Using dm 3200's eq for mixing


Oct 31, 2012
Gear owned
dm 3200
ok so i have a tascam dm 3200 with the firwire interface card.i have everything routing like its suppose to be, ch 17-32 inputs to slot 1 1-16. and then i have the output slots 1 -24 routed to buss/ direct 1-16. my first question is, why do the inputs slot 1 1 - 16 have to be routed to ch 17 - 32. why cant i route slot 1 1-32 to ch 1-32. 2nd thing is, say i load something into pro tools, starting with dm routing and then pro tools routing, how would i be able to use the dm's eq or compressor or effects on a pro tools track, and then record that back into pro tools. last thing is, say in pro tools i have my drum recordings and i want to sub group them to a drum group, how would i route this both on pro tools, and the dm? please help!
Those routing instructions derive from a 'basic scenario' outlined in the DM3200 manual. They assume you've got 16 dedicated outboard inputs (ie: mikes, preamps, etc), and all 16 are in use simultaneously. Think: big band, orchestra, live recording, etc.

For DIY-ers - those who layer, or over dub a single instrument or vocal at a time - that routing scenario isn't particularly useful and wastes an entire mixer layer. So, instead of routing ProTools channels (inputs to the DM) to 17-32, change that to two layers: 1-14 and 17 -32. Leave one stereo pair (I use DM inputs 15/16) for tracking. (You can choose any pair, but if you've got your FireWire card set to "16" instead of '32" to save PC power, 15/16 is a good a choice as any).

As to recording back to ProTools: you've got several choices. I would suggest your best option is to use PT for bouncing your entire mix to a PT stereo track. You can use DM channel's 15/16 for that purpose.

Now - this is personal preference, but except for certain cases, I don't like 'printing' efx (verb, compressor, eq) onto tracks because that's the 'destructive' approach. This means if you don't like what you did when it comes time to mix, you've got to go back and re-do that track. I think it's better - allowing greater flexibility - to simply use the DM's onboard capabilities by non-destructively assigning the input channels to the DM's Stereo Bus. That allows you continual opportunity to adjust, change, abandon, or combine the DM's capabilities with PT plugins - which are also inserted non-destructively as well.

Regarding sub groups: let's tackle that question after you get your board set up for your particular workflow.

Hopefully some of this makes sense.

Well I'm just so confused. Like why do they have 17-32 as slot 1-16 and then 1-16 as m/l 1-16? What would be the difference if I set 1-32 to slot 1 1-32 and have no m/l on the inputs. And I'm just sayin if I have a project in pro tools that I want to mix intirely otb. How would I do that? Like if I have 32 tracks in pro tools sent to outputs 1-32 how can I do that? Would it be ok if we talked on the phone if you don't understand my question?
You can do exactly that. Simply put, you can route anything to anywhere. If you don't have M/L inputs, just dedicate the PT tracks to ANY available fader inputs on the DM. You can do this in any order, on any layer you choose.

As I said earlier, the routing scheme you're referring to is merely a starting point that assumes you're going to be working with M/L inputs while being able to monitor those inputs as returns from Protools. If you're mixing completed tracks, you can, instead, dedicate those M/L inputs to DM fader returns as you see fit.

Simplest way to understand this is to go to the Routing/Input-Slot page on the DM.
Select the return channels - say 17 -32, and reassign them to correspond to the same input number faders on the DM. So, you end up with:

Protools channels 1-16 ----routed to: DM faders 1-16
Protools channels 17-32 routed to: DM faders 17-32

That way everything is in order and less confusing.

Once that's done, you route DM channels to Busses for purposes of combining or treating - say - 8 drum channels to a stereo pair with a compressor strapped over the buss.

The DM3200/4800 mixers are incredibly powerful digital patchbays. There are any number of ways to set up the mixer for various workflows. The manual doesn't really get into a lot of that, unfortunately. The bottom line is, when you set the board up the way you want it, you can save the settings to a file and/or Snapshot for future scenarios.

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I work like you intend to, except with Cubase as DAW. Forget getting your head around the suggestion of 17-32 on ch 1-16 given. The DM3200 is so flexible you could do it anyway you want. What I do is use one mixer scene for recording and another for mixing.

Recording mulitple inputs: mic/line 1-16 plus (if needed) aux in 1-4 are sent to PC through IFFW outputs 1-20. They're layed out on layers 1 and 2. Then the returns of channels 1-16 (if needed a submix is used in Cubase) go through IFFW inputs 1-16 to layer 3 (channels 33-48), for possible overdubbing.

Mixing: Cubase channels 1-32 are sent to DM channels 1-32, and external effects outputs come in on layer 3, together with the internal effects returns. The board's stereo output is sent to PC to be recorded by Wavelab, using IFFW output channels 31&32.

My standard DM layout, used for less intense recording, is using IFFW 1-16 outputs from M/L 1-16 to record, and inputs 1-16 go to layer 2 (ch 17-32). That leaves all effects still on layer 3, and Wavelab playback uses IFFW inputs 31/32 to layer 3 as well (ch 47/48 usually).

Ofcourse, you don't need a separate program to record mixes to, like I do. Recording back into Protools would work the same way.
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So your sayin go to routing, go to input. Set inputs of ch 1- 32 to slot 1 1-32. And then what do I set on the returns on the input page? You think you could make up a tpi file and send it to me so I can import it in and see it visually?
I sent you a PM with a .tpi file link. Hope it hepls!
@Arjan P . Hello. I hope that you are doing well. I know this post goes way back but was wondering if you still had that .tpi file kicking around. I would like to take a look at it if you wouldn't mind. Thank you. Peter
Hi Peter, I'll have a look tomorrow and see if I can get you that file.
Much appreciated @Arjan P. Still trying to wrap my head around the whole routing procedure. It will sink in sooner or later. Have a great evening. Peter

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