HELP! No signal with AN/DM-card

Discussion in 'TASCAM DM-3200 & DM-4800' started by snafu, Sep 6, 2019.

  1. snafu

    snafu Active Member

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    Tascam DM 3200 + IF-FW_DMMK II
    Best forum in the world, you're my last hope!

    About a year ago, I bought an AN/DM-card for my Tascam DM 3200. It's a slot2-only-card, so it went into slot 2. Slot 1 is loaded with my trusty IF-FW/DM MK2.

    Now: I also bought a pair of D-Sub25 (?) cables which - according to Thomann - should fit ( I told them I nedd cables for the DM3200 analog card, so they must be Tascam norm).

    Well, now the card's Input cable is loaded with 8 wire pairs (hence 8 inputs) - they go straight into the patchbay, and from there on to my siderack. So, if I jack in a mic here, I should have sound on Slot2-1, right?

    I plugged in a mic in channel 1/siderack, selected channel 10 on my Dm3200, went to "routing" --> "input" and chose SLOT2 under SOURCE SELECT. Then I dialed as input for channel 10 Slot 2-1.
    So, I should hear somethin now, right?
    I went through all other channels, siderack- and AN/DM-wise, but could not manage to hear a sound.

    Did I miss a step? Any suggestions as to what might have happened?

    kind regards
    snafu

    EDIT: btw, the cable in question is this one https://www.thomann.de/de/hosa_dtm_805.htm
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2019
  2. snafu

    snafu Active Member

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    NOTE: For tha last hour I did some more tests, and found some results that may potentially help you in helping me:
    - If I plug in a mic, I can see a little peak in the TMC at the given channel.
    - It seems there is some signal - only to little to be shown at the TMC. If I slap my SM 58 (yes, I am that evil...when desperate) I can see the peak move a little just over -44 dBFS in TMC

    So I came to some assumptions:
    1. The cables seem to be connected correctly. Meanwhil I could confirm that the Hosa DTM I bought shows the correct configuration. So it's not the cable.
    2. I just plugged the SM58 in my siderack - no pre-amp, no nothing. Does the AN/DM require pre-amplification?
    3. Back in the day I sometimes just plugged my SM58 into my mixer, and cranked the gain up to a comfort level. That's not how it's supposed to be, huh?
    4. Anyway: cranking up the gain changes the result juuuust slightly.

    Looking forward for your replies - I have no clue^^
  3. Arjan P

    Arjan P Well-Known Member

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    AFAIK, the AN-DM card is line level only, so this sounds like the expected result with microphones. Try testing with a CD-player output, or synth or such (or a separate mic preamp output ofcourse).
  4. snafu

    snafu Active Member

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    I'll give it a try, thanks Arjan. I could not test it last night - my Home-Studio is finished, and just last week I moved in with all tech n stuff. So I'm a bundle of nerves right now!

    That would make my day, to have this confirmed! Hell, why is there no manual about this card? At least some product info? Or didn't I just find it?

    I'll definitively report back - need some valerian right now...
  5. snafu

    snafu Active Member

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    Oh man - it took quiet some digging, but I think you are right, Arjan. I actually found a product page at tascam-ca.com.
    There is a pdf named IF-AN/DM Referecnce Level Setting
    (http://tascam-ca.com/product/if-an-dm/downloads/)
    Could someone please explain to me what it's all about? And if there is a default setting, how to establish all the other settings?
    Thank you very much!
  6. Arjan P

    Arjan P Well-Known Member

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    OK, so i don't own the AN-DM, but this sheet is about dipswitches you apparently can set on the card itself, with the default setting highlighted - all being at -16 dB reference level. If you want the card to operate at higher or lower level, you can change the configuration of the switches.

    Maybe someone who owns the card can chime in, I seem to remember reports of people finding the audio level on this card lower than expected.

    And ehh.. Don't panic! And always know where your towel is. :ugeek:
    snafu likes this.
  7. snafu

    snafu Active Member

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    Towel - check!
    Tea - check!
    Thumps up - check!
    Thanks, Arjan, much appreciated :)

    Well, to put it in a mild way: I wanted to start measurements for sound optimization this weekend - then, it all went south.

    My motherboard gave up - so I needed a new one. For the new one, my graphics card was too old. So I bought a new one. For the new board, and graphics card, my CPU was a bit outdated. So I bought a new one. My new MB has no FireWire-Input - so I had to get a decent card that would harmonize with my DM3200. So I had to buy one (for anyone interested: it's this one - and it works like a charm (TI-chip set)). Then I realized that my I/O-panel at my working console which had some USB-ports, and a switch for an external BR-drive had to be changed. I was working for a week to shape the panel out of some plywood, and make sure I have nice little cover made of black partition-wood

    So I ended up with a complete new PC, a complete new I/O-panel, and lots more of work - I just couldn't handle to find out something was not working after all. That's why I am so reliefed to hear I need line-level signals. I will leave it at -16dB, I don't think -11dB would be such a huge difference.

    Thank you very much, Arjan, have a great weekend.
    regards
    snafu

    P.S.: I am utterly amazed that no one at Tascam seemed to have cared for a better manual for the IF-AN/DM. What the heck?
    -mjk- and Arjan P like this.
  8. skier

    skier Active Member

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    Hey Snafu, as Arjan mentioned, the AN-DM card is line level only. I got mine to use the inputs with other mic pre-amps and to use the output to drive other speaker amps, and use both with outboard effects.

    Be that as it may, you’re completely correct about how poorly Tascam has documented this expansion card — not sure why — I’ve always thought of them as a great company through the years. The problem is further exacerbated by the multitudinous ways the dB is used: dBV dBu, DBFS, dBW, dBm, dBmo, dB-SPL, dB-SWL, etc., etc. — the list goes on and on. Don’t get me wrong, we need many of these ratio units (whether or not we need as many as we have could be another matter). Regardless, in the case of the Tascam Reference Level Setting document, using DBFS informs us as to the setting relative to the DM’s maximum headroom, but it doesn’t provide us with any voltage level info that would be helpful, such as relative to standard reference levels of -10dBV or +4dBU — these are the two most common references that we use for matching levels of audio gear. Providing some info relative to -10dBV or +4 dBu, for example, would have told you what you needed to know from the outset. You would have known that the card is designed to work at line level and what those levels are so you could match the inputs/outputs properly to whatever gear you select to use with the card.

    I don’t know what will happen as time continues; we definitely do need standards, but we also need simplification. And when you think about it, when there are multiple standards for the same parameter (e.g. line levels) you really don’t have standards.
    snafu, -mjk-, Arjan P and 1 other person like this.
  9. snafu

    snafu Active Member

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    Hey Skier,
    totally agreed :)
    I guess there is some story behind as to why this pdf is only on tascam-ca.com. It looks to me as if someone thought "oh - we totally forgot...", and wrote a poor .doc-file he/she/it released secretly... I mean: besides all the confusion about which measurement scale of dB was used, they seem to have totally forgotten about those "switches" one can turn on or off. Seriously, I remember I opened the AN/DM-card package with trembling hands, because I bought it after the DM was discontinued, and I was very afraid to break something, and maybe never get so see another card. Anyway - I can't remember or find a manual, or any kind of info that goes beyond the mere installation.
    Not exactly the definition of pro audio...