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Thread: Tascam DP 24SD Syncing/no midi support

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    Tascam DP 24SD Syncing/no midi support

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    Greetings all,

    In the process of trying to get my old home studio going again after many years. Originally had a Tascam 488 portastudio, Korg M1 and Cakewalk 3.0 for midi work. Had to upgrade almost everything due to one reason or other. Upgraded to SONAR Cakewalk Artist version for midi work, bought a Korg KRONOS to have a good workstation. Also, I have acquired a new Tascam DP 24SD not realizing Tascam had dropped support for MIDI. Not sure how I missed that...but I did. My quandary is, how can I use the Tascam if I cannot sync midi? I only have 4 outputs on the KRONOS, so I can't record more than 4 instruments at once. And if I record 4, I cannot get perfect sync to record 4 more going forward....so this is somewhat annoying. As someone suggested in the SONAR forum, I could just use SONAR Artist as a DAW and be done with it. Kronos syncs to cakewalk, and can record audio tracks. Looks like I will have to give this method a good trial period. I tried recording into DAW previously and found the sound latency a bit annoying, but maybe I just need to fine tune more.

    Anyways, back to the Tascam I have sitting on my desk now. Since this thing has 2 effects sends, I thought maybe I could stripe a tack with SMPTE and send it out through one of the effects sends and get SONAR to lock up to it. Only problem there is, I don't have a the needed adapter to generate SMPTE or translate SMPTE to MTC...I guess thats what it is. Need to figure which adapter will work with Win7 64bit and do all the translation between SMPTE and the DAW.

    I sent an email to tascam to ask there thoughts on this, and here is the response I got back.

    Hello Tim,

    That's a tough one trying to sync without MIDI. You could try striping a track with SMPTE then sending that track out of "Effect send 2" meaning the DP-24SD would have to be master driving the computer. Since it's not designed or supported to do so, this is just a suggestion.

    Regards
    Brian
    Tascam support


    Below is a copy of the message that you submitted:

    Support Request Type: Operational Support
    Product: DP-24SD
    Your Question:
    Greetings,

    I recently purchased the DP 24SD and completely missed the fact that MIDI was no longer supported. My question is, is it possible to use SMPTE (i.e. stripe an audio track) and sync to midi devices? I currently use SONAR Cakewalk Artist for most of my midi editing and would like to sync that to the DP 24 using SMPTE?

    Thanks



    So it looks like I am stuck trying find the correct midi/smpte interface to test this. Does anyone have any suggestions for which affordable device I might try to achieve this with? Still can't believe Tascam dropped MIDI on this machine.

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    Does the Tascam have a metronome?

    If you use your DAW and you know your BPM, you could add your tracks to the DAW (from the SD card), set the BPM in the DAW and play your MIDI data to the BPM inside the DAW. Any Korg sounds you want, just treat it like an analog signal or you could probably have your DAW going, capture the MIDI with both machines set to the same BPM and have the analog from the Tascam and MIDI in Sonar. When you bring in your analog data, you should be able to get MIDI and analog pretty close.

    Not sure that helped, but it seems clear in my mind.
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    DM60, thanks for the reply......I've actually thought trying some things similar to what you are suggesting, but it still seems a bit messy to me. I'm sure it would be doable, but I would much rather attempt getting a true sync/lock if its possible to do. I just need to know now what type of adapter I need between sonar and the tascam.

    I've been looking at something like this.
    Same as this...MOTU.com - Purchasing MIDI Express XT

    Just wish it was cheaper. I really don't need 8x8, and it must work with x64 OS which is not mentioned on the site.

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    Yea, those two devices look like overkill, plus I don't see how it will sync. That looks like it is for the purpose of plugging a lot of MIDI sound devices and getting them to the get them to a master clock ofr output.

    I went and read over the TASCAM specs, I don't see anything that show it can even be clock driven from an external source. But it does have the metronome. Setting that in both software and TASCAM would get you so close, you might have to do a little quantization, but it would be little effort.
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    Quote Originally Posted by DM60 View Post
    I went and read over the TASCAM specs, I don't see anything that show it can even be clock driven from an external source.
    The idea is for Tascam to be the Master and SONAR to Slave to it. You stripe a sync tone to track 24, send it out of effects loop 2 into the adapater, which gets sent to SONAR as MTC. Sonar tracks and plays from the point where Tascam is at syncing MIDI Keyboard to recorded tracks. At least that's how it should work in theory.

    Using a metronome would probably work for general play back, but imagine trying to lay down tracks each time, or having to punch in somewhere. You'd have to start at the beginning of the song each time to get synced up. For mixing or perhaps getting midi tracks recorded onto their own physical track that might be an option, but trying to record tracks live would be a real pain.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Timduce View Post
    The idea is for Tascam to be the Master and SONAR to Slave to it. You stripe a sync tone to track 24, send it out of effects loop 2 into the adapater, which gets sent to SONAR as MTC. Sonar tracks and plays from the point where Tascam is at syncing MIDI Keyboard to recorded tracks. At least that's how it should work in theory.

    Using a metronome would probably work for general play back, but imagine trying to lay down tracks each time, or having to punch in somewhere. You'd have to start at the beginning of the song each time to get synced up. For mixing or perhaps getting midi tracks recorded onto their own physical track that might be an option, but trying to record tracks live would be a real pain.
    Not really, the digital world works a lot different, depending on how the TASCAM shows punch in/out, you just need to know the timeline counter and then line that up in the DAW.

    I think once you start working with digital, you will see it is easier to manipulate. That is why a metronome is important. If you have that and not worrying about drift, it really isn't that difficult. You should give it a try before you buy something that you probably don't need.

    You get everything into Sonar, learn how to export the tracks (the TASCAM probably exports at 0 for easy alignment) and your MIDI issue might just not be an issue.
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    This probably isn't the place, but in my mind the real question is: Why did Tascam stop making the versions of DP24/DP32 that had MIDI and CD drive?

    They already had the design. All they needed to do was to keep building them. It just makes no sense to me to have a system that does not interface with anything else. I keep dreaming that one day they will recognize what a bone headed move this was and build the MIDI/CD version again.

    I can honestly say that that is the reason that I did not buy one.

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    I definitely identify with this issue. For several years I used Cakewalk / Sonar to build my backing tracks. Using a Tascam 2488, I was able to record each MIDI instrument one at a time to discrete recorder tracks. That way I had complete flexibility at final mixdown. The only way that worked, was MIDI sync with the Tascam as the slave. Necessary because tempo changes will not be recognized the other way around. Lost my 2488 when our home flooded and replaced it with the DP24. Only to be disappointed after losing MIDI sync. Now I have to do all my MIDI mixing in Sonar then dump the result to the DP24, hoping I don't have to go back and re-mix which means a complete re-do of the live tracks. I have the early DP24 that has MIDI however it does not support slave mode. Bummer. PS: My partial solution was to get a Scarlett 8i6 which allows me to "dump" my MIDI tracks from Sonar to the Tascam with 6 discrete tracks (when it works).

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