Tascam 424MK II Portastudio

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cnev
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Tascam 424MK II Portastudio

Post by cnev » July 8th, 2009, 9:16 am

Wondering if anyone has one of these or has used one of these. It was my wife's and I think she bought it around 1997 or so.

I did some quick recordings of the band before reading the manual and at best the sound was very muddy. Also had bleed through ect. until I read that the machine records in 2x the normal speed and you can only use one side so you only get 1/4 of the stated tape time. plus it says you are supposed to mix down to 2 track cassette.

I didn't do any of this but I was wondering if anyone had any tips on how to set this up properly.

I want to try and record again tomorrow night when we have a singer over.

All I am running through the portastudio is just one mic and trying to place that in the room so everyone can be heard.
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Re: Tascam 424MK II Portastudio

Post by Diceman » July 9th, 2009, 2:10 pm

I have this machine . Yes , it does record at 2X the speed but it also has a switch so you can record at the regular speed . If you only record two tracks you will be able to use the other side of the tape as usual . You have to mute the tracks that are recorded in the other direction during playback . If you only record on one track you will be able to use three tracks on the other side . The key is that tracks 1 and 2 on one side are 3 and 4 on the flip side and will sound backwards if you play tracks 3 and 4 on the other side .
By the way , the reason that the tape records at 2X speed is because you get a better signal to noise ratio at the higher tape speed . Hope this helps .
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Alan Green
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Re: Tascam 424MK II Portastudio

Post by Alan Green » July 10th, 2009, 2:09 am

I have a 414MKII. What I found was that you have to record tracks 1 and 3 panned full left and 2 and 4 panned full right.

Also, if you're using mics, record with the treble set as high as it will go and then bring it back to sensible levels when you play back - this will reduce the hiss.

It's very easy to get it wrong, and find you've got a rubbish vocal that you can't use, and your top rate guitar work, on the same track and have to start all over again.


A :-)
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cnev
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Re: Tascam 424MK II Portastudio

Post by cnev » July 10th, 2009, 4:49 am

Thanks guys.

Another question currently there are 5 of us, 2 guitars, a bass, drum and singer. The vocal mic(s) for the singers is going to a Behringer PA. The guitar and bass amps are not miced nor are the drums.

I don't really have enough mics/cables etc. so when I tried to record the band all I did was connect a mic to the first channel and then try to position it in the room so I could hear everyone but the tape was very muddy.

I would think the best way to do this is somehow have a direct input into the TASCAM for every instrument and the vocals but that's the part I'm not sure how to set up.

Do I MIC the amps route them to the PA and out of the PA to the TASCAM or into the TASCAM first somehow and then to the PA or is there a way to just spit the signal so I get the guitar sound out of the amps and sent another line to the recorder?

Same with the vocals now they go directly into the PA.
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Alan Green
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Re: Tascam 424MK II Portastudio

Post by Alan Green » July 16th, 2009, 3:09 am

According to the spec, you've got four XLR inputs.

Vocals in 1 from a line out on the PA, mic the guitars into 2 (they're going to have to mix their sound out of the amps because you don't have enough inputs), the bass into 3 and the drums into 4. Pan the vocals and the bass left, the guitars and drums right. Adjust your levels, record, listen and twiddle the level and pan knobs if it doesn't sound right. Don't set the record levels above -6Db to start with, it'll start to distort.

I don't think you're going to get a perfect result, although it should be possible to get something non-muddy even if there is a certain amount of bleed between tracks - the bass track picking up the lead guitar for example.


A :-)
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Re: Tascam 424MK II Portastudio

Post by cnev » July 16th, 2009, 4:22 am

Thanks Alan much appreciated.
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Re: Tascam 424MK II Portastudio

Post by kent_eh » August 2nd, 2009, 6:19 pm

Alan Green wrote:Also, if you're using mics, record with the treble set as high as it will go and then bring it back to sensible levels when you play back - this will reduce the hiss.
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Cnev, have you cleaned the heads of the tape transport?
Ever?
That might cost you some clarity.

Also, do all of the tracks sound the same, or are some better?
If this unit ever had a tape jammed, or if it got banged around at some point in history it might need a head alignment. That would also be a prime suspect for a track bleed-thru problem.
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