with my converters.

Live room >4800 mic line in, adat slot 1 out> octopre converter.
4800 adat slot 2 out > motu 896, motu FireWire > mac

Is this gonna work.
Or keep mic lines as they are in my motu and octopre with the motu tos linked to the octo and the motu fw to the mac. So I'd adat into the 4800.
No one here knows about adat routing?
Yes, we all know how to hook up and route ADAT, but your ultimate goal is unclear.
I want to help, but I am not sure what you want to do. I think you are trying to find a way to go into your mac via FW, without having to buy an IF-FW/DM card for your DM4800. Understandable, since they are pretty expensive, although you do have a 4800 which is also pretty expensive. The IF-FW/DM card is the way to go, by far. Everything you want to do can be accomplished with an IF-FW/DM card.

If you are simply trying to plug in mics and send them into your mac, then just plug them into channels 1-8 on your DM, assign them to mic/line channels 1-8 on the DM's input screen, then assign those channels to your DM's ADAT outs, 1-8, on the DM's output page for ADAT. You dont need a seperate card for 8 channels of ADAT, it's already built into the back of the mixer. Plug your ADAT cable into the back of your DM, into the ADAT out, and into the ADAT in on your MOTU, I'll just assume it's a 2408mkIII. Now, on the MOTU, set up that unit to accept a clock signal from the ADAT cable, and make sure it matches the DM's sample rate. Now plug the FW cable output of the MOTU into your FW jack on your Mac. Open your DAW and assign those channels to the DAW's channel inputs. Make sure your DAW is also set up to accept the same sample rate for recording.

You could go ADAT out to your octopre, but whats the point? Unless you need 8 Digital channels from the DM converted to analog. But you already have digital to analog conversion with your DM.

You could go Octopre- ADAT out- into your DM, with mics plugged into your Octopre, that would work as an 8 channel external preamp for you. But your best bet for this is probably to go from the Octopre's analog outs, using 8 TRS 1/4" plugs to the DM's analog line ins or analog assign returns, but you will be limited to four channels only on the assign returs. Let the DM convert those inputs to digital at 44.1khz or 48khz, (to be able to use all 8 channels) then go out of the DM via the ADAT out to your Motu's ADAT in, set it up as explained earlier, and then out of that via firewire to your mac.
Assign those signals to your daw channel inputs.
You can come back out of your DAW via FW into your MOTU, then out of the MOTU via ADAT and back into the DM as well, for return channels if you like.
Or just save up and buy the IF-FW/DM. Enjoy the routing fun!
Great reply thanks.
The dm has 3 adat cards as well as the inbuilt one. I have 2 motu 896 and the octopre I was previously using the adat to link those and then fw from the 896 to mac.
I still want to use the 2 896's and my octopre as converters and pre amp. So I guess my question is as adat is only 8 channels ( I input 24 from my live room) I would have to connect each converter out to one adat card in on the dm so it can see each row of eight from 896,896 and octopre and then 896 fw to mac and set logic accordingly. but as i write this im seeing i wonr work. I was going to get the fw card as I guess I can't use the meter bridge without it. What are the converters like on that.
With an IF-FW/DM card, you could send ADAT out from all three units, 24CH additional pres, into the DM, and still have the 24 channels of mic inputs from CHs 1-24 on the mixer, 48 mic inputs in all. Pretty sweet. BTW, the mic pres in the DM are probably very similar to the MOTUs...Clean, transparent, uncolored, plenty of headroom. Not boutique, just quiet and very usable. I usually stick a Triton inline pre between a ribbon and the DM for a few extra db boost, but that's about it.

The other solution requires selling some stuff. It's hard to do, but the 4800 was a studio upgade for you and now you have a lot more flexability with it. If you don't need 48 mic inputs (sound like you are already using 24 CHs from your live room and might only need another eight) I would consider keeping your Octopre, going ADAT out of that into the DM's built-in ADAT, and selling off the three ADAT cards and the 2 896s to afford the FW card, and maybe a DM analog card --the IF-AN/DM--(and at least a few mics as well). With the Analog card you can route the Octopre through it's analog outs (instead of the sample rate limited ADAT) and allow the DM to do all the conversion from one spot. That would also allow you to record at a higher sample rate, using one sole clock in the unit that is doing the conversion (The DM in this case).....a previously recommended way to go for A/D conversion. And, all 32 channels can be recorded simutaniously into your mac via the new FW card at as high as 96Khz. (Theoretically of course) I'm doing something similar at 88.2, although I havent had a need to record all 32channels at once, but I know it's there.
This does seem to be my thinking fw card is a must. im coming from in itb and summing so dm is my first digital desk. For the price its the fw card is good so ill keep my converters. I am liking the path of using the the eight octopre pre amps as an analogue via dm trs inputs i prosume that bypasses the dm pre's. I do have lots of outboard some high end and im going lunchbox api's etc and my patchbay is live room in normalised so i can patch my pre's and comps that way.


i prosume that bypasses the dm pre's.

Besides using expansion cards, there are three ways to input analog into the DM - directly into the M/L preamp, into assignable returns, or through the channel inserts. The latter two ways bypass the preamp.

By the way, I too, find the DM's converters and preamps to be quite good. Although I use outboard preamps for some things, in a blind test I'd be unlikely to pick them out from the DM's. But I like a 'straight wire' transparent signal chain; coloring is something I prefer to add in the mix.

captdan is right, although, just to clarify,and as the captain said,
using the TRS balenced line inputs does NOT bypass the DM's preamps. You would still be adjusting the input gain as if you had a mic in there, even though you have "Line" selected. It's really not a big deal as, again, the DMs pres are not really "Colored" If you want to bypass the DMs Pres, you could use a "Y" shaped trs "insert" effect loop cable, but ony using the return part of it to send in your Octopres analog outs. Using the four assignable returns also bypasses the preamps, obviously. And, of course, an IF-AN/DM card allows you 8 in/out analog signals without any preamps involved.
Not correcting you dan, just expanding your thoughts...
Not correcting you dan, just expanding your thoughts...

No problem, I wasn't as clear as I should've been.

Regarding the insert method - the pre amp can be bypassed by using a standard 1/4" jack inserted 'one click' - ie - 1/2 way. This works well, although there's always the danger of a questionable contact, so a TRS/Y cable as you suggest is a better way. I just use the assignable returns for my outboard, though there's a small signal deficit easily made up for by using channel gain.

Some folks insist that - because the DM's pres are so neutral - it doesn't matter if an outboard pre is used straight into the M/L input with the gain pot turned down. I've done it this way too, but just prefer to alleviate any unnecessary elements in the signal chain.


I figured the inserts as well. I have yet to give the pres a run for there money but by all accounts they do seem pretty clean. All this info is great. Until I get a fw card I will leave my set up as is so basically just using the dm as a control. I then think I'm going to go live room 24 input dm, patch the channel inserts and route like that.

Regarding the fw card I prosume the control surface is passed via the fw and not the USB as it is now. So the USB is not needed except for midi?

Regarding the fw card I prosume the control surface is passed via the fw and not the USB as it is now. So the USB is not needed except for midi?

No - USB is still needed for HUI/Mackie/transport control. The FW card carries bidirectional digital audio as well as providing an additional midi port.

Two separate functions.


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