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DASH maintenance

A description of the maintenance requirements of DASH (digital audio stationary head) multitrack recorders.


Although an analog recorder can be, and should be, cleaned by the recording
engineer in the normal course of studio activities, a DASH machine should only
be cleaned by an expert, or thousands of dollars worth of damage can be caused.

The heads can be cleaned with a special chamois-leather cleaning tool, wiping
in a horizontal motion only. Cotton buds, as used for analog records will clog
a DASH head with their fibers.

Likewise, an analog record can be aligned by a knowledgable engineer, but alignment
of a DASH machine is something that is done every six months or so by a suitably
qualified engineer carrying a portable PC and a special test jig in his tool

The PC runs special service software which can interrogate just about every
aspect of the DASH machine checking head hours, error rates, remote ports, sampler
card etc etc. With the aid of its human assistant it can even align the heads
and tape tension.

David Mellor

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David Mellor