Tascam DA88 (4)
The DA-88 delivers the best of TASCAM's Hi8 digital audio format. The standard
digital multitrack for post production is winner of the coveted Emmy award for
technical excellence. Its modular design allows for easy servicing and performance
enhancements with third-party products.
- 1 hr. 48 min. recording time on a single 120 tape
- 20Hz - 20kHz frequency response at 92dB+ dynamic range
- 16 bit A/D and D/A converters
- Expandable up to 128 tracks (16 machines)
- SMPTE, MIDI and Sony 9-Pin sync capability with optional SY-88 card
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- Q: How can I change the "TASCAM" greeting when my DA-88 powers up?
- A: The DA-38 can be programmed to display
a greeting different from the scrolling TASCAM at Power ON.
- Power ON holding FFWD, STOP and PLAY
- Press STOP before the word TASCAM begins scrolling to enter Test Mode (display will show "TEST")
- Press and hold the SHIFT button while pressing the DOWN cursor button. (the letter A will appear in the display)
- Press the UP or DOWN cursor keys to select a character. Press the SHIFT button to store the character.
- Press the UP and DOWN cursor keys simultaneously to enter your greeting into memory
- Power off and then power on.
- Q: What's the difference between the DA-38, DA-88, and the DA-98?
- A: The DA-88 is the original machine in the DTRS (Digital Tape Recording
System) line. It offers an 108 minutes of 8 tracks recorded on a standard Hi8 tape.
Just as is, you can connect up to 16 machines for 128 tracks with an inexpensive sync
cable and the machines will get up to speed and locked in under 2 seconds. If you need
to work with timecode, the optional SY-88 card will allow the DA-88 to generate or lock
to SMPTE without loosing track, generate MIDI Time Code, and respond to MIDI Machine
Control. The DA-38 was introduced a few years later as a less expensive machine aimed
at musicians. It removed the option of the SY-88 card, but benefitted from advanced
technology like advanced A/D and D/A converters, even faster transport than the DA-88,
internal patchbay and track copying, and a tone generator. The DA-98 is the best of
both worlds... it is essentially a DA-88 with the SY-88 card with all the improvements
built into the DA-38 plus confidence monitoring and an LCD screen for machine set-ups.
- Q: I just recorded some tracks, and I can't hear them playing back. What's going
- A: The most common reason for this is that people forget to run the signal
back into the mixer. When tracking, you may have heard everything because your mixer
was monitoring the signal being SENT to the recorder, not the signal RETURNING from
the recorder. A good indication that the problem would be in the mixer and not the
recorder is if the level indicators on the recorder are showing the audio you just
recorded. If that is not happening, then the tape deck may not be automatically
selecting whether the input or tape track is being monitored. Check to see if the All
Input button is lit up. If so, press it to disengage All Input. The last option is to
check if your tape may be write protected. Hi8 tapes are backwards of cassette tapes.
There is a tab slider in one of the sides of the tape. If the tab is slid across the
opening, then the tape is write protected. If the slider is not accross the opening,
then the tape is not write protected.
- Q: ERROR MESSAGES - What does "E. CLOC" mean?
- A: The digital input is selected as the source of audio, but there is no
signal coming in at the digital input. If you are connecting signals through the
analog input, then press the button labeled DIGITAL IN on the front panel of the unit
to switch input selection to the analog input. If you are trying to connect other gear
digitally, ensure that the signal is coming from the source, and that the cable is
firmly connected on both ends. Also, check to make sure that the cable is a Genuine
TASCAM or Cable-Up! cable... you'll know by the label on the DB25 connector that says
PW-88D, PW-88DL, or PW-88DS. TDIF cables are wired significantly differently than
standard 25 pin analog breakout connectors.
- Q: How do I check the drum time (elapsed hours) on my DTRS machine?
- A: To check the hours on the drum of the DA-38 and DA-88, hold STOP and
PLAY while powering the unit up. On the DA-98, select MENU GROUP F, hit enter and
select DR TOTAL field. On the DA-78HR, hold SHIFT and MENU keys (the display shows
MAINTN), then hit the SUB MENU key. The display shows DRUM TM.
- Q: How do I check the software version on my DTRS machine?
- A: To check the software revision on the DA-38 and DA-88, hold the STOP,
PLAY and RECORD buttons while powering up the machine. On the DA-98, select MENU GROUP
F, then cursor to SYS VER. On the DA-78HR, press the SHIFT key so that the SHIFT
indicator is blinking, then press the MENU key until the display shows MAINTN
(maintenance). Press the SUB MENU key until the display shows VERSION.
- Q: How do I control the DA-38/DA-88 with MMC (MIDI Machine Control)?
- A: The MMC-38 is a box that will convert MIDI Machine Control into the
standard TASCAM DTRS Sync line. As an added bonus, the MMC-38 also converts the
absolute time (the time shown in the tape counter) into SMPTE or MIDI Time Code,
allowing you to generate time code from the DA-38 without loosing a track.
- Q: How often should I use the cleaning tape included with the DTRS machine?
- A: The cleaning tape included in the box SHOULD NOT be used frequently.
Cleaning of the machine should be done by a factory trained technician roughly every
500 hours. Cleaning tapes actually clean the head abrasively, and with repeated use
can wear down the head faster. The tape is intended for emergency cleanings (ie
mid-session the machine has read errors.) Again, regular maintenence by factory
trained technicians should avoid these types of problems.
- Q: What's the status of backwards compatability with the new 24 bit DTRS
- A: The 24 bit machines can read and write 16 bit DTRS as well as 24 bit
DTRS. This means any tapes recorded on 16 bit DTRS machines will work on 24 bit DTRS
machines. If you record a session in 16 bit format on a 24 bit machine, that will work
on a 16 bit DTRS machine. However, 24 bit DTRS tapes can only be recorded and played on
24 bit DTRS machines.
- Q: Can a 24 bit DTRS machine (ie DA-78HR or DA-98HR) work in the same system
as a 16 bit DTRS machine (ie DA-38, DA-88 or DA-98)?
- A: Yes. You can totally interchange any TASCAM DTRS machine in the system,
and they will all lock together. In fact, you could run a DA98HR, DA-78HR, DA-98, DA-88,
and a DA-38 all in the same system simultaneously without a hitch. So, if you've got a
couple of 16 bit DTRS machines, you can expand your system with 24 bit machines. No