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Tracking Drums on a Tascam TSR 8 track 1/2" deck?
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glenn Taylor
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8th November 2008
Old 8th November 2008
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Tracking Drums on a Tascam TSR 8 track 1/2" deck?

What do you think of using a Tascam TSR 8 8 track 15 ips 1/2" machine to track retro sounding drums. Before bouncing to pro tools hd2 with a 192 interface.
Might I get good results? Let,s say drums on 6 tracks bass on 7 guit on 8 before bouncing. I have Mcdsp analog tape simulator plug ins. they are ok. I would rather not get a big 2" 16 track. Tape expensive. Can,t move machine in and out of CR room.
What are ones thoughts?
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8th November 2008
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I think that this has been asked many times before, but I guess my two cents is that make sure you have a great A/D converter otherwise all for nothing.
glenn Taylor
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8th November 2008
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Do consider the A to D converters on digidesign 192 good?
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8th November 2008
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If you record to 1/2" 8-tracks at 15ips, you're going to want noise control. Meaning, you're going to need a tape noise plugin or something to bring the hiss down about 10db. If you don't mind hiss, nevermind.

If I were me, I'd save the money and make space for an MCI JH110 1" 8-track, then worry about awesome converters.

Actually, that's not true, I'd buy a JH24 cuz I'm a *****.
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glenn Taylor
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8th November 2008
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where would I find a MCI JH 24 !" 8 track? I hope they are smaller than a Otari 1" 8 track. I bought one in california years back. It really sounded great, but It was huge. 5 feet tall. Would have made a good boat anchor.
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9th November 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glenn Taylor View Post
where would I find a MCI JH 24 !" 8 track? I hope they are smaller than a Otari 1" 8 track. I bought one in california years back. It really sounded great, but It was huge. 5 feet tall. Would have made a good boat anchor.
glenn.
I saw a few MCI 8-tracks pop up this year on eBay. I imagine it's probably about the same size as the Otari. It's the same size as an Ampex 440 roughly I think. Just do a search, you should find some photos.

All multi-track tape machines that rock are going to take up a little real estate.
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9th November 2008
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I saw an Ampex 1200 2" 16 track for $1800 as is. I wonder if it would be a real challenge to get it running good. I built a Ampex 350 2 track from parts. It had a real nice sweet sound. IT was very hard for me to work on.
Glenn.

Last edited by glenn Taylor; 9th November 2008 at 04:30 AM.. Reason: SPELLING
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9th November 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peacock View Post
I used a TSR 8 for years. Its a -10 machine and this will give you issues in transfer if everrything else is +4. The tsr 8 is ok and I have recorded a lot of stuff with one.

However it has limited head room and sounds small compared to the MCI 1 inch 8 track I have now. I sometimes record to the MCi and dump to Radar but I think your sound would be better staying in PT or staying with the tsr 8 only. You will need to upgrade to pro- tape machines to notice nice drums with headroom.

Call Randy Blevins for a MCI 1 inch 8 track at Blevins audio He has one now I think. You could easily drive from Fla to Nashville and pick it up. Randy will insure working order with the machine. mine works fine.
+2

With tape, do it. Not necessarily in track amount, but track width. 1" 8-track is good fidelity, and is balanced +4 putting you into the altitude over the turbulent noise floor.

Also, find a local audio tech who knows tape machines to give you a calibration run-through and take serious notes.

My 2 bits.
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9th November 2008
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I know Randy and company. back when I lived in Ca. 2004. They helped me work on my old MCI jh16 24 track. That was an ongoing needy old machine. It weighed a ton. sold before moving to Florida. I will see what they have. I have a TSR 8 in route now. I can always re sell it. I have some old 1980 1/2" tapes I recorded on a 80-8. I had owned a TSR 8 years ago. seems like it was a better machine than the 80-8. It seems like these machines are getting harder to find.
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I have an Otari MX5050 MKIV that is awesome for drums.

It's a 15ips machine, and I don't have any trouble with hiss. It's there, but it's not terrible. Maybe if you're tracking really quiet stuff, but I've never had a problem.

A lot of times I just send everything out after the fact. It's almost like a hardware "tape sound" insert. That does what I want most of the time. Send it out, tweak the sound while the tape machine is recording, monitoring repro, and hit record in PT when I've got enough "juice" dialed. A little nudge after that, and voila!

I love the sound of tape, but this particular machine's EQ characteristics add just as much of the stuff I like. And, yes, it is aligned.
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Is the Otari a 1/2" machine? Meters on top. If so I had a friend who had one in his studio years ago. I bought and sold 2 Otari 1" machines. I found them in LA when I lived in San Diego. I thought I could pass PT recorded drum tracks through and back,. It didn't do much for me. What did sound great was to record drums onto them first. Too bad my control room was too small to fit them in it. Here I have more room in this studio.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glenn Taylor View Post
Is the Otari a 1/2" machine? Meters on top. Glenn.
Yeah, that's the one. It's in primo condition as well. It had only been used a couple times when I "inherited" it.
I generally do too much comping to track to it. But I know what you're saying.
I also had a Tascam 80-8 once upon a time that was pretty cool as well, not as nice or functional as my Otari though.
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