IF-FW/DM MKII and cascade mode


New Member
Dec 5, 2012
Florida, USA
Gear owned
DM-4800 DV-RA1000 X-48
I currently have a DM-3200 with an IF-FW/DM MKII firewire card, linking to a Mac Pro.
I'm considering the purchase of a second DM-3200, cascading the two together. My question is, using the total combined physical inputs of both boards (16x16), would I need to add a second IF-FW/DM MKII into the new board and if I did, would my Mac see this as an additional sound card, allowing me to use all 32 for simultaneous multi-tracking? If this were possible would my Mac handle these two cards with their full capabilities, giving me 32 physical in? (And hopefully my software, Nuendo 5.5 would see it also). I was also thinking of how to use all 32 channels in a single IF-FW/DM MKII, by use of two cascaded DM-3200s.
One more question, would my meter bridge "see" the other inputs off the slave unit? If none of this is possible, I'd like to know before I purchase. If there is another way by cascading, by all means, please share!


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I'm almost certain it would work. But it is a non supported setup. Do you need 64 inputs into your DAW? I do think you would be better off selling off the DM3200 and purchasing a DM4800. You will gain a still rather compact worksurface and you will gain the FAT CHANNEL. Wich is very handy. And if there is some spare change left I'd buy a nice preamprack wich I would connect over an analog card. That way you will remain 96khz compatible. If you have a 500 rack with like 8 different preamps you can offer clients some flavors... The rest is more talent then gear I'd like to think... And offcourse a well designed room.

Recording 64 channels is for a complete orchestra or if you have more than 2 rooms and you would like to have like 16 microphones hardwired. So you still have 48 channels to setup for incoming artists.
Thanks for your responce Muziekschuur!

I'm just trying to obtain 32 physical input channels. The problem is, the fire wire card does support 32 channels but as we know, the DM3200 only supports 16 physical in. Not really sure why they dangle that carrot in front of us.
If somehow I could take the 16 inputs off the slave and rout them through the firewire card in the master, it would be no problem, I think. Then I could utilize the full 32 channels available in the fire wire card.
I'm also wondering if the audio communication between the Master and Slave couldn't be resolved simply by attaching the TDIF channels together. It makes sense to me but then again...
From the slave, I could simply assign the output channel to a TIDIF, which is carrying the signal from an input channel (M/L) and then on the Master assign the input from the TIDIF to a SLOT#. Seems possible. If only I knew for sure. Anyone out there ever try that one?
You can use an ADAT card and the internal adat port to expand the DM3200 to 32 preamps...
TDIF is fine. But there are no external preamp racks with TDIF anymore. But if you have them, can find them... Then sure... Keep in mind TDIF is TASCAM DIGITAL INTERFACE..... It is NOT an analog connection...
I have a feeling I'm getting ready to go to school on this next one, :LOL:.

For my understanding, using two DM3200 in cascade mode, 1st. one being the Master which has the firewire interface, the 2nd. one being the Slave, connecting to the Master using the special cascade cable for all the controls and communication, except for audio which is being handled by either ADAT, TIDIF, or whatever, the pre amps on the slave would have no effect on the signals coming into the physical channels on the slave if I use the TIDIF to carry over the signal to the TIDIF on the Master. It would only effect the signal if I carry it over to the master via ADAT.

Sorry to be so ignorant on this subject but I honestly didn't know if this is the case.

I guess the main thing is, I can have the capacity to do what I wish by obtaining a second board as a Slave.

To add on a previous statement about needing channels, yes I do need them. I've just finished the drum room portion of our studio and doing live sets will require more than 16 channels. I think 32 will do just fine with a couple to spare. We have a separate vocal, main, and drum or additional room with the control room being in the center of this glass prison.

So far, you have been a great help. Hopefully I'll be making my decision about this purchase within the next few hours.
That's a well thought out way to work. But I'd still go for a DM4800 and one rack preamp like the focusrite...

Tascam used to have rack preamps like the MA8-D. Wich is 8 preamps over TDIF.

I do have a big analog (live) console. And 2x DM3200 is still workable but it is on the big side of things... But I do agree the Tascam pre amps are better to my ears then the focusrite stuff .... Maybe the Presonus stuff could come close..

Make sure you either have the skills to create a cascade cable or know where to purchase one. Because the last thing I heard those cables were not in stock. The DM24 cascade cable was not compatible last thing I heard...
If you have the money I'd allso rather purchase an X48 and a DM3200 with extra preamps... But ... it is indeed twice the money.

A X48 with racked preamps is a very nice little package to move around tho for recording...
You can do 32 inputs with only one firewire card and a pair of DM3200's.
If you use 2 cards, you need 2 computers and it is a hassle.
I've often mixed live webcasts and tracked 32 inputs at the same time on a pair of cascaded DM4800's.
The principle is the same on the DM3200, you could try this approach.
(This is from memory, no console here, hope I don't miss anything!)

Notes: TDIF is bi directional, so one cable covers in and out.
"Input bypass" routing is how you patch an input directly to an output, and an output also to an input. Use with caution; you can patch feedback loops.)

Does NOT use direct outs or bus outs. Uses "input bypass" to patch micpres before the channels directly to the firewire card. All channels on both consoles are mixed on the 2 buss ( or groups to the 2 buss ) for the live mix.

Both consoles have their Mics 1-16 assigned as inputs to the top fader level.

Master DM3200 micpres in 1-16 (input bypass) > out to IFFW/DM 1-16
This tracks direct from micpres to DAW, unaffected by fader level, eq, fx's etc.

Slave DM mics 1-8 in routed out (input bypass) TDIF 1 > Master DM3200 TDIF 1.
Master DM3200 TDIF 1 (input bypass) out to IFFW/DM 17-24.
Slave DM mics 9-16 routed out (input bypass) TDIF 2 > Master DM3200 TDIF 2.
Master DM3200 TDIF 2 (input bypass) out to IFFW/DM 25-30.

For the 2 Buss mix:
Master DM3200 Stereo Buss out to IFFW/DM 31/32.
IFFW/DM 31/32 in to external monitor input 3.
(Sacrifices 2 recording channels for the live mix.)

IFFW/DM 1-16 to Master DM return inputs 1-16.

IFFW/DM 17-24 (input bypass) to Master DM TDIF 1 (connected to Slave DM TDIF 1 already.)
Slave DM3200 TDIF 1 1-8 to return input channels 1-8.
IFFW/DM 25-30 (input bypass) to Master DM TDIF 2 (connected to Slave DM TDIF 2 already.)
Slave DM3200 TDIF 2 1-6 to return channels 9-14.

By flipping to your returns you can playback and tweak your mix settings between a rehearsal and a show.


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