Hi guys,

I am looking through the delivery requirements of a project that's a feature film with a 5.1 mix.

In the past I have always sent stems as separate wavs and any OMF's/Sessions to boot.

The client would want the m&e 5.1 mix as a DA88 tape.

I know it is/used to be common practice to send tapes from a DA88 to clients for archival/M&E purposes, so my question is:

Is it worth investing now in a DA88, especially still for 5.1 bounces? How will this integrate in my ProTools system with a Pro Fire 2626 (I presume it can utilise the Tascam connector?)

Theres a few here in the UK for £150 so initially it wouldn't be a huge investment-like this one-


Cheers for any help!

  • Also I believe you need the optional timecode hardware to sync with other sources-so I can slap another £100 onto that initial investment! Commented Aug 6, 2012 at 15:49

3 Answers 3


Is it possible they've just never updated their delivery docs? I'd give them a ring and confirm that that's the only format they'll accept, because it seems odd to me.

In general, I'd avoid investing in any equipment that's reached the end of it's life cycle. DA-88 won't be making a comeback.

  • I'll second that. I once got a spec for DA-88 delivery. While I do have one, they're a PITA, so I called the distrib. Their answer? "Oh... that's an old spec, we actually prefer .WAV files if you can?"
    – Sonsey
    Commented Aug 7, 2012 at 18:28

I know of a number of companies which still have DA88 format on their delivery specs but with some when you look at the small print it is possible to deliver files instead. So I would agree with Shaun go back and check.

Although it is possible to buy cheap secondhand DA88s, if they haven't been properly maintained there is a good chance that tapes recorded on them won't play back properly on other machines. So although the investment may be small if the client can't play the tapes you deliver the cost to your reputation is going to be much higher.


Avoid the crap at all cost, if you can't get out of it, outsource the da88 transfer. The transfer facility will then have the issues with creating tapes that work, finding stock that isn't crap and dealing with any re-transfer issues. Still I'd try my hardest to avoid it!

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