Going off topic for just a couple paragraphs here. I don't run into tons of DDA owners, and when I do, I like to chat about them and get info if I can. I tried to start a DDA forum, but I am the sole member I think. Ouch...
I was thinking of ditching mine, but I came to my senses after recapping some of it recently. It is small (compact?), the connections are all xlr so it's easy to work with, and it sounds pretty clean.
I have to say, consoles like the Ghost and the Mackie are a tad cleaner, and quieter. I have used both out of necessity for years, back in the 1990's, and you could almost forget about noise levels on those desks.
However, these DDA's just sound way more solid,
and the resulting mixes just sound bigger than when I used to use the newer, cleaner stuff. More punch, more in your face, and forward. And still clean enough where it's not overtly "vintage" sounding.
I do wish it had just a little lower noise floor, but it works. Just have to be careful is all. Oh, and I wish it had a more extensive eq section. I have to patch in outboard eq for critical things, and things that need a q control of course.
One thing they shine on though, is electric guitar. Love that. And built like a TANK. Ok sorry to get OT.....
The ADAT scenario:
What would I do in your situation?
It depends on whether you are using the mic amps in the DDA or not really.
Since this desk is not an inline console (caveat here), I would wire the first 16 tracks to the inputs of the ADATs via the direct outs of the DDA.
I would then turn all the assign switches off on those first 16 channels, except possibly the direct out / aux 1 switch.That is, don't have those first 16 channels routed to the left/right or main mix, or anywhere else at all. Just direct out, to the ins on the adats. In short, DON'T monitor the channels you have mics hooked up to.
Then, I would wire up the outs of the ADATs to the Line inputs of channels 17 - 32 of the DDA. I would turn these channel's left/right mix switches ON, so I could hear what I was getting to the adats, POST the adats. In short here, ONLY monitor these channels, and of course your aux returns etc.
Then, you could leave this setup like this at all times, and track and mix without screwing with patching at all.
If you are using outboard mic amps, then just wire the adat outs straight across the DDA via the line inputs, and go. You will be hearing signal post the tape machines, and when you are done tracking, you are ready to mix. In fact, either way, you can be building your mix as you track.
If you are the type that likes to buss multiple instruments to each track, then you will have to use the 8 submix / buss outs. If I were needing more than 32 tracks, and only had the 2 ADATS, I would wire one up via direct outs as mentioned, and the other to the 8 buss outputs.
Then, I would have one to have an instrument per channel setup going for critical things, and another 8 tape tracks for grouped instruments/sections/sub-mixes that were not the major players in my mix.
Remember the Q series has that aux flip feature, where AUX 1 becomes an output fader that feeds the direct output of that channel. Very freakin' cool IMHO. You can adjust the level going to tape, without screwing up your mix on the channels output fader. Kinda, like an inline deal, but not quite as flexible.
Still a great feature for live recording.
How do you like the DDA? Like the mic amps?
I have been using mostly (well, all really) outboard for years now, but I want to go back and give the DDA pres a listen again. I heard some Trevor Rabin stuff cut with DDA profile preamps again after like 8 years, and it sounded fantastic
I ditched them for a while because they have IC's in them, but I am beginning to worry less and less about this nowadays. If they sound good, then it really doesn't matter what's in them. I got the gear snob thing going, and wasn't thinking real straight. I am willing to bet that the pres sound as good or better than some of my outboard, and I just didn't give them enough of a chance.
Do you have the transformer option installed?
Hope this helps, let us know how it turns out and good luck,