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What happened to Sony DASH Format?
Old 18th January 2011
  #1
Gear Maniac
 

What happened to Sony DASH Format?

Hey guys I just had a random thought today after talking to a newbie about how far along recording has come since the old (Golden) days. I was curious about whatever happened to the D.A.S.H format from Sony? We occasionally still hear about reel to reels, even old Adat machines from time to time, but I hear NOTHING about the Dash format machines. I think this thing faded faster than DAT machines. Anybody care to shine some light on this?
Old 18th January 2011
  #2
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Pro Tools happened. It's that simple.
Old 18th January 2011
  #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PopularDemand View Post
Pro Tools happened. It's that simple.
Yup! I remember recording to a 48 track DASH maschine...I think it was 48...anyways. I remember the Studer 24 track in the same room, sonically killed the DASH maschine. First and last time I ever used DASH format.
Old 18th January 2011
  #4
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Yep.. Pro Tools.

Went from Sony 3348 to 3348 with PT backup to PT with 3348 backup then one day, we just stopped using the 3348 never really even conscious... I remember that we loaded up a tape, and when the session began we just didn't hit record.
Old 18th January 2011
  #5
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mintyfreshbeats's Avatar
 

it turned into Nomad Factory's Magnetic plug in haha
Old 18th January 2011
  #6
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Bob Olhsson's Avatar
 

Some of the top mixers such as CLA still premix stems to a 3348 and then run their final mix from it. This allows them to leave their rooms set up and to do really fast recalls even years later.

It's simply a work-flow that has worked for them that they aren't about to replace until it's absolutely necessary.
Old 18th January 2011
  #7
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What would be the advantage of premixing steams to a 3348?
Old 19th January 2011
  #8
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It's a way to organize a mix so everything always comes up in the same place where you can just grab it without thinking about where it is.

We can easily do that on our own productions but when mixing somebody else's production it's a great way to keep everything organized and minimize one's excessive left brain activity.
Old 19th January 2011
  #9
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rickrock305's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jlacck View Post
What would be the advantage of premixing steams to a 3348?


Workflow.

CLA/TLA do a lot of premixing in Pro Tools, then print those tracks out of Pro Tools to the 3348. Then from the 3348 it goes to the console for further processing. Printing the premixes to the 3348 allows them to do recalls much easier/quicker.

They are also using the 3348 for D/A conversion.
Old 19th January 2011
  #10
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Clearmountain used to do the same thing and for all I know still does.
Old 20th January 2011
  #11
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Yea I understand what you guys mean about the premix steams. I guess I was curious about why that format would be instead all the other available options that are at our disposal. But, between analog Reel to Reel and Pro Tools, as well as ADATs on the low end of the scale, I never could figure out where the market was for the DASH units. I knew studios had them, but no body ever talked about using them. Is there a genre of music that it was used more in?
Old 20th January 2011
  #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jlacck View Post
Yea I understand what you guys mean about the premix steams. I guess I was curious about why that format would be instead all the other available options that are at our disposal. But, between analog Reel to Reel and Pro Tools, as well as ADATs on the low end of the scale, I never could figure out where the market was for the DASH units. I knew studios had them, but no body ever talked about using them. Is there a genre of music that it was used more in?
Anyone who had the money to buy them... (extremely expensive)

I know the ABC here (Australia) had quite a few of the early ones, and also a bunch of Studer D827 DASH machines as well. Studios 301 (one of Sydney' big studios) has them too. I understand they are very popular for classical recordings. They were definitely quite universal in the 80s - plenty if not all big studios had them.

Plenty of great albums were recorded or mixed using the DASH recorders in full or part:
Paul Simon - Graceland
Dire Straits - Brothers in Arms
Steely Dan - Aja (i think)
Anything done by CLA (PCM 3348HR)
I could go on endlessly here but nothing a google search won't turn up.

If i could find a 3348HR for reasonable money i'd buy it. They are really great units.
Old 20th January 2011
  #13
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The combination of a DASH machine and an SSL console offered unprecedented precision in mix recalls. Analog machines never really run the same speed twice and locking them to time-code increases the wow and flutter substantially. The DASH/SSL combo was a huge advance. Some folks have simply never moved beyond it because they don't consider anything else to be any better and they think lots of other things are worse.
Old 20th January 2011
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jlacck View Post
I knew studios had them, but no body ever talked about using them. Is there a genre of music that it was used more in?
A lot of people's favorite hip hop & r&b from about 94/95 til the use of pro tools was off of 48trk 1/2" dash. Life After Death and Bad Boy stuff after that used much dash until PT came in.
Old 20th January 2011
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Olhsson View Post
Some of the top mixers such as CLA still premix stems to a 3348 and then run their final mix from it.
I read somewhere that he uses the 3348 at 16 bit. I was surprised.. But at the same time, do we really need 24 bits for today's ultra loud mixes?
Interesting way of working at least..
Old 20th January 2011
  #16
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He has a formula that his clients really like and he isn't about to change it. It was state of the art back when he started doing things that way. Also remember that he has total control over levels because he is not recording live performances to 48x16.
Old 21st January 2011
  #17
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What happened to Sony DASH Format?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ISayItLikeItIs

I read somewhere that he uses the 3348 at 16 bit. I was surprised.. But at the same time, do we really need 24 bits for today's ultra loud mixes?
Interesting way of working at least..
I doubt that. I know for sure his brother TLA is using the 24 bit. And their setups are pretty much the same.
Old 21st January 2011
  #18
What happened to Sony DASH Format?

Isn't one reason to is that there is a physical version of the song, not just on a drive.
Old 21st January 2011
  #19
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by rickrock305 View Post
I doubt that. I know for sure his brother TLA is using the 24 bit. And their setups are pretty much the same.
I don't know for sure, just read this article from 2007:
Secrets Of The Mix Engineers: Chris Lord-Alge

It says:
"Much of Lord-Alge's gear appears to date from 15 years ago or more, and it's a sign of how fast technology is moving that one feels compelled to explain that the 3348 is a 48-track digital two-inch tape machine that was first introduced in 1989, and Lord-Alge has the original 16-bit/48kHz version.
...
My brother uses the 24-bit HD 3348, but I'm used to the way my 3348 sounds, and as long as you hit the level well, you're OK. The essential thing about bits is really the resolution of level. The 3348 has a sweet spot where it sounds really good, somewhere in the top 10-15 percent of the level."

I don't know if he has changed his approach since..
Old 21st January 2011
  #20
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E-Maddox's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by PopularDemand View Post
Pro Tools happened. It's that simple.

Actually that's not true at all.

When the DASH units were out there weren't many digital options and at the time computer driven recording was all but experimental. The stable daw didn't exist because recorders and sequencers didn't really coexist in one packge. Also the audio interfaces were all over the place and crashed constantly and the midi boxes were almost all 401 clones of some sort.

The DASH units (and any other reel based digital multi track) were forced to extinction by the Alesis ADAT VHS format- and to a lesser extent ,the Tascam 8mm recorders. It was cheaper to buy/operate/maintain and took up almost no floor space. Neither PT or any other software had to do with it.

ADAT was then ousted by hardware HD recorders like the DR-16 and fostex units. These units were eventually sent to pasture by software based solutions.
Old 21st January 2011
  #21
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rickrock305's Avatar
 

i dunno if i'd say ADAT was responsible for killing off DASH. i couldn't name one facility who dumped their DASH for ADATS. two different levels in quality.
Old 21st January 2011
  #22
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rickrock305's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ISayItLikeItIs View Post
I don't know for sure, just read this article from 2007:
Secrets Of The Mix Engineers: Chris Lord-Alge

It says:
"Much of Lord-Alge's gear appears to date from 15 years ago or more, and it's a sign of how fast technology is moving that one feels compelled to explain that the 3348 is a 48-track digital two-inch tape machine that was first introduced in 1989, and Lord-Alge has the original 16-bit/48kHz version.
...
My brother uses the 24-bit HD 3348, but I'm used to the way my 3348 sounds, and as long as you hit the level well, you're OK. The essential thing about bits is really the resolution of level. The 3348 has a sweet spot where it sounds really good, somewhere in the top 10-15 percent of the level."

I don't know if he has changed his approach since..

Cool, good find. I've worked with Tom, not Chris. I just know their setups are very similar so assumed they were using the same 3348.
Old 21st January 2011
  #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by E-Maddox View Post
Actually that's not true at all.

When the DASH units were out there weren't many digital options and at the time computer driven recording was all but experimental. The stable daw didn't exist because recorders and sequencers didn't really coexist in one packge. Also the audio interfaces were all over the place and crashed constantly and the midi boxes were almost all 401 clones of some sort.

The DASH units (and any other reel based digital multi track) were forced to extinction by the Alesis ADAT VHS format- and to a lesser extent ,the Tascam 8mm recorders. It was cheaper to buy/operate/maintain and took up almost no floor space. Neither PT or any other software had to do with it.

ADAT was then ousted by hardware HD recorders like the DR-16 and fostex units. These units were eventually sent to pasture by software based solutions.
we never used ADAT in hit factory, daddy's house, quad, sony, unique or any other place except at home studios of that era. Dash was it for us in the studios until we went to PT. ADAT and the constant loss of sync... what a pain.
Old 21st January 2011
  #24
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dodgeaspen's Avatar
 

Never used the Sony DASH but seen a few neat videos on youtube. I love my all analog setup. I love the feel and sight of the old school equipment.
Old 21st January 2011
  #25
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E-Maddox's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by rickrock305 View Post
i dunno if i'd say ADAT was responsible for killing off DASH. i couldn't name one facility who dumped their DASH for ADATS. two different levels in quality.
If one had a DASH installed that's one thing because the cash has been spent. However for any unit to survive sales have to continue. ADAT and DA started a fast progression from reel based units.

The Sony had to be at least 140/150K so I don't see anyone taking a loss like that. I can't speak for the studios and what they went with but ADAT severely soured the market for the Sony and just about anything else at the pricepoint. That's fact of the market.
Old 21st January 2011
  #26
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ADAT was strictly a home studio format and not reliable enough for union sessions. The Sony/Tascam DA-88s did get used for motion picture post work however I don't remember DASH really making inroads into that market.
Old 21st January 2011
  #27
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rickrock305's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by E-Maddox View Post
ADAT and DA started a fast progression from reel based units.

ADAT severely soured the market for the Sony and just about anything else at the pricepoint. That's fact of the market.


First, ADAT is still a reel based format, albeit encased in a cassette.

Second, you're comparing two different markets. The market for something like a DASH machine is very different from the market for ADATS.
Old 21st January 2011
  #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Olhsson View Post
ADAT was strictly a home studio format and not reliable enough for union sessions.
exactly
Old 21st January 2011
  #29
Gear Maniac
 
E-Maddox's Avatar
 

I'm merely pointing out the technology progression away from open reel digital. I won't press the issue but ADAT was indeed the beginning of the end for beast like the Sony. If for no other reason digital audio was no longer a tool only available to wealthy and commercial buyers.
Old 21st January 2011
  #30
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Bob Olhsson's Avatar
 

ADAT certainly was a miracle for the DIY studio but it didn't represent progress for the professional because you couldn't reliably move projects between different studios. In real pro work you have deadlines to meet and thousands of dollars are being paid out in wages and studio time. The cost of gear or studio time is a secondary consideration and really a drop in the bucket. It's too bad the word "pro" has been turned into just a marketing handle.

The reason SloTools rules today is the ease with which people can move projects between studios. To be honest I'm not sure to what degree this is more a happy accident than Digidesign's intent but it is what it is.
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