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Syncing 2 TASCAM MS-16 s
Old 19th March 2003
Gear Nut
gregrw's Avatar
🎧 15 years
Question Syncing 2 TASCAM MS-16 s

(This question has nine lives at least. I did the google search, and came away confused, so I'm posting this on a few bulletin boards.)

So, I will pick up my second (!) TASCAM MS-16 (MS 16, MS16,) 1" 16 track recorder tomorrow. I want to sync the two machines. What is the best way to do this? I know that one machine will be code master but the other must have its transport be under control from an external synchronizer. I will stripe track 16 of both machines with SMPTE, 30 fps non-drop, generated by a TASCAM DA-78hr.

Some things I have heard or read:

I have the TASCAM ATS-500 sync box which controls the TSR-8 and MSR-16 among others via a serial port. Works great! I know that there is the IF-500 that goes with the ATS and can control parallel ported machines.

I read about the TASCAM ES-50 and ES-51. I think one is a sync box and the other a controller. I was under the impression that this combo does have a parallel ouput and can control the MS-16. (In fact, I saw an ad on RAP for such a system: MS, both ESs, and cables...dated 1995!)

Some have had good luck with the Adam (Adams) Smith Zeta III. Is the company even in business? A yahoo search turned up nothing.

Some people mentioned using the Fostex 4030, but others said it would not work with TASCAM stuff.

So in general, what have been people's experiences with these sync boxes? What does anyone recommend? Does anyone still use any such system? Are there any others? (The MS-16 manual lists several companies, none of which I could find.) I am under the impression that all of these boxes are no longer manufactured. Nor are the needed cables, nor the parts for the cables. (Though that last may not be true. Someone suggested looking at Newark Electronics for the MALCO 354-38 aka ELCO 8016 connector, which I haven't done yet. Maybe I'll try You-Do-It Electronics.) Does anyone have any of these boxes/cables sitting around collecting dust? I'll take it off your hands! :-)

Opinions? Suggestions? You know, other than those concerning my sanity. :-)

Thanks! I also got some help a while back re: the ATS box from one of these groups. I think I forgot to say "thank you," so thanks for that, too.

Analog will never die, never, never!!!!!!!!!!

Old 19th March 2003
One with big hooves
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
🎧 15 years
Re: Syncing 2 TASCAM MS-16 s

Originally posted by gregrw
Some have had good luck with the Adam (Adams) Smith Zeta III. Is the company even in business? A yahoo search turned up nothing.
I haven't used one of those in about 5 years. The studio I worked at had an MTR-90 and an A800 locked up with a Zeta III. There's a store near me that has a used one for $600 or $700 and I doubt they have the manual for it.

Locking two analog decks together is great sonic fun but can be a real pain. Honestly, I'd probably keep the second one for parts and as a spare and lock to the DA-78's when you need more tracks.
Old 20th March 2003
Gear Nut
gregrw's Avatar
🎧 15 years
Actually, one of the reasons I bought the second one was for use as a spare. One for the road, and one for home. The price was right, and it was located up the highway.

Syncing 'em wasn't foremost on my mind, but hey, if it can be done, it would be pretty cool. 30 tracks analog!

And I know I can slave the '78s to any of the analog machines, and the '78s sound great, and there are analog-emulating plug-ins for Alsihad, among others...it's just that analog is just so much *fun.* I like seeing those reels turning, and threading the tape and all that crap. It's just cool, so I'll indulge.

Old 21st October 2011 | Show parent
Here for the gear
🎧 10 years
looking for manual : TASCAM ES-50 & manual maintenance ATR 60-8

Hi everybody !
I look for the manual of Tascam synchronizer ES-50
and the manual of maintenance and schema for the 8 tracks Tascam ATR 60-8
Merci beaucoup pour votre aide !
Old 11th March 2012
Gear Nut
🎧 10 years
By what I remember of the MS16 syncing the units together is not possible because you can't control the motor speed externally. Any external sync box Zeta 3, or others needed to control the speed of both machines to keep them in sync along with a TC reference for location point. If I'm wrong then my memory is foggy.
Old 17th January 2016
Here for the gear
🎧 10 years
More than twelve years after ... I am in the same job.
The ATS-500 works fine with my TSR-8 and MSR-24 ....but the MS-16 have'nt serial port for the MS ...

I read that the IF-500 (the parallel interface for the ATS-500) can drives the MS-16 ... and i can get one ... and really cheap!

I like to know if you got resolve the question ... and what.

I'm recording from 1980 .... starting with the legendary 3340ss ... (my first love!)
More than 30 years before ... I saw a 85-16B and a MS-16 runing in perfect sync.
100 years in the future, the Beatles Tapes will be trasnsfered to the 22 century's technology.

You have the reason about analog .... Analog never die!

Last edited by Wlad51; 18th January 2016 at 06:54 PM..
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