Here are a few MIDI-related tips from TASCAM’s customer service department. 

When interfacing the DA-88 to a MIDI remote control device such as the Spirit Digital Console —  via MIDI Machine Control (MMC) — check these user options:

  • On rear of the sy-88 card, check that dip switch 2 is in the UP position for MIDI Machine Control. (The ALTERNATIVE setting is for Sony 9-pin / RS-422 control.) For this option set dip switch 2 DOWN, the "off" position.
  • NOTE: 

    With ALL dip-switch options, the DA-88 must be re-powered in order for the new settings to take effect.


    The default DA-88 MIDI device assignment is ID-1. Manufacturers differ in the way they implement the MIDI device assignment range. TASCAM’s IDs range from 1 to 128 while other products may choose to shift the range by "one," resulting in IDs that range from 0 to 127. If the latter is the case, you will need to "offset" the value. TASCAM’s ID-1 would translate to another manufacturer’s ID-0. 


    The DA-88 can easily be the master, outputting both MIDI Timecode (MTC) or SMPTE Timecode. This assumes you have an SY-88 card or MMC-88 adapter (this adapter converts the proprietary machine information from DB-15 connector to MTC and MMC).

    DA-88 as MASTER…

    SETUP (with SY-88)

  • OPTION 1: Stripe the dedicated TC track with the desired frame rate (30 NDF for MIDI, typical).
  • OPTION 2: Use the ABS to SMPTE option.
  • The FRAME RATE from the machine must match that of the receiving device.
  • Once recorded, the frame rate of the recorded TC track cannot be changed without first being re-recorded.
  • If converting ABS to SMPTE, the FRAME RATE can be reconfigured.
  • DA-88 as SLAVE? 

    The TASCAM DA-88 will only slave to SMPTE and not MTC, unless you have a MIDI to SMPTE converter box such as the MOTU Midi Timepiece (AV) or Digital Timepiece. 

    The former Tascam "Faxback" service now includes Adobe PDF versions, an even greater collection of information awaits you (click here) for all DTRS machines.

    Copyright 1998, Rick Auricchio

    A Warning About the MMC-88

    There's a bug in the ROM of the Tascam MMC-88 (MMC and MTC / SMPTE box for the DA-88) that prevents it from generating proper MIDI timecode (MTC) at the 44.1KHz sample rate. It works right at 48K. I never tested the SMPTE stream to see if that's also affected. The SY-88 can generate correct timecode at both sample rates. The MMC-38, a similar unit made for the DA-38, does not have this problem. 

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