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TDIF transfer and sync issues among Tascam DA series machines.

There is a common misconception that the TDIF protocol among all the DA series machines is the same. This is not true. The DA-88 does not transmit sample accurate sync (FSYNC-R/FSYNC-P) via TDIF as does the DA-98 and DA-38. The DA-88 transmits this sync via its Sync Port. This is crucial information when configuring a System with the 2408 or any other interface where digital audio will be transferred.

For Sample accurate Sync, with a DA-88, you need to use the SY88 card and lock to word clock — or use something like a MOTU DTP (Digital Time Piece), which has Tascam sync capability.

Another weird thing about the DA-88 is that the first Machine (id #0) only transmits this sample accurate sync. It will not slave to it. So if you want to slave the DA-88 to an external clock source you need to set it to id #1 – a slave device, which then inhibits front panel control functions. But since you’ll have an SY88 in it, or have it connected to a DTP you will be able to control it remotely. You may ask, “Do you have to switch back and forth to transfer audio in and out of the DA-88?” No, it’s not hard with most systems to have either the DA-88 or the other device be the master all the time regardless of which direction audio is being transferred.

Also keep in mind that the ID numbers are different on the DA-88 as compared to the DA-98 & DA-38 (this is outlined in the 4/7/99 issue of inSync).

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