Making use of those TDIF ports - suggestions please

Discussion in 'TASCAM DM-3200 & DM-4800' started by snafu, Oct 7, 2019 at 3:34 PM.

  1. snafu

    snafu Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2014
    Messages:
    105
    Likes:
    22
    From:
    Germany
    Gear:
    Tascam DM 3200 + IF-FW_DMMK II
    Hi guys,

    I am currently trying to make use of my TDIF-ports; I'd like to add some more outputs to my DM3200. I have both slots on the rear occupied, so another card won't be of any help.

    The manual tells, that the TDIFs provide 8 channels I/O each. I thought, maybe here lies a solution:
    I know the TDIFs are digital domain, so my plan might not work out, but...here's my thought:

    say I EXPLICITLY do NOT need any digital information (clock, etc.), would the TDIF pass on the signals to this device https://www.thomann.de/intl/rme_dtox_16_o.htm

    I understand it's more like a cable snake, like connecting the IF-AN/DM to this one with D-SUB25. But: If I was to route my signals out of the DM, straight to this device - would it work?

    OK - if not: which kind of devices would serve this purpose?

    As always grateful for your support,
    snafu
  2. skier

    skier Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 2016
    Messages:
    196
    Likes:
    86
    From:
    Connecticut, USA
    Gear:
    Tascam DM4800, PT 12
    No, it would not work. Digital signals are not a combination of the analog sound plus the clocking for sync and other digital things, the audio itself is also digitized. That is why we get absolutely no hiss from the recording medium itself and also why we have far more dynamic range than we ever were able to record with tape or vinyl - we could not do that with analog recording technology. Therefore, to use the TDIF inputs and outputs for analog signal input/output, you will need a converter from the TDIF protocol to analog. That means the input side of such a converter would provide A/D conversion of the audio to the TDIF digital format and the output side of your converter would provide D/A conversion of TDIF audio to analog audio. The IF-AN/DM expansion modules do exactly that, but from analog audio to the DM’s internal digital format for the input ports, and from that format to analog on the output ports.

    You must connect those TDIF input outputs to complementary TDIF input/outputs on some other device. If you can find such a converter as a standalone unit with analog ports, such as XLR or TRS, so much the better. I’ve looked for such a device before, but haven’t found one. Some DM users have used other recorders and such devices as a workaround just for their TDIF converters to do just as you want to do.
    snafu likes this.
  3. snafu

    snafu Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2014
    Messages:
    105
    Likes:
    22
    From:
    Germany
    Gear:
    Tascam DM 3200 + IF-FW_DMMK II
    Thank you, skier. I already thought so, but wasn't 100% sure.

    I have a motu2408, which already uses one TDIF port (I don't use higher sample rates, so this way I can make full use of 8 i/o).
    Now I would like to have two other devices, to give me 16 more analog outs. It just so happens, that I may get my hands on an old Tascam IF-DA8. But that's just 8 more channels again.
    So, there is no other way to get 16 analog outs out of those TDIFS - most devices I found where
    a) I/O, most of the time 16 inputs (which I totally do not need), but only 8 outputs
    b) D/A converters far above the 3k mark. That's a lot of money.

    Maybe someone has another idea.

    Besides: maybe there is a solution in using the ADATS, SPDIF or AES-EBU connections? (OK, AFAIK the AES-EBUs come up with only two channels each, so this won't work for me).

    best regards
    snafu
  4. skier

    skier Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 2016
    Messages:
    196
    Likes:
    86
    From:
    Connecticut, USA
    Gear:
    Tascam DM4800, PT 12
    I don't use the higher sample rates either. I've tried 88.2 kHz and 96.0 kHz, but I can't hear the difference, and neither could anyone I've tested, so why burn up the greater disk space and and reduce track counts.

    I'd use the ADAT ports if you're not doing so already. I thought you were because you mentioned the OctoPre, but perhaps you also have one or more ADAT expansion cards. And you're right about having just two AES/EBU channels; or you can use those ports for SPDIF instead, or one set for each protocol each. But it's still just two full digital channels. The ADATS give you 8!
  5. dmartin

    dmartin New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 2018
    Messages:
    3
    Likes:
    4
    Gear:
    DM 3200
  6. snafu

    snafu Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2014
    Messages:
    105
    Likes:
    22
    From:
    Germany
    Gear:
    Tascam DM 3200 + IF-FW_DMMK II
    I got my toslink cables yesterday - so I couldn't check with the OctoPre yet. Besides, I am not sure, if this would work anyway, since the OctoPre has only ADAT outs, whereas I would need ADAT inputs. So, I don't think this is an option.

    the ufc24, and fs96 are format converters with no (not enough) physical outputs. So this would shift the problem, but wouldn't solve it.

    This seems to be the best solution until now. I actually own one Motu 2408, and have it connected to my DM3200. I thought there would be a more, er, "elegant" way, so that I could handle 16 outputs at a time. So, to get 16 more analog outputs, I would need two units (I don't have use for any more inputs, so I am really just interested in the outputs). It's ranking way on top of my wish list :)
    Thanks for your input!
  7. skier

    skier Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 2016
    Messages:
    196
    Likes:
    86
    From:
    Connecticut, USA
    Gear:
    Tascam DM4800, PT 12
    Snafu, I've never heard of the UF-c24 before, but it would definitely give you exactly what you described in your first post, that of being able to use your TDIF ports to add more channels of I/O, in fact, up to 24 channels. If I'd seen this several years ago, I would have gone this route. I only needed 8 channels at the time, so I went ADAT. But this would have given me room for growth should I ever need more.

    Dmartin, Thanks for sharing!
    Peter Batah likes this.
  8. snafu

    snafu Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2014
    Messages:
    105
    Likes:
    22
    From:
    Germany
    Gear:
    Tascam DM 3200 + IF-FW_DMMK II
    Oh? So, I maybe I got this wrong: it has Sub-D25 Outputs - so I would need a cable snake to a rack panel with the desired configuration and number of outputs, right?
    If so - this might indeed be a solution. The only ones I found so far are from the US (didn't check ebay germany yet), and the cheapest one is the price of two 2408mkIII I found just this morning.

    I would therefore need two UEs in the rack anyway. But the sheer amount of possibilities is quiet tempting, I must admit...

    Thanks for pointing that out.
  9. Arjan P

    Arjan P Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2012
    Messages:
    938
    Likes:
    315
    From:
    Netherlands
    Gear:
    DM3200 IFFW
    I don't see anywhere in the description of the UF-C24 that it also has DA conversion? As far as I can see it converts between (many!) digital formats only.
    skier likes this.
  10. snafu

    snafu Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2014
    Messages:
    105
    Likes:
    22
    From:
    Germany
    Gear:
    Tascam DM 3200 + IF-FW_DMMK II
    Mmh - I thought these ports on the backside to the far right (top row) would be Sub-D25 outputs for analog signals. But it seems they are just digital outputs - so my initial post about the UF-C24 was right then? Just format conversion. So, then that's not exactly what I was looking for.

    Later this evening I found a Tascam IF-DA8 - this would be perfect, since it is closest to the dtox (design-wise) and as TDIF-to-analog converter it would be perfect. I am a bit tempted now, but can't really decide between two more Motus or two DA8. I had some questions for the guys on ebay, so I'll wait until I have their replies.
  11. skier

    skier Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 2016
    Messages:
    196
    Likes:
    86
    From:
    Connecticut, USA
    Gear:
    Tascam DM4800, PT 12
    Whoa!!! I believe that Arjan is correct! Egg on my face!!! I'm sorry Snafu, I rushed my review and saw that the UF-C24 converted from any of those protocols to any other, but missed that going to analog is missing. My apologies.
    snafu likes this.
  12. dmartin

    dmartin New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 2018
    Messages:
    3
    Likes:
    4
    Gear:
    DM 3200
    It is true that the otari units just convert the tdif to adat or AES , how ever the Alphalink unit can convert 24 channels of tdif to analog as well as Madi at the same time .

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/Sydec-SSL-...948018?hash=item26125e9e32:g:EpkAAOSwX3ZcUlAG

    The otari units are meant to convert the tdif to a more common format like adat, sdif, or AES for use with something like RME Raydat ,9652 ,or Digiface. The UF-C24 is Standard Sample rate , while the FS-96 is Double sample rate.
    The Tascam If - DA8 would work ,but the MOTU 2408 is more versatile. The Soundcraft Spirit 8 would also fill your need for just eight channels.
    https://www.ebay.com/itm/Soundcraft...983823?hash=item23bcd5cdcf:g:z8cAAOSwVr5c3cir
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2019 at 11:36 PM
    skier likes this.
  13. snafu

    snafu Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2014
    Messages:
    105
    Likes:
    22
    From:
    Germany
    Gear:
    Tascam DM 3200 + IF-FW_DMMK II
    No need for apologies or eggs on faces! :p

    There's a ton of gear out there, and when it comes to old gear, it's often hard to come by with good info's - the last few days I met a lot of devices whose brands where up until then completely unknown to me.

    @dmartin: unfortunately the sydec/ssl is way beyond my budget - that's why I fell prey for the dtox in the first place, not knowing it wouldn't work.

    As for now, I think I'll stick to the Tascam IF-DA8 or the Motu units. I never heard of the IF-DA8 before, but essentially it's closest to the solution that would fit best in my infrastructure.
    Anyone out there with such a piece of gear?

    Thanks everyone for posting!
    skier likes this.
  14. skier

    skier Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 2016
    Messages:
    196
    Likes:
    86
    From:
    Connecticut, USA
    Gear:
    Tascam DM4800, PT 12
    @dmartin: thanks for all your suggestions! As Snafu pointed out, There's lots of gear out there, and even in my own search for more channels several years ago, I searched for new gear. I've had both good luck and bad luck with used gear, so I do admit to being a little "gun shy" with used.