Long Distance Synchronization w/ DA88, DA78, Yamaha AW4416

4 replies [Last post]
Joined: 01/12/2004

I am considering buying a DA-78. Before I do, I wonder if you could confirm that it will enable me to work the way I want to...

Imagine a songwriter writes a new song. He puts a new tape in one of his DA-88s, formats it and stripes it with SMPTE using the machine's SY-88 sync card. He then records a click track off a drum box on one track and then records a demo of his song to that click, adding guitars, bass and vocals, until the eight tracks are full.

So far, so good.

He then takes the tape out and mails it to his drummer, who lives several hundred miles away. The drummer, when he receives it, puts the tape in his DA-78 and has a listen. His DA-78 is connected via TDIF and Word Clock to his YAMAHA AW4416 workstation.

The drummer sets the AW4416 to slave to the DA-78 and records some drum tracks into the AW4416, in time with the click and guides being played back on the DA-78.

Here's the funky bit:

He takes the tape out of the DA-78, inserts a new one, formats it and stripes it with SMPTE. He then slaves the DA-78 to the AW4416 and copies the drum tracks onto the DA-78. He then takes the tape out and sends it back to the songwriter along with the original tape.

The songwriter puts the two tapes in his two DA-88s and presses play...

Question: Should the two tapes play in perfect synchronization??? If not why not? Is this a sensible way to work?

Your wisdom on this matter would be greatly apreciated. Thank you.

Joined: 02/12/2009

Yes, this should work. As long as the DA78 is synchronized with the 4416 via SMPTE, it will work. It might be best to translate ABS timecode to SMPTE instead of striping the tape with the onboard generator. That way the DA-88s can sync up via ABS. Otherwise, you might have to sync up the DA88s via SMPTE.

Be careful because the studio with (2) DA-88s can only read 16bit DTRS tapes. If a tape is formatted in a DA78HR at 24 bits, it will not play back in a DA-88.

Also, know ahead of time that the DA78's SMPTE menus and functionality are somewhat cryptic. Prepare to read the manual often.

And make sure you have the latest DA78 system software chip, to avoid the various issues on my tips page:


Joined: 01/12/2004

Another silentway.com visitor asked a similar question:

Is it possible to format three tapes with
ABS one after the other in the same machine, and then, at some point in the
future, pop the tapes into three separate machines and have them sync up as if
we had a 24-track recording? I guess the idea I have is that if this would
work, we could rent two machines on *one* occasion only, long enough to record
a simple demo track on each of the three tapes that would serve as our audio
"reference" for the other tracks that would be recorded on that tape. Once
we'd done that, we'd only need to hear/work on the other 7 tracks on any one
tape at a particular time, such that we could do all our session recording
with one machine.

In theory, could we then take the three tapes into a mixing studio and have
them sync up as a 24-track recording, even though we never recorded on them at
the same time? Is this something people ever do?

Thanks in advance for your help!

Joined: 02/12/2009

Yes! That's both doable and done.

Joined: 02/12/2009

I think the AW4416 only has MIDI timecode (MTC), so you might want to read how to sync these units via MTC in this thread: