Roland’s new VSR-880 recorder is proving to be an excellent hardware solution for people in both fixed and mobile installations. These machines are about as easy to use as they can get, and are virtually flawless in operation. We have, however, seen a few people misunderstand how to best synchronize multiple units together. Here is the straight scoop.
If you are using VSR-880s WITHOUT a VM-7000 series mixer, then a MIDI cable and a S/PDIF cable are the correct way to hook them up. The MIDI cable will provide location and transport information while the S/PDIF cable will keep the clocks locked to each other and the units in sync.
If you want to sync them in an R-Buss system (example, VM-7000 mixer and 3 VSR-880s) then you would use R-Buss, not the MIDI and S/PDIF cables. Roland’s R-Buss takes care of all synchronization functions.
Either way the sync is deadly accurate and lightning fast. What you do NOT want to do is use the R-Buss connection and MIDI or S/PDIF. This is known to cause poor synchronization between multiple machines.