DM Routing 'Zen'


Sep 29, 2012
Northern California
Gear owned
After using my DM3200 regularly for over two years, I think I've gotten a fairly solid handle on the console's 'logic.' There were - and still are - a few hurdles. But; if it hadn't been for the savvy DM 'power users' on this list when I was starting out, I probably would still be wondering 'what happens when I push THIS?' :eek: So, I like to 'pay it forward' by trying to help newcomers as well; I think the viability of these wonderful devices is dependent on broadening knowledge - and by extension - appreciation for the DM consoles.

That said, the DM routing screens can be formidable, and often - confusing. As a Sound On Sound reviewer once said: "'s as though a committee designed the menus, and tried to cram too many things into them..." However, despite that, there's a consistency in the design, and once that's discovered, the difficulty begins to diminish. And I think it's a matter of a user's 'internal dialog.'

This is what I mean: the machine can't speak; it can't ask questions like: "Hi! What do you want to do? Where do you want to go? How do you want to get there?" So the user has to ask those questions themselves - everytime that ROUTING button is pushed. Unfortunately, the DM manuals aren't written with that concept in mind; they're of little help other than reference material. This, I think, is why so many newcomers can't get their heads around the process. But that's manageable with a different approach, in my opinion.

There's a built in 'anti-ergonomic' in those menus; I'm surprised nobody's mentioned it: they read RIGHT TO LEFT. Most people accustomed to written languages reading left - to - right (Hebrews excluded ;) are instantly put off by this. Maybe it's a 'left/right-brain' issue. That's where the problem begins. So, here's a simple key:

1. Right Side Asks: "What?"
2. Left Side Asks: "Where?"
3. Bottom Side Asks: "How?"

The trick is to ask the question: 'How?' - first. This is answered by the series of 'tabs' at the bottom of the menu. These are the 'Gateways. (input/output/slot-interface, etc). Then:

Use the Pod to pick your 'What?" on the Right Side (source: ADAT/SLOT/MIC/LINE, etc). And...

Find the specific 'Where?' on the left side (INPUT #/SLOT#/MIC/LINE).

It seems overly simple, I know. But I'm convinced if a newcomer sees the menus in this way, a lot of the confusion goes away.

Feel free to comment - positively, negatively - or ignore as you see fit. :)

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Hey CaptDan,
Thanks for posting that.
I think you hit on something very important with the "right to left" concept.
That was very confusing to me initially.
These mixers have such powerful routing capabilities and I think a lot of new users get intimidated and confused.
Well done!
Put me down for another positive! Any and all routing explanation is always appreciated. It's a great board but if you aren't working it 24/7 it's easy to forget things you already know. Thankfully, I'm building a studio and will be using it much more consistently.
Hey Capt..

Thanks again for bringing this topic to light.

I find myself reluctant to explore the cool routing possibilities.
The tiny display and my lack of time to explore have relegated me to using what works.
After many years with the DM, I have my working set up and it works great.

I'm usually working at 24/44, but recently had a surprise client working at 24/96.
I was so ensconced in my normal workflow, that I had to pause for a moment to remember how to reset the board and my DAW.
Got it working and it sounded great.

I think the routing possibilities are vast and the DM continues to be a great console for me.

I add my +1 for you to do a video.

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+1 from me to...
this right to left thinking really make sense :)

would be nice yes, to make a tutorial video about routing in general, like metods to using busses, auxes, sends returns... and also tips and tricks and shortcuts about the board.
Like when i found out few month ago that the encoder section on the right of the desk is very useful .
Usually was using the premade settings for the aux send, so the 2nd button on the left upper side of the encoder section and than selecting each channel individually for sending aux 1 to headphones for ex.or to fx aux9/10-11/12(was a bit misleading, and if i accidentally touch another channel without seeing i would send that ch instead of the right one) . But than i saw that i can use the right side of the encoder section by pressing the upper right button, so i have aux 1 on every ch now and in combination with the flip option was a great discovery :) Now i have all my auxes setup there.. This kind of small tips and trick is very useful i think..
Re: encoders. Yes - they offer many possibilities; I'm still discovering ways to use them myself. It was clever of Tascam to make them so flexible; in a sense they 'bridge' the 'Layer Divide.' :)

Most of us assemble templates for our workflow; they make successive projects quicker to set up and deal with. The other side of the coin is, it's easy to forget how certain parameters are attained when a template does 'all the thinking for you.'
Happens to me every so often, but it's part of the ongoing discovery process.

Re: 24/96. It's become my defacto format. I've read - and participated in - many, many discussions about 96kz - whether it's 'better,' etc etc. I won't go down that road again. But I will say it has positive benefits for my situation - particularly in sequencing MIDI tracks. Less latency than 48kz, which means less editing after the fact. I also believe there are sonic/technical benefits - but I'll leave that alone. :)

Hey CaptDan,
Great post, I've had a DM 3200 for about three months and found your posts very helpful in answering many of my early trouble shooting questions. That being said, I believe every piece of complex equipment has a frame of mind that it was developed from, and you never fully understand how to approach it without discovering and adapting to that state of mind yourself.

For this reason, I find instructional videos on equipment like the DM 3200/4800 extremely valuable to the learning process. Watching someone who knows a process just walking through the steps and explaining as they go could be the best thing to happen to us newbies. So, this is my vote: make that video bud! Thanks for your time!

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You're precisely correct about the right to left reading Dan - I first noticed this when reading the MIDI config screens - from that point it became much easier to configure the DM. fwiw I'm left handed so the dominant hemisphere makes no difference to intuitiveness with the DM (to me).

Regarding the DM manual - I also thought it was a bit .... lacking ... when first reading it, but I find that as I understand the practicalities of the DM better the manual has in fact explained those practicalities quite well. i.e. it contains a lot more information than it appears to.
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The manual IS quite helpful. However, the text is written with a defacto assumption of familiarity with digital audio and routing concepts. For newcomers, it can be quite confusing. But as you've come to discover, the manual is a great reference source as the mixer grows in familiarity.

Though extremely late, I realize (I just got a DM-4800 and just joined this forum), but add another check in the "Positive" column.
I've been working on this beast for 3 days solid. I know I can get there, but this thing can be a bit intimidating and exhausting. I grinned when I read your Aug 17 entry. Yes, "it can be quit confusing."
As with all your posts, your original post here is fantastic. I actually say to myself, "Okay, Bottom, Right, Left,." It works!!!
Thank you so much, Sir. It's extremely helpful... and simple.
Many, many years ago, I worked in a sound studio. I knew I had a bunch to learn now, but had no idea how much digital has changed the world of audio production, especially when incorporating a DM-4800.
You are reducing my learning curve drastically.
Thank you so much.
I second your comments Jonne,
Dan and others on this forum have helped me imensely the last couple months with my 3200. I don't post much but I read everything. Sometimes answers come before the question. Life is good. Thanks all!
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It is also very helpful to have the manual of the DM-24 by hand. There are some similarities between the desks that are better explained in the manual of the DM-24.

Best regards
I haven't touched my routing since I set up my mixer 3.5 years ago. Today, I changed it, and not only remembered how, I got the new routing right on the first try. Yes!
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I dont know how many times i have read this and it always saves the day as a refresher. Thanks captdan!!!
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